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Updated Apr 10, 2014 - 9:00 pm

Western Conference Wild Card Watch: Phoenix Coyotes edition

The Associated Press Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan (19) deflects the angle of a shot that Dallas Stars' Kari Lehtonen (32) stopped in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

After missing the playoffs in a lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, the Phoenix Coyotes are desperately trying to climb back into the playoff picture with just over a month-and-a-half left to play in the regular season.

The Coyotes raced out to their third-fastest start in franchise history with 13 wins in their first 19 contests but have since fallen on hard times.

Since the start of December, Phoenix has registered four losing streaks of at least three games. And, during that same span, the Coyotes have failed to win more than two consecutive games in a row.

Still, as the 2013-14 campaign heads into the home stretch, Dave Tippett's squad finds itself in the thick of the race for a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Due to league-wide realignment this past offseason, the three top teams from each of the NHL's four divisions qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while the final two Wild Card spots for each respective conference are open to any team.

Western Conference Division 1

*No. 1 seed in division vs. Wild Card team
*No. 2 seed in division vs. No. 3 seed in division

Western Conference Division 2

*No. 1 seed in division vs. Wild Card team
*No. 2 seed in division vs. No. 3 seed in division

Essentially, there are two spots still up for grabs, with five teams -- Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets -- still realistically in contention for either one of them.

Below is a guide for the Western Conference Wild Card race:

Teams Place
Points
Games Left
Next Opponent

WC1
98

(43-26-12)
1

(1 H, 0 A)
vs. Nas
4/13

vs. Nashville

WC2
89

(39-30-11)
2

(1 H, 1 A)
vs. StL., @ Phx
4/11

vs. St. Louis

9
87

(36-29-15)
2

(2 H, 0 A)
vs. SJ, vs. Dal
4/12

vs. San Jose

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