Dallas Stars vs Nashville Predators for the Final Playoff Spot

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars have seven games remaining in the 2021 season. Their playoff hopes are still very much alive and they are in control of their own fate. The playoff picture itself has cleared up a bit in the past few weeks as the top three (Carolina, Florida, and Tampa Bay) have all clinched a berth. This season, the top four in each division will make the playoffs. With Chicago and Columbus all but folding, the fourth and final spot now comes down to two teams, the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators.

Nashville was considered one of the biggest sellers two weeks before the NHL trade deadline. They answered that with a huge winning streak that vaulted them up into the fourth spot in the division. They have cooled off a bit since then but are still holding down that spot. Dallas is in the middle of its own resurgence as they climbed from 12 points back to sit only two points behind with two games still in hand on Nashville. Let’s take a look at how this battle could play out in the final weeks.

Dallas Stars or Nashville Predators? Who Will Clinch the Last Playoff Spot?

The Nashville Predators have five games remaining in the season. Their next game will be on Saturday at home against Dallas. This game is massive as it could serve as a four-point swing for the winner in the standings. Nashville is 4-3-0 against Dallas this season with all four wins coming past regulation. 

After that, Nashville will play two games on the road in Columbus and finish the season with two home games against the Carolina Hurricanes. Columbus is battling for last in the division while Carolina is currently sitting in the top spot so the remaining schedule for the Predators is fairly even.

Dallas meanwhile, finishes their season with seven straight road games. On top of that, most games will be played against current playoff teams. They will play Tampa Bay three times, Nashville, Florida, then finish with two games in Chicago on back-to-back nights. Dallas has struggled on the road this season with an 8-9-4 record and has struggled even more against the division’s top teams.

"“We’re in control of our own destiny,” Rick Bowness said. “We see these guys [Tampa Bay] three [times] and we’re going to have to find a way to win a couple of these games with them.”"

The Stars will play two more games than Nashville and with the head-to-head matchup Saturday, Dallas controls their own fate. Nashville currently holds the tiebreakers (regulation wins and regulation/overtime wins), so Dallas would most likely need to pass the Predators in points to make the playoffs.

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This playoff race will most likely come down to the final few games of the season if not the final day itself. Dallas has been one of the hottest teams in the league as of late (8-2-2), while Nashville has cooled down to a 5-4-1 mark in their last 10.

The Stars are also expecting both Joel Kiviranta and Tyler Seguin to jump back into the lineup in the next few games which will provide a huge push for this team that truly believes they will make the postseason.

"“Obviously, if we’re getting in the playoffs, which we are, we’re going to face these teams,” John Klingberg said. “So, it looks like it’s probably a good thing.”"

Next. The Stars playoff fate determined on the road. dark

There is no doubt that this will be a battle until the very end and the head-to-head matchup this weekend could prove to be the turning point. Only time will tell and the clock is running out.

  • Published on 04/30/2021 at 12:45 PM
  • Last updated at 04/30/2021 at 12:20 PM