Instead, the Stars have rattled off four straight wins and now the playoff race in the West is a complete mess. Detroit, Dallas, Columbus and Phoenix all are within just a couple of points of each other as they battle for the 8th seed. And if they slip up for just a couple of games, Minnesota could very well find themselves fighting for their lives. It's like the War of the Five Kings, NHL style.
(High fives to all of you Game of Thrones book fans out there.)
All The NHL Scores
Get caught up on Friday's NHL scores with recaps from our network of SB Nation team blogs. Here's a quick glance at the full night of action:
Stars 5, Predators 2
Blackhawks 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)
Prior to last night's games, we presented five burning questions regarding the night's action. Here are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Will Ken Hitchcock record his 600th career victory?
Nope. And he had to be pretty upset about it. His team got run over by the Blue Jackets in every facet of the game and his goaltending once again left a lot to be desired. The biggest problem, however, is the offense. Four goals in four games won't help you come playoff time.
2. Will Hitchcock's decision to sit Brian Elliott prove to be a mistake?
He stopped just 15 of 19 shots. So yes. It was a poor decision.
3. Will the Anaheim Ducks clinch a playoff berth?
Thanks to a last minute comeback by the Blackhawks, the Ducks have bought their ticket to the playoffs.
4. Can the Red Wings avoid a seven-game losing streak against the Blackhawks?
Detroit has a Saad-face (I'm really sorry for that pun) after losing, 3-2, in a shootout coughing up the lead in the final minutes of the third. The Blackhawks just have their number right now, which begs the question: Do the Wings even want the 8th seed if they're just going to get trounced by Chicago in the first round?
5. How effective will Milan Michalek be in his return?
See for yourself.
What moment from Thursday night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?
Stat of the Night
Get 11 shots against New Jersey and you win the game!
#sens are 1st team to win a game w 11 or fewer shots since Carolina beat the #devils 2-1 on 10/29/2002, also w 11 shots. #NHL— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) April 12, 2013
Post to Post
- St. Louis Game Time says the Blues lost because they're tired.
- The Senators stole one from New Jersey
- Alex Chiasson. All day. Every day.
- Drew LeBlanc won the Hobey Baker trophy and then signed with the Blackhawks. What a day.
- Finally, Kevin Weekes is your friend's super awkward dad everyone laughs about: