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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 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 61 23 37 -1 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 61 14 37 -3 51
E. Cole 56 18 14 4 32
J. Klingberg 47 10 22 4 32
T. Daley 58 16 15 -11 31
A. Hemsky 55 9 17 -7 26
A. Goligoski 61 2 24 4 26
C. Eakin 58 12 13 -3 25
A. Roussel 59 11 11 -11 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 9 .906 2.96
J. Enroth 13 24 2 .900 3.31
 
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