After losing to the Blues, Kings, and Sharks over the past week, the Dallas Stars found themselves teetering on the brink of elimination from playoff contention. They were no longer in control of their own destinies, and needed everything to go their way for the final games of the season in order to stay alive.
Unfortunately for them, they weren't so lucky.
The game between the Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets wasn't even complete when Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs. The Stars needed the Detroit Red Wings to lose to the Nashville Predators, and instead the Wings cruised to an easy 5-2 victory. That doesn't clinch the playoffs for Detroit just yet, since they could still be ousted by the surging Blue Jackets, but it was enough to snuff out the Stars and ensure they can finish no higher than ninth place in the conference.
The Stars hung on admirably after trading away their captain Brenden Morrow and star forward Jaromir Jagr prior to the trade deadline. At that point most assumed they were done, but they remained in contention for the final spot in the West right up to the final days of the season.