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Sharks wrap up regular season with 3-2 win
Pavelski scores goals 40 & 41 to lead San Jose
4/12/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks wrapped up their 2014 regular season with a 3-2 victory over the host Phoenix Coyotes, in what amounted to a meaningless game for both teams. The Coyotes capped a gruesome end to their season with a 7th consecutive loss. They had been in contention for a playoff spot three weeks ago, but their losing streak allowed the Dallas Stars to jump past them in the standings to grab the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Joe Pavelski finally reached the elusive 40-goal mark, scoring a pair of goals to pace the Sharks to their 51st win of the season.

* The Sharks finish the regular season with the 4th seed in the West, as they prepare to play the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Sharks 111 points ties them with the Colorado Avalanche and St Louis Blues, but both teams have 52 wins and a game in hand. By virtue of the playoff format this season, either the Blues or Avalanche will automatically get the 2nd seed by winning the Central Division.

* As for the game, the theme of the day was to stay healthy. As San Jose gears up to take on the Kings, staying healthy was of the utmost importance. Defenseman Scott Hannan was banged up in the home finale on Friday night, forcing Sharks head coach Todd McLellan to play Marc-Edouard Vlasic. McLellan sat Vlasic on Friday in order to give his ice-time leader more rest heading into the Sharks series with Los Angeles.

* Pavelski joined Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo and Owen Nolan as the 4th Shark to record 40 or more goals with the game's first tally 3:43 into the contest. Paul Bissonnette put the Sharks on a power play after slashing Marleau, allowing Pavelski to convert 50 seconds into the man advantage. Pavelski took a Brent Burns feed as he skated toward the right post, slipping the puck past Mark Visentin. Visentin was making his NHL debut in net for the Coyotes.

* Mike Ribeiro hit the left post on the next shift, followed by a Mikkel Boedker shot that snapped through the crease moments later.

* Pavelski added to his career high in goals with his 2nd tally of the period at 9:56. The Sharks forward finished a passing sequence with Joe Thornton and Matt Irwin by ripping a shot from the left circle that slipped past Visentin. Thornton fed Irwin from the right wing boards to start a triangle pattern, before Irwin setup Pavelski from the blueline.

* Mike Ribeiro cut the Sharks lead in half with his 16th goal of the season midway through the 2nd period. Irwin and Dan Boyle got crossed up on their coverage, as both converged on Radim Vrbata while Ribeiro floated over to the right side uncontested. Vrbata made the feed to his linemate, who one-timed the chance past Antti Niemi.

* Logan Couture opened the 3rd period with his 23rd goal of the season just 13 seconds in. Floating in the left corner, the Sharks forward skated from behind the end line to the side of the crease, where he tapped a Dan Boyle feed past Visentin. Boyle was on the right point, sending his feed down the slot hitting Couture for the only assist on the goal.

* The 2-goal lead quickly evaporated as Shane Doan scored 31 seconds later, snapping a shot from the right side past Niemi after the coyotes fished a puck out of a scrum on the right side.

* Niemi made a great kick save with just over 9 minutes to play in the game with the Coyotes buzzing around the Sharks net. The Shark netminder's biggest save came with 3:45 to play in regulation when he stoned Doan on a breakaway chance. Niemi had to do the splits as Doan cut left on the nailbiting sequence.

* Phoenix was forced to pull Visentin with 45 seconds left in the game, but when the Sharks moved the puck out of their own zone, Keith Yandle was forced to hook Marleau to prevent an empty-net goal. The Sharks power play essentially ended the game, as the puck was dropped in the Coyotes zone with 10 seconds left in the game.

* The Sharks weren't able to get out of Arizona completely unscathed. Bracken Kearns was shaken up in the middle period and did not return to start the 3rd period.

* San Jose had a rough 18 hours. After wrapping up their win over Colorado on Friday night, they caught a charter to Phoenix, arriving long after midnight. A false fire alarm then forced the evacuation of the team's hotel at 2:30 in the morning. Players and coaches were allowed to return to their rooms after the fire department gave the all clear sign.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 1 3
PHO 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, Pavelski 40 (Burns, Boyle), 3:43, (pp). 2, SJ, PAvelski 41 (Irwin, Thornton), 9:56.
2nd period - 3, PHO, Ribeiro 16 (Vrbata, Erat), 10:22.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Couture 23 (Boyle), 0:13. 5, PHO, Doan 22 (Chipchura, McMillan), 0:44.
Penalties
1st period - Bissonnette, PHO (slashing), 2:52; Stuart, SJ (interference), 6:22.
2nd period - Bissonnette, PHO (hooking), 15:53.
3rd period - Yandle, PHO (hooking), 19:45.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 32 30
PHO - Visentin 32 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 13 11 32
PHO 5 16 11 32
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
PHO 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Dan Boyle
Kyle Chipchura
Attendence
15,438
Officials
Referees: Pollock, Walsh. Linesmen: Gibbs, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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