The Sharks will face their former head coach Todd McLellan and league-leading scorer Connor McDavid in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the series beginning this week at Edmonton’s Rogers Place.
The schedule is as follows:
Game 1 - Wednesday, April 12 @ Edmonton (7 p.m.)
Game 2 - Friday, April 14 @ Edmonton (7:30 p.m.)
Game 3 - Sunday, April 16 @ San Jose (7 p.m.)
Game 4 - Tuesday, April 18 @ San Jose (7 p.m.)
*Game 5 - Thursday, April 20 @ Edmonton (TBD)
*Game 6 - Saturday, April 22 @ San Jose (TBD)
*Game 7 - Monday, April 24 @ Edmonton (TBD)
Anaheim beat the Los Angeles Kings in overtime on Sunday, clinching its fifth straight division title and locking the Oilers into second place.
Edmonton has won each of the last three games against San Jose, after the Sharks took the first two games of the season series.
The Sharks and Oilers have faced each other in the playoffs just once, when eighth-seeded Edmonton knocked off fifth-seeded San Jose in six games in the second round in 2006. The Oilers have not played in the postseason since that year, when they lost to Carolina in the Stanley Cup Final.
McLellan is in his second season as head coach of the Oilers, after the Sharks fired him on April 20, 2015. He is the Sharks’ all-time winningest head coach, posting a 540-311-163 record from 2008-09 through 2014-15.
The Oilers are led by McDavid, the league’s leading scorer with 100 points (30g, 70a). Selected with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Game 1 will be McDavid’s first career playoff game.
It will also be the first-ever playoff game at Rogers Place, the gleaming new home of the Oilers that opened at the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
The Sharks wrapped up the regular season with a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday, finishing in third place in the Pacific Division for the second straight year with a 46-29-7 record (99 points). They had a nine-point cushion on first place in the division on March 15, before losing eight of their next nine in regulation.
The status of the Sharks’ top two centers for the series remains in question, as Joe Thornton and Logan Couture finished the season hurt. Thornton missed the last three games with an apparent left knee injury, while Couture missed the last seven games after taking a deflected puck to the face on March 25 in Nashville.
Couture resumed skating last week, but there is no timetable as to when he can resume a full-contact practice. Thornton has not been spotted on the ice since Tuesday, and was seen leaving SAP Center on Saturday night walking with a slight limp while carrying a knee brace.
The winner of Sharks-Oilers will face the winner of Ducks-Flames in the second round.