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Blue Jackets hold serve with Red Wings thanks to win against Stars

Apr 25, 2013, 11:26 PM EDT

camatkinsongetty Getty Images

It looks like the Western Conference playoff race will be a fight to the end for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and possibly the Minnesota Wild.

While the Red Wings handled the Nashville Predators 5-2 on Thursday, the Blue Jackets topped the Dallas Stars 3-1 to stay in the running for a playoff spot.

In a humorous twist, fans of the Red Wings and Blue Jackets will go from jeering Thursday’s opponents for becoming one-night fans of those respective squads on Saturday. The Stars host the Red Wings while the Blue Jackets have a home game against the Predators to close out all four teams’ seasons.

Even if the Blue Jackets do win, the Red Wings only need one point to clinch a postseason spot while the Wild only need one win or two overtime/shootout losses (both squads hold insurmountable tiebreaker advantages over Columbus).

Don’t worry about all the drama being sapped away before the Blue Jackets can even finish their last game, though. While Minnesota can wrap things up on Friday, both the Blue Jackets and Red Wings play at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, so Columbus isn’t likely to hear that it’s all for naught early in the game.

In a way, it echoes the NBA’s sublime setup for the end of the Western Conference playoff run, as the Los Angeles Lakers were forced to win their last game after the Utah Jazz forced the issue.

Saturday’s advantage: it’s hockey. Saturday’s shortcoming: very low odds for Kobe Bryant Twitter commentary.

  1. xoscroggsxo - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    I think the wings play at 7 on Saturday as well accordin to the schedule there both 7 pm starts

    • James O'Brien - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      Yeah, you’re right.

      • georgiared - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:12 AM

        Columbus-Nashville is at 7. Detroit-Dallas is at 8 according to ESPN. But SI has them both at 7.

    • hawkeedawg - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:40 AM

      Best source for accurate info is NHL.com. Both games at 7pm

  2. pariseinminnesotabichez - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Why can’t these 2 teams play for the last game?!?!?!?!?

    • columbus1234 - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      Columbus throttled Detroit this year. 4-0-1 h2h.

  3. northstarnic - Apr 26, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    And that’s an enormous advantage.

  4. acorp11 - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    The Lakers weren’t forced to win their last game. A Jazz lose earlier in the evening clinched a playoff spot for LA. The final game vs the Rockets was for the 7 seed.

  5. hawkeedawg - Apr 26, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Best source for accurate info is NHL.com, both games go at 7pm.

    ****Sorry if this is double post

  6. jacketsfan7 - Apr 26, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    I’m going to the blue jackets game tomorrow and I think it’ll be my last of the season , lets be honest , they got no chance whether they win or not

    • tfaltin - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      This makes me sad. The Blue Jackets’ fans should be as optimistic and show as much heart as their players.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      this was their chance, an off year for their division if you consider the redwings, predator’s, and blues having off years by their standards. they got a hot goalie going, they had some good wins against detroit and nashville – they were able to eek out 2 points in ot losses against chicago which was about all you could ask for there. good season all things considered – something to build off of. realignment into the east with 16 teams and only 8 spots for the playoffs doesnt help though. there are weaker teams in the east but the blue jackets are in the same division as wash, pitt, njd, nyi, phi, nyr now which will be the most competitve division in the league IMO.

  7. rodeoclowndc - Apr 26, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    If nothing else – and I mean absolutely nothing else – we Jackets fans have a lot to feel good about through the offseason. They certainly showed a lot of heart, and I’m convinced that at least part of that comes from the changes the players are seeing in the front office. Confidence is brewing in these guys, and once you get a taste of consistent winning, it’s something you don’t soon forget.

    I can’t wait to see what kind of damage the cannon can do to our new Eastern Conference foes.

    CARRY THE FLAG!

    • colonelfancy - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      Agreed. A hardworking, blue collar team like this is the perfect groundwork for the Jackets to build future success from. I was more than surprised to see how easily Artem and Gabby meshed with this team and a healthier Blue Jackets team would’ve been contending for a 6th or 7th seed. Watching this team play with a swagger, knowing they can win 1 goal games is amazing. I only wish this team got more notice here in northeast Ohio, where everyone annually treats the NFL Draft Lottery like a Super Bowl and hoping for a Miami star to come back and save the day. Hard work will beat skill almost any night!! BOB for the Vezina!!!

      • Eric Broz - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        I’m in Youngstown. I can’t get the Blue Jackets on TV because we are considered to be in the “Pittsburgh Metro Market” so we have Pens games on cable and satellite. Not even the Center Ice package will help.

      • colonelfancy - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM

        REALLY!!? Not even a Cinncinati feed!? That’s balls!!

      • Eric Broz - Apr 28, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        I’ve tried every Fox Sports Ohio feed on the dish … nothing. Sucks.

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