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2012 NHL Western Conference Standings: Stars Back Atop Pacific Division, For Now

The Dallas Stars have once again vaulted from the edge of playoff contention to a comfortable third place, thanks to a 3-1 win at Edmonton on Wednesday night. Dallas' 89 points return them the slim Pacific Division lead, ahead of Los Angeles and San Jose, both with 88 points, and both occupying the last two playoff slots in the West, with Phoenix right behind them at 87 points.

The bad news for the Stars is they have the toughest road left - after the win over the Oilers, Dallas has all of its games remaining against playoff teams, including a two-game stretch vs. San Jose that could decide the Pacific, as well as Vancouver, Nashville and top seeded St. Louis.

Western Standings

GP W-L-OT Pts
St. Louis Blues 77 48-20-9 105
Vancouver Canucks 77 47-21-9 103
Dallas Stars 77 42-30-5 89
Detroit Red Wings 77 46-26-5 97
Nashville Predators 77 44-25-8 96
Chicago Blackhawks 77 42-26-9 93
Los Angeles Kings 77 38-27-12 88
San Jose Sharks 77 39-28-10 88
Phoenix Coyotes 77 37-27-13 87
Colorado Avalanche 79 40-33-6 86
Calgary Flames 78 35-28-15 85
Anaheim Ducks 77 33-33-11 77
Minnesota Wild 76 31-35-10 72
Edmonton Oilers 77 31-37-9 71
Columbus Blue Jackets 77 25-45-7 57

For more on the Dallas Stars, check out Defending Big D and SB Nation's NHL page.

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