The Vancouver Canucks picked up the Sharks in a big way last night with a 5-2 win over Dallas. It will be up to the Sharks to do themselves a favor when they host the Stars tonight at HP Pavilion.
Ninth-place San Jose (39-29-10, 88 points) can move back into playoff position with a regulation win over seventh-place Dallas (42-31-5, 89 points). Each team has four games remaining, and they meet again on Tuesday at American Airlines Arena.
The Sharks have struggled with Pacific Division foes this season, but that doesnt include Dallas. San Jose is 3-0-1 in the four meetings between the clubs, but just 5-11-0 against the Kings, Ducks and Coyotes.
Dallas, which is 1-10-2 in the second of back-to-back games this season, realizes how important tonights matchup is.
"You've got to slap yourself in the butt, park it and get ready for that next game," captain Brenden Morrow told NHL.com.
"We've got to kick the losses as quick as we can and move on to the next game," Steve Ott said. "We played all the way to the last game of the year last year to have a playoff spot and we lost it, so we know how crucial moving on to the next game is for us."
Kari Lehtonen, who took the loss in Vancouver after being pulled in the third period, is expected to start for the Stars. Antti Niemi will almost certainly go for the Sharks.
Kings lose Carter, but for how long?
The Sharks conclude the regular season with a home-and-home against the Kings (39-27-12, 90 points), who currently lead the Pacific Division after their 4-1 win in Edmonton last night.
Los Angeles could be without recent acquisition Jeff Carter, who was seen in a walking boot and crutches on Friday, nursing an ankle injury.
Its pretty sore. I think were just being precautious right now, keeping the weight off it and stuff like that, Carter told LA Kings Insider Rich Hammond.
In 16 games with the Kings since the February trade with Columbus, Carter has six goals and three assists while Los Angeles previously struggling offense has seemingly come alive since acquiring the winger.
Around the Pacific
Other games to watch tonight in the NHL include Anaheim at Phoenix, and the Kings at Minnesota.
For those of you keeping track, the Sharks are currently a 45.8 percent chance to make it to the postseason and just a nine percent chance to win the division.