The San Jose Sharks clinched a berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Minnesota Wild lost to the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Tuesday.
The Sharks (43-22-8) trail the Calgary Flames by three points for first place in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. San Jose lost three straight games needing one win to clinch.
"It's concerning because we aren't playing well," forward Logan Couture said after a 7-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday. "… We're giving up too many chances, too many easy goals. We're giving up odd-man rushes. We have to get back to shooting the puck."
San Jose has made the playoffs in 14 of 15 seasons since 2003-04 (missing in 2014-15). It lost in six games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Second Round last season and likely would play them in the first round if it finishes second to the Flames.
The Sharks have not finished first in their division since 2010-11 and have not had home-ice advantage in a first-round playoff series since 2013-14. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games after finishing third in the Pacific.
"The regular season really doesn't have a bearing on the playoffs," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said Monday. "We've proven that before here."
The Sharks have five players with at least 24 goals: forwards Joe Pavelski (37), Tomas Hertl (31), Evander Kane (27), Timo Meier (26) and Logan Couture (26). Defenseman Brent Burns leads the Sharks with 75 points (13 goals, 62 assists).
Martin Jones (34-15-5) has won 20 of his past 28 decisions (20-7-1) and is three wins from tying his NHL career high set in 2015-16, his first season with San Jose.
San Jose plays at the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCA, NHL.TV).