Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 4/3/12
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Lightning 4, Capitals 2
Kings 2, Oilers 0

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Steven Stamkos, TB (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. Jonathan Quick, LA (19 saves, shutout)
3. Dwayne Roloson, TB (31 saves)
---

Tonight’s slate:
Maple Leafs @ Sabres, 7:00 ET
Islanders @ Devils, 7:00
Rangers @ Flyers, 7:00
Penguins @ Bruins, 7:30
Hurricanes @ Senators, 7:30
Jets @ Panthers, 7:30
Wild @ Predators, 8:00
Sharks @ Stars, 8:30
Ducks @ Canucks, 10:00
Blue Jackets @ Coyotes, 10:00

Game of the night:
San Jose Sharks @ Dallas Stars
8:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Sharks (40-29-10) … Stars (42-32-5)
Away/Home: Sharks (15-17-7) … Stars (22-14-3)
Last 10: Sharks (6-4-0) … Stars (4-6-0)
Season Series: 4-1 Sharks

Projected starting goaltenders:
SJ- Antti Niemi (2011-12 stats: 32-22-9, 2.39 GAA)
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2011-12 stats: 32-20-4, 2.31 GAA)

Injury report:
SJ- Douglas Murray (lower body, doubtful)
DAL- Eric Nystrom (leg, probable), Radek Dvorak (ankle, questionable), Tom Wandell and Philip Larsen (illness, questionable)

Three things to watch:
1. Playoff implications
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Three games remain for the Sharks and Stars, who are separated by one point and currently reside in 8th and 9th, respectively. The Stars can make the season’s final days incredibly interesting in the West with a win, regulation or not. On the flip side, a win by the Sharks makes it difficult on the Stars to make the postseason.
2. Stars’ season on the line?
Just how difficult? The Stars (89 points) would be three points back of the Sharks (90 points) with two games to play. With Phoenix (91 points, in 7th) playing Columbus tonight, the Stars’ playoff chances would take a major blow if they come away with nothing in this game. Glen Gulutzan’s club has to win this game. Has to.
3. Sharks’ domination in season series
However, it could be tough given that the Sharks have had their number. Todd McLellan’s team has won four of five in the season series, including Saturday’s 3-0 win at home. The last time they played in Big D was the only win the Stars have salvaged in the five games thus far, a 4-3 win over the Sharks.

Final thoughts: The second half of this home-and-home has a lot of intrigue, as outlined above. Can Lehtonen make one more big save than Niemi? Can the Sharks take a stranglehold on the 8 seed with a win? Go with the former – barely. Prediction: Stars 3, Sharks 2 (OT)

The rest of today’s predictions:
Sabres over Maple Leafs
Devils over Islanders
Flyers over Rangers
Bruins over Penguins
Senators over Hurricanes
Panthers over Jets
Predators over Wild
Canucks over Ducks
Coyotes over Blue Jackets
---

Video of the day:


*Follow us on Twitter – @RLDhockey
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