NHL playoff watch standings update: The postseason seeds left to be determined

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

After the Vegas Golden Knights' elimination from playoff contention last night, the 16-team field for the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs is set -- we just have to wait to see which teams fit into which seeding slots.

Currently, there are eight teams locked into position:

Starting at the top, the Panthers and Avalanche remain in a battle for the Presidents' Trophy and the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason. Both teams have two games left; Colorado is two points back but has a 46-41 edge in regulation wins.

In the Atlantic, the Tampa Bay Lightning hold a three-point lead over the Boston Bruins for the No. 3 seed, with the loser of that battle earning the East's No. 1 wild card and a series against the Canes. Both teams have two games left, and Boston has a one-game edge in RW.

The race for No. 3 in the Metro is even tighter: the Pittsburgh Penguins hold a one-point and one-RW edge over the Washington Capitals, but the Caps have a game in hand. The winner between these two gets the Rangers, the loser gets the Panthers.

There are two races going on in the Central Division. The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues both have 109 points in the battle to determine home-ice advantage in the first round; the Blues have a 43-36 edge in RW, but the Wild have a game in hand. Both Western wild cards are coming from this division, but their positioning is yet to be finalized. The Dallas Stars currently have a one-point edge in the standings, but the Nashville Predators have a game in hand and hold a 35-30 RW advantage. The first wild card will take on the Flames, while the second gets the Avalanche in the first round.

We'll get our next set of clues after tonight's nine-game schedule. Buckle up!

And now, let's check in on the current playoff matchups, along with today's schedule, expanded standings and the full lottery order.

Note: Playoff chances are via FiveThirtyEight. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Today's games
Last night's scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Florida Panthers vs. WC2 Washington Capitals
A2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. A3 Tampa Bay Lightning
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 Boston Bruins
M2 New York Rangers vs. M3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Nashville Predators
C2 Minnesota Wild vs. C3 St. Louis Blues
P1 Calgary Flames vs. WC1 Dallas Stars
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Today's games

Note: All times Eastern. All out-of-market, non-NHL Network games available to stream live on ESPN+.

Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m.
Washington Capitals at New York Islanders, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. (NHLN)
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m.
San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.


Last night's scoreboard

Watch In the Crease on ESPN+ for highlights from every game.

Winnipeg Jets 4, Philadelphia Flyers 0
Montreal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 3
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Vegas Golden Knights 3 (SO)
Arizona Coyotes 4, Dallas Stars 3 (OT)
Los Angeles Kings 5, Seattle Kraken 3


Expanded standings

Note: x = clinched playoff spot; y = clinched division title; z = clinched best conference record; e = eliminated

Atlantic Division

z - Florida Panthers

Points: 120
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 2
Next game: @ OTT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Toronto Maple Leafs

Points: 113
Regulation wins: 43
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. BOS (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Tampa Bay Lightning

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 2
Next game: @ CBJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Boston Bruins

Points: 105
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. BUF (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - Buffalo Sabres

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ BOS (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Detroit Red Wings

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: @ NJ (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Ottawa Senators

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. FLA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Montreal Canadiens

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. FLA (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

y - Carolina Hurricanes

Points: 114
Regulation wins: 46
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. NJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - New York Rangers

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 43
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. WSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Pittsburgh Penguins

Points: 101
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. CBJ (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Washington Capitals

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 2
Next game: @ NYI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - New York Islanders

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. WSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. TB (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - New Jersey Devils

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ CAR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. OTT (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

z - Colorado Avalanche

Points: 118
Regulation wins: 46
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. NSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Minnesota Wild

Points: 109
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. CGY (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - St. Louis Blues

Points: 109
Regulation wins: 43
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. VGK (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Dallas Stars

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. ANA (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Nashville Predators

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 2
Next game: @ COL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - Winnipeg Jets

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. CGY (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: @ BUF (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Arizona Coyotes

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: vs. NSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

y - Calgary Flames

Points: 110
Regulation wins: 44
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 2
Next game: @ MIN (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Edmonton Oilers

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. SJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

x - Los Angeles Kings

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 1
Next game: @ VAN (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

e - Vegas Golden Knights

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: @ STL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Vancouver Canucks

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. LA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - San Jose Sharks

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: @ EDM (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Anaheim Ducks

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Next game: @ DAL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

e - Seattle Kraken

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 2
Next game: vs. SJ (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here. The 2022 draft lottery will be held on May 10.

1. Montreal Canadiens

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 15

2. Arizona Coyotes

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17

3. Seattle Kraken

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22

4. Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 20

5. New Jersey Devils

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 19

6. Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 16

7. Ottawa Senators

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 25

8. Detroit Red Wings

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 20

9. Buffalo Sabres

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 25

10. Anaheim Ducks

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 22

11. San Jose Sharks

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 22

12. Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 25

13. New York Islanders

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 32

14. Winnipeg Jets

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 30

15. Vancouver Canucks

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 32

16. Vegas Golden Knights

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 33

Notes on conditionally traded picks impacting the top 16:

  • Columbus will receive Chicago's first-round pick if Chicago does not win either of the two draws in the 2022 draft lottery. Otherwise, the pick defers to 2023.

  • Buffalo will receive Vegas' first-round pick if it is outside the top 10 selections. Otherwise, the pick defers to 2023.