clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How NHL schedule for Saturday, April 8 will impact Eastern Conference Wild Card race

We take a look at Saturday’s games and which will have an impact on the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference for the NHL playoffs.

Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers chat before a face off against the Buffalo Sabres at the FLA Live Arena on April 4, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2022-23 NHL season is coming to a close and there’s still a lot of movement that can happen in the standings that will impact the playoff picture. In the Eastern Conference, the Wild Card race is down to three teams vying for two spots. We’re going to look at the schedule and impact it might have on the East Wild Card.

NHL playoff picture: Eastern Conference Wild Card

Florida Panthers — 89 points
New York Islanders — 89 points

Pittsburgh Penguins — 88 points

Saturday, April 8 schedule

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings, 1 p.m. ET

The Penguins are on the outside looking in heading into the weekend. Pittsburgh trails the Panthers and Islanders by a point in the standings. Fortunately, the Penguins play the Red Wings, who are eliminated from contention and can do themselves a bit of a favor by losing. Detroit can drop down to the 8-spot in the NHL Draft Lottery, providing a better shot at winning the first pick (Connor Bedard). It’s a long shot, but something Steve Yzerman should consider.

As for the Penguins, winning this game is huge for the East Wild Card. A loss means needing way more help. A win means the Penguins need the Isles or Panthers to falter down the stretch.

Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET

The Panthers have won five in a row and are looking dangerous heading into the postseason. The last time these two teams played, the Panthers picked up a 6-3 win on the road. Two of those goals were empty-netters, so it was a close contest. Washington has lost five in a row, however, and doesn’t have much incentive to play eliminated from the playoffs already. This feels like a spot the Panthers can just keep winning and look to the next game.

New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m. ET

The Isles picked up a big 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their last contest to keep pace in the Wild Card. Philadelphia should be much easier to get by this weekend. New York defeated the Flyers 2-1 in the last meeting between the two teams and are 2-1-0 against Philly this season. The Islanders last two games are against the Capitals and Canadiens, both teams already out of postseason contention.