Feb 24, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) congratulates goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) after their win over the Minnesota Wild at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Wild 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
The Stars have gained ground - and a spot in the playoff race - on four teams fighting to round out the playoff roster in the NHL's Western Conference.
Don't call it "breathing room" just yet, but the Dallas Stars' hot streak has pushed them out of a three (and sometimes four) team battle for the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference for the seventh slot, vaulting past San Jose with a 3-2 overtime win over Calgary.
The two points, combined with San Jose's 3-1 loss against the Blues on Saturday night, gives the Stars 75 points and a two-point lead over the Sharks, who fell to eighth place. Only four points separate 8th and 11th place in the Western Conference, with San Jose (73) now trying to hold off Los Angeles (72), Colorado (72) and the Flames (70), who earned a point in the overtime loss to Dallas.
Dallas is only four points away from sixth place Chicago, but will have to maintain their lead and/or catch Chicago with a tough week ahead: the Stars travel Western Conference leading Vancouver Tuesday, then host the Sharks and red hot Anaheim Ducks later this week.
|St. Louis Blues||66||41-18-7||89|
|Detroit Red Wings||66||43-20-3||89|
|San Jose Sharks||64||33-24-7||73|
|Los Angeles Kings||65||30-23-12||72|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||65||20-38-7||47|