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The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

2014 Playoff Tracker for April 3

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars' playoff chances got a boost Wednesday night thanks to the Los Angeles Kings, who defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-0, at Staples Center. It was the third straight loss for the Coyotes (0-2-1).

The Stars and Coyotes remain tied at 85 points, but the Stars have played two fewer games so they hold that second wild card spot based on points percentage. They would also hold that spot if the games played were even due to the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker, which they lead 34-30.

Games in hand are great, but you have to take advantage of them and the Stars will have a chance to do that starting tonight when they play at Carolina. The Stars, who have won three straight and five of six, will play three games over the next four days and Phoenix will play just one (vs. Edmonton on Friday), so the Stars have a chance to create some separation in the race.

The Minnesota Wild, who hold the first wild card spot and are four points ahead of the Stars, play at Chicago tonight. This game wraps up a tough four-game road trip for the Wild, who have won two of the first three games. The Blackhawks will be without Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, both of whom are expected to miss the rest of the regular season. Chicago is still chasing Colorado for the second spot in the Central Division. Colorado, which is without Matt Duchene for about four weeks, hosts the New York Rangers tonight.

Los Angeles clinched a playoff spot with the win over the Coyotes. The Kings play at San Jose tonight. This is a possible preview of a first round playoff matchup in the Pacific Division. The Sharks are three points behind Anaheim for the top spot in the Pacific.

The Ducks won 3-2 vs. Edmonton last night, rallying from a 2-0 deficit. The Ducks are just one point behind St. Louis for first overall in the Western Conference. The Blues, who have a game in hand on Anaheim, host Buffalo tonight.

Playoff chances

The Stars' chances of making the playoffs are looking better and better, according to the sites that put numbers on these matters.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars a 79.3 percent chance of grabbing a wild card spot. Phoenix's chances are down to 23.9 percent. Minnesota is at 96.7 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com has the Stars' chances of making the playoffs at 81.9 percent. Phoenix's chances are down to 23.1 percent. Minnesota is at 95.0 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 75 51 17 7 109 42 73   vs. BUF
2

x-Colorado

75 48 21 6 102 44 26   vs. NYR
3

x-Chicago

76 42 19 15 99 37 48   vs. MIN
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

76 50 18 8 108 48 54 W 3-2 vs. EDM  
2

x-San Jose

77 48 20 9 105 38 49   vs. LAK
3

x-Los Angeles

77 45 26 6 96 37 33 W 4-0 vs. PHX @ SJS
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

76 39 26 11 89 32 -2   @ CHI
2

Dallas

75 37 27 11 85 34 7   @ CAR
3

Phoenix

77 36 28 13 85 30 -11 L 4-0 @ LAK  
4

Vancouver

77 34 32 11 79 29 -24    
5

Winnipeg

77 34 33 10 78 27 -12   vs. PIT
6

Nashville

76 33 32 11 77 31 -39    
x - clinched playoff spot

Playoff format

The playoff format this season has changed due to realignment. The playoffs are now divisional. In the first round, the division winner with the most points will play the wild card team with the fewest points. The division leader with the second-most points will play the wild card team with the most points. The second-place team in each division will play the third-place team in each division. The wild card teams will stay in the division they play in the first round.

For example, if the playoffs started today: The Central Division playoff would have St. Louis (division winner with most points) vs. Dallas (wild card with fewest points) and Colorado vs. Chicago. The winner of St. Louis-Dallas would play the winner of Colorado-Chicago in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have Anaheim (division winner with second-most points) vs. Minnesota (wild card with most points) and San Jose vs. Los Angeles. The winner of Anaheim-Minnesota would play the winner of San Jose-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of teams after each round, it is bracket play leading up to the conference finals.

The Western and Eastern conference champions, of course, then play for the Stanley Cup.

Wild card playoff race schedules

 

1. Minnesota

2. Dallas

3. Phoenix

4. Vancouver

5. Winnipeg

5. Nashville

Points

89

85

85

79

78

77

ROW

32

34

30

29

27

31

Games Remaining

6

7

5

5

5

6

Home

4

3

3

4

3

2

Road

2

4

2

1

2

4

Apr 3

@ CHI

@ CAR

 

 

vs. PIT

 

Apr 4

 

 

vs. EDM

 

 

@ ANA

Apr 5

vs. PIT

@ TBL

 

vs. LAK

@ TOR

@ SJS

Apr 6

 

@ FLA

 

 

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

vs. ANA

vs. MIN

 

Apr 8

vs. BOS

vs. NSH

@ CBJ

 

 

@ DAL

Apr 9

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

 

@ NSH

vs. COL

vs. BOS

vs. PHX

Apr 11

 

vs. STL

 

 

@ CGY

 

Apr 12

 

 

vs. SJS

@ EDM

 

vs. CHI

Apr 13

vs. NSH

@ PHX

vs. DAL

vs. CGY

 

@ MIN

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