The math is simple for the Stars tonight when they take on the Blue Jackets.
Win, and their playoff hopes might remain alive.
Lose, and they’re done.
That’s the predominant storyline out of Dallas on Thursday as the 10th-place Stars (48 points) are facing a must-win against ninth-place Columbus (51).
If they can secure two points, they’ll be alive for Saturday’s season finale against Detroit — but only if the Wings lose in regulation tonight against Nashville.
“Desperation, do or die,” is how Jamie Benn described the situation to the Dallas Morning-News. “There are still four [points] out there that we can get, and you never know what can happen.”
The last part of Benn’s statement is all too true.
The Stars looked to be in good shape following a 5-1 win over Vancouver on Apr. 18. They were on 47 points, two back of then-eighth-place Columbus with two games in hand.
But what followed (an 0-2-1 stretch against St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Jose) has put them in a precarious situation.
Even if Dallas wins out, there’s still a chance it misses the postseason — it can only finish with a maximum of 52 points, a total Detroit’s currently sitting on and Columbus has two chances of surpassing (the Jackets play Nashville in their season finale on Saturday).
And, as mentioned above, the Wings can snuff out Dallas’ playoff hopes with a point tonight against the Preds.
Regardless of the situation, forward Eric Nystrom says the Stars will battle hard.
“We’re proud of the fact we’re giving everything we have,” he explained. “You look at this team, and it is a team.
“We are together and we are going to fight.”