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NHL Playoff Race: Sharks first round opponent scenarios

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San Jose is likely to face the Ducks in round one, but here's how that can change over the weekend.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings win over the Ducks on Thursday night made it very likely the Sharks face Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. Los Angeles holds a two-point lead over the Ducks, but Anaheim has a game in hand with a pair of games to be played this weekend.

Here are the potential scenarios:

Sharks play the Ducks if:

  • The Kings beat the Jets on Saturday in any fashion.
  • The Kings pick up a loser point against Winnipeg AND Anaheim secures three or fewer points in its two games.
  • The Ducks lose in regulation either Saturday or Sunday.
  • The Ducks lose in overtime or shootout in both games.

Sharks play the Kings if

  • The Kings lose in any fashion on Saturday AND the Ducks win in any fashion on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Kings lose in regulation on Saturday AND the Ducks win in any fashion in one game and pick up a loser point in the other.
  • The Kings get a loser point on Saturday AND the Ducks win both games in any fashion.
San Jose is locked into the third seed in the Pacific and will start on the road. The playoff series will begin on either Wednesday or Thursday. My hunch is the Sharks start on Thursday against the Ducks.