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Final Week for the NHL Regular Season: A Look at Some Playoff Teams

With NHL teams battling for playoff spots, Sunday’s results had an impact on their future, disappointing some, while making others happy.

Let’s take a look, beginning with the Western Conference.

The Chicago Blackhawks (45-19-5) defeated the St. Louis Blues (52-19-7), 4-2. With the win, Chicago still has a chance to grab the second seed for the Central Division. They received some help from the Pittsburgh Penguins (50-24-5), who defeated the Colorado Avalanche (50-21-7), 3-2, in a shootout.

Marian Hossa

Marian Hossa

Chicago has three games remaining in the regular season and will next take the ice on Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens (45-27-7). The Blackhawks are 7/2 to win the Western Conference and 13/2 for the 2014 Stanley Cup.

For St. Louis, they are still in the running for the Central Division’s title, but they’re lagging behind for the Presidents’ Trophy. They have four games remaining and their next one will come on Tuesday against the Washington Wizards (35-30-13). The Blues sit at 5/2 to win the Western Conference and 5/1 to win the 2014 Stanley Cup.

The Anaheim Ducks (50-20-8) lost 4-2 to the Edmonton Oilers (28-42-9) but sit ahead of the San Jose Sharks (49-21-9) with a one-point advantage to take the Pacific Division. Anaheim has one less game but has the lead for the tiebreaker (wins minus shootout victories, according to NBC Sports). The team sits at 5/1 to win the Western Conference and 10/1 to win it all.

And in the final results from Sunday for teams vying for a coveted playoff spot, the Dallas Stars (38-29-11) fell to the Florida Panthers (28-43-8) and now sit one point ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes (36-28-14) as the two will battle it out for the last Wild Card spot; they both have four games remaining. They’ll end the season facing one another and depending on how things go beforehand, it could all come down to their April 13 game.

Dallas sits at 1/3 odds yes but 2/1 no to make the playoffs; Phoenix is 2/1 yes and 1/3 no to do so.

Now, here’s a look at the Eastern conference’s Sunday play.

On Sunday, the Columbus Blue Jackets (40-31-7) defeated the New York Islanders (31-36-11), 4-0, affecting the Eastern Conference picture.

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sergei Bobrovsky

Columbus now sits in the eighth spot, one position (and one point) behind the Detroit Red Wings (37-27-14) for the Wild Card spot. With Toronto’s Saturday loss to Winnipeg, the Maple Leafs could still win their last three games but miss the playoffs if the Philadelphia Flyers (40-29-9)  finish at least 0-3-1, the Red Wings at 1-3-0, and Columbus going 1-2-1, reported NBC Sports.

With these scenarios, Maple Leafs will not win the tiebreaker (wins minus shootout victories). Vegas gives the Red Wings 1/5 yes and 3/1 no odds to make the playoffs while Columbus is 1/4 yes and 5/2 no.

Meanwhile for Philadelphia, they’re in a battle for the Metropolitan Division’s third spot. On Sunday, they defeated the Buffalo Sabres (21-48-9), 5-2.

And for the New Jersey Devils (34-28-16), good news as they’re still in the running for a Wild Card spot as they sit three points behind the Blue Jackets in the conference’s ninth spot. They have four games to do this with Vegas saying 4/1 yes and 1/6 no.

Here’s a look at Monday’s games.

Calgary at New Jersey (-160, 5 o/u):  It’s a must-win game for the Devils. Good luck going up against Calgary. Even though they’re out of the playoffs, they’ll still put up a fight.

Minnesota (-112, 5 o/u) at Winnipeg: With either a regulation or overtime victory, the Wild can punch its ticket for the playoffs–a second straight berth and the second time in franchise history. But will Winnipeg again be the spoiler?

Anaheim (-110, 5.5 o/u) at Vancouver: The Ducks will look for a sixth straight win against Vancouver on Monday and keep their slim division lead. For the Canucks, they’re holding on for dear life to grab an extremely slim playoff spot.






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