Coyotes Vs. Blues: Friday's Lone Game Has Impact On NHL Playoff Standings

There's one game in the NHL on Friday night, and it just so happens to be between the only two clubs in the NHL that didn't play hockey on Thursday night. The Phoenix Coyotes, fresh off clinching a playoff spot from their couch, are in St. Louis to take Blues, who still have a President's Trophy and the West's top seed to play for in their final two games.

The Blues control their own destiny in the Western race. If they win on Friday night vs. Phoenix and on Saturday night vs. Dallas, they'll finish with the best record in the conference regardless of what the Canucks do Saturday vs. Edmonton. If both teams win their remaining games, they'll tie with 111 points on the year, but the Blues hold the tiebreaker over Vancouver.

In the President's Trophy race, the New York Rangers clinch with two points on Saturday against Washington. They can also max out at 111 points but New York holds the tiebreaker over St. Louis. The Blues' only hope for the top spot in the league comes if they win both of their games while the Rangers fail to earn two points in their final game.

Phoenix can leap from eighth place in the West to third place in the West with a win in regulation. Should they win in overtime, they'll grab the division lead for the time being thanks to tiebreakers, but there would be a three-way deadlock between the Coyotes, Kings and Sharks in the division race. A win in the shootout would keep Los Angeles in

If Phoenix loses in regulation to the Blues, they'll lose any hopes of winning the division, creating a one-game battle for the Pacific crown between the Sharks and Kings on Saturday night.

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