For most of Tuesday’s game, it seemed like Kari Lehtonen might will the Dallas Stars to a win. He buckled just enough to allow the San Jose Sharks to score two goals in 30 seconds to lock up a 3-2 win, clinching a 2013 playoff spot – and gravely injuring the Stars’ chances – in the process.
Raffi Torres opened up the scoring only to see Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson give the Stars a 2-1 lead early in the second period. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture then scored those two tallies in blinding speed to make it 3-2.
The Sharks move back into fifth place in the West after the St. Louis Blues briefly leapfrogged them. At this point, San Jose can jostle for positioning with the fourth-seed Los Angeles Kings and the sixth-ranked Blues.
The Stars aren’t mathematically eliminated, especially since they get to face the two teams ahead of them.
Dallas hosts eighth-place Columbus on Thursday and ninth-place Detroit in the final game of its season on Saturday.
That will help the Stars influence the process, but they’re still going to need quite a bit of help to break their postseason drought.