Stars look to keep pressure on in playoff race

April, 4, 2012
4/04/12
11:46
PM CT
FRISCO -- The Dallas Stars no longer control their own destiny in the playoff race, but they are still alive and hope to keep the heat on the teams they are chasing.

That means the Stars need to win Thursday in Nashville and then hope that San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix don’t get enough points in their next game to eliminate Dallas, pushing the race down to the final day of the season on Saturday.

“If we get our points then and then Los Angeles, San Jose or Phoenix doesn’t on Thursday or Friday, then there is a lot of pressure on somebody the last day,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We’d like to put that pressure on somebody.”

But the Stars are going to need some help from others. After getting swept in by San Jose in a home-and-home series, the Stars no longer control their own destiny, so they best they can do is take care of their own business and watch and hope.

"We all know the situation. We've got to win two games to give ourselves a chance, and we need a little help," Gulutzan said. "If we take care of ourselves here, I think, it is going to come down to the last day and we are going to put somebody in a must-win situation. That's how we see it playing out. We're not going to focus too much of what somebody else has to do; we have to win, and that's pick up four points in the next two games."

And that was the message Wednesday in Frisco as the Stars prepared to head off to Nashville in yet another do-or-die game.

“We’re still in it, although it is a tougher road,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We have to hope other teams lose, but we can’t quit now. We’ve played 80 games so far and we’ve put ourselves in the situation we’re in. We’ve just got to win our games.

Playing catch up in the playoff race

Here’s a look at how the Stars can catch each of the teams they are still chasing the Western Conference playoff race. The Stars would only need to tie each team in the standings since they would own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins.

Los Angeles: The Stars would have to win both their final two games and the Kings would have to lose both their two remaining games against San Jose in regulation.

Phoenix: The Stars would have to win both their final two games and the Coyotes would have to lose their two remaining games, which are at St. Louis (Friday) and at Minnesota (Saturday).

San Jose: There are two ways to catch the Sharks. The Stars would have to win both their final games and the Sharks would have lose their remaining two games against the Kings and at least one of those losses would have to be in regulation. The second scenario is that the Stars go 1-0-1 in their remaining two games and the Sharks lose both their games against the Kings in regulation.

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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