SHARKS (25-14-7) at COYOTES (19-18-8)
TV: CSN-CA; FS-A
Last 10: San Jose 6-3-1; Phoenix 5-3-2
Season series: The San Jose Sharks have won three of the first four games against the Phoenix Coyotes this season, including a 4-0 victory nine days ago at Jobing.com Arena.
Big story: The Sharks are headed back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after rallying in the third period to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Tuesday. But the Sharks need a victory to give themselves a chance to finish fourth in the Western Conference -- they're even in points with the Los Angeles Kings and visit L.A. on Saturday in the season finale for both teams. The Coyotes still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs, but they'd need to win out and get a lot of help.
Sharks: The late comeback against Dallas assured the Sharks of their ninth consecutive trip to the postseason, the longest streak of any team except Detroit (21 years). Unlike most of the first eight, this one was a struggle -- the Sharks appeared to be restructuring for next season with some pre-deadline deals, but added speed and feistiness at the deadline
"We played solid right from the get go. I don't know how many posts we had, or how many great saves [Stars goalie Kari] Lehtonen made, we just kept going and kept going and kept pushing," captain Joe Thornton said. "And eventually you score. Back-to-back shifts, just a huge [two] points, I couldn't be happier."
Coyotes: With three games remaining and five points between them and eighth place, the Coyotes know their odds of making the playoffs are long. Their special teams let them down Monday night, when the Detroit Red Wings scored three times on the power play in a 4-0 victory, Phoenix's fourth loss in five games.
They're not ready to throw in the towel, but a loss to the Sharks will officially end their playoff hopes.
"We've just got to find a way to win the next one and give ourselves a chance," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said.
Who's hot: Logan Couture had the game-winning goal for the Sharks against Dallas and has six points in his past three games. Joe Pavelski had the tying goal against the Stars and has scored in each of his past three games.
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