Playoff update: Hawks inch closer

Every day between now and the end of the regular season I’ll update you on the playoff race as it relates to the Chicago Blackhawks:

Three games had an effect on the idle Hawks on Saturday, and all three produced positive outcomes as Chicago inched even closer to clinching a playoff position.

The Dallas Stars fell 3-1to the Los Angele Kings and remain five points behind the Hawks for the final playoff spot. The Hawks and Stars have five games remaining on their schedule. Calgary had the day off and remains just three points behind the Hawks for the No. 8 seed, but the Flames have just three games left.

In addition to the Stars losing, the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators blew leads in their respective games allowing Chicago to stay within striking distance of both those teams.

The Ducks are stuck on 93 points after losing 4-2 to San Jose. Nashville was up 3-0 on Detroit only to fall 4-3 in overtime. They have 95 points but have played two more games than the Hawks who have 92 points. The Predators are the No. 6 seed, the Ducks are No. 7.

Seeds 7-10 are all in action Sunday. The Hawks will host the Tampa Bay Lightning while the Ducks host the Stars and Calgary is in Colorado. By the end of the night the Hawks could be seventh in the conference but cannot drop out of the top eight.