Friday Tank Watch: Your open thread for tonight's NHL Draft Lottery hopefuls

Previews, game times, and ideal results for the lottery games on Friday, February 26.

A win by Montreal over the best team in the league on Wednesday night, and losses by just about every team below them on Tuesday seemed to seal Montreal's position as a middle-of-the-pack team resigned to selecting in the mid-teens of the first round. But a pretty incredible series of results on Thursday night has brought the possibility of a lower finish back into the fold.

The Philadelphia Flyers handed the Minnesota Wild their second straight loss to pull out of a tie with Montreal, now two points up with one game in hand.

Because the Ottawa Senators lost in regulation, Philadelphia leapt into 11th in the East. That Senators loss came at the hands of the Vanocuver Canucks, however, who have now put together two wins in a row, and sit just three points back and one position behind Montreal, with an extra game to play before the season ends.

The Columbus Blue Jackets soundly defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1. They are now 8-2-3 in their last 13 games, and sit five points behind Montreal in the standings.

After trading captain Andrew Ladd just before game time, the Winnipeg Jets responded with a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars on the road. Seven points back of Montreal, it's unlikely they will catch up before the end of the season, but that's a greater possibility now than it was while the Jets were in one of the league's worst slumps just days ago.

Calgary got a point out of an overtime loss to the New York Islanders, and now have an identical record to the Jets.

Even the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to win a game, handing the Carolina Hurricanes yet another deflating defeat in their stumbling quest toward a playoff spot.

There were only two bad results for the tank. A regulation loss for the Arizona Coyotes — which has become the trend of late — is killing the already-slim hopes the team had of getting into the post-season.

The Edmonton Oilers suffered the same fate, and are starting to put the pathetic tanking efforts of the other non-playoff teams to shame. The Oilers have now lost five in a row, and have gone a remarkable 1-8-1 over their last 10, with that one victory coming against the Leafs.

Montreal holds steady in 22nd position after all that happened last night, and will remain there no matter what happens on Friday. Three teams with their eyes on the 2016 NHL Entry Draft take to the ice tonight.

7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST

Carolina Hurricanes

Visitors: Boston Bruins
Record: 28-24-10
Position: 10th in East; 18th overall
Ideal result: Win for CAR
How to watch: TVA Sports
The Bruins, who are just hanging on to one of the top three seeds in the East, could end up being the team that Carolina knocks out to earn a playoff berth. This will be another big match for the Hurricanes, and they'll need a better result than they've managed in their last few such contests.

10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST

Edmonton Oilers

Host: Anaheim Ducks
Record: 22-34-6
Position: EDM: 14th in West; 30th overall
Ideal result: Some semblance of life for the team in a decade-long rebuild
How to watch: Sportsnet West
What can you even say about this Edmonton Oilers team anymore?

10:30 PM EST / 7:30 PM PST

Buffalo Sabres
Host: San Jose Sharks
Record: 24-30-7
Position: 15th in East; 28th overall
Ideal result: Win for BUF
How to watch: Sportsnet E/O/P/Now

After what was a hot streak for the Sabres, the team now seems to be focused on a bottom-three position, and adding another top-quality forward to join Jack Eichel.

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