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The 16th and final NHL playoff spot was filled Wednesday as the Dallas Stars clinched a berth thanks to a shootout loss by the Vegas Golden Knights against the Chicago Blackhawks.
With the loss, the Golden Knights will miss the postseason for the first time in franchise history.
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Vegas misses the playoffs for the first time in its five-year history… pic.twitter.com/FjEkpXVJ3K
The Stars, who fell to 45-30-6 after a 4-3 overtime loss against the Arizona Coyotes, failed to qualify for the postseason last year. Dallas’ last playoff run culminated in a trip to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, which it lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
Despite losing Wednesday, the Stars leapfrogged the Nashville Predators for the first wild card spot. Here’s a look at the updated Western Conference standings:
Dallas Stars: 45-30-6, 96 points
Nashville Predators: 44-29-7, 95 points
Colorado Avalanche: 56-18-6, 118 points
Minnesota Wild: 51-22-7, 109 points
St. Louis Blues: 49-21-11, 109 points
Calgary Flames: 50-20-10, 110 points
Edmonton Oilers: 47-27-6, 100 points
Los Angeles Kings: 43-27-10, 96 points
The Stars got off to a slow start this season, sitting at 18-16-2 midway through January. But the team rattled off four win streaks of three games or more in the second half of the year to put itself in position to compete for a playoff spot.
Dallas is led by a trio of 70-point scorers in Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz. Pavelski leads the team with 54 assists to go with 27 goals. Robertson has a team-high 40 goals with 38 assists, while Hintz has 37 goals and 34 assists.
In addition to the top three scorers, the Stars have gotten solid production from Tyler Seguin (48 points), John Klingberg (47) and Jamie Benn (46).
The Stars face an uphill battle in the postseason, as they will be matched up with the Calgary Flames. It would be a surprise to see Dallas get past one of the best teams in the Western Conference, but the Stars will surely put up a fight to try to make their way back to the Final.