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Coyotes-Sharks Preview @NHLdotcom

The San Jose Sharks struggled offensively in their last game but still were able to add two points to their franchise-record total. Getting a victory in their next game would be even more historic.

The Sharks look to continue their dominance at HP Pavilion and clinch their first Presidents' Trophy when they meet the Pacific Division rival Phoenix Coyotes in their last regular-season home game Thursday night.

San Jose (53-16-11) outshot Western Conference-worst Colorado 30-20 on Tuesday night, including a 7-1 advantage in overtime. But the Sharks didn't score their first goal until Joe Pavelski beat Peter Budaj in the first round of the shootout to give them a 1-0 victory.

"Our goal is to come in first in the league, but we won't win many games with this effort," winger Devin Setoguchi told the Sharks' official Web site.

Though it was an uninspired offensive performance for a team that ranks among the league leaders with 3.09 goals per game, Sharks coach Todd McLellan was happy to get the win, which moved his club one victory away from securing the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the postseason.

With two games left, San Jose has a team-record 117 points - five more than East-leading Boston, which has three games remaining. The Sharks also lead Detroit - the next-best team in the West - by six points.

"As a team, we talked about being in control and right now we are in control," said McLellan, whose club finishes the regular season at Los Angeles on Saturday. "It's where we want to be. But that doesn't mean the opposition we play against or the other teams we are battling with are just going to roll over and play dead. We don't expect that.

"We have to take care of our own business and we look forward to that opportunity on Thursday."

Clinching home ice throughout the playoffs could go a long way for the Sharks, who are a league-best 32-4-4 at home. They're 6-1-0 in their last seven at HP Pavilion and 7-0-1 in their last eight there against the Coyotes (34-39-7).

That success is largely due to Evgeni Nabokov, who's 29-3-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average at home this season. He delivered his seventh shutout of 2008-09 - and fourth at home - against the Avalanche.

Nabokov is 9-5-2 with two ties and a 2.18 GAA in 20 home games against the Coyotes, including 2-0-0 with a shutout and a 1.00 GAA this season.

That doesn't bode well for a Phoenix team that's been outscored 11-2 in consecutive defeats. The Coyotes were outscored 3-0 and outshot 11-3 in the second period of a 5-1 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday night.

"I wouldn't say it was effort. Maybe it was smarts more than anything," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "They kept coming at us in waves and we left our goalie out to dry."

In his first start in four games, Ilya Bryzgalov gave up four goals in two periods to fall to 7-16-2 with a 3.29 GAA since the All-Star break. He was replaced by rookie Al Montoya, who's 2-1-0 with a 2.41 GAA in four games - three starts - since being called up from the minors.

Whether it's Bryzgalov or Montoya in net Thursday, he could have a hard time containing a Sharks offense that's getting healthy in time for the playoffs. Veteran forwards Mike Grier and Claude Lemieux, both out since March 3 with injuries that cost them 18 games apiece, returned Tuesday night.

Captain Patrick Marleau and winger Ryane Clowe are expected to be in the lineup Thursday. Marleau and Clowe have missed five and 11 straight games, respectively, with lower-body injuries.

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