NHL Playoff Picture 2018: Latest Stanley Cup Bracket, Odds and Picks

The St. Louis Blues picked up a key win over the Vancouver Canucks Friday night.

The St. Louis Blues picked up a key win over the Vancouver Canucks Friday night.Bill Boyce/Associated Press

The St. Louis Blues continue to win games, and they are continuing to creep up on the wild-card playoff spots in the Western Conference.

However, the Dallas Stars had an opportunity to get back into the win column at home Friday night, but they could not hold on to a 2-0 lead after two periods, and they suffered a devastating loss to the Boston Bruins.

St. Louis took charge against Vancouver Canucks on Friday with a pair of goals by Patrik Berglund. The Canucks cut the lead to one on a Sam Gagner goal, but the Blues put the game away with a pair of third-period tallies for a 4-1 victory. 

The Blues have 87 points, and they are trailing the Colorado Avalanche for the No. 2 wild-card spot by one point. They are two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for the No. 1 wild-card position.

Those three teams should battle the rest of the way for the two final playoff spots in the Western Conference.

Dallas appears to be out of it. The Stars came home after an 0-4-2 road trip and played well for 40 minutes, but the relentless and battered Bruinsthey played without eight of their regulars because of injurytook the game on third-period goals by Brad Marchand, Sean Kuraly and David Pastrnak.

The Bruins have 102 points and are in second place in the Atlantic Division, four points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning. Both of those teams have already clinched playoff spots. The Toronto Maple Leafs are comfortably in third place but have not clinched a postseason spot yet.

Here’s a look at the NHL standings.

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are in first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are in first place in the Metropolitan Division.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Washington Capitals are in first place in the Metropolitan Division, and they have a three-point lead over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Columbus Blue Jackets have won 10 games in a row to pull to within one point of the Pens.

The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are holding on to the two wild-card spots with 88 and 84 points, respectively. The Florida Panthers have 81 points and two games in hand on the Devils and could make a run at the East’s final wild-card spot.

The Nashville Predators have clinched a playoff spot and have a six-point lead in the Central Division over the second-place Winnipeg Jets. The Minnesota Wild have 90 points and are in third place.

The Vegas Golden Knights have a seven-point lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division, while the Los Angeles Kings are in third and trying to hold off the Ducks.

Predicted Playoff Teams and Stanley Cup Odds

Championship odds according to OddsShark.

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
1. x-Tampa Bay Lightning; +365 (wager $100 to win $365)
2. x-Boston Bruins; +1,000
3. Toronto Maple Leafs; +1,300

Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals; +1,600
2. Columbus Blue Jackets; +2,800
3. Pittsburgh Penguins; +2,800

Wild Card
1. Philadelphia Flyers; +4,000
2. New Jersey Devils: +5,000

Western Conference

Central Division
1. x-Nashville Predators; +480
2. Winnipeg Jets; +1,100
3. Minnesota Wild; +2,800

Pacific Division
1. Vegas Golden Knights; +705
2. San Jose Sharks; +2,500
3. Los Angeles Kings; +3,300

Wild Card
1. Colorado Avalanche; +2800
2. St. Louis Blues; +4,000