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Playoff Race: Good night for scoreboard watching

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

It will be a good night for scoreboard watching during Tuesday’s Stars-Predators game. All the contenders in the Central Division are in action tonight as well. With not many games left and everybody playing, it’s a big night.

The Stars, who are on a 7-2-2 run, come into tonight’s game tied atop the division with St. Louis at 99 points but hold first place based on their 43-40 edge in the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker. The Stars will face some stiff opposition in Nashville, which played last night at home and lost, 4-3, to Colorado. It was just the third regulation loss in the past 22 games for Nashville (14-3-5). Nashville’s 33 points in 22 games since Feb. 12 are tops in the NHL.

St. Louis hosts Colorado. The Blues have won four straight games, all of them by shutout. Two of the shutouts have come against struggling Vancouver, but the Blues also shut out Washington and San Jose during the streak. The desperation level for the Avalanche is high. The Avs are three points behind Minnesota in the race for the second and final wild-card spot in the Western Conference and are coming off a big win in Nashville last night without two of their top forwards – Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.

Chicago, which has won two straight games, is four points behind the Stars and the Blues. The Blackhawks play at Minnesota, which has won five straight games to pull ahead of Colorado for the second wild-card spot. The Blackhawks are still in the race for first in the Central Division, but they will need some help if they are going to pass St. Louis and Dallas. Minnesota still has work to do to wrap up that final playoff spot in the West.

In the Pacific Division, the Anaheim Ducks are closing in on the first-place Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks won 2-1 at Edmonton last night to pull to within one point of the Kings, who lost 5-2 at San Jose. The Ducks are 4-1-1 in their past six games and have one game in hand on Los Angeles, which has lost four of its past five games (1-4-0).

The Sharks became the sixth Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot.


Colorado, 4, Nashville 3

San Jose 5, Los Angeles 2

Anaheim 2, Edmonton 1


Nashville at Dallas

Colorado at St. Louis

Chicago at Minnesota

San Jose at Vancouver


Dallas

Los Angeles

Anaheim

St. Louis

Chicago

San Jose






CENTRAL DIVISION PACIFIC DIVISION WILDCARD IN HUNT
1st
2nd
3rd
1st
2nd
3rd
WC1
WC2
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
MIN
COL
Points
99
99
95
95
94
90
91
85
82
Wins (ROW)
43
40
43
43
39
39
35
34
35
Games Left
6
6
6
6
7
6
6
6
6
Home
4
4
3
4
4
3
3
4
3
Road
2
2
3
2
3
3
3
2
3
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
MIN
 COL
Mar. 29
NSH
COL
@MIN
-
-
@VAN
@DAL
CHI
@STL
Mar. 30
-
-
-
-
CGY
-
-
-
-
Mar. 31
ARI
-
-
CGY
-
VAN
@PIT
OTT
-
Apr. 1
-
BOS
@WPG
-
VAN
-
-
@DET
WSH
Apr. 2
@LAK
-
-
-
-
@NSH
SJS
-
-
Apr. 3
@ANA
@COL
BOS
-
DAL
-
-
@WPG
STL
Apr. 4
-
ARI
-
@VAN
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 5
-
-
ARI
@CGY
WPG
@MIN
COL
SJS
@NSH
Apr. 6
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 7
COL
@CHI
STL
ANA
@LAK
WPG
ARI
-
@DAL
Apr. 8
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 9
NSH
WSH
@CBJ
WPG
@COL
ARI
@DAL
CGY
ANA
Apr. 10
-
-
-
-
@WSH
-
-
-
-
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
MIN
COL

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter 
@StarsInsideEdge.

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