Sharks close season with 3-2 win over Coyotes

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm •  Published: April 12, 2014
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks had been trying to get Joe Pavelski to 40 goals for three games, looking for him at every chance, sending extra passes his way.

Pavelski got No. 40 out of the way quickly against Phoenix and the Sharks got through a difficult game for a nice postseason tune-up to boot.

Pavelski had two goals to become the fourth player in team history with 40 goals in a season and San Jose closed out the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Coyotes on Saturday night.

"It was nice it comes right away in the game," Pavelski said of goal No. 40. "I could feel everyone try to pass to me, so it's cool, but the win obviously is nice going into the playoffs. Guys feel good about themselves."

The Sharks wrapped up a playoff spot more than three weeks ago and already had their first-round matchup set up, so there wasn't much to gain against the playing-out-the-string Coyotes.

Pavelski knocked out his milestone on a power play 3:43 into the game and added No. 41 midway through to join Owen Nolan, Jonathan Cheechoo and Patrick Marleau in San Jose's 40-goal club.

The rest of the game was ugly at times, filled with turnovers and mistakes, but the Sharks found a way to grind out a victory before getting a rematch against the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs.

Logan Couture scored, Dan Boyle had a pair of assists and Antti Niemi stopped 30 shots, including Shane Doan on a breakaway late in the third period for San Jose.

"This one was a tough to watch and be part of, the turnovers, the casualness, it was kind of a no-hitter from both teams, which benefited us, obviously, to stay healthy," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I'm glad this one's over and we can focus on playing playoff hockey."

The Coyotes have limped to the end of the season and are ready for it to just end after being knocking out of playoff contention Friday night.

Goalie Mark Visentin gave up two goals in the opening 10 minutes of his NHL debut before settling down, stopping 29 shots.

Phoenix generated some good scoring chances, yet couldn't capitalize on most of them, stretching their losing streak to seven games. Mike Ribeiro and Doan scored for the Coyotes, who have not won since March 27.

"We want to beat everybody and just end this stupid streak," Doan said.

The Sharks locked up their playoff spot on March 24 and already know they'll face the Kings in the opening round, so the finale was little more than a tuneup.