NHL Playoff Watch Daily – The Dallas Stars won’t go away quietly

7:10 AM ET

Tim KavanaghESPN.com

CloseTim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

The Dallas Stars’ 2021 season got off to a delayed start due to COVID-19 postponements, and through the season they’ve had some extra games remaining compared to their competition — a welcome sight as they’ve looked to make up ground in the race for a Central Division playoff spot.

The bad news is that extra buffer has been depleted, as they now have eight games left just like the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks within the division. The good news is that with Monday night’s 4-3 victory over the Canes, they’re now just two points out of a postseason berth.

Dallas and Carolina are at it again at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight (streaming live on ESPN+). If Dallas wins again — and the Nashville Predators lose to the Florida Panthers — they’ll move into a standings point tie with the Predators for the No. 4 slot (though Nashville holds the head-to-head matchup edge, 4-3). This race is far from over.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:Current playoff matchupsRace for No. 1 pick

East Division

Points: 67Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: E1Games left: 7Next game: vs. BOS (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: E2Games left: 8Next game: vs. NYI (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 99.9%Tragic number: N/A

1 Related

Points: 63Regulation wins: 21Playoff position: E3Games left: 8Next game: @ WSH (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 97.8%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60Regulation wins: 20Playoff position: E4Games left: 9Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 94.6%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: vs. BUF (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 7.5%Tragic number: 11

Points: 51Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: @ NJ (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 0.2%Tragic number: 7

Points: 35Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: vs. PHI (Apr. 27Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 33Regulation wins: 10Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Central Divisionplay

0:31

Nick Cousins breaks a 1-1 tie in the second period and the Predators don’t look back in a 4-1 win over the Panthers.

Points: 69Regulation wins: 23Playoff position: C1Games left: 8Next game: @ DAL (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 67Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: C2Games left: 6Next game: @ NSH (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

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Points: 66Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: C3Games left: 8Next game: @ CHI (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: C4Games left: 6Next game: vs. FLA (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 61.7%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 54Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: vs. CAR (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 37.5%Tragic number: 14

Points: 49Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: vs. TB (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 0.8%Tragic number: 9

Points: 42Regulation wins: 15Playoff position: N/AGames left: 6Next game: @ CBJ (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 40Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 6Next game: vs. DET (Apr. 27)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

North Divisionplay

0:42

Connor McDavid moves into second in the NHL in goals scored after lighting the lamp three times in the Oilers’ win vs. the Jets.

Points: 65Regulation wins: 24Playoff position: N1Games left: 8Next game: @ MTL (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58Regulation wins: 26Playoff position: N2Games left: 10Next game: @ WPG (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

A panel of NHL players, coaches, GMs and other front-office personnel ranked the best players at each position:

• Centers• Wingers• Defensemen• Goalies

Points: 57Regulation wins: 21Playoff position: N3Games left: 8Next game: vs. EDM (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 99.6%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 51Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: N4Games left: 9Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 89.7%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45Regulation wins: 18Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: @ EDM (Apr. 29)Playoff chances: 8.2%Tragic number: 10

Points: 41Regulation wins: 13Playoff position: N/AGames left: 14Next game: @ OTT (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 2.5%Tragic number: 18

Points: 40Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: vs. VAN (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 3

West Divisionplay

0:24

The Blues get a steal that eventually turns into a Robert Thomas goal as St. Louis defeats the Avalanche 4-1.

Points: 70Regulation wins: 27Playoff position: W1Games left: 9Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66Regulation wins: 28Playoff position: W2Games left: 10Next game: @ VGS (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 65Regulation wins: 26Playoff position: W3Games left: 9Next game: vs. STL (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 48Regulation wins: 15Playoff position: W4Games left: 10Next game: @ MIN (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 68.9%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47Regulation wins: 17Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: @ SJ (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 20.3%Tragic number: 13

Points: 43Regulation wins: 13Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: vs. ARI (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 3.6%Tragic number: 11

Points: 42Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 10Next game: vs. ANA (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 7.3%Tragic number: 14

Points: 35Regulation wins: 9Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: @ LA (Apr. 28)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 1

Current playoff matchupsEast Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 Boston BruinsNo. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 New York Islanders

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville PredatorsNo. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal CanadiensNo. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis BluesNo. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

• Who will be the top pick this summer? »• Early top-32 prospect rankings »• How COVID-19 will impact evaluations »

Points: 33Regulation wins: 10

Points: 35Regulation wins: 9

Points: 35Regulation wins: 11

Points: 40Regulation wins: 11

Points: 40Regulation wins: 14

Points: 41Regulation wins: 13

Points: 42Regulation wins: 15

Points: 42Regulation wins: 16

Points: 43Regulation wins: 13

Points: 45Regulation wins: 18

Points: 47Regulation wins: 17

Points: 49Regulation wins: 14

Points: 51Regulation wins: 14

Points: 54Regulation wins: 16

Points: 56Regulation wins: 22

Published: 2021-04-27 12:49:43

Tags: #NHL #Playoff #Watch #Daily #Dallas #Stars #wont #quietly

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