Sharks at Stars
7:30 p.m. Friday, American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: FSSW Radio: KTCK/1310 AM and 96.7 FM
Records: Sharks 42-24-7, 91 points; Stars 29-33-11, 69 pts.
About the Sharks: With 91 points, they are certain to reach the playoffs, unless Los Angeles or Winnipeg runs the table and the Sharks go pointless their final nine games. Laughable as that sounds, Pacific-leading San Jose has hit some rough ice, losing its last four to tie its season high and netting just four goals in those games — including a 1-0 shutout loss to the Stars on Monday. Some of that may be fatigue after playing seven games in 11 days. But with Anaheim climbing within two points in the division, the Sharks better get moving. Leading scorer Brent Burns (27 goals, 43 assists) hasn’t had a goal in 14 games and tallied just three points in the last 10, all three coming in a win over Washington.
About the Stars: The clock is approaching midnight on any pipe dream of making the postseason. Sitting 16 points out of the last playoff spot with nine games to play, Dallas has little to play for but experience and pride. Even that might be hard to find on their looming East Coast road trip, a daunting proposal that promises five games in eight days before coming home for three games to finish the season. Center Jason Spezza missed games Monday and Thursday because of back spasms and is questionable for Friday. Mattias Janmark confirmed Wednesday that he won’t try to play until next season as he continues to recover from September’s knee surgery.