The 2012 NHL playoff races are down to the final couple of games for each team, but that just means we're in for some exciting finishes, with the Pacific and Southeast divisions still up for grabs.
In the Southeast, the Florida Panthers maintain the division lead despite a 5-4 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Picking up the overtime-loss point, the Panthers now have 92 points for the season and a four-point cushion on the Washington Capitals. Florida can clinch the division title on Thursday when they clash with the Capitals at the Verizon Center.
The Capitals can also make the playoffs by winning the No. 8 spot, but the Buffalo Sabres are hot on the heels of those skates. The Sabres landed a 6-5 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, picking up two points and joining the idle Capitals with 88 points. Should the two teams finish in a tie for the final playoff position, Washington would take the spot.
The Pacific Division remains in a tight contest. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Dallas Stars, 5-2, on Tuesday night and temporarily moved ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings. However, a 2-0 Coyotes victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets moved Phoenix back into the No. 7 spot. The Los Angeles Kings remain atop the Pacific Division with 93 points and the tiebreaker over the Coyotes.
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