The Dallas Stars lost to the Florida Panthers today, which means that just a point separates them and the Phoenix Coyotes in the battle for the final Wild Card spot.
Both teams have four games left to play and will face each other in one of the last games of the regular season. In other words, the winner of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference might not be determined until the last possible minute.
Although those are the only two teams in the Western Conference still in a serious battle for a playoff spot, there’s a lot of teams competing for positioning and today’s contests had implications in that regard:
- The St. Louis Blues dropped their game against the Blackhawks. They are still in a strong position in the battle for the Central Division title, but the Blues have fallen behind in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy. They also missed an opportunity to pull ahead as they compete for the top seed in the Western Conference.
- Anaheim suffered a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks have just a one-point lead on San Jose in the fight for the Pacific Division title, although Anaheim has played in one less contest and has a commanding lead in the tiebreaker (wins minus shootout victories).
- Chicago’s win keeps them in the running for the second seed in the Central Division. They also got help from Pittsburgh, which defeated the Colorado Avalanche in a shootout.
Here’s the updated Western Conference standings: