PREDATORS (35-32-11) at STARS (38-29-11)
TV: FS-TN, FS-SW+
Last 10: Nashville 6-3-1; Dallas 6-4-0
Season series: This is the rubber match of a five-game series with the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators winning two home games each.
Big story: The Predators have won three in a row but it could be too little, too late as a regulation loss to the Stars would eliminate them from Stanley Cup Playoff contention. Dallas cannot clinch a playoff spot Tuesday and will have to fend off the Phoenix Coyotes to claim the final wild-card position in the Western Conference.
Predators: Nashville has no margin for error with four games remaining on its schedule, so the focus remains on keeping its modest winning streak alive. Veteran right wing Patric Hornqvist carried the Predators to a 3-0 victory in their most recent game Saturday at the playoff-bound San Jose Sharks with two goals and an assist. The win marked the second consecutive game that Nashville defeated a team already in the playoffs, following a 5-2 win Friday at the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks.
"We're never going to give up," Hornqvist said Saturday. "It's a long road to make the playoffs. But as long as we have a chance, we're going to work as hard as we can."
Stars: The final regular-season game for Dallas could be a win-and-in situation with a visit to the Coyotes. In the meantime, the Stars will try to take advantage of an upcoming three-game homestand. Dallas is 6-0-1 in its past seven home games, including an active three-game winning streak, with its most recent home victory a 7-3 decision against the Predators on Mar. 28.
Dallas will try to rebound from surrendering a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss at the struggling Florida Panthers on Sunday. The Stars players are aware that a better effort is needed if the team expects to end a five-season playoff drought.
"Tough points to lose," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. "We expect better. At this point in the year, being tired is just a mental thing. We're not going to use fatigue as an excuse. We've got to find a way to get points."
Who's hot: Hornqvist is in the midst of a seven-game point streak for Nashville with seven goals and seven assists. ... Seguin is riding a four-game point streak for Dallas with four goals and two assists.
Injury report: Predators forward Patrick Eaves (lower body) is questionable. ... Stars forward Ray Whitney (lower body) is out and defenseman Aaron Rome (lower body) has not played since Mar. 29.