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Playoff Race: March 21

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Stars’ chance to clinch a playoff spot fell through for a second straight day. Minnesota won again but this time they did the Stars a favor by knocking off Chicago, 3-2, in a shootout Sunday night.

The shootout loss left the Blackhawks four points behind the Stars with nine games to go in the battle for the top spot in the Central Division. St. Louis, which was idle Sunday, remained two back of the Stars and two ahead of the Blackhawks.

As for clinching a playoff spot, the next opportunity for the Stars will be Tuesday. There will be a few ways it can happen, including with a Stars win in Chicago as they open a three-game road trip.

Sunday’s win in Chicago was a key one for Minnesota, which stayed within one point of Colorado in the race for the second wild-card spot in the West. The Avalanche won 3-2 over Edmonton Sunday. Both Colorado and Minnesota have nine games left and they meet this Saturday in Denver.

Anaheim and San Jose both won Sunday, so the Ducks and Sharks remain separated by one point in the race for second place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim is four points behind division-leading Los Angeles and the Sharks are five back.

The Kings play Nashville in the only game of note on Monday. The Kings can tie the Stars at 95 points with a win and move into first place in the West based on both points percentage (fewer games played) and the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker. The better record among the two division winners is important because it will determine playoff matchups.


Minnesota 3, Chicago 2 (SO)

Colorado 3, Edmonton 2

Anaheim 3, Winnipeg 2 (OT)

San Jose 3, Arizona 0


Los Angeles at Nashville







CENTRAL DIVISION PACIFIC DIVISION WILDCARD IN HUNT
1st
2nd
3rd
1st
2nd
3rd
WC1
WC2
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
MIN
Points
95
93
91
93
89
88
85
80
79
Wins (ROW)
41
37
41
42
37
38
33
34
31
Games Left
9
9
9
11
11
10
10
9
9
Home
4
5
4
5
4
7
7
5
6
Road
5
4
5
6
7
3
3
4
3
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
 MIN
Mar. 21
-
-
-
@NSH
-
-
LAK
-
-
Mar. 22
@CHI
@SJS
DAL
@MIN
@MTL
STL
-
-
LAK
Mar. 23
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Mar. 24
@ARI
-
-
@WPG
@TOR
EDM
VAN
PHI
CGY
Mar. 25
-
VAN
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Mar. 26
@SJS
@WSH
@CGY
EDM
@OTT
DAL
CBJ
MIN
@COL
Mar. 27
-
-
@VAN
-
-
-
-
-
-
Mar. 28
-
-
-
@SJS
@EDM
LAK
COL
@NSH
-
Mar. 29
NSH
COL
@MIN
-
-
@VAN
@DAL
@STL
CHI
Mar. 30
-
-
-
-
CGY
-
-
-
-
Mar. 31
ARI
-
-
CGY
-
VAN
@PIT
-
OTT
Apr. 1
-
BOS
@WPG
-
VAN
-
-
WSH
@DET
Apr. 2
@LAK
-
-
-
-
@NSH
SJS
-
-
Apr. 3
@ANA
@COL
BOS
-
DAL
-
-
STL
@WPG
Apr. 4
-
ARI
-
@VAN
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 5
-
-
ARI
@CGY
WPG
@MIN
COL
@NSH
SJS
Apr. 6
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 7
COL
@CHI
STL
ANA
@LAK
WPG
ARI
@DAL
-
Apr. 8
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Apr. 9
NSH
WSH
@CBJ
WPG
@COL
ARI
@DAL
ANA
CGY
Apr. 10
-
-
-
-
@WSH
-
-
-
-
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
MIN

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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