The Phoenix Coyotes don’t play Thursday evening, but that doesn’t mean that fans should take the night off from watching hockey.
The game to pay attention to will be played in Dallas as the Stars host the Colorado Avalanche at the American Airlines Center. While it doesn’t seem like a game between two teams currently out of the playoffs should matter, it does — very much so — to the NHL playoff picture.
If the Stars lose — either in regulation or overtime — or the game is forced to go to a shootout, the Coyotes will clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season. Colorado has won both games the two teams have played so far this season.
Even if the Stars win in regulation tonight, the Coyotes only only need to earn one more point in the standings to clinch a playoff berth with the home-and-home series against San Jose, beginning Friday night, all that is left this season.