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2024 NHL playoff race tracker: Projected first-round matchups with three days left in 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 this final 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 | 47-19-15 | 109 points

Points percentage: .673
Regulation wins: 36
Regulation plus overtime wins: 43
Current first-round matchup: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Bruins fell at the hands of the Capitals on Monday, but still hold a one-point advantage over the Panthers for the Atlantic Division crown. It’ll come down to their final regular-season game to see which team takes the top spot in the division.

2. Florida Panthers | 51-24-6 | 108 points

Points percentage: .667
Regulation wins: 41
Regulation plus overtime wins: 48
Current first-round matchup: Toronto Maple Leafs

The Panthers couldn’t buy a win in recent weeks, but now have won four out of their last five contests. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been strong lately with a 1.25 goals-against-average over his last four starts, including two shutout over that span.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs | 46-24-10 | 102 points

Points percentage: .638
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 are entrenched in that spot. Auston Matthews is on an eight-game goal streak, but Thursday’s overtime loss to the Red Wings was a disappointing one.

Metropolitan Division

1. New York Rangers | 55-23-4 | 114 points

Points percentage: .695
Regulation wins: 43
Regulation plus overtime wins: 51
Current first-round matchup: Washington Capitals

The Rangers clinched the Metropolitan Division, home-ice advantage throughout the postseason, and the Presidents’ Trophy with a win over the Senators on Monday. It marks the fourth time in franchise history that the Rangers have captured the Presidents’ Trophy.

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 are playing their best hockey as the regular season winds down thanks to a five-game winning streak. Carolina still could earn home-ice advantage if New York loses to Ottawa.

3. New York Islanders | 38-27-16 | 92 points

Points percentage: .568
Regulation wins: 28
Regulation plus overtime wins: 37
Current first-round matchup: Carolina Hurricanes

The Islanders officially cemented themselves as the No. 3 seed in the Metropolitan Division with a win against the Devils. They’ll be facing the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening round for the second consecutive season.

Wild card

WC1. Tampa Bay Lightning | 44-29-8 | 96 points

Points percentage: .593
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 is firmly in the East’s top Wild Card spot, and will face the Bruins or Panthers in the opening round.

WC2. Washington Capitals | 39-31-11 | 89 points

Points percentage: .549
Regulation wins: 31
Regulation plus overtime wins: 35
Current first-round matchup: New York Rangers

The Capitals were able to earn a massive win against the Penguins on Monday to stay atop the race for the East’s No. 2 Wild Card spot. If the Capitals can defeat the Flyers on Tuesday, they’re in the postseason regardless of what other teams do.

Detroit Red Wings | 40-32-9 | 89 points

Points percentage: .549
Regulation wins: 27
Regulation plus overtime wins: 38
Current first-round matchup: N/A

The Red Wings certainly didn’t make life easy on themselves in a 5-4 overtime win against the Canadiens on Monday. Still, Detroit trails the Capitals by just one point for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh Penguins | 38-31-12 | 88 points

Points percentage: .543
Regulation wins: 32
Regulation plus overtime wins: 36
Current first-round matchup: N/A

The Penguins suffered a tough loss to the Bruins on Saturday, but were able to bounce back with a huge win over the Predators on Monday. Even if Pittsburgh falls short, it’s still been a remarkable charge after trading Jake Guentzel.

Philadelphia Flyers | 38-32-11 | 87 points

Points percentage: .537
Regulation wins: 30
Regulation plus overtime wins: 34
Current first-round matchup: N/A

After bringing their eight-game losing streak to an end last week, the Flyers got a much-needed win against the Devils over the weekend. The Flyers need some help to get into the postseason, so that losing streak may come back to haunt them.

Western Conference playoff picture

Central Division

1. Dallas Stars | 51-21-9 | 111 points

Points percentage: .685
Regulation wins: 40
Regulation plus overtime wins: 48
Current first-round matchup: Vegas Golden Knights

The Stars were idle on Monday, but saw their Presidents’ Trophy dreams slip away with a Rangers victory. Still, Dallas has the Central Division under wraps, and will likely be the West’s top seed. 

2. Winnipeg Jets | 50-24-6 | 106 points

Points percentage: .663
Regulation wins: 44
Regulation plus overtime wins: 50
Current first-round matchup: Colorado Avalanche

All of a sudden, the Jets have racked up six consecutive victories and leapfrogged the Avalanche for second place in the Central Division. Winnipeg has outscored Dallas and Colorado 10-0 in their last two wins.

3. Colorado Avalanche | 49-25-7 | 105 points

Points percentage: .648
Regulation wins: 41
Regulation plus overtime wins: 47
Current first-round matchup: Winnipeg Jets

The Avalanche have struggled mightily as of late with four losses in their last five games. On Sunday, the Avalanche blew a 3-0 third-period lead and lost in overtime to the Golden Knights. 

Pacific Division

1. Vancouver Canucks | 49-22-9 | 107 points

Points percentage: .669
Regulation wins: 43
Regulation plus overtime wins: 49
Current first-round matchup: Nashville Predators

The Canucks likely will win the Pacific Division, but it’s not a foregone conclusion just yet. It would be the franchise’s first division title since the 2012-13 campaign if they’re able to hang on.

2. Edmonton Oilers | 49-25-6 | 104 points

Points percentage: .650
Regulation wins: 39
Regulation plus overtime wins: 47
Current first-round matchup: Los Angeles Kings

The Oilers are likely going to be the second seed in the Pacific Division but still have a chance to leapfrog the Canucks depending on how the final two games go for both teams. Connor McDavid returned to the ice on Monday and clinched the fourth 100-assist season in NHL history.

3. Los Angeles Kings | 43-27-11 | 97 points

Points percentage: .599
Regulation wins: 37
Regulation plus overtime wins: 41
Current first-round matchup: Edmonton Oilers

The Kings were recently able to reclaim the No. 3 spot in the Pacific Division, and have won five of their last seven games. However, losing to the Wild on Monday wasn’t exactly ideal since the Golden Knights have two games left, and could surpass the Kings for the No. 3 seed in the Pacific Division.

Wild card

WC1. Nashville Predators | 47-30-5 | 99 points

Points percentage: .604
Regulation wins: 38
Regulation plus overtime wins: 44
Current first-round matchup: Vancouver Canucks

The Predators lost their regular-season finale against the Penguins, but it didn’t really matter. Nashville will be the West’s top Wild Card team when the postseason begins.

WC2. Vegas Golden Knights | 44-28-8 | 96 points

Points percentage: .600
Regulation wins: 33
Regulation plus overtime wins: 40
Current first-round matchup: Dallas Stars

The Golden Knights are still alive in the Pacific Division after a massive comeback win in overtime against the Avalanche on Sunday. It’s been a challenging year for the defending Stanley Cup champions, but they’ve officially clinched a playoff berth.

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