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game recap

Sharks edge Coyotes, await first-round opponent

Pavelski scores in third period, Jones makes 20 saves

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski scored in the third period, Martin Jones made 20 saves and the San Jose Sharks ended the regular season with a 1-0 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center on Saturday.

The Sharks will have to wait until Sunday night to find out their opponent in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. San Jose (46-30-6) finished third in the Pacific Division and will open on the road against the Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks will play Los Angeles if Anaheim wins Sunday at the Washington Capitals.

"We're ready," Pavelski said. "We've been ready, I think. A lot of work to get back here. A lot of guys had great years so far. But now the real season starts. We've got to get back on it. We don't want to change anything, the way we've been playing. There's a certain formula to it. We need everybody to contribute at times and we've got to find ways to win."

Jones earned his sixth shutout of the season and 13th of his career. He bounced back from a rough game against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday when he gave up five goals on 26 shots in a 5-4 loss.

"I think more important than the result, we just wanted to play well heading into the playoffs," Jones said. "Did some good things, got the big power play goal and played really solid defensively."

Video: ARI@SJS: Pavelski breaks scoreless tie with a PPG

Mike Smith made 31 saves for the Coyotes (35-39-8), who lost their final four games. Captain Shane Doan, who will turn 40 on Oct. 10, finished with 28 goals in what might have been his final season.

Not that his teammates want to see him hang up his skates.

"If I were him I'd be coming back," Smith said. "He's the ultimate captain and the ultimate leader in this league. It is impressive to see as he gets older he gets better."

Pavelski scored at 7:29 of the third period during a 5-on-3 power play. Boyd Gordon was called for high sticking and Oliver Ekman-Larsson for unsportsmanlike conduct at 6:33, and Pavelski put the Sharks ahead when he took a pass from Joe Thornton and beat Smith with a wrist shot from the left circle for his 38th goal of the season.

Video: ARI@SJS: Jones stops breakaway to keep it scoreless

The Sharks killed off two late power plays.

"We wanted to keep our structure," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "We didn't want to turn that off for a night because of the circumstance, and I don't think we did. It wasn't the prettiest win of year, but I thought that we kept it together and found a way. And that's been the story a lot of nights this year."

The Coyotes had two chances to break the scoreless tie early in the third period. Max Domi hit the post from the slot 25 seconds after the opening faceoff, and Jones stopped Alex Tanguay on a breakaway five minutes later.

"We had lots of try," coach Dave Tippett said. "We couldn't capitalize on anything."

Video: ARI@SJS: Smith stops the Sharks on the doorstep

The Sharks outshot the Coyotes 13-10 in the first period and 11-7 in the second, when Smith made a glove save on Pavelski's wrist shot from the right circle, then stopped Pavelski on the rebound. Joel Ward had a chance from close range later in the period, but Smith stopped him.

The Sharks recalled Mirco Mueller from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League; he took the place of Paul Martin, who was a healthy scratch. Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (knee) and forward Matt Nieto (broken knuckle) took part in the morning skate, but each missed his 12th straight game. They expect to be ready for the playoffs.

The Sharks will have Sunday off and get to work Monday preparing for the Kings or Ducks.

"Pick your poison," DeBoer said. "There's no way around that. We've known that for a while. I think our guys are excited about the challenge."

Video: Jones, Pavelski lead Sharks in win over Coyotes

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