The St. Louis Blues clinched a spot in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 6-5 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday at Enterprise Center. The win also vaulted the Blues into second place in the Central Division.
This is the fourth straight season that St. Louis is in the playoffs and the 10th time in the last 11 seasons. The team is aiming to win its first Stanley Cup since 2019.
The Calgary Flames also clinched a spot in the playoffs with the Edmonton Oilers' 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday. It's the first time since the 2019-20 season that Calgary is back in the postseason.
Here's an updated look at the top of the Western Conference standings following the Blues' and Flames' victories:
- Colorado Avalanche: 54-14-6, 114 points
- St. Louis Blues: 45-20-10, 100 points
- Minnesota Wild: 46-21-7, 99 points
- Calgary Flames: 45-20-9, 99 points
- Edmonton Oilers: 44-26-6, 94 points
- Los Angeles Kings: 39-27-10, 88 points
- Nashville Predators: 43-27-5, 91 points
- Dallas Stars: 42-27-5, 89 points
And here is a look at the top of the Eastern Conference standings:
- Carolina Hurricanes: 48-19-8, 104 points
- New York Rangers: 49-21-6, 104 points
- Pittsburgh Penguins: 43-23-11, 97 points
- Florida Panthers: 53-15-6, 112 points
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 48-20-6, 102 points
- Tampa Bay Lightning: 45-21-8, 98 points
- Boston Bruins: 46-24-5, 97 points
- Washington Capitals: 41-23-10, 92 points
The Blues have been paced offensively this season by Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas.
Tarasenko entered Saturday's game against the Wild with 31 goals and 41 assists in 67 games. It is the sixth 30-plus goal season of his career. Kyrou, meanwhile, is in the midst of a career year, recording 18 goals and 53 assists in 66 games. Thomas has notched 18 goals and 53 assists in 64 games.
St. Louis' defense has been just as good with Torey Krug and Justin Faulk leading the way. Colton Parayko, Marco Scandella and Robert Bortuzzo have also helped hold down the fort on the back end.
But while the Blues clinched a playoff spot, they'll face a difficult battle to reach the Stanley Cup Final. The Avalanche and Wild have both excelled this year, and the Flames or Oilers could also pose a significant challenge.
The Flames, meanwhile, have been led offensively by Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm.
Gaudreau is in the midst of a career year. He enters Saturday night's game against the Arizona Coyotes with 34 goals and 67 assists for 101 points in 74 games. Tkachuk is also having a career season, notching 37 goals and 55 assists for 92 points. Lindholm has 38 goals and 36 assists for 74 games.
Calgary has also received some nice depth scoring from Andrew Mangiapane, Blake Coleman, Mikael Backlund, Dillon Dube, Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic, all of whom have at least 10 goals this year.
The Flames' defense has also been solid. Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington and Erik Gudbranson headline a group that also includes Christopher Tanev, Juuso Valimaki and Nikita Zadorov.
Goaltenders Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar have arguably been the most impressive. Markstrom owns a 2.24 goals-against average, third-best in the NHL. In addition, Calgary's goaltenders have posted a combined 2.51 GAA, second-best in the league, and .918 save percentage, fourth-best in the league.
But like the Blues, the Flames will face an uphill battle in the West as they aim to win their first Stanley Cup since 1989.