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Playoff Race: Stars have a chance to clinch a playoff spot today

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars could clinch a playoff spot Saturday, but it will involve more than just winning a game. They need something else to happen first.

If Minnesota loses this afternoon in regulation against Carolina and the Stars win in regulation or overtime (but not in a shootout) against the Islanders tonight, the Stars would then clinch a playoff spot. If Minnesota wins in any fashion or loses in overtime or a shootout, the Stars would have to wait until another day for an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot. So, we’ll see what happens with Minnesota this afternoon and go from there.

Chicago won, 4-0, at Winnipeg last night to snap a four-game losing streak (0-3-1). The Blackhawks, who are third in the Central Division, pulled to within one point of second-place St. Louis and three behind the Stars in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks also moved five points ahead of Nashville, which lost, 4-1, at Washington Friday. It was just the second regulation loss in the past 18 games (11-2-5) for Nashville, which is pretty secure in that first wild-card spot in the West.

The Blues continue their five-game road trip tonight in Vancouver. The Blues got off to a good start on the trip last Saturday with the 5-4 overtime win over the Stars. It’s gone downhill since. They’ve lost to Calgary (7-4) and Edmonton (6-4).

Colorado rallied to tie in the third period and then defeated Calgary in a shootout. The Avalanche pulled three points ahead of Minnesota in the race for the second wild-card spot in the West. Colorado is 4-1-0 over its past five games and 5-2-0 over the past seven. The Wild, as mentioned earlier, play Carolina this afternoon with a chance to pull back within one.

In the Pacific Division, Anaheim defeated Boston, 4-0, Friday. The Ducks pulled to within two points of division-leading Los Angeles and moved five points ahead of third-place San Jose. The Kings and Sharks both play Saturday. Los Angeles hosts Boston, and San Jose hosts the New York Rangers.


Washington 4, Nashville 1

Chicago 4, Winnipeg 0

Colorado 4, Calgary 3 (SO)

Anaheim 4, Boston 0


NY Islanders at Dallas

St. Louis at Vancouver

Carolina at Minnesota

Boston at Los Angeles

NY Rangers at San Jose







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
93
91
90
91
87
84
85
78
75
Wins (ROW)
40
36
41
41
36
36
33
33
31
Games Left
10
10
10
12
12
12
10
10
11
Home
5
5
5
6
4
9
7
5
7
Road
5
5
5
6
8
3
3
5
4
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
 MIN
Mar. 19
NYI
@VAN
-
BOS
-
NYR
-
-
CAR
Mar. 20
-
-
MIN
-
@WPG
ARI
-
@EDM
@CHI
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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