Central race update: March 26

March, 26, 2014
Powers By Scott Powers
Here's a look at where the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues stand in the Central Division race as of Wednesday morning:

1. Blues

Record: 49-16-7
Points: 105
Regulation wins (tiebreaker): 41
Games remaining: 10 (seven home, three away)
Last game: The Blues built a 4-1 lead and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. David Backes provided three goals for St. Louis.
Next three games: Vs. Minnesota Wild (37-24-11) on Thursday, vs. Dallas Stars (34-27-11) on Saturday, vs. Philadelphia Flyers (38-26-7) on Tuesday.
Outlook: The Blues won their second game in a row and continue to be in the driver’s seat in the Central. They have the advantage of playing seven of their last 10 games at home.

2. Blackhawks

Record: 42-16-15
Points: 99
Regulation wins: 37
Games remaining: 9 (three home, six away)
Last game: The Blackhawks got a late scare against the Stars on Tuesday, but they pulled out a 4-2 win. Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp continued to put up offensive numbers in the win.
Next three games: At Boston Bruins (49-17-6) on Thursday, at Ottawa Senators (29-29-15) on Friday, at Pittsburgh Penguins (46-21-5) on Sunday.
Outlook: The Blackhawks bounced back from their loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday. It was especially important considering the Blues and Avalanche won as well.

3. Avalanche

Record: 45-21-6
Points: 96
Regulation wins: 41
Games remaining: 10 (four home, six away)
Last game: The Avalanche trailed three times against the Predators on Tuesday, but still found a way to win in a shootout. It was Colorado’s first win in four games.
Next three games: Vs. Vancouver Canucks (33-30-10) on Thursday, vs. San Jose Sharks (47-18-9) on Saturday, at Columbus Blue Jackets (37-29-6) on Tuesday.
Outlook: The Avalanche had to win Tuesday to get back on track. Now they face the Canucks on Thursday. They’ll see the Canucks twice in the season’s final weeks. The Avalanche lost to them 3-1 earlier in the season.

Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.



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Patrick Kane
64 27 37 10
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 23
GAAC. Crawford 2.29