LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brayden McNabb and Marian Gaborik scored third-period goals, and the Los Angeles Kings wrapped up their season with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Tyler Toffoli and Andy Andreoff also scored and Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, whose reign ended quietly in an afternoon game with no stakes. Both California rivals are missing the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 2003.
The Kings are the first champs to miss the ensuing postseason since Carolina in 2007, finishing ninth in the Western Conference after a winless three-game road trip to Canada earlier in the week.
Brent Burns scored a power-play goal and Alex Stalock stopped 32 shots for the Sharks.
With three losses in four games, the Sharks wrapped up their own disappointing season before what seems likely to be a summer of major upheaval for a perennially successful franchise.
This rivalry game usually boils with emotion, but this one was a shocking anticlimax to the season after both teams were eliminated from playoff contention in the past week.
The Kings eliminated San Jose from the past two postseasons, including their historic rally from an 0-3 deficit in the first round last season.
Los Angeles’ 3-1 loss in Calgary on Thursday ensured the end of the greatest stretch in this Second Six franchise’s history.
With back-to-back defeats in Alberta with their season on the line, the Kings finally ran out of resilience after winning two Stanley Cup titles and 10 playoff series over the past three seasons, playing an NHL-record 64 postseason games.
Despite finishing with the same record they posted in 2012 before rolling to the franchise’s first title (40-27-15), the Kings will miss the postseason for the first time since 2009.
The Sharks had been in every Stanley Cup tournament since 2003, but their record declined by 22 points from last season. San Jose also allowed 32 more goals than last year during a rancorous winter that included a public dispute between veteran star Joe Thornton and general manager Doug Wilson.
Burns scored just 1:38 in, converting a pass from Joe Pavelski on a power play. The versatile defenseman hadn’t scored a goal since these teams’ outdoor game in Santa Clara in February, ending a 20-game drought.
Toffoli tied it midway through the second period, following a loose puck into the crease for the 23rd goal of his standout season.
McNabb then put the Kings ahead with a bouncing one-timer immediately after a power play ended for just his second goal in 71 games.
Gaborik drove the slot and scored his 27th goal a few minutes later.
Andreoff’s empty-net goal completed the first multipoint game of his career.
NOTES: Sharks associate coach Larry Robinson spent his final game behind the bench before moving to Florida to take a player development role. The 63-year-old Robinson, the Hall of Fame defenseman and former Kings coach, won the Stanley Cup behind New Jersey’s bench in 2000. … Anze Kopitar led the Kings in scoring for the eighth consecutive season, tying Marcel Dionne’s franchise record. … The Kings recalled F Jordan Weal from the AHL before the game, but then scratched him. Weal still hasn’t made his NHL debut. … Los Angeles wore its gray-and-white jerseys and white pants from the Bay Area outdoor game.
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