NHL playoff watch: Battle of Alberta highlights Saturday’s slate

NHL playoff watch: Battle of Alberta highlights Saturday's slate
Mar 26, 2022

  • Tim KavanaghESPN.com

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      Tim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

We often hear that the NHL has some of the best rivalries in professional sports, and there’s nothing like a big rivalry matchup when both teams are in the playoff mix. As it pertains to the rush to the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, one of the matchups we’re excited to see this weekend is the Edmonton Oilers vs. the Calgary Flames, tonight at 10 ET.

This will be the final of four Battle of Alberta games this season. The Oilers took the first two contests at home (5-2 on Oct. 19 and 5-3 on Jan. 22), while the Flames bit back 3-1 on March 7 in their first home game of the season series. Tonight’s contest will again be at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, as the Flames look to extend their lead atop the Pacific Division and the Oilers look to move closer to the Los Angeles Kings for the No. 2 seed in the division.

The final score is the ultimate arbiter here, but we’ll be closely monitoring this one for any extracurricular physicality as well, as these games have been (relatively) tame thus far.

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

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Dallas Stars
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, non-NHL Network games available on ESPN+

New York Islanders at Boston Bruins, 12:30 p.m. (NHLN)
Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings, 12:30 p.m.
Chicago Blackhawks at Vegas Golden Knights, 3:00 p.m. (ABC, ESPN+)
Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.
Vancouver Canucks at Dallas Stars, 7 p.m.
Carolina Hurricanes at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames, 10 p.m.
Seattle Kraken at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m.
Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m.

Last night’s scoreboard

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

Washington Capitals 4, Buffalo Sabres 3 (SO)
New York Rangers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
Winnipeg Jets 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Colorado Avalanche 6, Philadelphia Flyers 3
Calgary Flames 4, Arizona Coyotes 2

Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 19
Next game: @ OTT (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 19
Next game: @ MTL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. NYI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

2 Related

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 19
Next game: @ DET (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. TB (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 13

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ NYR (Sunday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 7

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. FLA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 5

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. TOR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: N/A%
Tragic number: E

Metropolitan Division

Points: 91
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 18
Next game: @ STL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. DET (Sunday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. BUF (Sunday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

This season will include 103 exclusive regular-season games across ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC, and more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be available on ESPN+.
• How to watch
• Subscribe to ESPN+
• Stream the NHL on ESPN

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 98%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ MIN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 20

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 20
Next game: @ BOS (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 1%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ NSH (Sunday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 5

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ WSH (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 5

Central Division

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 17
Next game: @ MIN (Sunday)
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 20
Next game: vs. CBJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. CAR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 97%
Tragic number: N/A

2 Related

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. PHI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 91%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. VAN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 85%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. ARI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 9%
Tragic number: 29

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17
Next game: @ VGK (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 16

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ WPG (Sunday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 5

Pacific Division

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 18
Next game:
Playoff chances: >99%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. SEA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 83%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 17
Next game: @ CGY (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 82%
Tragic number: N/A

This season will include 103 exclusive regular-season games across ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu and ABC, and more than 1,000 out-of-market games will be available on ESPN+.
• How to watch
• Subscribe to ESPN+
• Stream the NHL on ESPN

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. CHI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 41%
Tragic number: 29

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ DAL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 13%
Tragic number: 28

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: @ SJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 22

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: vs. ANA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 25

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18
Next game: @ LA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: Tragic number: 7

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: 44
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 55
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 19

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 25

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 26

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 29

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