Programming note – Sharks-Flames coverage starts today at 6:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on NBC Sports California Plus (Channel Listings)
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 45-29-7, 97 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Flames: 45-32-4, 94 points, 4th Pacific Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***Although the Sharks are still technically alive for home ice in the first round, they'll need to beat Calgary in their regular season finale tonight and hope that Edmonton loses both games in regulation this weekend to miserable Vancouver. The Oilers visit the Canucks, who have lost six in a row, tonight.
***Coach Pete DeBoer wouldn’t confirm it, but it looks like Justin Braun will not play in the finale and Dylan DeMelo will draw in. The Sharks recalled Timo Meier, Danny O’Regan and Tim Heed on Saturday morning, and Meier and O’Regan might also play.
Whoever ends up sitting out, DeBoer indicated it would be more about bumps and bruises than taking a breather before the playoffs.
“If we sit anybody it won’t be a rest,” DeBoer said. “Everyone is dealing with a little something, so we’ve just got some bodies here and we’ll make some decisions at game time.”
DeMelo will be playing for the first time since March 25 in Nashville, and said it’s “definitely” important to get in a game in case he’s needed in the playoffs.
“Just same as always, really, whenever I get a chance just try to make the most of it,” DeMelo said.
***Aaron Dell will be between the pipes after Martin Jones started the previous seven.
“Just get that last little feel of it before we go in [the playoffs],” Dell said.
DeBoer is confident that Jones, who was so vital to the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, has gotten into a good rhythm.
“I think he’s been excellent here the last week. I feel real good about where his game is at. I think he does. I think he’s ready to go.”
In his last eight starts, Jones is 3-5-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average and .882 save percentage.
***The Sharks have two players sitting on 29 goals – Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns. They have not had a season without a single 30-goal scorer since 2007-08.
Burns is trying to become the first 30-goal scorer as a defenseman since Mike Green had 31 for Washington in 2008-09.
“It would be nice for him. I don’t think anybody right now is thinking about personal goals, including him,” DeBoer said. “It would be a nice accomplishment, but I think he’s had an exceptional year, regardless. Arguably been our best player all year.”
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Patrick Marleau. Since moving to center with Joe Thornton and Logan Couture still out, Marleau has looked out of place. Perhaps he moves back to the wing for the Flames game, while Danny O’Regan gets a closer look as fourth line center. When asked if that could happen on Friday, though, DeBoer said: “I think the answers lie in the group we’ve got here.” That was before O’Regan’s recall.
Flames: Mark Giordano. The Flames’ 33-year-old defenseman has four assists in his last three games entering tonight. Giordano has 39 points (12g, 27a) in 81 games this season, and along with partner Dougie Hamilton (49 points), is part of a strong top pair that can contribute on both ends of the ice.
Melker Karlsson – Joe Pavelski – Kevin Labanc
Jannik Hansen – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Joonas Donskoi – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Marcus Sorensen
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko
Aaron Dell (starter)
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Michael Ferland
Matt Tkachuk – Curtis Lazar – Michael Frolik
Freddie Hamilton – Sam Bennett – Alex Chiasson
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Troy Brouwer
Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Matt Bartkowski – Deryk Engelland
Sharks: Justin Braun (undisclosed) is doubtful. Logan Couture (face), Joe Thornton (left knee) are out.
Flames: Chad Johnson (lower body) is out.
“We’re still working at our game. We want our details of our game in the right place heading into the playoffs next week. For me, the meeting this morning was all about the details of the game that are going to be critical whenever we start next week.” – Pete DeBoer