All three teams are idle on Friday, but are in a position to clinch a playoff berth.
The Pens moved a point ahead of the Rangers and took over second place in the Metropolitan Division, with both teams still having five games left.
The Rangers had a chance to become the second team in the Eastern Conference to clinch, after the Washington Capitals, but fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night. That game was the first time Eric Staal returned to Carolina since being traded to the Rangers on Feb. 28.
The Preds let a 3rd straight clinching opportunity slip through their hands, losing 5-2 against the Penguins. Nashville is currently the first wild card in the Western Conference, holding a nine-point lead on the Colorado Avalanche, who are five points back from the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card.
With 10 days left in the Regular Season, there are nine playoff spots still available.
- The Penguins (idle) will clinch a spot in the playoffs if the Detroit Red Wings lose to the Wild in any fashion OR if the Boston Bruins lose to the St.Louis Blues in any fashion.
- The Rangers (idle) will clinch a spot in the playoffs if the Bruins lose to the Blues in regulation AND the Red Wings lose to the Wild in any fashion.
- The Predators (idle) will clinch a spot in the playoffs if the Avalanche lose to the Capitals in regulation.
Key game: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings (730pm ET)
Best Potential first-round matchup: Blues vs. Blackhawks