The San Jose Sharks were handed a brutal shutout loss by the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday night, but their playoff situation got just slightly less dire later on in the evening, as the Dallas Stars suffered a lopsided 5-2 loss against the hometown Vancouver Canucks.
Dallas -- holders of first place in the Pacific Division just days ago -- are now just one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks. All four teams gunning for playoff position in the Pacific Division are now within two points of one another. The Los Angeles Kings are in first place with 90 points, the Coyotes and Stars have 89 points and are in the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Western Conference and the Sharks are currently sitting just below the postseason cutoff with 88 points.
Friday night's Dallas loss is crucial for the Sharks, who close out the season with home-and-homes against both the Stars and the Kings. The Sharks are better set up than any other team in the division to make their own fortune, but they will have to find a way to win in order to do that.