The Sharks (36-27-10, 82 points) are just two points away from the eighth-place Los Angeles Kings, and on paper, it appears as if the game means everything for San Jose.
But the game is equally important for the Bruins (42-27-3), who are just three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators in the Northeast division and can’t afford to get complacent.
However, they can’t get too desperate either.
“It’s a fine line because right now, we have to play with that sense of desperation because every game is a big game for us,” Bruins forward Chris Kelly
said. “We’re not safe by any means where we’re at, and I think we got to play smart, play within in the system and the right type of structure – but also that sense of desperation shift in and shift out.”
There’s no question the Bruins looked better than they have in a while with their wins over the Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, but a strong San Jose team waits for them on the other side of the ice.
“Well, I mean their whole lineup is filled with skills,” Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg
said. “With those guys, you try not to give them a whole lot of room to skate and make the play, so you have to be tight on them, make the room and space tight so they can’t look for plays.
"It’s a good test for us trying to shut them down, and we’ll see what happens.”
Over the last month or so, it was hard to tell exactly what was missing from the Bruins lineup, other than the obvious answer of forwards Rich Peverley
and Nathan Horton
However, after the two wins, forward Tyler Seguin
had a better idea on what they did right.
“We had a bit of a chip on our shoulder going out and competing and winning battles,” Seguin said. “I think that’s when we really start playing well, when we start competing hard and winning all those little battles wherever it may be.
“And we stay consistent with that after having a good game against Philly, and not looking at the score against Toronto – just to see us competing hard and doing the little things right – that makes us happy.
"We like winning more than losing.”
It’s important to tap into that winning mentality, especially since the Bruins have just nine games left after tonight before the postseason.
“Play like there’s no tomorrow, that’s how you play in the playoffs,” Seguin said. “That’s how we want to continue playing, so we can carry it on for playoffs.”