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NHL Playoff picture: Updated standings, bracket, matchups & key dates for Stanley Cup playoffs

By Bryan Murphy,

2023-04-14

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The postseason is in view, and the first-round matchups are all locked in.

The regular season is complete, and the NHL shifts to the 2023 playoffs.

The Eastern Conference is set. While the Bruins had locked up the Atlantic Division a while ago, the Hurricanes clinched the Metropolitan Division on Thursday night.

The Maple Leafs and Lightning are locked in as the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds in the Atlantic, giving fans a rematch of their 2022 first-round series. The Devils and Rangers are going to meet as the Nos. 2 and 3 teams from the Metro.

The Islanders finished as the top wild-card team in the East, so they face the Hurricanes. Meanwhile, the Panthers draw the Bruins in the first round.

In the Western Conference, the Golden Knights won the Pacific Thursday night as well, in addition to locking up the No. 1 seed in the conference. The team faces the Jets in the first round.

The Oilers and Kings have also secured the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds in the Pacific, setting up a repeat of their 2022 first-round series.

The Central Division came down to the Avalanche's Friday contest against the Predators, which Colorado won to surpass Dallas for the division. The Avalanche face the top wild-card team, the Kraken.

The Stars and the Wild finished as the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds in the Central and will square off against one another.

MORE: Bruins on pace to break NHL records for most points, wins by a team in a season

Here's everything you need to know about the 2023 NHL playoffs.

NHL playoff bracket, matchups 2023

Here's what the NHL Playoff matchups look like.

Eastern Conference

(A1) Bruins vs. (WC2) Panthers

(A2) Maple Leafs vs. (A3) Lightning

(M1) Hurricanes vs. (WC1) Islanders

(M2) Devils vs. (M3) Rangers

Western Conference

(C1) Avalanche vs. (WC1) Kraken

(C2) Stars vs. (C3) Wild

(P1) Golden Knights vs. (WC2) Jets

(P2) Oilers vs. (P3) Kings

NHL standings 2023

(As of games concluded on April 14)

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. * - Bruins 82 65-12-5 135
2. X - Maple Leafs 82 50-21-11 111
3. X - Lightning 82 46-30-6 98

Metropolitan Division

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. Y - Hurricanes 82 52-21-9 113
2. X - Devils 82 52-22-8 112
3. X - Rangers 82 47-22-13 107

Wild Card

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. X - Islanders 82 42-31-9 93
2. X- Panthers 82 42-32-8 92
E - Penguins 82 40-31-11 91
E - Sabres 82 42-33-7 91
E - Senators 82 39-35-8 86
E - Red Wings 82 35-37-10 80
E - Capitals 82 35-37-10 80
E - Flyers 82 31-38-13 75
E - Canadiens 82 31-45-6 68
E - Blue Jackets 82 25-48-9 59

* = clinched Presidents' Trophy

Y = clinched division

X = clinched playoff berth

E = eliminated from playoffs

Western Conference

Central Division

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. X - Avalanche 82 51-24-7 109
2. X - Stars 82 47-21-14 107
3. X - Wild 82 46-25-11 103

Pacific Division

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. Z - Golden Knights 82 51-22-9 111
2. X - Oilers 82 50-23-9 109
3. X - Kings 82 47-25-10 104

Wild Card

Seed Team Games Record Points
1. X - Kraken 82 46-28-8 100
2. X - Jets 82 46-33-3 95
E - Flames 82 38-27-17 93
E - Predators 82 42-32-8 92
E - Canucks 82 38-37-7 83
E - Blues 82 37-38-7 81
E - Coyotes 82 28-40-14 70
E - Sharks 82 22-44-16 60
E - Blackhawks 82 26-49-7 59
E - Ducks 82 23-47-12 58

Z = clinched best record in conference

Y = clinched division

X = clinched playoff berth

E = eliminated from playoffs

When do the NHL playoffs start?

  • NHL Playoffs: April 17

The 2022-23 NHL regular season will end on Friday, April 14. The first round of the NHL playoffs has a start date of Monday, April 17.

How will the 2023 NHL playoffs work?

There are four rounds in the Stanley Cup playoffs — first round, second round, conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals.

In the first round, the top team in the conference plays the second wild-card team. The other division winner takes on the other wild-card team. The No. 2 team from a division plays the No. 3 team from the same division.

After that, the teams do not get reseeded in the second round. Rather, the winner of the series with the No. 2 and No. 3 teams for a division plays the winner of the series with their division winner playing the wild card team.

For example, if the Bruins finished first in the Atlantic and won their first-round matchup, they would play the winner of the series between the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the Atlantic.

After the second round, the last two teams in each conference square off in the conference finals. The Eastern and Western Conference winners then fight for the Stanley Cup in the finals.

Each series is a best-of-seven format.

In terms of home-ice advantage, the series is played in a 2–2–1–1–1 style, which means the team with the better record plays Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 at its home arena, while its opponent hosts Games 3, 4, and 6. Only the first four games in the series are guaranteed, with Games 5, 6 and 7 only played if necessary.

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