(SportsNetwork.com) - With their shot at another Stanley Cup title in 2015 gone, the Los Angeles Kings will close out a disappointing season with Saturday's home test against the San Jose Sharks.
The Kings won their second Stanley Cup title in three seasons last spring, but were eliminated from playoff contention on Thursday after suffering a regulation loss in Calgary. Los Angeles became the first Stanley Cup winner to miss the postseason in the following campaign since Carolina failed to qualify in 2007.
L.A. has lost three straight and hopes to halt the slide in the season finale with the Sharks, a team which played a role in the Kings' championship run last season. San Jose won the first three games of its opening-round series with Los Angeles before the Kings claimed four straight to become the fourth team in NHL history to pull off the historic 0-3 comeback.
The Pacific Division rivals have split four meetings in 2014-15 and today's Kings-Sharks meeting marks the rubber match. L.A. has won five of six and nine of its last 11 regular-season home games against San Jose.
The Kings have scored only four goals over their three-game losing streak and could only get one past Jonas Hiller in Thursday's 3-1 loss against the Flames. Hiller made 33 saves, while Jonathan Quick stopped 22-of-24 shots in the losing effort.
Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal for the Kings, who lost five of seven to end the season.
"We played hard. I got no complaints about anything to do with our team," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "Give the Calgary Flames lots of credit. Now, I get to pull for them."
It's fitting L.A.'s playoff hopes ended on the road, where the club struggled to a 15-18-8 record this season. The Kings are 24-9-7 as the host and will try to reach win No. 25 at the Staples Center on Saturday.
The Sharks, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003, ended a two-game slide with Thursday's 3-1 win in Edmonton. San Jose improved to 21-15-4 as the visiting team.
Bryan Lerg's first NHL goal was also the game-winner. Lerg scored at 17:08 of the third period to help the Sharks rally past the Oilers.
Lerg, making his NHL debut, was the beneficiary of a beautiful feed from Logan Couture, who put the moves on an Oilers defender and slipped a pass to the rookie near the right post.
"That was a really nice pass I got there," said Lerg about the goal. "It's nice to come out here and get a goal in my first game."
His one-timer beat Laurent Brossoit to make it 2-1, and Matt Nieto added an empty-net goal in the final minute. Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks.
After completing their season on Saturday, the Sharks could have some big decisions to make this offseason as both general manager Doug Wilson and head coach Todd McLellan's jobs are rumored to be in jeopardy.