NHL Playoff Standings 2022: Top Seeds, Wild Card Update and PredictionsApril 21, 2022
NHL Playoff Standings 2022: Top Seeds, Wild Card Update and Predictions
The Dallas Stars are doing everything in their power to keep the Western Conference wild-card race interesting until the final day of the regular season.
Dallas suffered its second straight defeat to a Canadian team on Wednesday, as it fell to the Edmonton Oilers.
Dallas' loss and the Vegas Golden Knights' victory over the Washington Capitals shrunk the gap to two points for the final wild-card position.
The Stars sit in a precarious position with one week left in the regular season. They are also trying to fend off a challenge from the Vancouver Canucks, who are four points back of the last wild-card spot.
Vegas and Vancouver are also chasing the third spot in the Pacific Division, which belongs to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are up three points on Vegas and five ahead of Vancouver.
The Eastern Conference bracket may go through a shift between third-place teams and wild-card squads.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning are holding on to slim leads for third place over the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.
Updated NHL Playoff Standings
1. Carolina - 106 points
2. New York Rangers - 106
3. Pittsburgh - 97
1. Florida - 116
2. Toronto - 108
3. Tampa Bay - 100
1. Boston - 99
2. Washington - 97
1. Colorado - 116
2. Minnesota - 103
3. St. Louis - 103
1. Calgary - 104
2. Edmonton - 96
3. Los Angeles - 92
1. Nashville - 93
2. Dallas - 91
3. Vegas - 89
4. Vancouver - 87
Dallas Holds on to Second Wild-Card Spot in West
The Dallas Stars have the saving grace of a four-game home stand to end the regular season on their side.
Dallas stumbled on the road against Vancouver and Edmonton this week and it may lose to the Calgary Flames on Thursday night to complete the Canadian swing.
Dallas returns home on Saturday for a clash with the Seattle Kraken and it plays two other teams that are already eliminated from playoff contention.
The only tough game in Dallas' final four is a Tuesday clash with Vegas, which will likely determine the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Dallas is 24-10-3 on home ice and it needs to beat Vegas for the first time this season to feel safe going into games against the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks.
The Stars are 0-2 against the Golden Knights, but both of those defeats happened before the calendar flipped to 2022.
Vegas sits at a disadvantage because the Stars have an extra game left on their schedule. The Knights have not done enough to put pressure on Dallas with two wins in their last five games.
Wednesday's overtime win over Washington was a nice result for Vegas, but if it can't go into Dallas and win next week, the second wild-card spot will belong to the Stars.
Tampa Bay Holds off Boston for Third Place in Atlantic Division
Tampa Bay and Boston are separated by one point in the race for third in the Atlantic Division.
The Lightning appear to have the edge on paper because they play their tougher games on home ice against Toronto and Nashville on Thursday and Saturday.
Boston has the Penguins and Rangers next up on the schedule and it is going through an offensive drought at the moment.
The Bruins scored either two of three goals in each of their last six games, a stretch that dates back to an overtime win over Tampa Bay on April 8.
If Boston does not cure its scoring woes, it could remain beneath the Lightning and face either the Florida Panthers or Carolina Hurricanes as one of the two wild-card teams.
Tampa Bay closes the regular season with two games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and one with the New York Islanders.
If the Lightning get to that stretch with any type of advantage, it is hard to see them conceding third place in the Atlantic.