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2014 Playoff Tracker for April 9

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 10:00 AM
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2014 Playoff Tracker
2014 Playoff Tracker for April 9

The Dallas Stars' push to the playoffs took another step forward with their 3-2 shootout win over Nashville Tuesday night and Phoenix's 4-3 overtime loss at Columbus. The Stars now have a two point lead over the Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with three games remaining for both teams.

A two point lead is more than a two point lead for the Stars. That's because Phoenix has to make up those two points and another one to surpass the Stars in the standings because Dallas owns the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker (ROW) if the two teams end up tied.

The Stars' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four. Any combination of four points gained by the Stars or lost by the Coyotes will put the Stars in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. For example, the Stars’ magic number heading into Tuesday night was seven. They picked up two points and Phoenix lost one, dropping their magic number to four. If the Stars win tonight against Columbus, it drops to two. If they lose in overtime or a shootout, it will be three. If they fall in regulation to the Blue Jackets, it remains at four.

But there is still hockey to be played. The Stars path to get there isn't easy. They play Columbus Wednesday. It will be the Stars' fourth game in five nights and coach Lindy Ruff said Tuesday that fatigue in the team's play has been evident recently. Columbus is playing under some tough scheduling as well. They'll be playing the second night of a back-to-back with travel and this will be their fifth game in seven nights. Columbus is trying to clinch a playoff spot, so they'll be as motivated as the Stars. And Columbus will start the game with a 1-0 lead due to it being the completion of the game that was suspended on March 10.

Phoenix, which has now lost five games in a row (0-2-3), doesn't play againt until Thursday when they take on the Predators in Nashville. The Predators were eliminated from the playoff race with the loss to Dallas Tuesday night.

Minnesota rallied to beat Boston in a shootout, and clinched the first wild card spot in the West.

The Central Division is getting interesting. St. Louis lost to Washington Tuesday and Colorado defeated Edmonton. The Avalanche are now just two points behind the Blues for the top spot in the Central. The winner of the division avoids a first round matchup with Chicago and will play the second wild team, which right now is Dallas.

Tonight's other games

Anaheim hosts San Jose. The Ducks are three points ahead of the Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and only one point behind St. Louis for first overall in the West.

Chicago plays at Montreal. The Blackhawks are four points behind Colorado for second in the Central, but the Avalanche own the ROW tiebreaker.

Playoff chances

The Stars' playoff chances went up after their win and Phoenix's OT loss at Columbus.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars an 84.1 percent chance of getting into the playoffs. Phoenix is 15.9 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars an 83.9 percent chance. Phoenix is 16.1 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 79 52 20 7 111 43 65 L 4-1 vs. WSH  
2

x-Colorado

79 51 21 7 109 46 33 W 4-1 @ EDM  
3

x-Chicago

79 45 19 15 105 39 52   vs. MTL
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

79 51 20 8 110 49 52   vs. SJS
2

x-San Jose

79 49 21 9 107 39 47   @ ANA
3

x-Los Angeles

79 45 28 6 96 37 31   @ CGY
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Minnesota

80 42 26 12 96 34 3 W 4-3 (SO) vs. BOS  
2

Dallas

79 39 29 11 89 35 7 W 3-2 (SO) vs. NSH vs. CBJ
3

Phoenix

79 36 28 15 87 30 -13 L 4-3 (OT) @ CBJ  
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. Dallas (wild card with fewest points) and Colorado vs. Chicago. The winner of St. Louis-Dallas would play the winner of Colorado-Chicago in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have Anaheim (division winner with second-most points) vs. Minnesota (wild card with most points) and San Jose vs. Los Angeles. The winner of Anaheim-Minnesota would play the winner of San Jose-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of teams 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

 

2. Dallas

3. Phoenix

Points

89

87

ROW

35

30

Games Remaining

3

3

Home

2

2

Road

1

1

Apr 9

vs. CBJ

 

Apr 10

 

@ NSH

Apr 11

vs. STL

 

Apr 12

 

vs. SJS

Apr 13

@ PHX

vs. DAL

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 23 14 4 5 63 56 33
2 VAN 22 15 6 1 67 61 31
3 NSH 21 14 5 2 61 45 30
4 STL 22 14 6 2 59 46 30
5 CGY 24 14 8 2 75 64 30
6 LAK 23 12 6 5 64 53 29
7 CHI 22 13 8 1 66 46 27
8 WPG 24 12 9 3 51 54 27
9 MIN 21 12 9 0 58 48 24
10 SJS 24 10 10 4 62 66 24
11 DAL 22 9 9 4 64 74 22
12 ARI 23 9 11 3 57 71 21
13 COL 23 8 10 5 59 73 21
14 EDM 22 6 14 2 51 77 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 22 17 11 6 28
J. Benn 22 8 12 4 20
J. Spezza 22 4 15 -6 19
A. Roussel 22 5 7 -3 12
T. Daley 22 5 6 -10 11
C. Eakin 19 4 5 2 9
A. Goligoski 22 0 9 2 9
J. Klingberg 8 3 5 6 8
R. Garbutt 19 3 5 -5 8
E. Cole 21 4 3 -3 7
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 9 5 4 .908 2.93
A. Lindback 0 4 0 .845 4.52
 
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