April 14, 2023

Avalanche need a win for No. 1 seed

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After Thursday night’s 15-game festival, 1,310 games have been played in the 2022-23 NHL regular season. But two more remain on Friday: one to determine the Central Division title and one to finalize the draft lottery position of two non-playoff teams.

Let’s dive into the implications of each of tonight’s games:

Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Power Play on ESPN+): An overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday brought the Blue Jackets out of the NHL’s basement, which means they no longer have the best draft lottery odds. Currently, they are a regulation-wins tiebreaker behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings, meaning they have the second-highest odds, behind the Anaheim Ducks. Moreover, they are one standings point behind the San Jose Sharks. A regulation win would drop them to fourth in the lottery standings, an overtime or shootout loss would put them third, and a regulation loss would keep them second. As for the Sabres, they are locked in to the No. 13 slot in the lottery, as they will remain below the Penguins in the standings no matter the result, due to the regulation-wins tiebreaker (and thus they’ll stay above the Pens in the lottery standings).

Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. (NHL Power Play on ESPN+): It’s a simple scenario for the Avs: A win of any kind earns them the Central Division’s No. 1 seed and a first-round matchup against the Seattle Kraken. Any other result keeps them in the No. 2 spot, earning them a series against the Minnesota Wild. The Dallas Stars are currently a point ahead and will occupy whichever spot the Avs don’t take. For Nashville, a regulation win gives them the most points among non-playoff teams, which means they’ll have the No. 16 slot in the draft lottery. Any other result keeps them 15th in the lottery standings, with the Calgary Flames remaining 16th.

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

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC2 Florida Panthers
A2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. A3 Tampa Bay Lightning
M1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 New York Islanders
M2 New Jersey Devils vs. M3 New York Rangers

Western Conference

C1 Dallas Stars vs. WC1 Seattle Kraken
C2 Colorado Avalanche vs. C3 Minnesota Wild
P1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. WC2 Winnipeg Jets
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Friday’s games

Note: All times Eastern. All games not on ESPN, TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Buffalo Sabres at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:30 p.m.
Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators, 8 p.m.


Thursday’s scoreboard

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

Boston Bruins 5, Montreal Canadiens 4
New Jersey Devils 5, Washington Capitals 4 (OT)
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (OT)
Toronto Maple Leafs 3, New York Rangers 2
Buffalo Sabres 4, Ottawa Senators 3 (OT)
Carolina Hurricanes 6, Florida Panthers 4
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Detroit Red Wings 0
Colorado Avalanche 4, Winnipeg Jets 2
Dallas Stars 1, St. Louis Blues 0
Nashville Predators 4, Minnesota Wild 3 (OT)
Philadelphia Flyers 5, Chicago Blackhawks 4 (OT)
Edmonton Oilers 5, San Jose Sharks 2
Los Angeles Kings 5, Anaheim Ducks 3
Vancouver Canucks 5, Arizona Coyotes 4 (OT)
Vegas Golden Knights 3, Seattle Kraken 1


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 135
Regulation wins: 54
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 135
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 111
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 0
Points pace: 111
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 0
Points pace: 98
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 0
Points pace: 92
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 90
Next game: @ CBJ (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 86
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 80
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 68
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

Points: 113
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 113
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 112
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 0
Points pace: 112
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 0
Points pace: 107
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 93
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 91
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 80
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 75
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 60
Next game: vs. BUF (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

Points: 108
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 108
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 1
Points pace: 108
Next game: @ NSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 103
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 0
Points pace: 103
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 0
Points pace: 95
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 1
Points pace: 93
Next game: vs. COL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 81
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 70
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 59
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

Points: 111
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 111
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 109
Regulation wins: 45
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 0
Points pace: 109
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 0
Points pace: 104
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 100
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 0
Points pace: 100
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 93
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 83
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 60
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 0
Points pace: 58
Next game: None
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

P — Clinched Presidents’ Trophy; Y — Clinched division; X — Clinched playoff berth; E — Eliminated from playoff contention


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can 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. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Connor Bedard, who has been lauded as a generational talent.

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 21

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 24

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 31

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