Playoff watch: Stars build cushion

With their win last over Minnesota last night, the Stars kept the pressure on the teams behind them in race for that final spot to keep pace. The Stars also moved to within three points of seventh-seeded Phoenix.

A lot of those teams, including the Coyotes, have a game in hand on the Stars and play tonight. Calgary, which is two points behind the Stars, hosts Philadelphia. Los Angeles, also two behind, hosts Chicago. Jeff Carter, acquired by the Kings from Columbus, is expected to make his Los Angeles debut.

Colorado is a team to watch. The Avs have won three of four and are now in that group two points behind the Stars. They won at Columbus last night, but have a tough test with a game in Detroit tonight.

Even if some of these teams win tonight and pull even with the Stars in points, the Stars will continue to hold onto eighth place. There are no ties in the NHL standings. There are tiebreakers and the Stars hold those right now over the teams they are competing with for that final spot.