Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 3/8/12
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Sabres 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)
Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 2

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Pascal Dupuis, PIT (2 goals, 1 assist)
2. Jason Pominville, BUF (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Jordan Staal, PIT (1 goal, 1 assist)
---

Tonight’s slate:
Sabres @ Bruins, 7:00 ET
Islanders @ Devils, 7:00
Panthers @ Flyers, 7:00
Lightning @ Capitals, 7:00
Kings @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Rangers @ Senators, 7:30
Ducks @ Blues, 8:00
Avalanche @ Predators, 8:00
Sharks @ Stars, 8:30
Wild @ Coyotes, 9:00
Canadiens @ Oilers, 9:30
Jets @ Canucks, 10:00

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

Records:
Overall: Sharks (33-24-8) … Stars (36-26-5)
Away/Home: Sharks (14-13-5) … Stars (18-12-3)
Last 10: Sharks (2-7-1) … Stars (7-1-2)
Season Series: 3-0 Sharks

Starting goaltenders:
SJ- Antti Niemi (2011-12 stats: 25-17-7, 2.43 GAA)
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2011-12 stats: 26-15-4, 2.29 GAA)

Injury report:
SJ- Martin Havlat (hamstring, out)
DAL- Brenden Morrow (back, out), Jake Dowell (finger, out)

Three things to watch:
1. Pacific Division battle
Like the Southeast in the Eastern Conference, the Pacific Division is up for grabs in the West. Dallas, Phoenix, San Jose and Los Angeles are all separated by three points with less than 20 games remaining. The Stars lead the division with 77 points, while Todd McLellan’s Sharks are three points back with two games in hand. This is one of three key games remaining between these two teams down the stretch.
2. Teams going in different directions
The Stars and Sharks couldn’t be going in more opposite directions. Glen Gulutzan’s gang has abruptly won seven of their last eight games, surging to the top of the division with their successful Western Canada swing. Meanwhile, San Jose has stumbled since the All-Star break by posting a 4-10-2 record in their last 16 games.
3. Red-hot Mike Ribeiro
The triggerman for the Stars during their current surge has been Mike Ribeiro. The underappreciated center has been clutch of late, scoring two big goals in Vancouver and picking up key assists. In his last 11 games, Ribeiro has racked up 15 points.

Final thoughts: On the surface, the Stars are the easy pick here because of the second point above. But I’m going with the Sharks tonight because this game means more to them. They are too good to let the Stars gain a five-point edge for the division lead. Prediction: Sharks 3, Stars 2

The rest of today’s predictions:
Bruins over Sabres
Devils over Islanders
Flyers over Panthers
Capitals over Lightning
Kings over Blue Jackets
Rangers over Senators
Blues over Ducks
Predators over Avalanche
Coyotes over Wild
Oilers over Canadiens
Canucks over Jets
---

Five must-read links:
- NHL.com: Turco takes whirlwind journey from Austria to Boston
- LA Kings Insider: Carter discusses return to Columbus
- Globe and Mail: Projecting the 2014 Canadian Men’s Olympic hockey team
- CBS Eye on Hockey: Avery not on AHL playoff roster; is career done?
- Smashville 24/7: Yip motivated to face former team; Tootoo speaks
---

Video of the day:


*Follow us on Twitter – @RLDhockey
*Did you miss Wednesday’s podcast with Illegal Curve’s Richard Pollok? No worries… you can check it out here!
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