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Playoff Race: Stars with another chance to clinch playoff spot today

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars’ opportunity to clinch a playoff spot didn’t materialize Saturday. The Stars did their part in defeating the New York Islanders Saturday night, but when Minnesota defeated Carolina in a shootout Saturday afternoon, it meant the Stars would have to wait another day for a chance.

That next chance comes tonight and again it will require a Minnesota loss. If Minnesota loses to Chicago in regulation tonight, then the Stars would clinch a playoff spot. If Minnesota wins or gets one point, then the Stars will have to wait until Tuesday to officially be in the playoffs.

As for the playoff positioning, the Stars, who are 5-1-2 in their past eight games, stayed two points ahead of St. Louis in the race for the top spot in the Central Division with last night’s 3-0 win over the Islanders. The Blues got back on track in Vancouver last night. After allowing 13 goals over their previous two games, the Blues shutout the Canucks, 3-0. The Blues wrap up their road trip Tuesday in San Jose. The Stars are five points ahead of Chicago.

The Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff spot last night with their 2-1 win over Boston and Arizona’s loss to Tampa Bay. Los Angeles is guaranteed a playoff spot since it can finish no lower than third in the Pacific Division. The Kings also remained two points behind the Stars for the top spot in the Western Conference and have two games in hand.

San Jose pulled to within one point of Anaheim for second place in the Pacific Division with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. Both the Sharks and Ducks play tonight. The Sharks host Arizona and the Ducks play at Winnipeg.

It’s a key night in the battle for the second wild-card spot. Colorado, which has a one-point lead over Minnesota, plays at Edmonton. And, as mentioned earlier, the Wild play at Chicago.


Dallas 3, NY Islanders 0

St. Louis 3, Vancouver 0

Minnesota 3, Carolina 2 (SO)

Los Angeles 2, Boston 1

San Jose 4, NY Rangers 1


Minnesota at Chicago

Anaheim at Winnipeg

Arizona vs. San Jose

Colorado at Edmonton







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
90
93
87
86
85
78
77
Wins (ROW)
41
37
41
42
36
37
33
33
31
Games Left
9
9
10
11
12
11
10
10
10
Home
4
5
5
5
4
8
7
5
6
Road
5
4
5
6
8
3
3
5
4
                   
 
DAL
STL
CHI
LAK
ANA
SJS
NSH
COL
 MIN
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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