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Sharks fall to Kings, still clinch Presidents' Trophy

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks lost a hockey game, but

still won a trophy.

Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick made

27 saves as the Los Angeles Kings finished their season with a

4-3 win over the Sharks, who managed to clinch the Presidents'

Trophy anyway on Saturday.

San Jose secured the top record in the NHL (53-18-11) for the

first time in club history when the Boston Bruins lost 6-1 at

Buffalo earlier in the day.

Michal Handzus, Alexander Frolov and Peter Harrold also scored

for the Kings (34-37-11), who didn't qualify for the playoffs.

Devin Setoguchi, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau had goals for

San Jose, which wrapped up the regular season and will be the

top-seeded team in the Western Conference playoffs.

"It feels good, that's what we worked for all year," Sharks

forward Milan Michalek said. "Now we have to forget about it and

start getting ready for the playoffs."

Despite securing the best record in the league, the Sharks are

stumbling into the postseason. They also lost 4-1 at home

against Phoenix on Thursday and needed a shootout to beat

last-place Colorado 1-0 on Tuesday.

"It's certainly not the way you want to finish your season with

two losses," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "Both games I think

there have been some good things and we'll try and focus on

that. Without a doubt there has been a lot of mistakes and

turnovers and key defensive mistakes."

The Kings were able to gain some solace in winning their season

finale. They had lost five prior games to San Jose this season

(0-3-2), while being outscored 13-6.

"If you're not going to make the playoffs, you want to go out

with a win," Kings defenseman Matt Greene said. "You try to end

the season on a positive note as much as you can. I think we did

that. We went out and got a big win and played well."

Los Angeles reversed its earlier struggles against San Jose

largely because of Quick, who faced the Sharks for the first

time. The rookie from Connecticut emerged as the Kings' top

goalie while playing in 44 of Los Angeles' final 51 games. He

was especially sharp over the final weeks, posting a .938 save

percentage in the last 10 games.

"Quick has played tremendous for us," said Terry Murray, who

completed his first season as Kings coach. "Every game he has

given us the opportunity to win."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead when Setoguchi corralled a rebound

during a power play and swiped the puck around Quick just 5:41

into the game.

Handzus tied it, with an assist from Simmonds, when he ripped a

shot from the left circle that deflected off Sharks defenseman

Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past goalie Evgeni Nabokov at 10:42.

Frolov then whisked around from behind the net and put a

backhanded wraparound under Nabokov to make it 2-1 just over 4

minuets later.

The Kings pushed their advantage to two goals in the second as

Simmonds sent a 40-foot wrist shot by Nabokov during a power

play at 4:28.

"We played hard today and played for each other, it showed,"

said Simmonds, who had five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the

final four games of his rookie season.

San Jose got within 3-2 later in the second as Pavelski tipped

in a shot by Vlasic during a power play.

Vlasic earned his 30th assist of the season, making the Sharks

the fourth team in NHL history to have four defenseman who had

at least 30 assists. Dan Boyle (41), Rob Blake (35) and

Christian Ehrhoff (34) had already reached the mark.

Harrold and Marleau matched goals in the third.


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