Golden Knights look to build confidence in last few games

Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant, in blue, looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 21, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) Golden Knights center Cody Eakin (21) and Vegas Golden Knights center Brandon Pirri (73) celebrate their first goal over the Edmonton Oilers during their game on Monday, April 1, 2019. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The ticket is punched, the opponent is set.

The Golden Knights learned Friday they are in the playoffs for the second straight season and discovered Sunday they are playing the San Jose Sharks in the first round.

Now all that’s left to do is prevent their late-season 0-3-2 slide, entering Monday, from turning into a complete spiral during their last games of the regular season.

“We’ve got to worry about these next games before we can worry about the Sharks,” forward Alex Tuch said. “We have to have good habits, we have to get our confidence as high as possible and play really strong, hard games.”

The Knights have two games remaining, a Thursday date with the Arizona Coyotes and a Saturday finale against the Los Angeles Kings. Their goal is to use those games as a springboard heading into the playoffs, even though there’s nothing left to gain in the standings.

What they want to avoid is a tailspin like the San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins have found themselves in.

The Sharks are 1-7-1 in their last nine and the Bruins have lost three of four.

“We just want to get our game going in the right direction and make sure everyone is firing on the right cylinders,” defenseman Jon Merrill said. “Also, get some guys some rest if needed and get healthy.”

Injury updates

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who is day to day with a lower-body injury, skated with the Knights on Monday morning for the first time since March 15.

Fleury did not dress for Monday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, but coach Gerard Gallant said he has no concern that the team’s lone All-Star will miss a playoff game.

“It’s good to have him out on the ice for sure,” Gallant said.

Center Paul Stastny missed the Oilers game and is day to day with an undisclosed injury. Gallant said Stastny’s injury is “nothing major.”

Shark hunting … officially

The Sharks’ matchup with the Knights in the first round comes as no surprise since the teams have been No. 2 and 3 in the Pacific Division, respectively, since March 15.

It’s also a rematch from last season, as the Knights eliminated the Sharks in the second round in six games in their longest series of the playoffs. Outside of Game 1, a 7-0 Knights’ win, San Jose was outscored 15-14 in the series.

Both teams are minus 110 to win this year’s series, Westgate sportsbook manager Jeff Sherman tweeted Monday.

“To be honest with you, it looked like (we would play them) three weeks ago,” Gallant said. “It should be a great series.”

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Ben Gotz at . Follow on Twitter.