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Steve Zipay's NHL playoff predictions

The New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal (13) and

The New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal (13) and the Washington Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) look to the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015 in Washington. Photo Credit: AP / Kevin Wolf

Goaltending, depth and a little luck may be the difference in the playoff contenders in the 2015-16 NHL season, which begins Wednesday. Here's my best guesses:

Metropolitan Division (Top five in playoffs)

1. Washington

2. Columbus

3. Rangers

4. Islanders

5. Pittsburgh

6. Philadelphia

7. New Jersey

8. Carolina

Atlantic Division (Top three in playoffs)

1. Tampa

2. Montreal

3. Detroit

4. Ottawa

5. Florida

6. Boston

7. Buffalo

8. Toronto

Pacific Division: (Top four in playoffs)

1. Anaheim

2. Los Angeles

3. Calgary

4. San Jose

5. Edmonton

6. Vancouver

7. Arizona

Central Division (Top four in playoffs)

1. Chicago

2. St. Louis

3. Dallas

4. Minnesota

5. Nashville

6. Winnipeg

7. Colorado

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