2011 NHL Playoffs: Tiebreaker Scenarios For Stars, Blackhawks, Rangers, Hurricanes, Ducks

It’s the final weekend of the NHL regular season, and multiple playoff races are going down to the wire. The most exciting race is for the eighth seed in the East, as both the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers are tied in points on the last day of their regular season. Both teams are in action today, and here’s how the final seed will be determined:

If one team wins, and the other loses, then the winning team is in. Simple.

If both teams win in regulation, the Carolina Hurricanes will claim the final seed due to their one game advantage in non-shootout wins for the season. The same would happen if both teams lose in regulation or in overtime.

Here is where it gets fun: if Carolina were to win in a shootout and the Rangers were to win in regulation or overtime, the Hurricanes would still make the final seed by virtue of their 6-4 point advantage in head to head matchups this season.

If you’re a Rangers fan, you better hope that your team finishes with a single point more than the Hurricanes, because Carolina holds all the tiebreakers.

Out west, a similar situation is brewing as the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, and Chicago Blackhawks are all heading towards a three-team collision for the last two playoff spots. Chicago and Anaheim hold the advantage; if they win their final game, they’re in. If they even make it to overtime (win or lose), they are in the playoffs. But if either of them fail to gain a point, Dallas is right there with a victory in their final matchup. Here’s how the tiebreakers appear:

The Anaheim Ducks have 42 non-shootout victories this season, and would hold the tiebreakers over both clubs. Anaheim has clinched a playoff berth. If Dallas wins in regulation or overtime, they would tie Chicago with 38 non-shootout wins, but hold the head to head tiebreaker. If Dallas is forced into the shootout, they cannot make the playoffs.

If you’re a Blackhawks fan, it’s very simple. Gain a point, somehow.

Games To Watch Tonight:

Tampa Bay Lighting at Carolina Hurricanes: Season finale for both clubs, with the Hurricanes looking for a playoff berth.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers: Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives and MUST have a win against their rivals from across the border.

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