The San Jose Sharks (24-14-7) take on the Dallas Stars (22-19-4) in the final home game of the season for San Jose.
The Sharks will be trying to make use of their incredible home record once more before heading on the road for their final two games of the season.
The Sharks still have the St. Louis Blues hot on their tail and will want the win to stay ahead of them. Also, since they are two points behind the Los Angeles Kings, it would be great to get the two points. They will also be looking to clinch a playoff spot tonight, something they could not do Sunday versus the Blue Jackets.
For the Stars it is essentially a must win since they are still three points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. They have one game in hand on the eighth seeded Columbus Blue Jackets but will be using that tonight hoping to get to within one point.
Also important to note are their final two games which are against the two teams they are chasing, Columbus and Detroit. However, the MUST win tonight for those games to mean anything.
Leading the way for the Stars is young centerman Jamie Benn. He has 11 goals and 21 assists for a team-high 32 points although he has a plus-minus rating of -9. Winger Loui Eriksson is second on the team in points with 28. He also has 11 goals to go along with 17 assists on the season.
In their last game against each other the Stars scored twice early. That was enough as they defeated San Jose 2-1. Overall Dallas is 3-0 against the Sharks this season, two of which have occurred this month, although one game was decided in a shootout. The Sharks definitely have some pride on the line tonight as they look to avoid the season sweep from their inner-division rivals.
For San Jose, defenseman Jason Demers will be out tonight according to the team beat writer David Pollack. It will be interesting to see who the coaching staff goes with tonight in his place. Defenseman Scott Hannan, who the Sharks picked up at the trade deadline for depth on the blue-line, has not played well. It would be nice to see the rookie Matt Tennyson in there tonight and get him some reps before the playoffs hit.
The move to Tennyson would also greatly improve their puck moving ability on the back end thus lowering the giveaway total. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.