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Playoff Hunt: This Weekend In the West

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
The schedule has ticked down to the final five weekends of the 2010-11 regular season, check out's sneak peak at the match-ups of immediate concern to the Preds and the Western Conference playoff race.

We're tracking all teams within five points of the Preds in the conference standings heading into this weekend's play.

Seed* Team Points* Adjusted Wins^ Games Remaining* Weekend Schedule
#4 Chicago 81 32 14 (6H/8A) Sun at WSH, Mon vs SJ
#5 Phoenix 81 31 13 (7H/6A) Sun at ANA
#6 Calgary 81 28 12 (6H/6A) Sat vs. VAN
#7 Dallas 80 31 15 (8H/7A) Fri vs. MIN, Sun vs. LA
#8 Los Angeles 79 30 15 (8H/7A) Fri at CBJ, Sun at DAL
#9 Nashville 78 28 14 (11H/3A) Sat vs COL
#10 Anaheim 77 32 15 (7H/7A) Fri at COL, Sun vs PHX
#11 Minnesota 77 33 14 (7H/7A) Fri at DAL, Mon at VAN
* as of all games played on Thursday, March 10     ^ the first tie-breaker is regulation/OT wins (excluding shootout wins)

Noteable: There is just one out-of-conference match-ups in this weekend's mix with Chicago visiting Washington on Sunday ... There are three head-to-head match-ups involving teams in the playoff pack: Minnesota at Dallas on Friday, Los Angeles at Dallas on Sunday, Phoenix at Anaheim on Sunday ... Chicago is the only team of the bunch with a back-to-back set on the horizon. The Hawks visit Washington on Sunday and then host San Jose on Monday.

The Week That Was: The eight teams in the playoff pack in the Western Conference posted a combined 7-3-5 record on the week. Of the four head-to-head match-ups between the teams in that pack, two went past regulation -- Dallas’s OT win against Los Angles and Calgary’s shootout win against Dallas. On the flip side, no team in the pack won more than one game on the week, with four teams going 1-0-1 (Nashville, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix).

Looking For Help From the Top: Western Conference division leaders play three games against teams in the playoff pack in the next four days. Vancouver heads to Calgary on Saturday and then hosts Minnesota on Monday, while San Jose visits Chicago, also on Monday.
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