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

Mar 20, 2014, 9:19 AM EDT

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:


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:


  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.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1844)
  2. P. Kane (1369)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1203)
  4. S. Matthias (1160)
  5. M. Giordano (1059)