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Wolves’ Magic Number Drops to 3 in Shootout Loss

Landon Bow made 29 saves and stopped two shootout attempts as the Texas Stars edged the Chicago Wolves 2-1 Saturday night at Allstate Arena.

Although Chicago (38-21-7-3) lost, its magic number to secure a 2018 Calder Cup Playoff spot dropped from 7 to 3 as Milwaukee and Iowa lost on Saturday. The Wolves, who lead the Central Division with seven games to play, can clinch their 19th postseason berth on Tuesday, April 3, with a victory over the Milwaukee Admirals.

“It was a great point to get,” said Wolves head coach Rocky Thompson. “Ultimately we had an opportunity to win that game, which was great. The second period really got us going and our guys continued with that momentum, continued with that energy.”

Center Brandon Pirri was Chicago’s lone scorer in regulation while Tomas Hyka was the lone Wolves player to convert in the three-round shootout.

The Stars (35-24-7-4) opened scoring just 5:14 into the game. Center Jake Dowling jammed home the puck in a net-front scrum for the 1-0 lead.

At 13:30 of the second period — while Chicago’s bench was shortened by two forwards due to injury — the Wolves netted the 1-1 equalizer. Pulkkinen pushed a pass to defenseman Philip Holm, who carried into the Texas zone. He zipped a pass to Pirri in the slot. The puck caromed off Pirri as he rushed toward the net and past Bow (19-15-7).

In the shootout, Brian Flynn and Travis Morin scored for Texas while Bow stopped Pirri and Teemu Pulkkinen.

Wolves goaltender Oscar Dansk (10-1-3) made 24 saves during regulation and overtime and stopped one shot in the shootout.

The Wolves return to action at Allstate Arena on Tuesday, April 3, when they host the Milwaukee Admirals. Puck drop is 7 p.m., and the game will stream on AHLLive.com.