If the Minnesota Wild can get through their next game, they have one of the most favorable schedules in the NHL to close the season.
The Wild look for their sixth straight win when they visit the Calgary Flames on Saturday to close out a three-game road trip.
Minnesota (41-24-7) finishes with eight of its last nine games at home, including back-to-back contests against the Flames (37-24-10) on March 27 and 29. The Wild are 23-6-4 at home and could use that cushy schedule to surge to the Northwest Division title.
Minnesota has 89 points, one behind Vancouver, and can overtake the Canucks if it wins Saturday and Vancouver loses to Detroit.
The Wild's winning streak is their best since opening the season with six victories in a row and Minnesota has won four straight on the road, including a 2-1 victory over Edmonton on Thursday night.
The Wild managed to beat the slumping Oilers two days after rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Vancouver 3-2 in the opener of the trip.
"We got a little lucky with the intensity we showed," Wild forward Mark Parrish said. "We got lucky in the first two periods after coming out flat. We're happy with the two points, but we're not happy with the effort we put forth. We've got to play a lot harder than that down the stretch."
After starting the season 4-15-1 on the road, Minnesota has rebounded to go 14-3-2 away from home since Jan. 9.
"Obviously they had a lot of guys out of their lineup and it was important that we didn't allow them to lull us to sleep," Wild forward Brian Rolston said Thursday. "I thought in the third period we did a better job and (Niklas) Backstrom was solid for us in net.
"And in the standings this was a huge win for us. You can't take anybody lightly at this time of the season or you are going to be in trouble and I don't think we did even though we didn't start well."
After winning five in a row, Calgary has dropped four of its last five to fall five points behind Minnesota in the division. The Flames lost consecutive games on the road to Colorado and Dallas, but now get to come back to Calgary for a three-game homestand.
"They capitalized on a couple of power play goals," center Matthew Lombardi said after the Flames lost 4-2 to the Stars on Thursday. "When you get down to a team like that, with the type of defense they play, it is hard to come back. Emotionally, I think we were there. We battled back."
The Flames need to take advantage on this homestand to secure their spot in the playoffs. Calgary is eighth in the Western Conference, eight points ahead of Colorado, and the Flames have an NHL-high 28 home victories.
However, Calgary is just 9-18-8 on the road and finishes the season with six of its last eight away from home.
The Flames have won all three matchups at home with the Wild this season and earned points in all five meetings. Calgary has won seven straight at home over Minnesota.