The final day of the 2021-22 NHL regular season is exactly one month from today. There are many games to be played and playoff races to be run between now and then, but tonight’s slate is one of the best postseason appetizers we’ve experienced recently; 11 of the 16 teams currently in playoff position will be in action, including three of four division leaders.

Two of those division leaders will be facing off, as the Colorado Avalanche pay a visit to the Calgary Flames. The Avs are coming off an overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild, a contest that got especially nasty at times. Meanwhile, the Flames’ previous game was a 9-5 drubbing of the rival Edmonton Oilers. These two teams needed OT to decide their March 5 contest (a 4-3 win for Calgary), while the Avs blanked the Flames 3-0 on March 13.

The ESPN+ national broadcast tonight sees the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena, a week after a 3-2 win for Carolina that featured some extracurricular rough stuff between Nikita Kucherov and Sebastian Aho that eventually led to a meetup at center ice involving all players at the end of the game. Should be a fun one — especially since these two clubs could wind up matched up in the playoffs, too.

As we enter the post-deadline span of the 2021-22 regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2022 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via FiveThirtyEight. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Today’s games
Last night’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Florida Panthers vs. WC1 Boston Bruins
A2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC2 Washington Capitals
M2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. M3 New York Rangers

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
C2 Minnesota Wild vs. C3 St. Louis Blues
P1 Calgary Flames vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
P2 Los Angeles Kings vs. P3 Edmonton Oilers


Today’s games

Note: All times Eastern. All out-of-market games available on ESPN+

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.
New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m.
New York Islanders at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
Ottawa Senators at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.
Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m.
Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks, 10 p.m.


Last night’s scoreboard

Watch “In The Crease” on ESPN+ for highlights from every game.

Carolina Hurricanes 6, Washington Capitals 1
St. Louis Blues 4, Vancouver Canucks 1
Buffalo Sabres 6, Chicago Blackhawks 5
Edmonton Oilers 6, Arizona Coyotes 1
Seattle Kraken 6, Los Angeles Kings 1


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. MTL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. CAR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 17
Next game: @ BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NYR (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 8

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. WPG (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 5

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 3

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ FLA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 16
Next game: @ TB (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 90
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 16
Next game: @ PIT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. MIN (Sunday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NYI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 17

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ CBJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 17

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ MIN (Tuesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 2

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ BOS (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 2


Central Division

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 16
Next game: @ CGY (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 17
Next game: @ VAN (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 97%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. OTT (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 93%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ ANA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 76%
Tragic number: 35

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ BUF (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 12%
Tragic number: 28

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ FLA (Thursday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 12

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. SJ (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 1


Pacific Division

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. COL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ EDM (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 78%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. LA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 82%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ SEA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 49%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. STL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 13%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ ARI (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 24

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. DAL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 19

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. VGK (Wednesday)
Playoff chances:
Tragic number: 4


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 23