(SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams clinging to the slimmest of playoff chances meet in San Jose on Monday when the Sharks host the Dallas Stars from SAP Center.
The Sharks have 87 points, leaving them five behind Los Angeles and Winnipeg for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with only three games to play. The Jets and Kings each have four games remaining and both play tonight. Los Angeles has a road game in Vancouver, while the Jets are visiting Minnesota.
San Jose already was facing long postseason odds before losing a 5-3 decision Saturday in Arizona. The Sharks had defeated a visiting Coyotes' team by a 3-1 count the previous night in San Jose but couldn't pull off the home-and-home sweep.
"We've got six points that are available to us. We're going to go and try and get them all and see what happens from there," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said after Saturday's loss.
Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl and Chris Tierney scored for the Sharks, who had a five-game point streak (4-0-1) snapped. Antti Niemi allowed four goals on 32 shots in defeat.
Arizona is last in the West with only 56 points and Saturday's win was the lowly club's first at home in regulation since a 4-1 decision over Winnipeg on Jan. 8.
McLellan's squad will try to rebound in tonight's test, which is San Jose's final home game of the regular season. The Sharks are 19-16-5 as the host.
Dallas would have been officially knocked out of the playoff race with a loss Saturday in Nashville, but the Stars were able to eke out a 4-3 overtime win.
The Stars have 86 points and need a miracle to get into the postseason. They need to win their final three games and also get a tremendous amount of help to stay in the playoff race.
Cody Eakin won it for Dallas on Saturday when he converted a penalty shot with 56 seconds left in the extra session.
With less than a minute to play in OT, a stretch pass sent Eakin behind the Nashville defense. The stick was then knocked out of his hands by Mattias Ekholm, giving Eakin the chance to end the game. The victory came after Dallas blew a 3-1 lead in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
"Good finish by us," said Eakin.
Travis Moen, Tyler Seguin and Colton Sceviour also scored for the Stars to end their two-game losing streak. Jhonas Enroth made 33 saves in the win.
Dallas is playing the middle part of a three-game road trip tonight. The Stars will complete the swing Wednesday in Anaheim before ending their schedule on Saturday with a rematch against the visiting Predators.
San Jose has won four in a row in the series with Dallas and also has gained a point in six straight (5-0-1). The Sharks have taken the last three encounters in Silicon Valley and own a 7-0-1 mark in the last eight matchups between the clubs at SAP Center.