SAN JOSE -- Clinching a Stanley Cup Playoffs series early has its benefits, and the San Jose Sharks are taking full advantage.
The Sharks had two days off after wrapping up their First Round Western Conference series against the Los Angeles Kings with a 6-3 victory in Game 5 at Staples Center on Friday.
The well-rested Sharks returned to work Monday with an up-tempo practice.
"It's great," Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said of the break. "To get two full days off it just resets you, recharges you. You earned that extra couple days there so it's nice to take it and then reset your body.
"It was nice to get out and get the heart rate up to 180 a couple times on the ice, get in the gym, work out. It makes a big difference."
The Sharks will play the winner of the best-of-7 series between the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators. The Ducks lead the series 3-2 and can clinch with a victory in Game 6 on Monday at Bridgestone Arena. Game 7, if necessary, will be on Wednesday at Honda Center.
The Sharks will practice, rest and prepare for the second round, despite not knowing who their opponent will be.
"We're going good right now, so you want to get your rest when you can," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "We've done a good job I think over the last few weeks. Before the playoffs we had four days off or however many it was to rest up there, and everyone contributed [against Los Angeles]. It was good to see.
"Those were hard-earned games, but everyone had a piece of it. It was used properly and it just adds to being fresh, and you get a couple days on top of it and a few more here coming up. A good practice day today."
DeBoer and his assistant coaches have been preparing game plans for the Ducks and Predators. They'll watch Game 6 and see if they can begin concentrating on Anaheim.
"Either not work and have to wait for Wednesday or get to work and really dial in on one team," DeBoer said. "We've got a lot of the foundation stuff for both groups already.
"There's two schools of thought. You'd like to know so you can get really dialed in and the second thing is you always want the series of the team you're playing to go as long as possible."
The Sharks got through their series against Los Angeles without any serious injuries. DeBoer used the same lineup, line combinations, pairs and starting goaltender in all five games. He relied on four lines throughout the playoffs, taking some stress his top-end players, and didn't overtax any of his defenseman.
DeBoer said he's not worried about the Sharks losing their edge during this long gap between games.
"Nobody prepares like these guys do," DeBoer said. "I think that's part of the reason we've been able to take the approach we have with them. You're never worried about them getting soft or losing that edge because they don't allow themselves to do that. So that's a nice luxury to have."