NHL playoff watch: What's at stake for Devils, Islanders in Sunday showdown


After an 11-game Saturday, the NHL schedule makers have gifted us with a 10-game Sunday as the end of the 2023-24 regular season on April 18 closes in.

Perhaps the most impactful game on the playoff races will take place at UBS Arena, as the New York Islanders host the New Jersey Devils (5 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+).

While it’s not quite a “loser leaves town” match, both teams need as many points as they can get as their playoff hopes appear to be dwindling.

The Devils had a fantastic 2022-23 season that included a first-round-series victory over the rival New York Rangers. Unfortunately, they’ve taken a couple steps back this season — which included injuries to star players, lackluster goaltending, and firing head coach Lindy Ruff — and as play begins on Sunday, they have a 19.3% chance of making the postseason, per Stathletes. Currently, they are six points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card (though they do have a four-game edge in regulation wins). After today’s matchup with the Isles, they play six of their final 10 games against teams currently in playoff position, and close out their season against the Isles.

New York was also a playoff team last season, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in six games. Heading into this matchup, the Isles are three points and three regulation wins in back of the Wings, and their chances of making the playoffs sit at 12.1%. The Isles will play six of their final 11 games against teams currently in playoff spots, but they do have a game apiece left against three draft lottery darlings: the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens.

For either team to qualify, the Red Wings (who currently occupy the wild-card spot in question) and the Washington Capitals, who are hosting the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network), will have to lose some games.

As we traverse the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2024 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Stathletes.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Sunday’s schedule
Saturday’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC2 Detroit Red Wings
A2 Florida Panthers vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 New York Rangers vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
M2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. M3 Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference

C1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
C2 Dallas Stars vs. C3 Winnipeg Jets
P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Sunday’s games

Note: All times ET. All games not on TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Winnipeg Jets at Washington Capitals, 12:30 p.m. (NHLN)
Pittsburgh Penguins at Colorado Avalanche, 2 p.m. (TNT)
New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders, 5 p.m.
Edmonton Oilers at Ottawa Senators, 6 p.m.
Florida Panthers at Philadelphia Flyers, 6 p.m.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes, 6 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Dallas Stars at Arizona Coyotes, 8 p.m.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Anaheim Ducks, 8:30 p.m.
Buffalo Sabres at Calgary Flames, 9 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at Seattle Kraken, 9 p.m.


Saturday’s scoreboard

New York Islanders 6, Winnipeg Jets 3
Philadelphia Flyers 3, Boston Bruins 2
St. Louis Blues 5, Minnesota Wild 4 (OT)
Nashville Predators 1, Detroit Red Wings 0
Toronto Maple Leafs 6, Edmonton Oilers 3
Ottawa Senators 5, New Jersey Devils 2
New York Rangers 4, Florida Panthers 3 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 4, Calgary Flames 2
Vegas Golden Knights 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Los Angeles Kings 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (OT)
Chicago Blackhawks 5, San Jose Sharks 4 (OT)


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

bos

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 10
Points pace: 111
Next game: @ FLA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

fla

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 12
Points pace: 1111
Next game: @ PHI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

tor

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 13
Points pace: 106
Next game: @ CAR (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

tb

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 12
Points pace: 97
Next game: @ ANA (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 98.7%
Tragic number: N/A

det

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 11
Points pace: 90
Next game: @ WSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 24.1%
Tragic number: N/A

buf

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 82
Next game: @ CGY (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.8%
Tragic number: 15

ott

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 74
Next game: vs. EDM (Sunday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10

mtl

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 74
Next game: @ SEA (Sunday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10


Metropolitan Division

nyr

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 11
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

car

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 11
Points pace: 110
Next game: vs. TOR (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

phi

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 11
Points pace: 94
Next game: vs. FLA (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 88.4%
Tragic number: N/A

wsh

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 92
Next game: vs. WPG (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 57.0%
Tragic number: 25

nyi

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 88
Next game: vs. NJ (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 24.2%
Tragic number: 21

nj

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 83
Next game: @ NYI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 6.0%
Tragic number: 16

pit

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 82
Next game: @ COL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.8%
Tragic number: 17

cbj

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 67
Next game: @ ARI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 2


Central Division

col

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 12
Points pace: 111
Next game: vs. PIT (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

dal

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 11
Points pace: 110
Next game: @ ARI (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

wpg

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 12
Points pace: 109
Next game: @ WSH (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

nsh

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 11
Points pace: 102
Next game: vs. VGK (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.6%
Tragic number: N/A

stl

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 91
Next game: vs. VGK (Monday)
Playoff chances: 6.0%
Tragic number: 18

min

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. SJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 2.6%
Tragic number: 16

ari

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 74
Next game: vs. DAL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 4

chi

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 52
Next game: vs. CGY (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

van

Points: 98
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 11
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. LA (Monday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

edm

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 14
Points pace: 106
Next game: @ OTT (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

la

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 12
Points pace: 100
Next game: @ VAN (Monday)
Playoff chances: 98.5%
Tragic number: N/A

vgk

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 12
Points pace: 97
Next game: @ STL (Monday)
Playoff chances: 92.5%
Tragic number: N/A

cgy

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 84
Next game: vs. BUF (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.7%
Tragic number: 14

sea

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 82
Next game: vs. MTL (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 12

ana

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 60
Next game: vs. TB (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

sj

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 47
Next game: vs. DAL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

p — clinched Presidents’ Trophy
y — clinched division
x — clinched playoff berth
e — eliminated from playoff contention


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can 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. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Macklin Celebrini, a freshman at Boston University.

sj

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12

chi

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 14

ana

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 18

cbj

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18

mtl

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 15

ott

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 20

ari

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 23

sea

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 22

pit

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25

buf

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27

cgy

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28

nj

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 29

nyi

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 22

min

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 27

wsh

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 27

stl

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 28

* The Penguins’ first-round pick was traded to the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. However, it is top-10 protected.



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