Can the Wings keep the streak alive?
Who's winning the Northeast division?
Who plays who in the first round? By the end of tonight, all of those questions could be answered. We've got no time to waste, 26 teams, one last day, one more chance to shine before the playoffs begin. It's a great day for hockey across North America! You know what to do, hop on the Q train, we're about to take off on a 13-city tour across the US and Canada...ALL ABOARD!
We're starting our day in the city that never sleeps as the Rangers host the Devils on NBC.
Jess: CAN the Rangers win? Absolutely. WILL they? I hope so, but I'm not all that confident.
Debi: I really believe the Rangers will get this one, even though the Devils are playing pretty strong lately.
BK: The Rangers beat these Devils six days ago to eliminate them from the postseason. A win could move the Rangers up as high as 6th. The Devils may be looking for revenge from last weekend, but I'm taking the Rangers to win this one.
New Jersey Devils @ New York Rangers - 3:00 PM ET - NBC
From there we're hightailing it north of the border to start the first of six games on tap for a 7:00 face-off! It's the Habs and the Leafs at the ACC!
Jess: This will be a fantastic game. I hope the Leafs win because I would love to see them go against each other for an entire round. I think the Habs have this though.
BK: A win by the Leafs would guarantee a first round series with these same Habs. A win for Montreal here and a regulation loss by the Bruins would give the Habs the division title. Toronto has dominated them this season, and for matchup purposes, this is certainly the team Montreal does NOT want to see in the first round. Unfortunately, I say les Habitants vont perdre ce soir. The Leafs just might take this one!
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs - 7:00 PM ET - RDS, CBC, NHL Network (US)
Next we're quickly off to the Canadian Capital where the Sens host the Flyers.
Debi: The Sens have got this one!
BK: The Sens have tonight and tomorrow, and can still potentially finish as high as 5th. A regulation loss here guarantees they finish no higher than 6th. They're playing the Flyers though, so you know darn well I'm taking Ottawa to win this one.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators - 7:00 PM ET - CBC, CSN Philadelphia
From there we're headed back into the states to our Nation's Capital as the Caps play host to the Bruins.
Jess: Bruins have more to play for here, and I think that the Caps will probably be resting a lot of their first liners. Bruins.
Debi: I'm torn, but I have to say Washington tonight.
BK: The Bruins can win the Northeast with a win here and a loss for the Habs. It's really another meaningless game for the Caps, who did give up an OT PPG to the Sens two night ago that got them into the playoffs. Will they be motivated to match Boston's intensity? I'm inclined to think no in the long run. I'm taking the Bruins.
Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals - 7:00 PM ET - NESN, CSN Washington, NBC Sports Network
Next we're off to the battle of Florida as the Bolts host the Panthers.
Jess: Poor Florida. And I mean the state, not the Miami team. Bolts.
Debi: Yeah, Bolts.
BK: WOOF! Bolts because they're at home.
Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning - 7:00 PM ET - FSN Florida, SUN
Let's head back north into Ohio where it's do or die for Columbus as they host the Preds!
Jess: I'm gonna call it for the Jackets.
Debi: I think the Blue Jackets are peaking at the right time - they get this one.
BK: A win here for Columbus doesn't guarantee a spot in the playoffs. They need to win their season finale here and hope that either Minnesota or Detroit loses. I'm taking Columbus to win this and do everything they can to get into the playoffs.
Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets - 7:00 PM ET - FSN Tennessee, FSN Ohio
Our final 7:00 game is down in Big D where all eyes will be on the visiting Wings.
Jess: Oh god. I really don't want the Wings in the playoffs this year (nothing against them really, I just think they need to go away for a minute) but I really really really can't find it in me to root for the Stars. Ugh. Well let's look at this objectively. Cockroaches will win.
BK: Jess, I apologize ahead of time, but I'm going to be the biggest Stars fan here tonight. The Wings need one point. They also clinch if the Preds beat the Jackets in Columbus. However, if Columbus wins in regulation and the Stars beat the Wings, they...are...OUT! That's what I'm hoping for, and that's my pick for tonight. Dallas wins in regulation and plays spoiler while the Jackets handle the Predators. The streak is coming to an end tonight!
Detroit Red Wings @ Dallas Stars - 7:00 PM ET - FSN Detroit, NBC Sports Network
Next I'm taking everyone back home to my place where the Pens finish the season against Team Staal.
Jess: Haha Penguins.
Debi: Ugh. Pens
BK: Looks like this trade has worked slightly better for the Pens than for the Canes, but nevertheless welcome back Jordan! The Pens will not end the season losing 3 straight. James Neal and Paul Martin will be back tonight. The Pens are getting everyone back just in time for the playoffs!
Carolina Hurricanes @ Pittsburgh Penguins - 7:30 PM ET - FSN Carolina, ROOT Pittsburgh
Up next it's a crucial battle in Denver as the Avs host the Wild!
Jess: Minnesota is lookin' good, but I think the Avs win their finale.
Debi: The Wild!
BK: Minnesota can clinch with a win here, or with a Columbus loss, or both teams getting just one point as they'd then have the tiebreaker over Columbus. I say they just flat out win, as they've gone 3-0-1 against the Avs this season. Win and you're in, it's that simple!
Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche - 7:30 PM ET - FSN North, FSN Wisconsin, Altitude
Let's head into the Gateway city where the Blues end their regular season against the Hawks.
Jess: Hmm...Blackhawks. No, Blues.
Debi: You know, the Blues could do this again. I'll take them in this matchup. The Hawks only beat the Flames 3-1, so.....
BK: Chicago has nothing left to play for, they've locked up everything including the kitchen sink. St. Louis on the other hand can earn home ice in the first round with a win. I'm thinking since Chicago may lay back a little and rest up, the Blues are going to take this one.
Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues - 8:00 PM ET - WGN, FSN Midwest
From there we're headed back north of the border where the Oilers host the Canucks.
Debi: Ugh I refuse to pick.
BK: This is a completely meaningless game...and just for s***s and giggles, I'm going with the Oilers.
Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers - 10:00 PM ET - CBC, RDS2
We end the night with a pair of games in SoCal. First up, it's Jess's Ducks hosting the Coyotes.
Debi: Ducks of course!
BK: Quack quack quack quack...okay I'll stop. Ducks got this!
Phoenix Coyotes @ Anaheim Ducks - 10:00 PM ET - FSN Arizona+, KDOC
Our night cap features the defending champs hosting the Sharks.
Jess: Kings are having some issues lately but I think they've got this.
Debi: Oh c'mon Kings! You got this one!
BK: The Kings can get to 4th place by tying the Blues on points and they'd have the tiebreaker. The Sharks can get to 4th by winning and seeing Chicago beat the Blues in regulation. This is shaping up to be deja vu of last year. Didn't these two meet at the Shark Tank in last year's final game with the Sharks winning? I say Kings got it this time on home ice.
San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings - 10:30 PM ET - CSN California, NBC Sports Network
Jess: My third favorite thing behind goalies and nice open-ice checks is a pretty goal. Let's take a look at ten of 'em!
(Video courtesy of NHL.com)