Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/13/14 at 09:20 AM ET
The Columbus Blue Jackets secured the first wild card with a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers and move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs. That meant the Detroit Red Wings landed the second wild card and will battle the Boston Bruins.
In the other Eastern Conference series, the New York Rangers, who finished second in the Metropolitan Division, will play the Philadelphia Flyers, who finished third. The second- and third-place finishers in the Atlantic Division -- the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens -- will also go head-to-head.
However, it will require the final day of the regular season to determine whether the Lightning or Canadiens will have home-ice advantage in the first round.
Tampa Bay can secure home ice with a victory against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Sunday. If the Lightning fail to get the two points, the series will open at Bell Centre in Montreal....
The Central Division title is still up for grabs and will be decided Sunday. The St. Louis Blues, who have lost five in a row, will host the Detroit Red Wings at Scottrade Center (12:30 p.m.; NBC, TSN). The Colorado Avalanche will know what they have to do before their game in Anaheim, which begins at 8 p.m. ET.
St. Louis and Colorado each have 111 points, but the Avalanche own the tiebreaker. The division winner will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser finishes second and gets the Chicago Blackhawks.
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