NHL playoff picture: Bruins in position to take over Northeast Division

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL postseason is on the horizon, with many teams still in the fight for playoff seeding. We run down all of the important action on Tuesday.

With the NHL gearing up for the playoff push, the majority of the league still remains in contention for a ticket to the second season. This is especially true in the Western Conference, as six teams are within two points of the final playoff spot.

Here are the current playoff standings for each conference as of Tuesday morning:

Eastern Conference:

1. Pittsburgh Penguins, 44 points (30 games played)
2. Montreal Canadiens, 42 points (28 games played)
3. Carolina Hurricanes, 32 points (28 games played)
4. Boston Bruins, 41 points (27 games played)
5. Ottawa Senators, 36 points (29 games played)
6. Toronto Maple Leafs, 32 points (29 games played)
7. Winnipeg Jets, 32 points (29 games played)
8. New Jersey Devils, 32 points (29 games played)

Western Conference:

1. Chicago Blackhawks, 51 points (29 games played)
2. Anaheim Ducks, 46 points (28 games played)
3. Minnesota Wild, 34 points (28 games played)
4. Los Angeles Kings, 34 points (28 games played)
5. St. Louis Blues, 34 points (28 games played)
6. Detroit Red Wings, 33 points (29 games played)
7. Vancouver Canucks, 32 points (28 games played)
8. San Jose Sharks, 30 points (28 games played)

Here are games scheduled for Tuesday that could have a direct effect on playoff positioning:

Boston at Winnipeg, 8 p.m., ET

Depending on what happens in the Canadiens game against the Sabres, the Bruins could potentially gain possession of first-place in the Northeast Division with a win or tie against the Jets on Tuesday night. The Bruins have registered wins in both games against the Jets this season.

Rangers at Devils, 7 p.m., ET

New Jersey currently claims ownership to the final playoff spot in the east. The Rangers are two points back of their Atlantic Division rivals and have played one fewer game. With a win, they will take over the eighth seed.

Senators at Islanders, 7 p.m., ET

New York's other team won't be able to creep into the playoff picture by night's end, but could pull within a point of the eighth seed dependent upon the outcome of the Rangers-Devils game. The Islanders currently have 29 points in 28 games played entering Tuesday night.

Predators at Blue Jackets, 7 p.m., ET

Both of these teams are part of the log-jame at the bottom of the Western Conference. Both clubs will enter Tuesday night with 28 points, which is two points back of the eighth seed. Both teams have played more games than some of the other clubs, so they won't take over the final spot with a win.

Coyotes at Kings, 10:30 p.m., ET

Phoenix can leap-frog the Sharks with a win or tie, as San Jose is idle on Tuesday night. However, the Sharks will enter competition on Wednesday night with two fewer games played than the Coyotes.

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