WATCH LIVE: Washington Capitals during Pittsburgh Penguins

Sunday is a fun day in a NHL as distant as a competition for playoff spots and finishing positions goes, with dual teams battling it out for a Atlantic Division lead and a gigantic matchup in a Western Conference in a competition for a wildcard spot.

Eastern Conference

There are dual marquee matchups in a Atlantic Division on Sunday, with a Boston Bruins visiting a Philadelphia Flyers (live on NHL on NBC) and a Tampa Bay Lightning hosting a Nashville Predators.

Boston retook initial place in a multiplication on Saturday with a 5-1 thumping of a Florida Panthers after Tampa regained their tip mark in a night before. Boston binds a diversion in-hand between a two. A win currently would see them keep their tip spot, no matter what Tampa does. If Tampa wins in law or overtime and Boston manages usually a point, Tampa would retake a tip mark on ROWs.

The Boston diversion is quite notable given they’re confronting a Flyers, who could pierce into a tie for third place in a Metropolitan Division with a idle Columbus Blue Jackets. Philly also has to demeanour in a rearview mirror, with a New Jersey Devils usually a indicate behind and personification opposite a Montreal Canadiens after in a day.

Speaking of a Devils, they can stretch themselves serve from a idle Florida Panthers, who have taken a nosedive recently and lay 5 points behind of New Jersey with a diversion in-hand. Florida can grasp a limit of 10 points in 5 remaining games. A win by a Devils would put them 7 points brazen and Florida’s playoff hopes would be unresolved by a thread.

In other games, a Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins accommodate in a diversion that will possibly see a one-point opening during a tip of a Metropolitan or a Capitals securing initial place for good.

A law detriment for Pittsburgh would safeguard a Capitals win their third uninterrupted local climax as Pittsburgh will usually have dual remaining games while Washington would have a five-point pillow between them.

[The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11 on a networks of NBC]

Western Conference

 

I pronounced gigantic in a lede, and we wasn’t lying.

The Colorado Avalanche and a Anaheim Ducks will close horns in a large diversion on Sunday night.

The Avs lay in ninth place, usually outward a playoff line with 92 points — tied with a St. Louis Blues. The Ducks are sitting in a initial wildcard mark with 93 points. So a law win by Colorado on Sunday would see both teams sell positions in what’s turn an heated four-way conflict for 3 playoff spots.

A indicate by a Avs in any conform would also see them take over a final wildcard. As an combined reward for winning, a Avs would pierce usually dual points behind of a Minnesota Wild for third place in a Central Division.

Colorado will have to do all of this without their No. 1 goalie and top-pairing defenseman.

Semyon Varlamov was ruled out for a rest of a unchanging deteriorate on Saturday after getting barrelled into by Chicago Blackhawks brazen Tomas Jurco in a diversion on Friday. Erik Johnson, meanwhile, will be sidelined for a subsequent 6 weeks due to a fractured patella.

The weight on Nathan MacKinnon‘s shoulders usually got a lot heavier.

A win for a ducks, meanwhile, would lift them past a Los Angeles Kings into third place in a Pacific Division.

It’s value repeating: this diversion is flattering damn huge.

If The Playoffs Started Today

Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Anaheim Ducks
Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Sunday’s Key Games

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers @ 12:30 p.m ET
Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 6 p.m. ET
New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. ET
Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks, 9 p.m. ET


Scott Billeck is a author for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

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