DALLAS -- The San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars are currently on the wrong side of the cutoff line for the Stanley Cup Playoffs picture in the Western Conference, which makes the game between the former Pacific Division rivals at American Airlines Center on Thursday crucial.
San Jose (29-22-8) is 2-5-2 in its past nine games, including a 5-1 loss at the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Sharks are currently tied in points with the Los Angeles Kings, but L.A. holds the final wild-card spot in the West by virtue of having played two fewer games. San Jose's recent struggles led coach Todd McLellan to shuffle his lines at morning skate on Thursday.
"It could (help us defensively). We're hoping that," McLellan said. "We've won two of our last nine games with the same group, so it's time to shake things up. We'll see if that gives us an opportunity to be productive. If not, we can always go back."