Sharks vs. Stars: Another chance to clinch

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Another team fighting for their playoff lives heads into the Shark Tank, with San Jose having yet another chance to mathematically guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason.

If the Sharks earn at least a point against the Dallas Stars tonight in the final meeting ever between these two teams as division rivals, they'll secure themselves a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the ninth consecutive postseason. For their part, Dallas remain in the playoff hunt but will likely need to win out and get some help along the way in order to make the dance.

Since the last time these teams played each other, a 2-1 Sharks loss in Dallas ten days ago, Stars forward Alex Chiasson (who lit up San Jose for three goals in two games) sustained a shoulder injury, leading Glen Gulutzan to put all his eggs in one basket as the Stars' first line is now comprised by their three best forwards; Ray Whitney, Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. Expect to see Logan Couture's line and the Marc-Edouard Vlasic/Justin Braun defense pairing draw plenty of Benn. That unit holding Dallas' top guns in check and the Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski lines exploiting lesser matchups will be key to the Sharks punching their ticket to the playoffs.

Dallas Stars

@

San Jose Sharks
22-19-4, 48 points
24-14-7, 55 points
10th in Western Conference 5th in Western Conference

7PM PST | HP Pavilion | San Jose, California
TV:
CSNCA-HD | Radio: 98.5 KFOX, SJSharks.com
Know Your Enemy:
Defending Big D

Projected Sharks Lineup

T.J. Galiardi - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
Raffi Torres - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
Andrew Desjardins - Scott Gomez - Adam Burish

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Scott Hannan - Brad Stuart

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Projected Stars Lineup

Ray Whitney - Jamie Benn - Loui Eriksson
Eric Nystrom - Vernon Fiddler - Erik Cole
Reilly Smith - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt
Lane MacDermid - Tom Wandell - Antoine Roussel

Trevor Daley - Stephane Robidas
Brenden Dillon - Alex Goligoski
Aaron Rome - Philip Larsen

Kari Lehtonen
Richard Bachman

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