It's the penultimate week of the season and the Stars are still, somehow still, in a prime position to finally break their playoff drought. Dallas enters this week tied with the Phoenix Coyotes for the division lead and just one point ahead of the ninth and tenth place teams so any lapse in play can still kill the Stars. Only four points separate Dallas from the Calgary Flames, the eleventh place team in the Western Conference.
The Stars have seven games left on the season and they face the last difficult portion of their schedule as they go on a four game road trip.
So here we are with the schedule for week 26 of the season.
more after the jump
Dallas Stars (41-29-5, 87 pts, 3rd in the West):
- Mon. March 26 @ Calgary Flames - The game here provides a chance for the Stars to knock the Flames out of the playoff race. Calgary pretty much needs to win out the rest of the season and a loss to the Stars would be devastating. Dallas has won all three matchups so far this season.
- Wed. March 28 @ Edmonton Oilers - The last "easy" game of the season for the Stars. Edmonton is the second worst team in the league and has gone into a spoiler role that they have actually done well in. Dallas needs to keep themselves ready for this game and not look past the Oilers. Dallas has won all three of the matchups so far this season by a combined 11-3 score.
- Fri. March 30 @ Vancouver Canucks - The last matchup between the two teams this season. Dallas is 2-1-0 against the Canucks this year. This is the first night of the last back-to-back for the season.
- Sat. March 31 @ San Jose Sharks - The second night of a back-to-back for the Stars and it just happens to be the most difficult of the season. Dallas has only won one of the four games so far in this series and that was in a shootout. This is the most important game of the week for the Stars. This is also the first of a home-and-home series with the Sharks for Dallas that will be concluded next Tuesday. This is also the penultimate division game of the series for the Stars.
Phoenix Coyotes (37-27-13, 87 pts, 7th in the West):
- Thur. March 29 vs San Jose Sharks - Phoenix gets a four day break before this game so they will be well rested. Phoenix is 3-1-1 against the Sharks this season.
- Sat. March 31 vs Anaheim Ducks - Final matchup between the two for the season and the last divisional game of the season for the Coyotes. Phoenix is 2-3-0 against Anaheim this season, with the Ducks winning three straight games.
- Phoenix only has five games left on the season and has a light workload this week. These two games are the final divisional games of the season for the Coyotes.
Los Angeles Kings (37-26-12, 86 pts, 8th in the West):
- Mon. March 26 @ Vancouver Canucks - LA enters this game having won six of their last seven and this is the only real difficult game of the week for the Kings. LA is 2-1-0 against Vancouver so far this season.
- Wed. March 28 @ Calgary Flames - LA is 1-1-1 against Calgary this season.
- Fri. March 30 @ Edmonton Oilers - The first game of the last back-to-back of the season for the Kings. Edmonton won both of the games earlier in the season.
- Sat. March 31 @ Minnesota Wild - The Kings are 2-1-0 against the Wild this year. The final back-to-back of the year for the Kings. They are 5-5-4 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.
- Like Dallas, the Kings are on a four game road trip this week but theirs is a much easier schedule.
San Jose Sharks (38-27-10, 86 pts, 9th in the West)
- Mon. March 26 vs Colorado Avalanche - This will be the final non-division game for the Sharks. The rest of the games for San Jose this season will be played against the Pacific Division. Sharks are 2-0-1 against the Avs this season.
- Wed. March 28 @ Anaheim Ducks - San Jose is 1-4-0 against the Ducks this season so Dallas might be able to get some help in this game.
- Thur. March 29 @ Phoenix Coyotes - Second night of a back-to-back, which the Sharks are 6-5-2 in this season. From this game on, the Sharks are really in a must-win mode. They can't afford to lose these divisional games against the teams they are fighting against for a playoff spot. San Jose is 2-3-0 against the Coyotes this season.
- Sat. March 31 vs Dallas Stars - Dallas will be on the second night of a back-to-back. Sharks are 3-0-1 against Dallas.
Colorado Avalanche (40-31-6, 86 pts, 10th in the West)
- Mon. March 26 @ San Jose Sharks
- Wed. March 28 @ Vancouver Canucks - Vancouver has won all five of the games in this series so far so hopefully Dallas can get help again in this game.
- Fri. March 30 @ Calgary Flames - Colorado is 1-4-0 against the Flames this year. Dallas will probably need Calgary to win this game just so they can stay ahead of the Avalanche.
Calgary Flames (34-27-15, 83 pts, 11th in the West)
- Mon. March 26 vs Dallas Stars
- Wed. March 28 vs LA Kings
- Fri. March 30 vs Colorado Avalanche
- Sat. March 31 @ Vancouver Canucks
- If Calgary wants any chance of making the playoffs, they need to win out. They do play five of the last six games at home though so they'll have an advantage there.