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Stars Vs. Wild, Final Score: Dallas Wins 4-1, Moves To Eighth Place In Western Conference Race

The Dallas Stars have won three in a row to keep pace in an intensifying battle for the Western Conference's eighth playoff spot, this time beating Minnesota 4-1. Goalie Kari Lehtonen had 28 saves and center Tom Wandell had two goals for the Stars, who officially moved into eighth place with the win over the Wild. Minnesota dropped to five points out of playoff contention.

The victory was the 1,500th in the Dallas Stars' franchise history, giving the Stars 68 points in 62 games played, and came on a night when Calgary and Los Angeles (tied for 66 points in 61 games) were idle. The Colorado Avalanche moved into a three-way tie for ninth place, earning their 66th point of the season with a 5-0 win over Columbus.

Dallas returns to the ice at home on Sunday to host the Vancouver Canucks, who will arrive at American Airlines Arena with the best record in the NHL.

For more on the Dallas Stars, check out Defending Big D. For Minnesota Wild news and info, head on over to Hockey Wilderness, and for all your NHL news, visit SB Nation's NHL page.

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