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Playoff Race: Stars, Blues separated by a tiebreaker

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

With two weeks and six games remaining in the regular season, the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues are separated by just a tiebreaker in the race for the top spot in the Central Division.

Both teams hit the 99-point mark Saturday with regulation wins. The Stars won 4-2 at San Jose, giving them four wins in their past five games (4-1-0) and a 7-2-2 mark in their past 11 games. The Blues won their fourth straight game – all by shutout – with a 4-0 win at Washington. The Blues are 10-2-0 in their past 12 games.

Although both teams have 99 points, the Stars still sit in first place by way of the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker, which the Stars lead 43-40. Both teams have six games left – four at home and two on the road. They do not play each other the rest of the way. The next game for both teams is Tuesday. The Stars host Nashville and the Blues host Colorado.

The third-place Chicago Blackhawks won, 4-1, at Calgary last night, so they didn't lose any ground to the Stars and Blues. The Blackhawks are six points back and have one game in hand, which they play tonight at Vancouver. A win over the struggling Canucks would leave the Blackhawks four points back, but it would be a tough task for them to leap over two teams to win the division.

The Blackhawks remained two points ahead of hard-charging Nashville, which rolled over Columbus, 5-1, last night. The Predators, who hold the first wild-card spot, are 14-2-5 in their past 21 games and are playing as well as anybody over the past month-and-a-half.

Minnesota took control of the race for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with a 4-0 win at Colorado Saturday afternoon. The Wild lead the Avalanche by five points. Colorado has one game in hand, but the Avalanche have a formidable schedule down the stretch, including Nashville twice, St. Louis twice and Dallas once.

Los Angeles and Anaheim both won Saturday, so the Kings still hold a three-point edge over the Ducks for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Kings are four points behind the Stars and Blues for best record in the West with one game in hand. The Sharks lost ground yesterday and are starting to look like they will remain the third seed in the Pacific.


Dallas 4, San Jose 2

St. Louis 4, Washington 0

Chicago 4, Calgary 1

Nashville 5, Columbus 1

Minnesota 4, Colorado 0

Los Angeles 6, Edmonton 4

Anaheim 4, Ottawa 3 (OT)


Chicago at Vancouver


Dallas

Los Angeles

Anaheim

St. Louis






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
93
95
92
88
91
85
80
Wins (ROW)
43
40
42
43
38
38
35
34
34
Games Left
6
6
7
7
8
7
7
6
7
Home
4
4
3
4
4
4
4
4
3
Road
2
2
4
3
4
3
3
2
4
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
MIN
 COL
Mar. 27
-
-
@VAN
-
-
-
-
-
-
Mar. 28
-
-
-
@SJS
@EDM
LAK
COL
-
@NSH
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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