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Playoff race update: Lightning build on lead, West bubble teams stay alive

Mar 20, 2014, 9:19 AM EST

While there were only four games on the slate on Wednesday, the parity in the NHL means that every night can make a difference. Here’s a look at how those contests affected the outlook in the East and West:

East impact

  • OK, there was only one game for the East, but it was a substantial one. The Tampa Bay Lightning rode Steven Stamkoshat trick to a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bolts have won four in a row while the Buds have dropped three consecutive contests.

Here’s the refreshed conference outlook, via NBC Sports:

source:

West games

  • It was a busy night for the Central Division. At the higher ranks, the Colorado Avalanche grabbed a charity point in an OT loss to the Winnipeg Jets while the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0. Chicago has one more point than Colorado for the second spot in the division, but losing Patrick Kane for multiple weeks is obviously bad news.
  • Again, the Jets grabbed an important two points, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive.
  • Speaking of shaky hopes, the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Nashville Predators 2-0 to stay in the picture as well.

Take a look at the Western Conference races via NBC Sports:

source:

  1. slaugin - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I’ve never felt more confident in the Bruins. If they have these 3 lines all contributing going into the playoffs they will be the toughest team to matchup against. 4th line is not too shabby either.

    • boltsfan777 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      The Bruins are scary good and look unstoppable. But I thought the same last year, and Chicago solved it. If Kane can get healthy soon, it could be the same teams in the finals again.

  2. hockeydon10 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    Playoff race update? Ok.

    Amazingly, the Detroit Red Wings didn’t lose a player to injury during Wednesday’s action.

    While they didn’t have a game Wednesday, I’ll take any good news on the injury report right now.

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