Sharks beat Kings in battle for No. 7 seed in West
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Dan Boyle is one of the older players in the NHL and he's still looking to learn a few new tricks. He learned just enough to give his team momentum heading into the postseason.
Boyle scored his second goal of the game with 1:02 remaining in overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night in the regular-season finale.
"You still learn something every year," Boyle said. "I have the worst backhand in the league probably so I got a little lucky there. You want to go out with a win and for pride. The reason you play is to win and I like the way we fought back the last few games."
"No one was pleased with the way we played in the first two periods," Sharks' coach Todd McLellan said. "We had to find ourselves in the third period. It felt like we were always chasing this year. We never felt comfortable. We'll see if facing all that adversity will help us."
The Sharks clinched the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and will meet the St. Louis Blues in the first round.
"We start over now," Boyle said. "We want to erase what we've done against St. Louis this year. It wasn't very good."
"We've done it before and we'll do it again," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "They are similar to the Sharks to be quite honest. They have really good offenses, really good power plays. We'll have our hands full."
Neither team had a chance to win the Pacific Division after Phoenix beat Minnesota 4-1 to clinch the No. 3 spot in the playoffs.
"Once they announced the Coyotes' game it seemed the team was satisfied with just being in the playoffs," Sutter said. "Now it is my responsibility to make sure they're not satisfied anymore."
A scoring frenzy down the stretch helped both teams secure playoff berths. The Kings recorded 21 points over their last 14 games and the Sharks had 23 points in their previous 18.
"It's going to be all business here the next couple of days," Jarret Stoll said. "Then travel to Vancouver and look forward to Game 1."
The NHL playoff schedule will be announced Sunday.
Williams opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the first period. Stoll took a long shot that bounced off Niemi's pads and right to Williams' stick.
Los Angeles scored on another power play in the final minute of the second period after killing off two penalties, one a two-man advantage.
This time it was Williams, who took the shot Niemi could not hang onto, with Richards there for the easy rebound.
Boyle sliced the lead in half 35 seconds into the third period and Marleau scored his 30th goal 8 minutes later to tie it.
Notes: C Logan Couture was voted Sharks Player of the Year by the Bay Area media. ... Richards has points in five straight games. ... Martinez has points in three of his last five games after scoring in two of his previous 12. ... Sharks F Martin Havlat has points in his last four games. ... Marleau reached 30 goals for a fourth straight year and sixth in seven seasons. ... Pavelski left the ice after getting hit in the face with a puck in the first period. He returned after being treated for a cut lip. ... The Sharks had three 30-goal scorers for the first time in franchise history in Pavelski, Marleau and Couture.
Updated April 8, 2012