Joe Pavelski reached the 40-goal milestone, then added one for good measure. Antti Niemi made 30 saves and gave up fewer goals than he had in four of his past five starts. Oh, and the Sharks beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Saturday night to head into the playoffs on a two-game winning streak. Not a gem by any means, but all in all, not a bad way to end a regular season that saw the Sharks finish with 111 points -- third-best in franchise history. Now it's time to get down to business after a game that Sharks coach Todd McLellan said had "kind of a casualness." "This was a tough one to watch and be a part of," he said. "It was a no-hitter from both teams, which benefited us, I think. I'm glad it's over, and I'm glad we get to start working now on focusing to play playoff hockey." The game was meaningless as far as the standings go. The Coyotes fell out of the playoff picture 24 hours earlier, while San Jose was locked into a second-place finish in the Pacific Division and a first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Kings. In addition to Pavelski's two goals, Logan Couture scored one. The Coyotes got one each from Mike Ribeiro and Shane Doan. This has been a career year for Pavelski, who had failed to score a goal in the three games since he notched his 39th. His previous high was 31 goals, and after playing 527 NHL games without a hat trick, he had three this season. His first goal Saturday night came on an early power play. Brent Burns fed him the puck as he skated through the right faceoff circle and his shot beat rookie Coyote goalie Mark Visentin, playing his first NHL game, on the far side at 3:43 of the first period. Pavelski's second arrived less than seven minutes later after passes from Joe Thornton and Matt Irwin set Pavelski up for a 35-foot slap shot that went in high on the short side at 9:56 to make it 2-0. "It was nice that it comes right away in the game," Pavelski said of the goal that put him in the company of Owen Nolan, Patrick Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo as the only Sharks with 40 or more. "The other night, you could feel everyone trying to pass it." And Pavelski resisted the idea that his 40 goals reflected individual accomplishment.
San Jose Sharks beat Phoenix Coyotes in regular-season finale
San Jose Mercury News | Apr 13