NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Kings, Predators Clinch Playoffs; Updated Standings

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 27, 2022

NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 26: Tanner Jeannot #84 of the Nashville Predators smiles during warmups prior to an NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena on April 26, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Only one playoff spot remains up for grabs in the NHL, but it took quite a few wild finishes to get there on Tuesday night.

Below, we'll break down all of the crucial happenings in the race for the postseason after a fun night of hockey.

Hurricanes Clinch Metropolitan Division with 4-3 Win Over Rangers

The Metropolitan Division has been claimed.  

The Carolina Hurricanes can take it easy in their final game of the season after winning the division on Tuesday night, beating the New York Rangers 4-3.

y-Carolina Hurricanes @Canes

RAISE UP!!! <a href="https://t.co/IQHVOdSLky">pic.twitter.com/IQHVOdSLky</a>

The Rangers made a late push, but goals by Sebastian Aho, Jordan Martinook, Teuvo Teravainen and Vincent Trocheck secured the victory and first place in the Metropolitan for Carolina.

A Wild Night in the West

A whole lot was one the line in the matchup between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights, especially after the Nashville Predators came oh-so-close to beating the Calgary Flames in regulation, only to lose in overtime.

Bally Sports South @BallySportsSO

The Nashville Predators were 0.1 seconds away from clinching a playoff berth. <a href="https://t.co/K6At2IILuu">pic.twitter.com/K6At2IILuu</a>

Here were the clinching scenarios heading into Tuesday night:

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

There's a lot riding on Tuesday's showdown between the Golden Knights and Stars, including a 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> Playoffs berth for the host <a href="https://twitter.com/DallasStars?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DallasStars</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7">https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7</a> <a href="https://t.co/aQekUVgjr1">pic.twitter.com/aQekUVgjr1</a>

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Just like they did Sunday, the <a href="https://twitter.com/LAKings?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LAKings</a> will await the outcome of a Golden Knights game to see if they clinch a berth in the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> Playoffs (and a date with the Oilers in the First Round). <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7">https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7</a> <a href="https://t.co/InHlPeeaaM">pic.twitter.com/InHlPeeaaM</a>

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Quite a few "and/or" avenues for the <a href="https://twitter.com/PredsNHL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PredsNHL</a> to clinch Tuesday, but a 60-minute win would do the trick.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7">https://t.co/QrQ2uVxAs7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/YAztUSFuHN">pic.twitter.com/YAztUSFuHN</a>

So when Dallas earned a 3-2 shootout win over Vegas, it automatically clinched playoff berths for both Nashville and the Los Angeles Kings. 

x - Nashville Predators @PredsNHL

WE’RE IN. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandWithUs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StandWithUs</a> <a href="https://t.co/dLc2tEgnFF">pic.twitter.com/dLc2tEgnFF</a>

x - LA Kings @LAKings

ADD THE X <a href="https://t.co/4xevg0mmSD">pic.twitter.com/4xevg0mmSD</a>

It was also a big result for a Stars team trying to hold off the Golden Knights for the final wild-card berth in the West. 

Playoff Picture

All eight playoff berths are locked up in the East, with the Florida Panthers (120 points), Toronto Maple Leafs (113 points) and Tampa Bay Lightning (108 points) holding the Atlantic bids, the Hurricanes (114 points), Rangers (108 points) and Pittsburgh Penguins (101 points) securing the Metro seeds, and the Boston Bruins (105 points) and Washington Capitals (100 points) as the wild cards.

All that's left to decide is whether the Bruins can catch the Lightning for the final Atlantic bid. Both teams have two games remaining. 

In the West, the final wild-card berth is still up for grabs, with the Stars (95 points) and Golden Knights (91 points) duking it out. Each team has two games left.

The Colorado Avalanche (116 points) already clinched the Central Division, while the Calgary Flames (110 points) have clinched the Pacific. The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild are fighting for the second seed in the Central, tied at 109 points, while the Edmonton Oilers (100 points) are trying to hold off the Kings (96 points) for the second seed in the Pacific. 

The Predators (95 points) are locked into a wild-card position.