Dallas Stars take top spot in Central (and West), draw Minnesota Wild

AP
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The Dallas Stars ended their season edging one Central Division team (the Nashville Predators) to win the Central Division over the St. Louis Blues.

For their troubles, they’ll face another Central Division team in the Minnesota Wild after grabbing the division crown, and with that, the top seed in the Western Conference.

That means that the Stars will hold home-ice advantage for every round unless they face off against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals. (They’d probably be OK with that deal, too, being that they’d be in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final in that scenario.)

By grabbing the Central Division crown, the Stars avoid facing the Chicago Blackhawks, who will instead take on the St. Louis Blues.

The obvious historical tie-in between the Stars and Wild comes from the dissolution of the Minnesota North Stars (who, of course, became the Dallas Stars). For plenty of fans, especially in Minnesota, that will be something in the back of their minds.

On the other hand, it’s a match between a dominant-if-unproven Stars team against a Wild club that clawed into the playoffs … and then sputtered toward the end.