The Sharks are officially out of the running for the Pacific Division.
San Jose, which has won four of its last five games, sits in third place in the Pacific with 96 points, three behind Anaheim and Los Angeles. The Kings and Ducks play one another on Thursday, though, so one of those teams will have 101 points by the time the night is over.
If the Sharks win their final two home games, on Thursday against Winnipeg and Saturday against Arizona, the most they can finish with is 100.
San Jose’s first round opponent is still to be determined, but it will be one of either the Kings or Ducks. While those teams are tied in points atop the division, Anaheim has one game in hand on the Kings.
After Thursday, Los Angeles has just one game left on its schedule at home against the Jets on Saturday. The Ducks have a two-game road trip, visiting Colorado on Saturday and the Capitals on Sunday in a game that is being made up due to winter weather.
Home ice for the Sharks is still possible for the first round if they are able to finish in second in the division, but those chances are somewhat remote. According to the website sportsclubstats.com, the Sharks have a 91 percent chance of finishing as the third seed, thereby starting on the road.
On Tuesday, San Jose wrapped up the road portion of its schedule with a 3-0 win over the Wild. They finished 28-10-3 away from SAP Center this season, breaking the franchise record for road wins and points (59).
“I’m proud of the group. That’s an accomplishment,” coach Pete DeBoer told reporters after the game. “We’re all here to try and win a Stanley Cup, that’s the big prize, but it’s a great accomplishment what they did today and through the season setting the road record.
“Considering our travel and the type of miles we put on compared to some other teams. To be able to do that is a testament to how these guys prepare themselves and the grittiness of the group.”
The Sharks finished 3-1-1 against the Kings this season. They have been eliminated by Los Angeles in their previous two playoff appearances in the 2013 second round and 2014 first round in a pair of seven-game series, and beat the Kings in 2011 in six games in the first round.
Against Anaheim, the Sharks were 1-3 this season. The two teams have not met in the postseason since 2009, when the Ducks, the eighth seed, knocked off number one seeded San Jose in the first round.