Six days to go in the regular season and the percentages still point to a Pittsburgh – Detroit first round series, followed by Pittsburgh – Columbus being the second most likeliest first round matchup for the Penguins.
Detroit and Columbus are both idle tonight while the New Jersey Devils in a must-win situation are in action tonight hosting the Calgary Flames.
A win by New Jersey moves them one point behind Columbus the final wildcard spot. New Jersey has the easiest schedule with their next three games against Calgary, Ottawa and the New York Islanders. 16 combined overtime/shootout losses has been New Jersey’s downfall.
One darkhorse first round matchup for the Penguins could be against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is just two points ahead of Columbus and both teams have four games remaining.
One team teetering on the brink of being eliminated are the Washington Capitals. They are not getting in. Washington faces St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Chicago in three of their final four games. That team is a mess and trail Columbus by three points for the final spot.
RANKING FOUR POTENTIAL 1ST RD OPPONENTS WITH BEST CHANCE OF UPSETTING PENGUINS
1. Philadelphia Flyers
2. Detroit Red Wings
3. New Jersey Devils
4. Columbus Blue Jackets.