Apr 25, 2013, 1:40 PM EST
Thursday night could be a dramatic one for the National Hockey League.
Depending on how the results shake out, the entire postseason field could be set this evening, leaving teams with the final three days of the regular season to sort out seeding and home-ice advantage.
Here’s what needs to happen for all 16 spots to be clinched:
Ottawa needs to…
Defeat Washington in any fashion, or earn a point and have Montreal beat Winnipeg in any fashion, or have Montreal defeat Winnipeg in regulation.
New York Rangers need to…
Defeat Carolina in any fashion, or earn a point and have Montreal beat Winnipeg in any fashion, or have Montreal defeat Winnipeg in regulation.
Minnesota needs to…
Have Dallas defeat Columbus in regulation.
Detroit needs to…
Defeat Nashville in any fashion and have Dallas beat Columbus in any fashion, or earn a point and have Dallas defeat Columbus in regulation.
If all this happens…
Your eight playoff teams in the East would be Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, New York Islanders, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.
Your eight playoff teams in the West would be Chicago, Anaheim, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis, Minnesota and Detroit.
What it would mean…
The Wild would snap a four-season playoff drought and qualify for their first postseason since 2008.
The Red Wings would extend their record playoff appearance streak to 22 consecutive seasons.
- Firing Dallas Eakins ‘would be so unfair,’ says Taylor Hall 27
- ‘It sucks for us, it sucks for the fans’: Oilers losing skid hits six games 14
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ 84
- ‘We did not want to disrespect our fans’: Leafs salute supporters after beating Red Wings 4
- Video: Demers sends Stoll flying with massive open-ice hit 8
- Don Cherry on Leafs not saluting fans: ‘I couldn’t believe these guys would do something like this’ 15
- Report: Dan Hamhuis’ injury is significant, but not season-ending 5
- Been there, done that: Oilers lose five straight for second time this season 10
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ 86
- Video: Prout drops Lucic with one punch 43
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (86)
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ (85)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (78)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)