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Playoff watch: More big points for Stars

Those points the Stars keep racking up are big because those teams below them aren’t going away. Calgary and Los Angeles both won last night and San Jose picked up a point to all stay within striking distance of the Stars.

But the Stars did add to their lead in some key areas with last night’s 1-0 win in Minnesota. They have a four point lead in the Pacific Division and they now lead that ninth place spot by five points.

The Stars can maintain those leads or possibly extend them with points in Winnipeg tonight.

“There’s no breaks,” Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said after Tuesday night’s win. “If you take your foot off the gas, someone is going to pass you. We need to just go game by game and collect points. That’s what this stretch drive is all about.”

The race for those final playoff spots in the Western Conference got even tighter last night. Only one point now separates 7th place and 11th place. The four teams ranked 8th through 11th – San Jose, Calgary, Los Angeles and Colorado – all have 78 points.

The Flames won their fourth straight game, beating the Sharks 3-2 in overtime last night. The struggling Sharks, thanks to the point they picked up for the OT loss, moved into the eighth spot based on fewer games played (points percentage).

Los Angeles beat Detroit, 5-2, to join that group at 78 points. The Kings have won five of their last seven games.

Colorado, which has played more games than the other three teams tied at 78 points, has a chance to move into eighth tonight if they can pick up points at Buffalo.

Phoenix, which is one point ahead of those four tied teams and four points behind the Stars, plays at Vancouver tonight.

Western Conference Playoff Race

The Western Conference playoff race. ROW = Regulation/Overtime wins. DIFF = goal differential.