The Edmonton Oilers played in the biggest game in recent franchise history on Saturday night. After trailing the Anaheim Ducks late in the game, Edmonton tied it on a Milan Lucic powerplay goal. Connor McDavid, who scored in the first period, then set up Leon Draisaitl for what would be the overtime winner. As a result, Edmonton gained a point on the Ducks at this very late stage of the season.

Oilers are in first place

The one-point gain on Anaheim was enough to move Edmonton into a tie with the Ducks for first place in the division. However, the Ducks played in Calgary on Sunday night, and they were victorious.

For the time being, the defending divisional champs are back on top of the Pacific Division standings.

Edmonton does have the game on hand in Anaheim as the Oilers were idle on Sunday. Understanding the tiebreaking criteria in the NHL is required to see who has the edge going forward. If they remained tied on points at season's end, the relevant tiebreaker would be "The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout" (

When games won without a shootout are isolated, the Edmonton Oilers have an ever-so-slight lead on Anaheim. The stat is reflected as "ROW" in's standings page. ROW meanings regulation plus overtime wins (shootout wins are not overtime wins). The Oilers have 40 wins in overtime or regulation while the Anaheim Ducks have just 39.

That difference is the slimmest of margins; however, it may very well come into play.

Oilers playing for home-ice advantage

If Edmonton wins the Pacific Division, then they would be guaranteed home-ice advantage through two playoff rounds. The playoffs are mostly division based. However, there is an exception with the Wild Card.

It's possible for one of the Wild Cards to cross over to the other division. Since Edmonton cannot catch the Chicago Blackhawks, the current leaders of the Central Division, a first-placed Oilers team in the Pacific Division would play the first Wild Card. At present that team is Calgary.

However, the standings in the Western Conference are such that all teams in the Wild Card picture and the Pacific Division are still playing meaningful games.

Six points separate Edmonton from the 2nd Wild Card team, the Nashville Predators. The Oilers can't fall out of the playoff picture. However, there is a remote doomsday scenario where they fall all the way down to the 2nd Wild Card still. That would mean that they would play the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

The other teams that Edmonton could face are St. Louis, Nashville, Calgary, San Jose, and Anaheim. The likelihood of each is difficult to assess, because of how close the standings are. However, Edmonton does have a weak strength of schedule. That circumstance means that they are likely to do well for the balance of the NHL's regular season.

The Oilers only have one home game left, a game that will conclude their regular season next Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Oilers also play Vancouver next Saturday, a game that will come from downtown Vancouver. Those are favorable games because the Canucks are one of the weaker teams in the Western Conference this season. Before next weekend, Edmonton travels to California for a match against the almost-eliminated Los Angeles Kings and then a game against the struggling San Jose Sharks.

A game against Los Angeles, a game against a cold San Jose team, and two games against Vancouver is a very nice schedule for the Oilers. Todd McLellan, Edmonton's head coach, won't be taking anything for granted, but a first-placed finish and a first-round playoff series against the first Wild Card is Edmonton's most probable scenario at this point.