|Date of game: 4/7/2012
Recap: San Jose vs. Los Angeles
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Dan Boyle scored the game-winning goal at 3:58 of overtime, sending the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the final game of the NHL regular season on Saturday at HP Pavilion.
Boyle started the eventual scoring play on the rush, sending a left-wing feed to Martin Havlat. Boyle drove hard to the net and got the puck back on the end of a give-and-go before backhanding it over the shoulder of Kings netminder Jonathan Quick for the winner.
The Sharks secured the seventh seed in the Western Conference and will face the No. 2 seeded St. Louis Blues in the first round.
Boyle also scored in regulation and Havlat ended with two assists, while Patrick Marleau also lit the lamp for the Sharks (43-29-10) who ended the regular campaign on a four-game winning streak.
"We're going to find out if we're peaking at the right time," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.
Justin Williams had a goal and an assist, while Mike Richards also scored for the Kings, who dropped three of their final four games.
Los Angeles (40-27-15) ended the season in the eighth spot in the Western Conference and will face the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, who topped Edmonton on Saturday to capture the President's Trophy.
"I think that there are probably a lot of similarities between them and the Sharks," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said about Vancouver. "They are really good offensive teams and have really good power plays. We're going to have our hands full."
The Kings opened the scoring with a power-play tally at 11:09 of the first frame with excellent puck movement in the offensive zone. After a series of quick passes, Jarret Stoll sent one from the right circle to the slot for Williams, who one-timed it past Sharks netminder Antti Niemi for the early lead.
Los Angeles struck again on the power play with just 56 seconds remaining in the middle period when Willie Mitchell let a slap shot go from the right point that was stopped by Niemi through traffic, but the rebound came to the stick of Richards, who backhanded it home to make it 2-0.
The Sharks began their comeback just 35 seconds into the third stanza when Boyle accepted a pass in the slot and fired a wrist shot past Quick to pull the Sharks within 2-1.
San Jose tied the game with a power-play tally at 8:14 of the third frame when Marleau wristed a shot on goal that got through traffic and past Quick.Game Notes
The Kings fell to 25-13-11 under head coach Darryl Sutter...Los Angeles will participate in the postseason for the third consecutive season, while San Jose has not missed the playoffs since finishing last in the Pacific Division in 2002-03...It was the sixth time that Marleau has reached the 30-goal plateau in his career...The Sharks finished 1-for-4 with the man advantage, while the Kings went 2-for-2 on the power play.