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Thursday, March 10, 6:00 p.m. Bojangles Coliseum

Perhaps it’s absurd for this game to be deemed a must-win, what with 38 days and 17 games remaining in the regular season. But the Chicago Wolves need to climb over a handful of teams in order to capture a Calder Cup Playoff berth — and Charlotte is the first target on that list.

In the wake of the Wolves’ 3-2 shootout loss on Tuesday at Bojangles’ Coliseum, Chicago trails Charlotte by 4 points for fifth place in the standings. The Checkers also have one game in hand.

The Wolves must move into fifth place in order to have a shot at the postseason. According to the AHL’s new format, the Central Division’s fifth-place team assumes the slot assigned to the Pacific Division’s fourth-place team if it possesses a better winning percentage.

The Wolves own a .492 winning percentage while the San Jose Barracuda, the Pacific Division’s fourth-place team, stands at .565. Assuming San Jose remains in fourth place and plays .500 hockey the rest of the way, that would leave the Barracuda with a .551 winning percentage. Chicago would need to claim 26 points in its final 17 games to order to take over that playoff spot.

By The Numbers

12: Number of shots for the Wolves during regulation Tuesday night. Had the game ended in regulation, it would have set a franchise record for fewest shots in a game. Chicago finished with 13 shots on Oct. 20, 2010, vs. Abbotsford.

250: Center JEREMY WELSH played in his 250th AHL game on Tuesday night. The Bayfield, Ontario, native has delivered 53 points and 48 assists in his first 250 AHL games along with 1 goal and 1 assist in 27 NHL appearances.

50: Defenseman ANDRE BENOIT collected his 50th AHL goal on Tuesday night with his game-tying power-play tally in the third.

Follow The Action

Today’s game begins at 6:00 p.m. and can be seen on WCIU The U Too and streamed on www.ahllive.com. Those away from a TV or computer can follow @Chicago_Wolves or @ChiWolvesLive on Twitter for live in-game play-by-play.