The San Jose Sharks managed a must-win victory over the visiting Dallas Stars to halt their two-game skid. With the win, they leapfrogged Dallas to land in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, just above the postseason cutoff ... for the time being.
While the Calgary Flames were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday following their overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks, the Sharks still need to be worried about the Colorado Avalanche, as well as their prime targets: Pacific Division rivals the Stars, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings.
Both the first-place Kings and second-place Coyotes were in action on Saturday. While the Kings lost via shootout to the Minnesota Wild, the Coyotes unfortunately coasted to an easy 4-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks.
Following Saturday's play, the Kings are in first place in the Pacific Division (and thus third place in the Western Conference) with 91 points. The Coyotes are in second place in the division and seventh place in the conference with 91 points of their own and the Sharks are right behind with 90 points. The Stars currently have 89 points, while the Avalanche have 88.
The Sharks will have an opportunity to keep the Stars stalled at 89 points as they complete the home-and-home series against their rivals in Dallas on Tuesday. They follow that up with a home-and-home against the Kings to finish out the season. If the Sharks can somehow manage to win out the season, they could very well claim the Pacific Division title. If they can just beat the Stars again on Tuesday, that will be an excellent start. They can ill afford to lose again in their three remaining games.
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