NHL Highlights: 21 Matchups That Will Shape the NHL Playoffs

Ryan O'Leary@BR0LearyFeatured Columnist IApril 3, 2012

The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are just two teams fighting for their playoff lives down the backstretch.
The Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are just two teams fighting for their playoff lives down the backstretch.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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

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.