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Playoff watch: Coyotes loss puts them in a hole

3/26/2012

Phoenix lost 4-0 to St. Louis last night. That’s a big loss for the Coyotes. They are still second in the Pacific and seventh in the West with 87 points, but they have played two more games than the Stars, Kings and Sharks.

Phoenix is off the next three days and their Pacific Division rivals all play twice. In a race where everyone is within one point of each other, the Coyotes are going to have to hope those other teams don’t pull too far ahead of them.

On a side note, the Coyotes went 1-1-1 without Shane Doan during this three-game suspension for elbowing Stars forward Jamie Benn.

Plenty of opportunity for the standings to shift around tonight. The Stars, of course, are at Calgary. It’s basically do or die these days for the Flames right now, and the Stars need points, too. It is still a tight race.

Los Angeles opens its three-game Western Canada road trip tonight with a game at Vancouver.

The Sharks and Avalanche play in San Jose. The Avs are tied with the Sharks and Kings at 86 points, but they have played two more games than both those teams.

The Avalanche are getting to a point to where the math starts looking a little tough if they don’t get points tonight because the points pace for that final spot is about 94 points and they’d have to win out just to reach that.

Western Conference Playoff Race

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

x = clinched playoff spot. y = clinched division.