The Islanders, with two games remaining, still can finish anywhere from first to fourth in the Metropolitan Division.
If teams are tied in points, the first NHL playoff tiebreaker is ROW (regulation or overtime wins, excluding shootouts). The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results. The third tiebreaker is the better goal differential between the teams.
To guarantee finishing first, the Islanders must win both of their remaining games either in regulation or overtime while the Capitals can only gain one of their possible four points remaining.
Here’s how the top four teams in the division stand as of Wednesday:
1. Capitals (47-25-8, 102 points, 43 ROW, plus-31 goal differential)
Games remaining: Host Canadiens on Thursday and Islanders on Saturday
2. Islanders (46-27-7, 99 points, 42 ROW, plus-28 goal differential)
Games remaining: At Florida on Thursday and at Washington on Saturday
3. Penguins (43-26-11, 97 points, 41 ROW, plus-30 goal differential)
Games remaining: Host Red Wings on Thursday and Rangers on Saturday
4. Hurricanes (44-29-7, 95 points, 42 ROW, plus-19 goal differential)
Games remaining: Host Devils on Thursday and at Philadelphia on Saturday.
Islanders’ head-to-head record with those three opponents:
Capitals – 1-2-0 (one game remaining)
Penguins – Each team 2-1-1 with one shootout victory
Hurricanes – 3-1-0 (one overtime victory)