The Tampa Bay Lightning are lounging around in the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings while the San Jose Sharks somehow find themselves fighting for their playoff lives in the West with a little over two weeks left in the regular season.
The Sharks, widely expected to be a top contender for the Cup this season, have been baffling for most of this season with their middling play.
Their latest misstep came on Monday, when they failed to beat Anaheim and missed out on a chance to move atop the Pacific Division and therefore into the No. 3 spot in the West. With a tough race heating up between the Stars, Kings and Sharks for the division crown — not to mention the Coyotes and Flames battling for a wild card bid to the playoffs — every game is weighing heavily on Team Teal.
The last time Jumbo Joe Thornton and Co. saw Boston, the B's were stumbling through a difficult October and the visiting Sharks capitalized with a 4-2 victory. Now the Bruins will have a chance to return the favor and deal a blow to San Jose's playoff chances if they can escape the Shark Tank with two points.
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