NHL Highlights: 21 Matchups That Will Shape the NHL Playoffs

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NHL Highlights:  21 Matchups That Will Shape the NHL Playoffs
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are just two teams fighting for their playoff lives down the backstretch.

It started six months ago. And after a grueling, arduous season of regular season hockey, several playoff hopefuls are running out of time.

Save for Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and Colorado, every other NHL team's schedule is reduced to a mere three games, with razor-thin seeding margins still in play.

Some are fighting to make the playoffs, while others already locked into the second season seek more advantageous seeding opportunities.

Here is a night-by-night list of the most critical matchups any NHL fan should be glued to this week.

(all times Eastern)

Tuesday, April 3

Wednesday, April 4

Thursday, April 5

Which Pacific Division Team Will Be Left Out of the Playoffs at Season's End?

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Friday, April 6

  • Phoenix Coyotes at St. Louis Blues: 7:30 p.m., Scottrade Center

Saturday, April 7

  • Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins: 4 p.m., TD Bank North Garden
  • Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins: 4 p.m., Consol Energy Center
  • Washington Capitals at New York Rangers: 6:30 p.m., Madison Square Garden
  • Phoenix Coyotes at Minnesota Wild: 8 p.m., XCel Energy Center
  • St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars: 8 p.m., American Airlines Center
  • Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche: 9 p.m., Pepsi Center
  • Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks: 10:30 p.m., HP Pavilion

Ryan O'Leary is a writer and researcher for Bleacher Report's Video Production Department with seven years experience in the sports industry. 

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