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The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

2014 Playoff Tracker for April 5

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Phoenix Coyotes moved back into the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, but it was a disappointing night for the Coyotes. They allowed the game-tying goal with 40.4 seconds left and then lost in a shootout to the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2. It was the fourth straight loss for the Coyotes (0-2-2).

The point the Coyotes picked up in the game pushed them one point ahead of the Stars and into the second wild card spot, but the Stars have two games in hand. The Coyotes, who don’t play again until Tuesday, have to hope the Stars stumble in their back-to-back games against Tampa Bay (Saturday) and Florida (Sunday) to keep the race close to even heading into the final week of the season.

The Stars, on the other hand, need to make the most of the two games in hand. There are four big points on the table, and the more they collect this weekend the better position they'll be in heading into the final week of the regular season when they and the Coyotes both will have four games left. How tight the race is heading into the final week will depend on what the Stars do in these two games.

Anaheim lost 5-2 to Nashville Friday night, so the Ducks remain just one point ahead of San Jose for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have one game in hand, but the Sharks could move ahead of them Saturday with a win over Nashville.

Chicago scored in the final seconds to defeat Columbus, 4-3, and move to within one point of Colorado for second place in the Central Division.

Tonight's other games

The Minnesota Wild, who hold the first wild card spot and lead Phoenix by four points and Dallas by five, hosts Pittsburgh tonight.

Colorado plays at St. Louis. The Blues have a three-point lead over Anaheim for the best record in the West. Colorado is one point up on Chicago for second in the Central and home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Vancouver hosts Los Angeles. The Kings are locked into third place in the Pacific. The Canucks are close to mathematical elimination from the playoff race.

Nashville, which plays at San Jose Saturday night, is also on the brink of mathematical elimination.

Playoff chances

The Stars' chances of making the playoffs went up with Phoenix losing in a shootout to Edmonton Friday night, according to the sites that track playoff chances.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report puts the Stars chances of making the playoffs at 73.7 percent. Phoenix is down to 28.0 percent and Minnesota's chances are 98.0 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 75.7 percent chance of the making the playoffs. Phoenix's chances were down to 25.9 percent. Minnesota's chances are at 98.2 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   vs. COL
2

x-Colorado

76 49 21 6 104 44 27   @ STL
3

x-Chicago

78 44 19 15 103 38 50 W 4-3 @ CBJ  
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

77 50 19 8 108 48 51 L 5-2 vs. NSH  
2

x-San Jose

78 49 20 9 107 39 50   vs. NSH
3

x-Los Angeles

78 45 27 6 96 37 32   @ VAN
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

77 39 26 12 90 32 -3   vs. PIT
2

Phoenix

78 36 28 14 86 30 -12 L 3-2 (SO) vs. EDM  
3

Dallas

76 37 28 11 85 34 4   @ TBL
4 Nashville 77 34 32 11 79 32 -36 W 5-2 @ ANA @ SJS
5

Vancouver

77 34 32 11 79 29 -24   vs. LAK
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. Phoenix (wild card with fewest points) and Colorado vs. Chicago. The winner of St. Louis-Phoenix 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. Phoenix

2. Dallas

4. Nashville

5. Vancouver

Points

90

86

85

79

79

ROW

32

30

34

32

29

Games Remaining

5

4

6

5

5

Home

4

2

3

2

4

Road

1

2

3

3

1

Apr 5

vs. PIT

 

@ TBL

@ SJS

vs. LAK

Apr 6

 

 

@ FLA

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

 

vs. ANA

Apr 8

vs. BOS

@ CBJ

vs. NSH

@ DAL

 

Apr 9

 

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

@ NSH

 

vs. PHX

vs. COL

Apr 11

 

 

vs. STL

 

 

Apr 12

 

vs. SJS

 

vs. CHI

@ EDM

Apr 13

vs. NSH

vs. DAL

@ PHX

@ MIN

vs. CGY

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