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Wild end for groups nonetheless attempting to get into NHL playoffs | Sports



FRISCO, Texas — Things bought wild in a matter of seconds for Western Conference groups nonetheless attempting to get into the NHL playoffs — for these on the ice and people watching at residence.

“Interesting. It’s why you play the full 65 minutes,” Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness stated Monday, a day after playoff-contending groups Vegas and Nashville each gave up last-second objectives to lose residence video games after regulation.

Dallas, which did not play Sunday, can now clinch one of many two wild-card spots with a win in regulation at residence Tuesday night time in opposition to the Golden Knights, one thing Bowness stated he realized “right away” after these two unusual finishes Sunday night time.

“It’s obviously what you want as a player and a team is to not rely on somebody else to do your job,” Stars captain Jamie Benn stated.

Vegas, which as an enlargement group in 2017-18 went to the Stanley Cup Final, is now in peril of lacking the playoffs for the primary time in its transient historical past. The Golden Knights might be with out beginning goaltender Robin Lehner after the group stated Monday he may have season-ending shoulder surgical procedure.

Vegas blew a 4-2 lead within the ultimate 2:06 Sunday night time in opposition to San Jose, which compelled extra time on Timo Meier’s purpose with 0.9 seconds left in regulation. The Sharks gained 5-4 in a shootout.

That was after Nashville misplaced 5-4 at residence to Minnesota when Dmitry Kulikov scored with 1.3 seconds remaining in extra time.

“A tough one obviously,” Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro stated. “But it’s a must to take a look at some vivid sides. We bought one level out of it, sort of simply bought to wipe the slate clear right here and concentrate on Calgary. … It was positively a playoff sport on the market.”

The Stanley Cup playoffs begin subsequent Monday. All eight playoff groups for the Eastern Conference are set and issues are getting nearer within the West.

If Dallas beats Vegas, Nashville might wrap up the opposite wild-card spot with a win at residence in opposition to Calgary.

Going into Tuesday night time when every group performs the primary of three video games over 4 nights to wrap up the common season, Nashville sits at 94 factors, Dallas 93, Vegas 90 and Vancouver 87. The Stars-Golden Knights sport on Tuesday is the one head-to-head matchup remaining amongst that quartet.

The Canucks nonetheless have a slim probability to make the playoffs. They must win their remaining three video games, and Dallas must lose its final three in regulation. Vegas, which must beat Dallas in that situation, would then need to lose its ultimate two video games at Chicago and St. Louis in regulation.

Dallas is coming off a 3-2 win at residence Saturday night time over Seattle, a welcome end result for the Stars after an 0-3 highway journey that included a 6-2 loss at Vancouver and ended with a protracted, depressing journey residence due to prolonged journey points.

The Stars practiced for less than about quarter-hour Monday, and did not plan to have a morning skate earlier than the potential clinching sport in opposition to the Golden Knights, who’re 2-0 in opposition to Dallas this season. Bowness, who desires his gamers to have the ability to relaxation as a lot as attainable, likened it to attempting to shut out a playoff collection.

“The toughest win in any playoff series is getting that fourth win. And that’s what we’re facing tomorrow,” Bowness stated. “These guys know if they lose to us in regulation, they’re out, and it’s the same as in a playoff series. … The way they lost (Sunday) night, you know, they’re going to be coming at us very, very hard.”

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