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NHL preview: Predicting division winners and playoff teams

NHL preview: Predicting division winners and playoff teams
Sidney Crosby (87) and goalie Matt Murray led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup title last season. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

Times columnist Helene Elliott predicts the order of finish in the Western and Eastern conferences.

The top three teams in each division qualify for the playoffs as well as the next two conference teams with the best records.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Pacific Division

1) San Jose

2) Kings

3) Calgary

Central Division

1) Nashville

2) Dallas

3) Chicago

Wild card 1: Ducks

Wild card 2: St. Louis

Not qualifying

Minnesota

Edmonton

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Arizona

Winnipeg

Colorado

Vancouver

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

1) Tampa Bay

2) Montreal

3) Florida

Metropolitan Division

1) Pittsburgh

2) Washington

3) New York Rangers

Wild card 1: Philadelphia

Wild card 2: Boston

Not qualifying

Buffalo

N. Y. Islanders

Carolina

Toronto

Ottawa

Detroit

New Jersey

Columbus

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