Ever since coach Dave Tippett arrived on the scene almost four years ago, ushering in a work boots-required policy that had been lacking in these parts, every game served a purpose.

In their 50-win, 100-plus point showing in 2009-10, when they clinched with seven games to go, the last two weeks were a primer for the franchise’s first playoff berth in eight years.

The next spring’s activities — much like last year’s frenzied finish — weren’t confirmed until the last week of the season, keeping the Coyotes at their peak.

So it was unusual, then, to watch Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks unfold as an obligation rather than a necessity.

After failing to grab two points in Detroit on Monday, the Coyotes were eliminated from playoff contention. The schedule of the teams they’re chasing coupled with the fact they don’t currently own the tiebreaker against any of those teams makes it impossible for them to sneak in — even if they win out.

But as much as these proceedings were irrelevant, they were still meaningful to the Coyotes.

They pulled out a 2-1 win in front of 12,588 at Jobing.com Arena because pride also has been a prerequisite since Tippett took over.

“We’ve established an identity of how our team has to play to be successful, and we expect that identity to carry right through,” Tippett said. “It’s about work ethic. It’s about character, and it’s about trying to find ways to win. I thought we played accordingly.”

If only the Coyotes delivered more performances like this one, they might still be in the hunt — or better yet have a spot clinched.

The Coyotes built a 2-0 lead with two first-period goals courtesy of their blue line.

Michael Stone sent a rising shot past Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss at 11:56, and then Keith Yandle one-timed the puck from the right point on the power play at 17:52.

The only puck that snuck behind goalie Mike Smith was a wrist shot from Brent Burns off an Oliver Ekman-Larsson turnover at 3:31 of the second. Smith finished with 33 saves, and Greiss had 30.

“It wasn’t the easiest game to get up for,” Smith said. “We don’t like to be in the situation that we’re in. There’s two ways to look at it: you can go out there and feel sorry for yourself and just get through a game, or you could show some pride and play like we did tonight.”