With defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44), goaltender Martin Jones (31) makes a save against the Edmonton Oilers’ Patrick Maroon (19) during the two teams’ last meeting on April 6.
SAN JOSE — The Sharks will face one of the hottest teams in the NHL to start the postseason.
The Sharks, who finished third in the Pacific Division, will play Edmonton in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs after, late Sunday, Anaheim’s game against Los Angeles went to overtime, giving the Ducks their fifth straight regular season division title. Anaheim won the game 4-3 in overtime
Edmonton was leading Vancouver in the third period in Sunday’s other late game. But Anaheim finished with 105 points, two more than the second place Oilers.
The Sharks finished with 99 points and went 2-3 against the Oilers this season.
Led by Hart Trophy favorite Connor McDavid, the Oilers, before Sunday, had an 11-2 record over the last three-plus weeks of the regular season, which included a pair of wins over the Sharks.
The Sharks should have a playoff experience edge over the Oilers. Whether that will pay off this season remains to be seen.
“I think it’s some experience and a veteran group, and I also think it’s the character of your group,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said after Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames. “We’ve got a lot of character in there. They know this is what we’ve been waiting for.”
The Sharks limped to the finish line with just four wins in their last 14 games. The availability of Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski for the series opener, whether that’s Wednesday or Thursday, is in question.
“We’ve got a good group. We’ve played long stretches of real good hockey this year,” DeBoer said. “I think we’ll get healthy, get our guys back. They know the level that they have to play at when this time of year starts. I have no doubt we’ll be at that level.”