NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Latest Standings After Hurricanes Clinch Postseason Berth

Erin WalshApril 8, 2022

RALEIGH, NC - APRIL 7: Teuvo Teravainen #86 of the Carolina Hurricanes scores a goal and skates back to the bench to celebrate with teammates during an NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres on April 7, 2022 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes are heading back to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fourth straight season. 

Carolina Hurricanes @Canes

OFFICIAL! WE'RE HEADED BACK TO THE PLAYOFFS! <a href="https://t.co/7SKpNZ6xaZ">pic.twitter.com/7SKpNZ6xaZ</a>

x - Carolina Hurricanes @Canes

Surging into the postseason!! <a href="https://t.co/2BoM9cBTb2">pic.twitter.com/2BoM9cBTb2</a>

Carolina clinched a spot in the 2022 postseason with a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at PNC Arena. With the win, the Hurricanes moved to 46-17-8 to stay atop the Metropolitan Division standings. 

Here's a look at the updated Eastern Conference standings:

Metropolitan Division

  1. Carolina Hurricanes: 46-17-8, 100 points
  2. New York Rangers: 46-20-6, 98 points
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins: 41-21-10, 92 points

Atlantic Division 

  1. Florida Panthers: 49-15-6, 104 points
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs: 45-19-6, 96 points
  3. Boston Bruins: 44-21-5, 93 points

Wild Card

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning: 43-20-7, 93 points
  2. Washington Capitals: 38-22-10, 86 points

The Hurricanes have spent most of the 2021-22 season atop the Metropolitan Division standings thanks to Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen offensively.

Aho leads the team with 33 goals and 38 assists for 71 points, while Svechnikov has 27 goals and 35 assists for 62 points and Teravainen has 19 goals and 39 assists for 58 points. 

In addition, the Hurricanes have received excellent depth scoring from Vincent Trocheck, Nino Niederreiter, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Staal. Jaccob Slavin, Brady Skjei and Tony DeAngelo have led the pack defensively. 

Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have also combined to form one of the best goaltending duos in the NHL. They entered Thursday's game against the Sabres with a league-best 2.37 goals-against average.

The Hurricanes are aiming to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2006. However, they'll face a difficult path to the Stanley Cup Final, with the Tampa Bay Lightning as a possible first-round opponent. 

Despite sitting fourth in the Atlantic Division, the Bolts are primed to win their third straight Stanley Cup behind Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy. 

The Florida Panthers, meanwhile, have been the best team in the Eastern Conference all season and have already clinched a playoff spot, and the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins all have at least 92 points.