Central race update: March 29

March, 29, 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 Saturday afternoon:

1. Blues

Record: 50-16-7
Points: 107
Regulation wins (tiebreaker): 42
Games remaining: 9 (six home, three away)
Last game: The Blues put up five goals for the second consecutive game and defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Thursday. T.J. Oshie scored three goals for St. Louis.
Next three games: Vs. Dallas Stars (34-27-11) on Saturday, vs. Philadelphia Flyers (38-27-7) on Tuesday, vs. Buffalo Sabres (20-45-8) on Thursday.
Outlook: The Blues have the division nearly wrapped up. Their continued motivation is the Presidents’ Trophy, which they’re currently leading the Boston Bruins for by one point.

2. Blackhawks

Record: 42-18-15
Points: 99
Regulation wins: 37
Games remaining: 7 (three home, four away)
Last game: The Blackhawks allowed five regulation goals for the first since Dec. 28 in their 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw accumulated 17 penalty minutes in the loss and has 29 penalty minutes for the month.
Next three games: At Pittsburgh Penguins (47-22-5) on Sunday, vs. Wild (37-26-11) on Thursday, at Columbus Blue Jackets (37-30-6) on Friday.
Outlook: The Blackhawks have some issues right now. They’re 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. They’ve dropped their last four road games and face another tough opponent on the road in the Penguins on Sunday.

3. Avalanche

Record: 46-21-6
Points: 98
Regulation wins: 42
Games remaining: 9 (three home, six away)
Last game: The Avalanche won their second consecutive game with a 3-2 overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. The Avalanche improved to 25-4-6 in one-goal games.
Next three games: Vs. San Jose Sharks (47-19-9) on Saturday, at Blue Jackets (37-30-6) on Tuesday, vs. New York Rangers (41-30-4) on Thursday.
Outlook: The Blackhawks have opened the door for the Avalanche to move into second place in the Central. The Avalanche are one point behind and have played two less games.
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 27
GAAC. Crawford 2.31