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Scoreboard watching – February 17

Things just got a little tighter in the Western Conference.

After last night’s games, there are now five teams tied with 68 points in the West. In short, the Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames (in fourth to eighth place, respectively) are all tied.

And, as a special bonus, the third-place Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Coyotes have 69 and the ninth-place Los Angeles Kings have 67.

So while the Preds will try to gain ground on the Detroit Red Wings for the Central Division lead, they’ll also be trying to keep pace with the rest of the pack as the Sharks, Coyotes and Kings are all in action tonight.

Nashville is considered the fourth place team as they have played just 57 games. San Jose, Anaheim and Dallas have all played 58 and Calgary has played in 60. The standings recognize that the Predators have secured more points in fewer games which is why they sit atop the cluster.

At least right now.

Only the 13th-place St. Louis Blues have played less times than the Preds (55).

The Preds face-off against the West’s best tonight, the Vancouver Canucks. They’re decimated on the blueline, however, with injuries to Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts, Lee Swett and even former Pred Dan Hamhuis are all on the shelf.

Puck drops at 7:05pm at Bridgestone Arena. See you there!!