The NHL Final Weekend is here. The Stars appear locked into the #5 spot. There is a remote chance they get to #4, but with the Ducks remaining games against the Kings and the Coyotes, I would not get too worked up about it.
I am told that we should expect Games 1 and 2 in Anaheim to be Thursday and Saturday, with Games 3 and 4 back here in Dallas on Tuesday and Thursday, April 15th and 17th.
Stars win as Carcillo tries to beat everyone up …
Ott not owned, but still beaten
The Dallas Stars locked themselves into a first-round playoff showdown with the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday by taking a 4-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, but Stars coach Dave Tippett said his team wouldn’t start looking ahead to postseason play just yet.
"Our focus is totally on what we have to do right now, totally on getting our game where we have to get it," Tippett said. "They say, 'Know your enemy,' but we have two more games before we need to do that."
The Stars sat out Mike Ribeiro (flu-like symptoms), Brad Richards (overall soreness) and Marty Turco (coach’s decision) and still came up with a solid team effort. They will almost assuredly not have Sergei Zubov available in the first round of the playoffs after he went to Germany to have a procedure done that could help heal his sports hernia injury, but they still are starting to shake some of the dust from a miserable March.
With the win, Dallas is 2-0-2 in its last four games and moves to 44-29-7 (95 points). Sixth-place Colorado can only tie the Stars in the standings, and the Stars hold the tiebreakers. That means Dallas will play Anaheim in the first round. The only thing to be determined is who has home ice. The Ducks (45-27-8, 98 points) can clinch home ice by getting two points out of their final two games. The Stars need to get three more points than the Ducks in the final two games to move ahead in the standings.
"Any one of those teams is tough," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said when asked about locking up the Ducks. "We’ve had some great games against that team, and you’re going to have to go through them at some point, so we’ll have to do it in the first round."
The Stars say they need to continue to build their game, and they will get another chance tonight when they and the Coyotes fly to Dallas and finish the home-and-home series in a 7:30 p.m. game at American Airlines Center.
The Stars might get either Richards or Ribeiro back and will start Turco in goal, but the plan is the same – find a way to gain rhythm and momentum heading into the playoffs.
My Hero, Alex Ovechkin scores 2 more, trying to drag Washington into the playoffs ..
I don’t know about you, but 1 vs 8 in the East would be awfully fun if it is Pittsburgh and Washington…
Alexander Ovechkin's record-setting goal in the first period wasn't enough to calm the nerves of the Washington Capitals, whose march toward the playoffs was being threatened by a nothing-to-play-for last-place team.
His third-period blast that gave the Capitals the lead? Now, that did the trick.
Serenaded again with chants of "MVP!" from the red-clad sellout crowd, Ovechkin scored his 64th and 65th goals Thursday night, breaking Luc Robitaille's single-season NHL mark for left wingers and leading the Capitals to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"As a whole, we were a little nervous," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's getting down to the nitty-gritty, you know."
The win put the Capitals into the top eight in the Eastern Conference, although they have only one game left to play while Boston and Philadelphia still have two to go. Washington likely needs to beat Florida at home in Saturday's regular-season finale to reach the postseason for the first time since 2003 -- and for the first time in Ovechkin's young career.
"It's a good time for us right now," Ovechkin said. "We have a chance, and we have to keep it going."
Ovechkin squeezes into the top 25 goal scoring seasons of all time….
1 Wayne Gretzky 1981-82 Edm 80 games 92 goals
2 Wayne Gretzky 1983-84 Edm 74 87
3 Brett Hull 1990-91 StL 78 86
4 Mario Lemieux 1988-89 Pit 76 85
5t Phil Esposito 1970-71 Bos 78 76
5t Alexander Mogilny 1992-93 Buf 77 76
5t Teemu Selanne 1992-93 Wpg 84 76
8 Wayne Gretzky 1984-85 Edm 80 73
9 Brett Hull 1989-90 StL 80 72
10t Wayne Gretzky 1982-83 Edm 80 71
10t Jari Kurri 1984-85 Edm 73 71
12t Brett Hull 1991-92 StL 73 70
12t Mario Lemieux 1987-88 Pit 77 70
12t Bernie Nicholls 1988-89 LA 79 70
15t Mike Bossy 1978-79 NYI 80 69
15t Mario Lemieux 1992-93 Pit 60 69
15t Mario Lemieux 1995-96 Pit 70 69
18t Mike Bossy 1980-81 NYI 79 68
18t Phil Esposito 1973-74 Bos 78 68
18t Jari Kurri 1985-86 Edm 78 68
21t Phil Esposito 1971-72 Bos 76 66
21t Lanny McDonald 1982-83 Cgy 80 66
23 Steve Yzerman 1988-89 Det 80 65
24 Alex Ovechkin 2007-08 Wash 81g 65
25 Mike Bossy 1981-82 NYI 80 64