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The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

2014 Playoff Tracker for April 4

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Stars lost an opportunity to create some separation from Phoenix in the playoff race Thursday night with their 4-1 loss at Carolina. The loss was a bump in the road, but the Stars still control their own fate in the race. They have one game in hand and they own the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker by a comfortable 34-30 margin.

Phoenix plays tonight at home versus Edmonton and the Coyotes could move back into a playoff spot with a win or one point. A regulation loss would be a big blow to the Coyotes and huge boost to the Stars.

Whatever the outcome, the Stars will have two games in hand, which they will play Saturday (at Tampa Bay) and Sunday (at Florida). Once those games are played, both teams will have four games left and we will see where everything stands going into the final week of the regular season.

Minnesota picked up a point in a 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago. The Wild, who hold the first wild card spot, now lead the Stars and Coyotes by five points. Dallas has one game in hand and the Coyotes and Wild are even in games played. Minnesota, which went 2-1-1 on a pretty tough road trip, looks to be in pretty good shape right now, but have games against Pittsburgh, Boston and St. Louis on the horizon.

Chicago failed to gain any ground on Colorado in the race for second place in the Central. The Avalanche beat the New York Rangers in a shootout, so they continue to lead the Blackhawks by three points in the race for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

St. Louis beat Buffalo, 2-1, so it now leads Anaheim by three points for best record in the West.

San Jose defeated Los Angeles 2-1, pulling to within one point of the Ducks for first in the Pacific. The Ducks have two games in hand.

Winnipeg lost to Pittsburgh, 4-2, and was officially eliminated from the playoff race.

Tonight's games

Chicago is at Columbus. The Blackhawks, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, will try to pull to within one point of Colorado in the race for second in the Central.

Anaheim hosts Nashville. The Ducks are battling San Jose for first in the Pacific and St. Louis for top spot in the West. The Predators are on the brink of being officially eliminated from the playoff race.

Playoff chances

The Stars' chances of making the playoffs went down a bit after last night’s loss at Carolina.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars a 70.5 percent chance of making the playoffs. Phoenix is at 31.4 percent and Minnesota is at 98.0 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com has the Stars' chances of making the playoffs at 71.3 percent. Phoenix is 31.4 percent and Minnesota is at 97.2 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 76 52 17 7 111 43 74 W 2-1 vs. BUF  
2

x-Colorado

76 49 21 6 104 44 27 W 3-2 (SO) vs. NYR  
3

x-Chicago

77 43 19 15 101 37 49 W 3-2 (SO) vs. MIN @ CBJ
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

76 50 18 8 108 48 54   vs. NSH
2

x-San Jose

78 49 20 9 107 39 50 W 2-1 vs. LAK  
3

x-Los Angeles

78 45 27 6 96 37 32 L 2-1 @ SJS  
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

77 39 26 12 90 32 -3 L 3-2 (SO) @ CHI  
2

Dallas

76 37 28 11 85 34 4 L 4-1 @ CAR  
3

Phoenix

77 36 28 13 85 30 -11   vs. EDM
4

Vancouver

77 34 32 11 79 29 -24    
6 Nashville 76 33 32 11 77 31 -39   @ ANA
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

6. Nashville

Points

90

85

85

79

77

ROW

32

34

30

29

31

Games Remaining

5

6

5

5

6

Home

4

3

3

4

2

Road

1

3

2

1

4

Apr 4

 

 

vs. EDM

 

@ ANA

Apr 5

vs. PIT

@ TBL

 

vs. LAK

@ SJS

Apr 6

 

@ FLA

 

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

vs. ANA

 

Apr 8

vs. BOS

vs. NSH

@ CBJ

 

@ DAL

Apr 9

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

 

@ NSH

vs. COL

vs. PHX

Apr 11

 

vs. STL

 

 

 

Apr 12

 

 

vs. SJS

@ EDM

vs. CHI

Apr 13

vs. NSH

@ PHX

vs. DAL

vs. CGY

@ MIN

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