Few games on the docket as the NHL tries to stay out of the way of the Super Bowl, but there are still some lottery implications for Sunday afternoon. Follow along with us here and post your reactions to NFL's biggest game tonight.
The Montreal Canadiens did nothing to improve their draft standing with a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers and adding another tick in the ROW column, but it was otherwise a day of fairly good results for their tank.
The Philadelphia Flyers earned one point from a shootout loss to the Washington Capitals, moving them closer to a playoff position and farther from the bottom.
The Toronto Maple Leafs put on a masterclass for what a true tank should look like, giving up the first goal 19 seconds into their contest with the Ottawa Senators, and trailing by three before the eight-minute mark in an eventual 6-1 defeat.
Taking the Boston Bruins past regulation for the second consecutive game, the Buffalo Sabres once again came away with only one point, this time beaten on a Brad Marchand penalty-shot goal in overtime.
Only one team earned points in the dual-lottery matchup between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, but it was the lower-ranked Flames who pulled off that feat, and moved themselves out of what had been a six-way tie for last after the previous night.
The Winnipeg Jets did that very same thing with a regulation win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Once the dust had settled, Montreal remained 12th in the Eastern Conference with 54 points, now seven points up on 30th overall with eight teams below them, while sitting five points and four spots below the final wild-card spot, with more games played than three of the five teams they would have to compete with for one of those final slots.
The project will focus on any team currently sitting more than one spot outside of a playoff position. Here are today's games featuring the teams meeting that criterion:
12:00 PM EST / 9:00 AM PST
Host: Washington Capitals
Position: 11th in Eastern Conference; 19th overall
Ideal result: Win for PHI
How to watch: GameCentre Live/NHL.tv
Four points behind the Devils, with three games in hand, a victory early this afternoon could pull the Flyers well within striking distance. Not bad for a team that struggled to score goals at the beginning of the season.
2:30 PM EST / 11:30 AM PST
Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens
Records: CAR: 24-21-8 / MTL: 25-24-4
Positions: CAR: 10th in East; 18th overall / MTL: 12th in East; 22rd overall
Ideal result: Regulation win for CAR
How to watch: Sportsnet E/O/P/Now; RDS
Be sure to check out our preview of the only all-lottery matchup of the day, and follow along in our game thread.
Host: New York Islanders
Position: 14th in West; 29th overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for EDM
How to watch: Sportsnet West (Oilers region)
The Oilers are now one of just three teams tied with 47 points at the bottom of the table, and can claim their customary 30th-overall position with a regulation loss today. They will face stiff competition, taking on an Islanders team that has the worst record of all the Metropolitan Division clubs in their past ten games, and have now fallen out of a playoff position.
6:30 PM EST / 3:30 PM PST
Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
Records: Doesn't matter
Ideal result: Let us know in the comments
How to watch: CBS, CTV