This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
The final stretch is always a crazy time in the NHL, with desperate teams playing their best hockey in search of a playoff spot while some of the top squads are content with sitting on their cushion in the standings until the postseason. Teams with the most to play for are most likely to ride their No. 1 options until the end, so let's take a look at which goalies are set up to receive heavy workloads over the final few weeks. Anyone sitting 10 or more points out at this stage has basically no chance in the modern NHL (even Buffalo's above this threshold), so the scope will be limited to goalies from contenders only.
Atlantic: The Canadiens and Senators have separated themselves from the pack a bit, but the chance at grabbing home ice through the Conference semis will have both teams riding their respective top options until the end. With Ottawa trailing by just three points with a game in hand, expect Carey Price and Craig Anderson to stay busy unless one team pulls away. Every other member of this division save for Detroit is still within striking distance of a playoff spot, so expect to see a lot of familiar faces in net until the clock runs out on most of them. Boston and Toronto both currently hold playoff spots by slim margins, meaning Tuukka Rask and Frederik Andersen will maintain heavy workloads after starting seven of eight and six of seven games, respectively. Tampa Bay