Pavelski scores on power play, Sharks beat Coyotes 1-0
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) With the San Jose Sharks headed back to the postseason after a one-year hiatus, Joe Pavelski had a clear message for the home fans.
''Let's get this place loud again,'' he told a roaring, sellout crowd.
Pavelski scored on a power play 7:29 into the third period and Martin Jones made 20 saves to lift the Sharks to a 1-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes in the regular season finale for both teams on Saturday night.
''A lot of guys played well and we had some great additions in the locker room,'' Pavelski said. ''It was a lot of hard work to get back here. Now the real season begins. Let's get back on it.''
Joe Thornton, named the Sharks player of the year earlier in the day, got his 964th assist to tie for 13th on the career list. He had an assist in all five games against the Coyotes this season.
The Sharks enter the playoffs with an 18-20-3 home record. They are the only playoff team with a losing record at home.
''Defensively, every aspect of our game was cleaned up pretty well,'' Pavelski said. ''We wanted to get more of our power play but we got the one that counted. Our penalty kill came up big for us and Jones was solid.''
San Jose opens the playoffs against either the Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks. Its opponent will be determined when the Ducks play Washington on Sunday.
''Both are really good teams,'' Pavelski said. ''Give us one and let's go to work.''
Mike Smith saved 31 of 32 shots for the Coyotes, who have not scored in San Jose in 192:02, a span of over seven periods.
''We had lots of try, we couldn't capitalize on anything,'' Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
The Coyotes made remarkable progress this season but are 0-7-3 in their last 10 visits to the Shark Tank.
''We have a long ways to go. We can't be patting ourselves on the back just yet,'' said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, limited to 14 minutes after taking a misconduct call in the first period defending a teammate. ''A lot of young guys showed they belong in the NHL. Being able to contribute is great.''
San Jose failed to convert its first four power plays before Brent Burns and Thornton crisscrossed the net with a pair of quick passes to open things up for Pavelski, who scored his team-leading 38th goal.
The Sharks had to kill off two penalties in the final 6 minutes to hang on.
''More than the result, we just wanted to play well,'' Jones said. ''We played solid defensively and now the real games start. We have a team capable of going deep into the playoffs.''
NOTES: Joonas Donskoi was named the Sharks rookie of the rear, Brent Burns the fan favorite and Pavelski honored for his ''inspired performance.'' ... The Sharks signed draft picks Michael Brodzinski (5th) and Danny O'Regan (5th). ... Mirco Mueller was recalled from the AHL. ... Sharks C Tommy Wingels played in his 300th game and C Tomas Hertl played in his 200th game. ... Doan entered with 68 points in 105 games against the Sharks. ... The Sharks announced their 13th sellout of the season.