Sharks beat Kings in OT, final two playoff matchups set

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It took the very last game of the 2011-12 NHL season, and it even had to go to overtime, but with the Sharks’ 3-2 victory over the Kings tonight in San Jose, all eight first-round playoff match-ups have been determined.

Finally.

With the win, San Jose clinches the seventh seed in the West and will meet No. 2 St. Louis. The Sharks lost all four meetings with the Blues this season, two of them by shutout. However, with seven wins in its last nine, San Jose does go in as the hottest of the two sides, as St. Louis finished with just four wins in its last 12.

Meanwhile, No. 8 Los Angeles will take on No. 1 Vancouver. The Kings and Canucks met in the first round of the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs with Vancouver advancing in six games. L.A. heads into the postseason with just two regulation losses in its last 14 games, so like the Sharks, the Kings have to be feeling reasonably confident. And they’ll need to be good against the Canucks, as Vancouver clinched its second straight Presidents’ Trophy tonight and has lost just once in its last nine.

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