The Dallas Stars final push to break this embarrassing string of no playoffs that as of today is three years and counting began well with a 4-3 shootout win against the Coyotes on Tuesday night in Dallas.
Both teams desperately, desperately, desperately needed this. The Stars get both points, but the Coyotes should have had zero.
The Stars had a 3-1 lead in the third period but gagged away that lead, and a two-point division lead.
The Stars remain in first place in the Pacific Division with 85 points. The Coyotes are one point back.
Even though the Stars have the second-lowest payroll in the league, and have every reason/excuse not to make the playoffs, they have demonstrated despite their limitations there is enough on the roster to be a top eight team in the Western Conference.
The Stars have four more games at home remaining. Only one of their final nine games is against a team that is totally out of it: At Edmonton on March 28.
It comes down to this: Can they score enough? They're 2.54 goals per game ranks 19th in the NHL. They allow 2.61 goals per game, 13th in the NHL.
(BTW: The St. Louis Blues are behind the Stars in scoring at 2.53 goals per game, but first in the NHL in goals allowed, just 1.85 per game. The head coach? Ken Hitchcock).
The Stars broke a tw-game losing streak. A win tonight was rather large, but don't be surprised when the Stars' playoff fate is finally decided on April 7 at home against the Blues.
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