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Bet on the NHLWednesday night made the NHL Playoffs picture quite a big more clear with a lot of decisive games.

One team managed to guarantee a spot in the postseason, two other teams took a step closer to improving their positions, and one team was officially eliminated from any possibility of making it.

The Los Angeles Kings won a shootout against the Phoenix Coyotes to wrap up their fourth place spot in the West. For months, observers have wondered if the team could keep hold of the fourth spot or not, but the two points last night keeps the Kings ahead of the No. 5 Nashville Predators and No. 6 Phoenix Coyotes.

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If the Dallas Stars can not get two points in their game Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche, Nasvhille and Phoenix could improve their spots in the West Conference playoffs. Dallas not getting those two points could mean that the other two teams come a lot closer to getting the final home-ice advantage for the playoffs.

Dallas is also having a bit of their own trouble, as their night off on Wednesday resulted in falling a bit behind the No. 7 Anaheim Ducks and No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks. Both of these teams won their games, while the idle night put the Stars further behind in the standings. Now the Stars need to beat the Avalance just to keep up with the other two.

The wins by the Hawks and the Ducks also eliminated the playoff hopes for the Calgary Flames, despite winning against Edmonton last night. Although the Flames are ahead of the Stars, Calgary has only one game left on their schedule. All the other teams in the West have two games left. This is why the Stars-Avalanche game is so important for keeping Dallas hockey fans' playoff hopes alive.

The Stars are the 1.5 point favorites to beat the Avalanche. The total is set at 5.5 for Thursday night's game, which starts at 8:40 PM ET.


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