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Sharks vs. Stars preview: Final tune-up before outdoor game

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San Jose has fallen out of playoff position and desperately needs wins.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With their playoff odds having fallen into "perilously low" territory, the Sharks are faced with a steep uphill climb if they hope to return to the postseason for an 11th consecutive time. They'll need at least 30 points in their remaining 23 games, with the most important two points on the table Saturday under the lights at Levi's Stadium. In their final tune-up prior to that crucial contest, they'll face a Stars team with playoff aspirations of their own in one of several games down the stretch that can only be characterized as a must-win.

Tale Of The Tape
San Jose Sharks

@

Dallas Stars
29-22-8, 66 points
Record 27-22-8, 62 points
5th in Pacific Rank 6th in Central
50.6%
Score-Adj. Fenwick 51.6%
99.0
PDO 100.1
21.1
PP% 17.5
80.4
PK% 79.8

5:30PM PST | American Airlines Center | Dallas, Texas
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
Know Your Enemy: Defending Big D

Projected Sharks Lineup

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Melker Karlsson
Logan Couture - Joe Pavelski - Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto - James Sheppard - Tyler Kennedy
Tomas Hertl - Chris Tierney - Andrew Desjardins

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Justin Braun
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Stars Lineup

Jamie Benn - Jason Spezza - Erik Cole
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Ryan Garbutt
Colton Sceviour - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky
Curtis McKenzie - Vernon Fiddler - Brett Ritchie

Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Jordie Benn - Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka - Trevor Daley

Kari Lehtonen
Jhonas Enroth

Last Meeting

In one of the most exciting games of the season, Dallas took an early 3-1 lead against the Sharks on the strength of a Tyler Seguin hat trick before San Jose roared back, scoring four goals in the third period including two by Brent Burns to win the game.

Storylines
  • This will be the first meeting between these teams since the November 21st trade that sent Brenden Dillon to the Sharks in exchange for Jason Demers.
  • After getting low-bridged by Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov over the weekend, leading Stars scorer Tyler Seguin will be out tonight and is expected to miss the next three to six weeks with a knee injury. Jason Spezza will take his place on Dallas' top line.
  • Usually a dependably above-average starting goalie, Kari Lehtonen has had a rough season and is one of the biggest reasons the Stars likely aren't headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring. He'll get the start tonight against fellow Finn Antti Niemi.