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Central race update: March 31

3/31/2014

Here's a look at where the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues stand in the Central Division race as of Monday:

1. Blues

Record: 50-17-7

Points: 107

Regulation wins (tiebreaker): 42

Games remaining: 8 (five home, three away)

Last game: The Blues had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

Next three games: vs. Philadelphia Flyers (39-27-8) on Tuesday, vs. Buffalo Sabres (20-45-9) on Thursday, vs. Avalanche (47-21-6) on Saturday

Outlook: The Blues have a couple of key division games coming up with the Avalanche and the Blackhawks in the next seven days, but they’re still in great shape to win the Central. They have fallen behind the Boston Bruins by three points in the Presidents’ Trophy race.

2. Avalanche

Record: 47-21-6

Points: 100

Regulation wins: 43

Games remaining: 8 (two home, six away)

Last game: The Avalanche won their third consecutive game with a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Next three games: at Columbus Blue Jackets (38-30-6) on Tuesday, vs. New York Rangers (42-30-4) on Thursday, at Blues (50-17-4) on Saturday.

Outlook: The Avalanche can put room between themselves and the Blackhawks this week. They’re currently one point ahead of the Blackhawks and have two games in hand.

3. Blackhawks

Record: 42-19-15

Points: 99

Regulation wins: 37

Games remaining: 6 (three home, three away)

Last game: The Blackhawks lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Sunday. It marked the first time this season the Blackhawks lost three consecutive games in regulation.

Next three games: vs. Minnesota Wild (38-26-11) on Thursday, at Blue Jackets (38-30-6) on Friday, vs. Blues (50-17-7) on Sunday.

Outlook: Losses and significant injuries are piling up for the Blackhawks. To go along with Patrick Kane’s recent injury, they lost captain Jonathan Toews to an upper-body injury on Sunday. It’s unknown yet whether he’ll have to miss any time. The Blackhawks are also on a three-game losing streak and have three more playoff-caliber opponents upcoming.