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NHL Playoff Picture: Blackhawks, Ducks Hurt Stars Playoff Chances With Wins

The Dallas Stars were off Wednesday night, but it wound up being one of their worst nights this season. That's because the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks - both teams in front of them for the last two West playoff spots - pulled off wins. The Ducks avenged their recent loss to the Sharks by blowing them out 6-2.

The Hawks had a much tighter proposition, as they needed an overtime goal by Jonathan Toews to earn the two points. The end result ws the same for the Stars, as both teams moved to within two points of clinching playoff spots with two games remaining and added non-shootout wins to their totals. Anaheim will end the season with two against the Los Angeles Kings, while the Hawks have a home-and-home against the Red Wings.

Meanwhile, the Stars attempt to force both teams to get those two points to clinch by winning their last three. They face the Colorado Avalanche twice, starting tonight, then end the season in Minnesota.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.