DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 24: Brian Connelly #56 of the Chicago Blackhawks passes around Jan Mursak #39 of the Detroit Red Wings during a pre season game on September 24 2010 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Today is the 3rd-last day of the regular season, but there are still 6 playoff spots up for grabs, 4 of them in the Western Conference. There can easily be a few teams clinching tonight, while others fight for their lives. As we have been predicting all season, the Western Conference isn't getting results until the very last day of the regular season. Here are the 10 games happening tonight:
4:00 Penguins visit Islanders. Pittsburgh is just 1 point behind Philly for the division lead, and will want to take that back. Long Island, who is also in the division, gets to choose whether or not to play spoilers.
4:30 Blackhawks visit Red Wings. 8th-place Chicago starts their home-and-home end-of-season games against division rival Detroit, looking to stay ahead of Dallas for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, Detroit is battling with San Jose for the 2nd seed in the West.
4:30 Flyers visit Sabres. Philly needs to keep Pittsburgh off their backs for the division title and home ice advantage for at least the 2nd round. Meanwhile, the Sabres can clinch the 7th playoff seed in the East with a win.
4:30 Hurricanes visit Thrashers. With the Rangers losing last night, a win for Carolina will tie them for 8th place with one game apiece left over the weekend. However, division rival Atlanta will probably try to ruin the party for them.
5:00 Blue Jackets visit Predators. One point won by Nashville or lost by Dallas will be enough for the Preds to clinch their playoff spot. Of course, Columbus would love to interfere and ruin their peace of mind.
6:00 Stars visit Avalanche. Dallas needs to win both their games this weekend to stand a chance at stealing a playoff spot. However, a Stars loss tonight, coupled with Chicago and Anaheim wins, will be enough to eliminate them.