I think the Sharks have one of the most talented teams in the NHL but they make me so nervous. They looked so bad against Edmonton and although they won two games in a row and looked decent, I have a really bad feeling- I think if they play Detroit in the first round the Sharks are going to get bounced.

Nabokov helps Sharks clinch playoff berth
By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer
3 hours, 19 minutes ago
Buzz up! 2
SAN JOSE, California (AP)—Although Evgeni Nabokov(notes) becomes visibly uncomfortable in the spotlight, the San Jose Sharks goalie allowed himself to enjoy it for a moment after his 50th career shutout in the NHL.

Nabokov just hopes his fellow Sharks will keep taking the attention away from him over the next few weeks as they build toward a sixth straight playoff run.

Nabokov made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season, and the Sharks clinched a playoff berth while climbing back atop the Western Conference standings with a 3-0 victory over the Dallas Stars late Thursday.

“I wanted to get this one out of the (way), but I think it’s more important for the way we played,” Nabokov said with a shrug. “Maybe the shutout will help, I don’t know.”

San Jose has won two straight after a six-game winless run over the previous 10 days. Nabokov took each of the Sharks’ five regulation losses during the slump, giving up 19 goals and worrying fans about the Russian’s playoff readiness.

“It’s a building process, getting ready for the playoffs,” Nabokov said. “I think that’s more important, and that’s what we wanted to do. … We can play this way, where we don’t have many turnovers and we don’t give up too many odd-man rushes, if any.”

Just as he’s done in previous seasons, Nabokov is pulling himself out of a late-season funk while lifting his teammates. He has 39 victories to tie Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick(notes) and Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) for the second-most in the league behind New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur(notes) (40).

This shutout wasn’t the toughest of his career, but it included a handful of stunning saves, including a sprawling breakaway stop in the final minute.

“It’s great to see Nabby only giving up one goal in the last two games,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.