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NHL Playoff Clinching Scenarios & Player Milestones – 4/18/24 – The Hockey Writers – NHL News

Adin Hill Vegas Golden Knights

The NHL has six games scheduled for the evening of April 18 – the final day of the regular season before the playoffs – with the final two matchups in the Western Conference being determined. Here is a breakdown of everything that could happen tonight.

Clinching Scenarios

Ducks-Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights are hosting the Anaheim Ducks in their final game of the season and could determine their fate in the Pacific Division. Right now they hold the third spot – one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings, who are at home to the Chicago Blackhawks – and will solidify that spot if they defeat the Ducks in any fashion.

Adin Hill, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Golden Knights will also clinch that spot if they get one point against the Ducks and the Kings lose to the Blackhawks in any fashion or the Kings lose to the Blackhawks in regulation.

If the Golden Knights finish within the division, they will face the Edmonton Oilers in the first round, which would be a rematch of the second round series last year when the Golden Knights eliminated them in six games en route to the Stanley Cup.


The other key game tonight involves the Kings and Blackhawks where the Kings could also clinch third spot in the division. They would have to defeat the Blackhawks and the Golden Knights would have to lose to the Ducks or get a point and the Golden Knights lose to the Ducks in regulation.

If the Kings return to the division and bump the Golden Knights back down to the second wild card spot, they would face the Oilers for the third straight time in the playoffs. The Kings have been eliminated in the first round by the Oilers in the last two years.

Player Milestones


Kirill Kaprizov has been a superstar for the Minnesota Wild ever since he joined the NHL. Tonight, he could break his own franchise record and establish a new benchmark for goals scored in a season. He already has a goal against the Seattle Kraken to bring his total to 46. He just needs two more to break the record of 47 that he set back in 2021-22.


If Elias Pettersson records a point against the Winnipeg Jets, he will hit 90 points and become the Vancouver Canucks’ third 90-point scorer this season, joining JT Miller and Quinn Hughes in the feat. The Canucks have never had three 90-point men in a season in their history.

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