Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored goals 30 seconds apart late in the third period to help the San Jose Sharks clinch their ninth straight playoff berth with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
Raffi Torres also scored for the Sharks, who moved into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles with two games remaining in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round. The Sharks visit the Kings in the season finale on Saturday.
Antoine Roussel and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, whose playoff hopes were dealt a serious blow. Dallas remains two points behind ninth-place Detroit and three behind eighth-place Columbus in the race for the final playoff spot. The Red Wings have a game in hand over both teams. The Stars end the season with home games against Columbus and Detroit.
Dallas looked as though it would gain two points in San Jose behind a strong night from Kari Lehtonen but it was all erased in a flash late in the third period.
First, Pavelski tipped Brad Stuart's point shot in with 5:37 remaining to tie the game.
While the sellout crowd was still celebrating that goal, Justin Braun's point shot went to Patrick Marleau who slid the puck to an open Couture, who knocked in his 20th goal of the season. Lehtonen made 34 saves but had no chance on Couture's game-winner with 5:07 remaining.
Antti Niemi made 24 saves in his 24th straight start for San Jose.
KDFW FOX 4
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