NHL Scores: Stars causing chaos in Western Conference playoff race

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Left for dead, Dallas has risen to turn the playoff hunt into a free-for-all.

Most pundits around the league thought the Dallas Stars were left for dead when they traded Derek Roy and Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline. To be completely honest, so did a lot of Stars fans.

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:

Senators 2, Devils 0

Blue Jackets 4, Blues 0

Stars 5, Predators 2

Blackhawks 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)

Flames 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)

Five Answers

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.


Impact Moment

What moment from Thursday night's games will be making headlines in the coming days?

Sergei Kostitsyn might get suspended for boarding Matt Fraser.


Stat of the Night

Get 11 shots against New Jersey and you win the game!

Post to Post


More in the NHL:

Complete Frozen Four coverage

An NHL rink broken down: Sens edition

Eric Wellwood’s horrifying injury

Why puck possession matters

The best of our hockey network

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