Playoff watch: Stars can stay alive with win

The Dallas Stars can keep their playoff hopes alive tonight -- or they can be eliminated.

A win over the Nashville Predators will keep them alive and kicking for at least one more day. Here are the ways they can be eliminated from the race Thursday:

*A regulation loss against Nashville.

*An overtime loss against Nashville and a Los Angeles win over San Jose in overtime or shootout.

*An overtime loss against Nashville and a San Jose win over Los Angeles in regulation, overtime or shootout.

Also, if the Stars win and San Jose wins in overtime or a shootout, they’ll no longer be able to catch either the Sharks or Kings, so they would have to turn their attention to catching Phoenix, which doesn’t play its final two games until Friday (at St. Louis) and Saturday (at Minnesota).

Colorado is still in the hunt. The Avalanche need a win over Columbus tonight and they need to hope that San Jose loses in regulation.

Battle for the Pacific

A look at the race for the Pacific Division title and the Western Conference playoffs.

Western Conference Playoff Race

The Western Conference playoff race. ROW = Regulation/Overtime wins. DIFF = goal differential. x = clinched playoff spot. y = clinched division.