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2012 NHL Playoff Race: Stars Not Officially Out Of The Picture Yet

There's no denying that Tuesday night's 5-2 San Jose win in Dallas dealt a huge blow to the Stars' playoff chances, but they're not officially eliminated (yet).

Western Standings

Vancouver Canucks 80 50-21-9 109
St. Louis Blues 79 48-21-10 106
Los Angeles Kings 80 40-27-13 93
Nashville Predators 80 46-26-8 100
Detroit Red Wings 79 47-27-5 99
Chicago Blackhawks 80 44-26-10 98
Phoenix Coyotes 80 40-27-13 93
San Jose Sharks 80 41-29-10 92
Dallas Stars 80 42-33-5 89
Colorado Avalanche 80 41-33-6 88
Calgary Flames 80 35-29-16 86
Minnesota Wild 80 34-35-11 79
Anaheim Ducks 80 33-35-12 78
Edmonton Oilers 80 32-39-9 73
Columbus Blue Jackets 80 27-46-7 61

Dallas now trails the Sharks by three points, meaning they'd need to win out with only two games remaining, and hope the Sharks lose in regulation twice. Dallas' final two games are rough - they'll travel to Nashville on Thursday, where the Predators are still fighting to clinch the No. 4 seed and home ice in the first round. After that they'll host No. 2 seed St. Louis, who has wrapped up the Central Division but are still one of the best and most agressive teams in the league.

San Jose will close their season with a Thursday/Saturday two-game series with the L.A. Kings, who they could still leap over for a No. 3 overall seed with the Pacific Division title.

The worst situation for Dallas would be a split of the series - if either team loses both games in regulation, Dallas could still sneak into the playoffs.

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

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