NHL playoff picture: Here's what's at stake on season's final day

Doug Pensinger

The NHL playoff field is set, but with 10 games on the season's final day, there's just a tiny bit of jockeying left before the postseason begins.

There's one day left in the NHL regular season. 10 games. The final day will be a little more dull than usual, with 16 teams already having clinched playoff spots and the Eastern Conference playoff matchups already set as well.

There are still a few things to watch for Sunday, though. Let's discuss them.

Home ice for Tampa Bay or Montreal?

The Montreal Canadiens wrapped up their season on Saturday night with a 1-0 overtime win against the New York Rangers. The win gave the Habs 100 points on the year, currently good for second in the Atlantic Division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning enter Sunday guaranteed to play Montreal in the first round, but with 99 points on their season to date, they can grab home ice advantage with a win against the Washington Capitals.

The Lightning need both points Sunday to pass the Canadiens in the standings, however, as Montreal holds the tiebreaker between the two clubs.

Who wins the Central?

The Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues enter the season's final day with 111 points each. St. Louis hosts Detroit at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and TSN, while the Avalanche are on the road at Anaheim at 8 p.m. ET. Colorado will win the tiebreaker should the teams be tied at the end of the day, but if the Blues win and Colorado loses, St. Louis will take the Central Division crown.

The team that wins the Central will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round. The team that finishes second will face the Chicago Blackhawks. Both the Avs and the Blues will have home ice advantage in their first round matchups.

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