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NHL Playoffs: Phoenix and Anaheim Clinch, Wild Still a Player

After last night’s NHL action, the playoff picture is all but complete, and while they are out of the picture completely, the Wild could still have a role to play in deciding who goes to the dance and who doesn’t.

The Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks both clinched the playoffs last night, as the Dallas Stars cannot pass them in the standings, but the Chicago Blackhawks still have some work to do. If the Hawks do not gain a point on Sunday, they have to hope the Wild beat the Stars in the final regular season game of the NHL season. Look for the Hawks to end the speculation early.

Before today’s action, there is just one spot in each of the conferences, with the Hawks and Dallas challenging in the West, and the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers fighting for the final spot in the East.

The Canes and Rangers both play this evening, in their respective final games of the season, so that race will be settled tonight.

Playoff match-ups if the started today:

West

Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks
San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks
Detroit Red Wings vs Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes

East

Washington Captials vs Carolina Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers vs Buffalo Sabres
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.