West update: Stars blow lead yet still improve hold on wild card spot

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Let’s take a look at a night in which a lot of West teams lost, which softens the blow for the Dallas Stars, who would probably regret a 4-3 shootout loss in which they held a 3-1 lead a lot more otherwise.

  • OK, already kind of summarized it, but Dallas saw a 3-1 margin disintegrate into a shootout loss. Tim Thomas lost his first game as a Stars goalie; he might not be the go-to guy much longer with Kari Lehtonen nearing a return.
  • The Winnipeg Jets found themselves beat up and beaten as the New York Rangers topped them 4-2. The Jets’ outlook seems increasingly glum with a 2-4-4 record in their last 10 games.
  • The Nashville Predators are one point behind the Jets, yet things seems more positive with them, as Pekka Rinne has looked strong in his return from injury and they’ve won three in a row … including a 3-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight.
  • The Vancouver Canucks rank ahead of both the Jets and Predators. Even so, their situation seems the darkest of the three, with the reasons seemingly fairly straightforward. Washington beat them 4-3 tonight.
  • Above the wild card races, the San Jose Sharks won their fifth game in a row by beating the New York Islanders 4-3, yet the Anaheim Ducks moved above them in the Pacific Division via a wild 6-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche.
  • In the Central Division, both the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks lost in regulation, so the Avs remain one point ahead for second in the Central.

Need to see things in standings terms? Here’s the updated picture via NHL.com:

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