On Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 at HP Pavilion, clinching a playoff berth and moving their home record to 17-2-5 — the best in the NHL.
Now, the Sharks control their own fate…to a certain degree.
San Jose can ensure it’ll open the postseason as the West’s No. 4 seed — and the home-ice advantage that comes with it — if it beats the Coyotes tonight (in Phoenix) and the Kings on Saturday (in Los Angeles).
The importance of getting home ice is something Sharks head coach Todd McLellan recognizes.
“That would be a nice thing to have,” he told the San Jose Mercury News.
The Sharks head into Wednesday’s action sitting fifth, tied on points (57) with the fourth-place Kings.
Both teams have two games left in the regular season, but LA’s ahead in the standings thanks to the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker.
Getting the necessary results over the final two games won’t be easy for the Sharks.
San Jose is just 8-12-2 on the road this year and, assuming it can secure points against the Coyotes, faces a tall task in the season finale at Staples, where the Kings are a scorching 18-4-1 on the year.
That said, you can expect San Jose to be gunning hard for home-ice advantage.
Joe Pavelski, who scored the game-tying tally against Dallas on Tuesday, acknowledged the HP Pavilion crowd is key to the team’s success.
“You’re at home, the crowd is building and building and you’re just waiting for it to blow,” he said. “It was an awesome atmosphere out there.”