Earning at least an overtime/shootout loss at Colorado Saturday will lock up 4th place for the Preds. Whom they'll face, however, comes down to the Chicago/Detroit game earlier that day.
The playoff picture is becoming clearer by the day, and thanks to tonight's win over Dallas along with Detroit's loss to New Jersey, the Nashville Predators have the inside track for 4th-place in the Western Conference, and their chance to top the Red Wings for the first time in franchise history. With one game left on the schedule for the Preds, Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks, there are still a few different ways things could shape up for the playoffs.
Follow after the jump for a table which breaks it all down...
The following shows what happens under the various scenarios for the two remaining relevant games in the race for the 4th-6th spots in the West. The Predators play at Colorado Saturday night, while the Blackhawks skate at Detroit at noon Central (on NBC, no less).
For each scenario, the resulting list shows which teams would finish in 4th, 5th, and 6th, respectively. Recall that #4 meets #5 in the first round of the playoffs, with #4 getting home-ice advantage, while the 6th seed will face the Pacific Division winner, who will be in the #3 slot.
|Preds Win or OT/SO Loss||Preds regulation loss|
|DET regulation win||NSH, DET, CHI||DET, NSH, CHI|
|DET overtime win||NSH, DET, CHI||DET, NSH, CHI|
|DET shootout win||NSH, DET, CHI||DET, NSH, CHI|
|CHI regulation win||NSH, CHI, DET||NSH, CHI, DET|
|CHI overtime win||NSH, DET, CHI||NSH, DET, CHI|
|CHI shootout win||NSH, DET, CHI||NSH, DET, CHI|
For questions on how the tiebreakers work, consult the NHL standings page, which lists them down at the bottom.