Playoff watch: Sharks lose, miss chance to pass Stars

Games in hand are great, but they don’t mean much if you don’t win them. The San Jose Sharks played their game in hand on the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings Monday night and lost it, falling 5-3 to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks blew an opportunity to take the Pacific Division lead, and instead fell to 10th place in the Western Conference. They’re tied at 82 points with Los Angeles, but the Kings own the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker.

The Sharks and Kings play Tuesday night. It’s one of several key games in the Western Conference playoff race.

The Stars, of course, are playing the Phoenix Coyotes at American Airlines Center. First place in the Pacific Division and the third seed in the Western Conference are at stake in that one.

Colorado is hosting Calgary as well. The Avalanche are currently in 8th place and the Calgary is in 11th place, two points off the pace.

Should be a great night of hockey.

Western Conference Playoff Race

The Western Conference playoff race. ROW = Regulation/Overtime wins. DIFF = goal differential.

x = clinched playoff spot.