Playoff Watch: April 6, 2011

There were a ton of games last night with playoff implications. The Penguins were the team that benefited the most with their 4-2 win over the Devils. Before beating New Jersey, the Buffalo Sabres held off the Tampa Bay Lightning. That inched the Penguins closer to clinching home ice advantage at least in the first round. That magic number is now two. Shortly after the Penguins win, the Ottawa Senators defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2. That puts Pittsburgh down by a single point for the division lead with two games remaining. With the Capitals win over the Maple Leafs, Washington clinched the South East division and moved into the top spot in the East. Toronto was also officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The updated Eastern Conference standings:
Game To Watch:

The only game that can have some impact on the playoff race in the East tonight is the contest between Detroit and Carolina. Mathematically, the Hurricanes have not been eliminated from the playoff race just yet. With three games remaining, the Hurricanes are four points away from the eighth spot that currently belongs to the New York Rangers. A loss will not eliminate the Hurricanes tonight, but it could happen tomorrow if New York defeats Atlanta.