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Wild hit All-Star break buried deep in the playoff race

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Six games are on the NHL's docket Wednesday night and then the league will take a week off for the All-Star break. The Minnesota Wild, following Tuesday's shootout loss to Detroit, don't hit the ice again until next Tuesday when they face Edmonton.

As it stands entering Wednesday's games, Minnesota, with just 46 points (20-20-6 overall record), is seven points behind Calgary for eighth in the Western Conference playoff race. But the Flames could increase that gap to eight or nine points with an overtime loss or victory of any kind against the Ducks on Wednesday.

Another important game Wild fans should pay attention to on Wednesday is San Jose versus Los Angeles. The Sharks are one point ahead of Calgary and the Kings are just one point behind the Flames.

Because Mike Yeo's team is sitting in 12th position, with Colorado, Dallas, Los Angeles and Calgary in better position to claim the last playoff spot in the West, missing out on two points in the shootout loss to Detroit was huge. But getting one was just as big because, with the score 4-1 in favor of the Red Wings in the third period, it could have been much worse had Zach Parise and the Wild's furious comeback not happened.

With 36 games remaining, Minnesota has a lot of work to do and they might need a bit of luck to make it back to the postseason a second year in a row. According to ESPN, 28 of the Wild's remaining 36 opponents are considered "quality." That's the second most difficult remaining schedule in the league, trailing only the Stars.

Bottom line: The Wild has a long road ahead.

Dumba to play in AHL All-Star Game

The Pioneer Press reports that defenseman Matt Dumba was reassigned to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. The move will allow Dumba to play in the AHL All-Star Game. The young defenseman scored one goal in three games with the Wild after being called up to replace a suspended Ryan Suter last week.

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