With the loss on Thursday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Dallas Stars are now two points behind the Nashville Predators with one game-in-hand. The entire season rides along the outcome of the Stars’ visit to Nashville on Saturday, May 1st. This gargantuan-level game is a must-win in regulation or risk missing the playoffs. The numbers still don’t look good as the scenarios for making the playoffs start winding down with the season coming to a close. Simply put, the Stars cannot lose in any fashion to them and make the playoffs.
The 3-0 loss to the Lightning didn’t need to happen as that puts whatever advantage the Stars had over the Predators out to pasture. There are four scenarios for the game tomorrow with three being bad for the Stars. The Stars must win in regulation, tying in points with the Predators with one game-in-hand. If the Predators get a point in any fashion then that could be the end of the season. If the Predators leave tomorrow with a four point lead over the Stars then it’s a disaster scenario. The Stars will only have five games remaining in the regular season after tomorrow so there is no time to dawdle.
It’s still possible if the Predators win in regulation although not likely. This is a huge game for both teams. According to Money Puck, the Stars will have a 53% chance of making the playoffs if they beat the Predators in regulation, or a 10.2% chance if they get zero points. It gets even wilder if the game goes to overtime. There is a 25% chance swing for the Stars upon victory/loss in overtime so the entire season could come down to one overtime or shootout goal.
The Lightning are the bane of the Stars’ existence since before Game 2 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. The Stars play them two more times on the road this season so they need to find a way to get at least two points from their current nemesis. They are 1-5-0 against the Lightning this season with three shutouts against.
The final six games of the regular season come down to the points percentage. Scoreboard watching is now a thing because they must match or do better than the Predators every night. The importance of tomorrow’s game cannot be overstated. The Stars must win or their season is over.
Photo credit: Dallas Stars / Twitter