West update: Stars gain charity point in loss to Kings

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The good news for the Dallas Stars is that they’re still in the Western Conference playoff hunt after gaining a point from a 4-3 OT loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. The bad news is that they might just need to be perfect after they missed out on the second point.

Here’s how the West looks after a wild night of action:

7. Minnesota: 51 points with three games left (20 regulation/overtime wins)
8. Columbus: 51 points with two games left (17 ROW)
9. Detroit: 48 points with four games left (18 ROW)
10. Dallas: 48 points with three games left (20 ROW)*

Things look dire for the Stars out of context, but their schedule means that they can have a big impact on the West race. After facing division rivals San Jose on Tuesday, the Stars host the Blue Jackets on Thursday and the Red Wings on Saturday.

Let’s look at the other teams’ schedules really quick to give you an idea about how the last week might shake out:

Minnesota

April 23: home vs. Los Angeles
April 26: home vs. Edmonton
April 27: at Colorado

Columbus

April 25: at Dallas
April 27: home vs. Nashville

Detroit

April 22: home vs. Phoenix
April 24: home vs. Los Angeles
April 25: home vs. Nashville
April 27: at Dallas

So, as you can see, the Stars (along with the Kings and Predators) can influence how things shake out. In fact, they might even be able to muscle their way in.

* – The Phoenix Coyotes are hovering around the picture with 46 points and four games left (15 ROW).