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2014 Playoff Tracker for March 26

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 10:28 AM
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2014 Playoff Tracker
2014 Playoff Tracker for March 26
The Stars lost ground in the playoff race Tuesday. Their 4-2 loss at Chicago coupled with Phoenix's 3-2 victory at Pittsburgh left the Stars three points behind the Coyotes for the final spot in the Western Conference. The Stars still have one game in hand and a head-to-head matchup with the Coyotes on the final day of the regular season, so at this point they still control their own destiny. Of course, so do the Coyotes.

Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith, who was injured in Monday's game against the New York Rangers, is currently listed as day to day with a lower body injury. Backup Thomas Greiss stopped 23 of 25 shots in Tuesday's victory over Pittsburgh and is expected to start when the Coyotes conclude their three-game road trip in New Jersey on Thursday.

With their win over the Stars Tuesday, Chicago maintained a three point lead over Colorado for second place in the Central Division. Colorado won 5-4 in a shootout over Nashville Tuesday. With the shootout loss, Nashville is now seven points out of the final playoff spot with nine games to play. The Predators are still mathematically alive, but they have almost no chance at this point.

San Jose defeated Edmonton, pushing their lead over Anaheim to four points in the race for first in the Pacific Division. The Sharks have played three more games than the Ducks. San Jose is two points away from St. Louis for the best record in the Western Conference, but they have played two more games than St. Louis.

Los Angeles won its fourth straight game, defeating Washington, 5-4, in a shootout. The Kings are locked into the third spot in the Pacific Division.

Tonight's games

Vancouver plays at Minnesota. The Canucks are six points behind Phoenix for the final playoff spot, so their chances of getting are slim at this point. Wednesday's game kicks off a key back-to-back that will conclude with a game at Colorado on Thursday. The Canucks will be without Henrik Sedin and Alexandre Burrows is banged up as well, but wins in these next two will keeps their hopes alive. Minnesota hasn’t wrapped up anything as far as a playoff spot, but every point they get moves them closer.

Anaheim plays at Calgary. The Ducks, who clinched a playoff spot when the Stars lost to Chicago, are four points behind San Jose for the top spot in the Pacific Division and they have three games in hand. The Ducks play four games over the next six days while the Sharks play two during that span, giving them a chance to start making the most of those games in hand.

Playoff chances

The Stars playoff chances dropped after Tuesday's games, according to the websites that put numbers to these matters.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report puts the Stars' chances at 49.3 percent, down from 64.0 percent the day before.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 37.3 percent chance of making the playoffs, down from 55.4 percent the previous day.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-St. Louis

72

49

16

7

105

41

70

W 5-3 @ TOR

 
2

Chicago

73

42

16

15

99

37

56

W 4-2 vs. DAL

 
3

Colorado

72

44

21

6

96

41

23

W 5-4 (SO) @ NSH

 
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-San Jose

74

47

18

9

103

37

50

W 5-2 @ EDM

 
2

x-Anaheim

71

46

18

7

99

44

48

 

@ CGY 

3

Los Angeles

73

42

25

6

90

34

27

W 5-4 (SO) @ WSH

 
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

72

37

24

11

85

30

2

 

vs. VAN

2

Phoenix

73

35

26

12

82

30

-5

W 3-2 @ PIT

 
3

Dallas

72

34

27

11

79

31

-4

L 4-2 @ CHI

 
4

Vancouver

73

33

30

10

76

28

-20

 

 @ MIN

5

Nashville

73

31

31

10

73

30

-41

L 5-4 (SO) vs. CO

 
6

Winnipeg

73

32

32

9

73

26

-11

 

 

x - clinched playoff spot

Playoff format

The playoff format this season has changed due to realignment. The playoffs are now divisional. In the first round, the division winner with the most points will play the wild card team with the fewest points. The division leader with the second-most points will play the wild card team with the most points. The second-place team in each division will play the third-place team in each division. The wild card teams will stay in the division they play in the first round.

For example, if the playoffs started today: The Central Division playoff would have St. Louis (division winner with most points) vs. Phoenix (wild card with fewest points) and Chicago vs. Colorado. The winner of St. Louis-Phoenix would play the winner of Chicago-Colorado in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have San Jose vs. Minnesota and Anaheim vs. Los Angeles. The winner of San Jose-Minnesota would play the winner of Anaheim-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of seeds after each round, it is bracket play leading up to the conference finals.

The Western and Eastern conference champions, of course, then play for the Stanley Cup.

Wild card playoff race schedules

 

1. Minnesota

2. Phoenix

3. Dallas

4. Vancouver

5. Nashville

6. Winnipeg

Points

85

82

79

76

72

73

ROW

30

30

31

28

30

26

Games Remaining

10

9

10

9

10

9

Home

5

5

4

6

5

3

Road

5

4

6

3

5

6

Mar 26

vs. VAN

 

 

@ MIN

 

 

Mar 27

@ STL

@ NJD

 

@ COL

vs. BUF

@ SJS

Mar 28

 

 

vs. NSH

 

@ DAL

 

Mar 29

@ PHX

vs. MIN

@STL

vs. ANA

 

@ LAK

Mar 30

 

 

 

 

vs. WSH

 

Mar 31

@ LAK

 

 

 

 

@ ANA

Apr 1

 

vs. WPG

@ WSH

vs. NYR

 

@ PHX

Apr 2

 

@LAK

 

 

 

 

Apr 3

@ CHI

 

@ CAR

 

 

vs. PIT

Apr 4

 

vs. EDM

 

 

@ ANA

 

Apr 5

vs. PIT

 

@ TBL

vs. LAK

@ SJS

@ TOR

Apr 6

 

 

@ FLA

 

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

vs. ANA

 

vs. MIN

Apr 8

vs. BOS

@ CBJ

vs. NSH

 

@ DAL

 

Apr 9

 

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

@ NSH

 

vs. COL

vs. PHX

vs. BOS

Apr 11

 

 

vs. STL

 

 

@ CGY

Apr 12

 

vs. SJS

 

@ EDM

vs. CHI

 

Apr 13

vs. NSH

vs. DAL

@ PHX

vs. CGY

@ MIN

 

 

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