Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Blue Jackets live to see another day; Wild victory Friday over Edmonton clinches playoff berth

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: April 25, 2013 - 10:32 PM

The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 tonight to keep their playoff hopes alive.

A regulation loss, and the Wild would have clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2008. Instead, the Jackets moved into a tie with the Wild with 53 points but sit in ninth place with one game left. The idle Wild fell one point behind the Detroit Red Wings into eighth place.

The Wild can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Edmonton Oilers, who are 1-9-0 in their past 10 games, Friday night at the X. The Wild also plays at Colorado on Saturday night.

The 7th-place Red Wings play at Dallas, which was eliminated from postseason contention tonight, on Saturday night, while the Blue Jackets host Nashville. The Predators, who lost 5-2 to the Red Wings tonight, sat No. 1 Pekka Rinne, incidentally, and blew a 2-1 lead.

If the Wild wins out, it can finish as high as sixth if the San Jose Sharks lose in regulation to the Los Angeles Kings in their finale.

If the Wild wins out and the Sharks get a point, the Wild would finish seventh.

If the Wild wins one and the Red Wings lose Saturday, the Wild would finish seventh.

If the Wild wins one and the Red Wings win Saturday, the Wild finishes eighth.

If the Wild loses out and the Jackets get one point Saturday, the Wild is eliminated.

If the Wild loses out and the Jackets lose Saturday, the Wild finishes eight.

If the Wild finishes 1-0-1, the Wild would finish seventh or eighth depending on how they became 1-0-1 and if Detroit wins. I'm not going to burst any brains cells right now with those scenarios.

Regardless of all this, win, and the Wild's in.

Mikko Koivu said he wasn’t going to watch the Stars-Blue Jackets game.

“It’s a cliché, but we still have to win,” he said. “That’s the way I look at it.”

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