Stars gain ground on Coyotes for Wild Card spot after beating Jets

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The margin for error in the Western Conference lessened again on Monday.

The Dallas Stars moved to within one point of the Phoenix Coyotes for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference after hanging on to defeat the Winnipeg Jets by a final score of 2-1.

The Coyotes earned a single point in a overtime loss to the New York Rangers – goalie Mike Smith left the game late with a lower-body injury and was still being evaluated afterward – so they remain just barely ahead of the Stars, who have one game in hand.

“We all look up to see the out-of-town scores,” Stars’ veteran forward Ray Whitney told the Dallas Morning News. “Everybody these last three weeks will be doing that. We’re certainly watching what the other teams are doing.”

Even the Vancouver Canucks, with their struggles since the start of January and injury problems – the latest being Henrik Sedin – are still only four points back of Phoenix. Both the Coyotes and Stars have games in hand on Vancouver.

Both the Stars and Coyotes are in action on Tuesday. The Coyotes are on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Stars are in Chicago to play the Blackhawks.

Below is a short video refresher on the NHL’s playoff format this season.