NHL Playoff Race: Kings Grab Pacific Lead, Pittsburgh And Nashville Win Big

The race in the Pacific Division is an even bigger jumble than it was a day ago while the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators both got a leg up in their bids for home-ice advantage with wins on Friday night. In the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Sabres lost ground on the Washington Capitals. Out west, the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Calgary Flames, seriously hindering the Flames' chances of making the playoffs.

Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 5-3, giving themselves a four-point cushion on the Philadelphia Flyers. The New York Rangers also won on Friday, meaning the Atlantic division is very much out of reach for the Penguins, but they're looking good for fourth place at the moment. There's a similar situation in the Western Conference with the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators. Nashville won 4-1 on Friday and they now have a one-point lead on Detroit for fourth place.

The Los Angeles Kings won on Friday while the Dallas Stars lost to the Vancouver Canucks. The San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes were idle, and all of the contenders in the Pacific Division have now played 78 games. The Kings lead with 90 points, Dallas and Phoenix have 89 and San Jose have 88. As it stands, L.A. are the No. 3 seed, Dallas are No. 7, Phoenix are No. 8, and San Jose are out. Colorado are also at 88 points, but they have played 80 games.

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