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Playoff Race: Stars can clinch playoff spot with win over Chicago

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars will have another chance to clinch a playoff spot when they hit the ice Tuesday night in Chicago. Any kind of win over the Blackhawks – whether it is in regulation, overtime or a shootout – would put the Stars in the playoffs for the second time in the past three years.

There are other ways the Stars could clinch Tuesday without a win over Chicago. Those are:

*If the Stars get one point against the Blackhawks and Minnesota loses to Los Angeles tonight in any fashion.

*Or If the Wild lose to the Kings in regulation.

As for the Central Division race, the three top teams all are playing Tuesday. Obviously, the Stars and Chicago go head-to-head in the key matchup of the night. The Stars have a chance to put some distance between themselves and the Blackhawks. Chicago has a chance to pull to with two points of the Stars with a regulation win. Meanwhile, St. Louis plays at San Jose. The Blues wrap up a five-game road trip tonight and will need two points to keep pace with the winner of the Stars-Chicago game.

The Los Angeles Kings had a chance to tie the Stars at 95 points last night and take over the top spot in the Western Conference based on tiebreakers, but they couldn’t get by Nashville. The Predators snapped the Kings’ seven-game points streak with a 5-2 win. The Predators, who are 12-2-5 in their past 19 games, moved to within four points of Chicago for third place in the Central. The Kings still trail the Stars by two points and have one game in hand.

As mentioned above, Minnesota hosts the Kings tonight. The Wild have a chance to move ahead of Colorado and into the second wild-card spot with a win.

Anaheim (at Montreal) and San Jose (vs. St. Louis) both play tonight. The Ducks and Sharks are battling for second in the Pacific, and both are still within striking of distance the first-place Kings.


Nashville 5, Los Angeles 2


Dallas at Chicago

St. Louis at San Jose

Los Angeles at Minnesota

Anaheim at Montreal






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
87
80
79
Wins (ROW)
41
37
41
42
37
38
34
34
31
Games Left
9
9
9
10
11
10
9
9
9
Home
4
5
4
5
4
7
6
5
6
Road
5
4
5
5
7
3
3
4
3
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
 MIN
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
-
-
DAL
-
@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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