As usual, the NHL playoff race is likely going to go down to the last weekend of the season, but in the West, it's particularly crazy- specifically in the Pacific Division.
4 teams have had the division lead in the last week. Of AVS, CAL, DAL, LA, PHX, and SJ, only 3 will see the post-season. Either DAL, LA, PHX, or SJ will be the 3 seed. Two other teams will most likely be 7 and 8.
To the title of the post. The first tiebreaker after total points is Regulation/Overtime Wins (ROW).
DAL will likely win the tiebreaker there with any of the other teams as they 3 up (35 v 32) their nearest competition.
The second tiebreaker is head to head points vs other teams. Too many permutations there, but LA does have head to head advantage against all of the other teams except AVS. They have completed play against all of these EXCEPT SJ.
That's where the third tiebreaker comes in- overall goal differential for the season. LA has 32 ROW and SJ has 31 ROW. LA has 5 points so far this year against SJ and SJ has 4 against LA. However, the two teams close out the season with a home and home (LA/SJ).
Last night the Kings got an empty net goal, putting them at +13. Last night, the Sharks were assessed a goal against when Dan Boyle was ruled to have intentionally knocked the net off the stanchions in the closing seconds of an empty net opportunity. That made the score 3-1 and not 2-1 and now SJ is +12, not +13. I think the call was pretty chintzy myself.
What if this was the difference between one of these two clubs making the post-season?
That doesn't even get to the Kings-Columbus game on Feb 1.