NHL playoff picture: West is about to get wild

Jerome Miron-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 Wednesday.

Following Tuesday's action, the playoff picture changed subtly as a few teams managed to jump spots in the standings.

The Winnipeg Jets took over the Southeast Division lead after a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The team managed to jump the Carolina Hurricanes after they fell to the the Florida Panthers, 4-1. In addition, the New York Rangers took over the eighth seed after a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. The idle Toronto Maple Leafs dropped one spot to No. 7.

In the West, the idle Detroit Red Wings were jumped by the Vancouver Canucks, who defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-2. While the Columbus Blue Jackets haven't cracked the top-eight just yet, the team pulled even with the San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes with 30 points.

Here are the current playoff standings for each conference entering Wednesday night:

Eastern Conference:

1. Pittsburgh Penguins, 46 points (31 games played)
2. Montreal Canadiens, 43 points (29 games played)
3. Winnipeg Jets, 34 points (30 games played)
4. Boston Bruins, 41 points (28 games played)
5. Ottawa Senators, 38 points (30 games played)
6. Carolina Hurricanes, 32 points (29 games played)
7. Toronto Maple Leafs, 32 points (29 games played)
8. New York Rangers, 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, 36 points (29 games played)
5. St. Louis Blues, 34 points (29 games played)
6. Vancouver Canucks, 34 points (29 games played)
7. Detroit Red Wings, 33 points (29 games played)
8. San Jose Sharks, 30 points (28 games played)

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

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs, 7 p.m., ET

Tampa Bay is currently five points back of the eighth seed and will look to chip away at the deficit. Toronto can jump the idle Hurricanes for the sixth seed and pull within four points of Ottawa.

Wild vs. Red Wings, 7:30 p.m., ET

Minnesota will have a chance to pull away from the Canucks, while the Red Wings could jump two spots to the No. 5 position with a win.

Sharks vs. Oilers, 9:30 p.m., ET

The bottom of the West is intriguing at this point in the year. San Jose currently claims ownership to the eighth seed but there are several teams chomping at their heels. Edmonton is currently in 12th place, but could jump into eighth place with a regulation win and a Dallas Stars regulation loss.

Stars vs. Avalanche, 9:30 p.m., ET

Everybody (basically) is alive in the West. The Stars can take over eighth place with a win and any kind of San Jose loss, or with an overtime loss and a Sharks' regulation loss.

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