Thursday, May 30, 2024

2024 NHL playoff race tracker: Projected first-round matchups, standings entering final week of regular season

The NHL is in the home stretch of the 2023-24 regular season. That means playoff races are heating up atop divisions and on the wild card bubble.

Throughout the next week, every point will be crucial as teams battle for playoff positioning. Fans will have their eyes glued to the scoreboard and the standings for the next two weeks.

The playoff picture may change on a nightly basis, so CBS Sports has you covered with our NHL playoff race tracker. It’ll be updated daily to show where each playoff hopeful stands as the postseason gets closer and closer.

Reminder: Here’s how the NHL playoff seeding works

  • The top three teams in each division automatically qualify for the playoffs.
  • Each conference has two wild-card spots.
  • The top division winner in each conference will play the second wild card team, and the other division winner will play the first wild card team.
  • The second and third-place teams in each division will match up with one another in the first round.

*Regulation wins are the first tiebreaker, and regulation plus overtime wins are the second tiebreaker. Shootout wins are not counted in regulation plus overtime wins.

Eastern Conference playoff picture

Atlantic Division

1. Boston Bruins | 46-18-15 | 107 points

Points percentage: .677
Regulation wins: 35
Regulation plus overtime wins: 42
Current first-round matchup: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Bruins fell at the hands of the Hurricanes in an Eastern Conference tilt on Tuesday. Now Boston leads Florida by just three points for the Atlantic Division crown with just over a week left in the regular season.

2. Florida Panthers | 49-24-6 | 104 points

Points percentage: .658
Regulation wins: 40
Regulation plus overtime wins: 46
Current first-round matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs

The Panthers had been struggling more than most teams battling for a playoff spot, but get a much-needed victory against the Senators. Consistency will be key for Florida down the stretch.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs | 46-23-9 | 101 points

Points percentage: .647
Regulation wins: 33
Regulation plus overtime wins: 41
Current first-round matchup: Florida Panthers

The Maple Leafs have been the third team in the Atlantic Division for most of the season, and look entrenched in that spot. Auston Matthews is on a six-game goal streak and now has 66 on the season.

Metropolitan Division

1. New York Rangers | 53-22-4 | 110 points

Points percentage: .696
Regulation wins: 42
Regulation plus overtime wins: 50
Current first-round matchup: Washington Capitals

The Rangers are fighting with the Bruins for the Presidents’ Trophy as the regular season comes down the home stretch. New York couldn’t be any hotter as they’ve won eight of its last 10 games.

2. Carolina Hurricanes | 50-22-7 | 107 points

Points percentage: .677
Regulation wins: 42
Regulation plus overtime wins: 48
Current first-round matchup: New York Islanders

The Hurricanes have thrived since landing the likes of Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov at the trade deadline. Carolina looks like a juggernaut in the East, and is making a push for the Metropolitan Division’s top spot late in the season.

3. New York Islanders | 35-27-15 | 85 points

Points percentage: .552
Regulation wins: 26
Regulation plus overtime wins: 34
Current first-round matchup: Carolina Hurricanes

The Islanders have come out of nowhere to climb into the third spot in the Metropolitan Division standings. They’ve ripped off five consecutive wins, including a 4-3 triumph against the Rangers on Tuesday.

Wild card

WC1. Tampa Bay Lightning | 44-27-7 | 95 points

Points percentage: .609
Regulation wins: 36
Regulation plus overtime wins: 41
Current first-round matchup: Boston Bruins

The Lightning are likely the team that no one wants to face in the opening round of the postseason. Tampa Bay has won 11 of its last 14 games, and Nikita Kucherov continues to be electric.

WC2. Washington Capitals | 37-30-11 | 85 points

Points percentage: .545
Regulation wins: 29
Regulation plus overtime wins: 33
Current first-round matchup: New York Rangers

The Capitals had lost six consecutive games, but got a massive win against the Red Wings on Tuesday. For now, Washington is locked into the No. 2 Wild Card spot in the East.

Pittsburgh Penguins | 36-30-12 | 84 points

Points percentage: .538
Regulation wins: 31
Regulation plus overtime wins: 34
Current first-round matchup: N/A

The Penguins are hot all of a sudden with six wins over their last eight games. Pittsburgh did slip up against Toronto on Monday, but still managed to earn a point in an overtime loss.

Detroit Red Wings | 38-32-8 | 84 points

Points percentage: .538
Regulation wins: 27
Regulation plus overtime wins: 36
Current first-round matchup: N/A

While the ship hasn’t necessarily been righted, the Red Wings have tallied two wins over their last four games. However, with so many teams vying for that spot, Detroit needs to rip off as many wins as possible over the final week of the season, and Tuesday’s loss to the Capitals didn’t help matters.

Philadelphia Flyers | 36-32-11 | 83 points

Points percentage: .525
Regulation wins: 28
Regulation plus overtime wins: 32
Current first-round matchup: N/A

The Flyers are fading in the playoff race with eight consecutive losses coming down the stretch, including a 9-3 drubbing against the Canadiens. Philadelphia had a great start to the year, but losing their starting goaltender in Carter Hart and trading away Sean Walker were big hits to their playoff chances.

Western Conference playoff picture

Central Division

1. Dallas Stars | 50-20-9 | 109 points

Points percentage: .690
Regulation wins: 39
Regulation plus overtime wins: 47
Current first-round matchup: Vegas Golden Knights

The Stars have grabbed the lead in the Central thanks to 10 wins over their last 11 games, and are just one point behind the Rangers in the Presidents’ Trophy race. Goaltender Jake Oettinger may finally be turning his season around at the perfect time.

2. Colorado Avalanche | 49-24-6 | 104 points

Points percentage: .658
Regulation wins: 41
Regulation plus overtime wins: 47
Current first-round matchup: Winnipeg Jets

Nathan MacKinnon continues to make a Hart Trophy push with his sensational season. After looking unbeatable in recent weeks, the Avalanche have dropped five of their last eight games, including falling to the Stars 7-4 in a key divisional battle.

3. Winnipeg Jets | 48-24-6 | 102 points

Points percentage: .654
Regulation wins: 42
Regulation plus overtime wins: 48
Current first-round matchup: Colorado Avalanche

The Jets were on a big-time slide with a six-game losing streak, but have racked up four consecutive victories. Key matchups against the Stars and Avalanche over the final week could be huge in helping the Jets potentially gain home-ice advantage in the opening round.

Pacific Division

1. Vancouver Canucks | 48-22-9 | 105 points

Points percentage: .665
Regulation wins: 42
Regulation plus overtime wins: 48
Current first-round matchup: Nashville Predators

The Canucks hold a sizable lead in the Pacific Division, and got a huge win against the Golden Knights on Monday. It’s likely that the Canucks win the division, but the Oilers aren’t out of it just yet.

2. Edmonton Oilers | 48-24-5 | 101 points

Points percentage: .656
Regulation wins: 38
Regulation plus overtime wins: 46
Current first-round matchup: Los Angeles Kings

Connor McDavid and the Oilers look to be locked into second place in the Pacific Division. The Oilers have won three consecutive games, including a 5-1 dismantling of the Golden Knights without McDavid in the lineup.

3. Los Angeles Kings | 41-26-11 | 93 points

Points percentage: .596
Regulation wins: 35
Regulation plus overtime wins: 39
Current first-round matchup: Edmonton Oilers

The Kings were recently able to reclaim the No. 3 spot in the Pacific Division, but did fall to the lowly Ducks on Tuesday. It’ll be a back-and-forth affair between the Kings and Golden Knights over the final days of the regular season for the No. 3 spot.

Wild card

WC1. Nashville Predators | 45-29-5 | 95 points

Points percentage: .601
Regulation wins: 36
Regulation plus overtime wins: 42
Current first-round matchup: Vancouver Canucks

The Predators were one of the hottest teams in the NHL, but have lost four of their last seven games. Still, Nashville remains the top Wild Card team in the West for the time being.

WC2. Vegas Golden Knights | 42-28-8 | 92 points

Points percentage: .590
Regulation wins: 32
Regulation plus overtime wins: 38
Current first-round matchup: Dallas Stars

The Golden Knights have fallen out of the No. 3 spot in the Pacific Division after suffering three straight losses. Still, trade deadline acquisition Tomas Hertl looked strong in his Vegas debut on Monday, so there are still plenty of reasons for optimism as the regular season winds down.

St. Louis Blues | 42-32-5 | 89 points

Points percentage: .563
Regulation wins: 30
Regulation plus overtime wins: 37
Current first-round matchup: N/A

The Blues certainly aren’t out of the playoff picture as they’re only three points behind the Golden Knights for the No. 2 Wild Card spot. However, facing the Stars and Hurricanes over the final three games isn’t exactly an ideal situation.

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