Three straight victories has Dallas back in playoff race

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They may not have Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, or Brenden Morrow anymore, but that hasn’t stopped the Dallas Stars from making a late run at a playoff spot.

The Stars won their third straight on Tuesday, hammering the defending Stanley Cup champs, 5-1, at the American Airlines Center.

With the win, Dallas moved to within two points of eighth-place Detroit in the Western Conference standings, with both teams having nine games left on their schedules.

Over at Sports Club Stats, the Stars are being given a 22.1 percent shot of making the playoffs. A week ago, their odds were 3.0 percent.

Granted, while a two-point deficit in the standings doesn’t sound like much, the Stars have a very tough finish ahead of them. Of their nine remaining games, seven are against playoff teams.

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There’s also the health of starting goalie Kari Lehtonen to be concerned about. The 29-year-old was forced to leave last night’s game with a “mild” lower-body injury and will be reassessed today.

Backup Richard Bachman played well in relief of Lehtonen, stopping all 22 Los Angeles shots he faced.

“It was fun playing again, that’s for sure,” said Bachman. “Confidence-wise, it’s huge for me. And more importantly, I hope I gave them some confidence if they need to have me in there, that I can help get the job done.”

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