NHL playoff picture: Maple Leafs look to clinch

USA TODAY Sports

With the NHL regular season coming to a close, the playoff race is heating up.

With the NHL season coming to a close, teams are starting to lock-up playoff berths.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the next team with a chance to punch a ticket to the postseason. With a win against the Washington Capitals and a regulation loss by the Winnipeg Jets, the Maple Leafs will end their extended playoff drought.

If Winnipeg loses, the Boston Bruins will also earn a playoff spot.

Here's a look at the playoff picture entering competition on Tuesday night:

Eastern Conference

1. Pittsburgh Penguins, 64 points (42 games played) Y
2. Montreal Canadiens, 57 points (42 GP) X
3. Washington Capitals, 48 points (42 GP)
4. Boston Bruins, 56 points (41 GP)
5. Toronto Maple Leafs, 53 points (42 GP)
6. Ottawa Senators, 48 points (41 GP)
7. New York Islanders, 47 points (42 GP)
8. New York Rangers, 46 points (41 GP)
----
9. Winnipeg Jets, 44 points (42 GP)
10. Buffalo Sabres, 42 points (43 GP)

Western Conference

1. Chicago Blackhawks, 70 points (42 GP) Y
2. Anaheim Ducks, 59 points (42 GP) X
3. Vancouver Canucks, 54 points (42 GP)
4. Los Angeles Kings, 52 points (42 GP)
5. San Jose Sharks, 51 points (42 GP)
6. Minnesota Wild, 49 points (42 GP)
7. St. Louis Blues, 48 points (41 GP)
8. Detroit Red Wings, 47 points (42 GP)
----
9. Columbus Blue Jackets, 47 points (43 GP)
10. Dallas Stars, 45 points (42 GP)
11. Phoenix Coyotes, 43 points (42 GP)

Y- denotes clinched division
X- denotes clinched playoff berth

Here's a look at tonight's slate of games:

Florida Panters at New York Islanders, 7 p.m., ET
TV: SUN, MSG PLUS
Playoff implications: Islanders could inch closer to a postseason berth and could potentially jump the Senators for the sixth seed.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m., ET
TV: TSN, CSN-DC
Playoff implications: Toronto can clinch a playoff berth, while Washington can continue to distance themselves from the Jets.

Carolina Hurricanes at Ottawa Senators, 7:30 p.m., ET
TV: FS-CR, SNET-E, TVA
Playoff implications: Ottawa can protect the sixth seed with a single point.

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m., ET
TV: RDS, NBCSN, CSN-PH
Playoff implications: Rangers could take over possession of the seventh seed.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m., ET
TV: FS-F, TSN-JETS
Playoff implications: Winnipeg can cut into Washington's division lead.

Vancouver Canucks at St. Louis Blues, 8 p.m., ET
TV: SNET-P, FS-MW
Playoff implications: St. Louis could take over the sixth seed.

Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers, 9:30 p.m., ET
TV: FS-WI, FS-N+, SNET-W
Playoff implications: Minnesota can take over the fifth seed with a win and a San Jose regulation loss.

Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m., ET
TV: NBCSN, KCOP-13, CSN-CA
Playoff implications: San Jose can take over the fourth seed with a regulation win.

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