DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The Dallas Stars haven’t made the playoffs since 2008, when Mike Modano was with the club. The Mavericks missed out for the first time in 13 years last season.
Both teams are on the cusp of securing a postseason berth, but still have work to do heading into the final week of the season.
Games Remaining: vs St. Louis (4/11), @ Phoenix (4/13)
For the Stars, the scenario is simple — win one of their final two games, and they’re in. The team hosts St. Louis on Friday before traveling to Phoenix on Sunday.
But Phoenix is the only team still chasing Dallas for the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot. To make the playoffs, the Coyotes would need two wins combined with two Stars losses. One such win would come in the season finale on Sunday, when Dallas travels to Phoenix in a potential winner-takes-all game.
But Dallas can lock up the 8th seed with a win over St. Louis at the American Airlines Center Friday night.
“We got our destiny in our hands,” said Stars forward Alex Chiasson. “We’ve worked too hard this year. We’ll rest up here and give it all we got Friday and Sunday.”
If the Stars qualify, they are in line to face Anaheim, Colorado, or St. Louis in the first round.
Games Remaining: vs vs Phoenix (4/12), @ Memphis (4/16)
The Mavericks are still mathematically alive for the 6th seed in the West, though jumping to six is very unlikely. Missing the playoffs entirely is also a possibility — a much more likely one.
To secure the 6th seed, Dallas (48-32) would need to win its final two games against Phoenix and Memphis. Golden State (48-30), which currently sits at six and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, would need to drop three of its final four games.
The Mavs trail Phoenix (47-31) by percentage points for the 7th seed ahead of their matchup on Saturday night. The teams have split the season series, so the winner of Saturday’s game in Dallas will hold the tiebreaker if the teams should finish with identical records.
Phoenix must still navigate a challenging schedule with games at San Antonio, at Dallas, at homes versus Memphis, and at Sacramento.
The Mavs playoff hopes could come down to the final game, a visit to the current 9th place Memphis Grizzlies (46-32). Should Dallas beat Phoenix on Saturday, Memphis would need to win three straight (vs PHI, @ LAL, @PHO) heading into Wednesday’s season finale.
The Mavs have taken the first three against the Grizzlies and will hold the tiebreaker.
San Antonio needs a win or Oklahoma City loss to secure the top overall seed throughout the playoffs. The Clippers could still jump the Thunder for the West’s second seed, though they currently trail by 2.5 games.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle was asked how his team would respond if forced into a first round matchup with San Antonio, who won all four games this season and their ninth straight over Dallas on Thursday.
“I’m not answering any questions about the playoffs until we get there. We got work to do. One of our goals is to get there. When we get there, we will talk about matchups.”
Postseason play is likely returning the American Airlines Center, but the who and when has yet to be determined.
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