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Preview: Calgary Flames @ San Jose Sharks 3/31/19 (79/82): Basic Math Says Win & The West Is Yours

Two points could be the difference in winning the West tonight or having to battle for the title over the final three games of the season.

NHL: Preseason-Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ San Jose Sharks, 6 PM MT, SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose CA

TV: ESPN+, SNW - Radio: Sportsnet 960

X-Calgary Flames 48-23-7 (103 pts) - X-San Jose Sharks 44-25-9 (97 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames and Sharks will tangle tonight for the final time during the regular season with Calgary having a chance to put themselves eight points ahead of San Jose and clinch the Western Conference Title. Entering tonight Calgary has a six point lead and each team has four games left counting tonight. If the Flames win tonight their eight point lead would be insurrmountable with each team only having three games left. So the formula is simple: win tonight and the West is yours.

San Jose did themselves no favours over the last few weeks as they’ve clinched a playoff birth, but their less than stellar play has cost them a chance at taking the Pacific and West from Calgary. The Sharks have dropped seven of their last eight and done nothing to help themselves to gain ground while Calgary had some struggles of their own.

These two last met on February 7th with San Jose winning 5-2. San Jose has taken the season series so far from the Flames with a 1-2-0 record, but Calgary can even that win a win tonight. The Flames are 34-34-4 over the years in San Jose and they’ve dropped five of the last six games they’ve played at the Sharks barn.

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Flames: Rittich (E)- 26-8-5, 2.62 GAA, .911 Save%

Sharks: Dell (E)- 9-7-4, 3.14 GAA, .887 Save%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (35), Points- Gaudreau (94), PIM- Bennett (91), Save%- Rittich (.911)

Sharks: Goals- Pavelski (37), Points- Burns (79), PIM- Kane (151), Save%- Jones (.896)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 6 - Anaheim Ducks 1

San Jose Sharks 4 - Vegas Golden Knights 3

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Monahan (C): 33G- 47A, 4 points in last 5 games

San Jose Sharks

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Thornton (C): 16G - 31A, 3 points in last 5 games