Although the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks both have been regular Stanley Cup playoff participants for the past 15 years Jaguars Taven Bryan Jersey , the California rivals somehow met in the postseason only once before this week.

That first-round series in 2009 provided valuable lessons to the veterans remaining in both dressing rooms. The eighth-seeded Ducks eliminated the top-seeded Sharks in six tempestuous games culminating in the Ducks clinching home victory, which began with Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton dropping the gloves on the opening faceoff.

Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin are still around in Anaheim, while Thornton, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski are still in teal. When they drop the puck on another first-round meeting Thursday night at Honda Center, the veterans from both clubs will keep in mind what theyve learned from many years of the playoff grind.

We would have liked to probably handle that series a little better, recalled Pavelski, now the Sharks captain. We were great in the regular season. Just never really got it going. This group understands we want to get off to a good start. If you get that first goal under your belt and play with the lead, more often than not it puts that other team under a little bit of pressure.

Much has changed for both teams in the ensuing nine years, but this rivalry hasnt cooled much. Getzlaf and Perry are still seeking their first Stanley Cup since 2007, while the Sharks are still waiting to raise it for the first time.

The 38-year-old Thornton is still in teal, but his right knee injury seems likely to keep him out for the first round. Anaheim has its own injury woes headlined by the shoulder problem of top defenseman Cam Fowler, who is expected to miss the series.

Here are more things to watch in the eighth playoff series between California teams in NHL history:

OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS?: The series opens in Orange County because of a tremendous late-season surge by the Ducks, who won their final five games to slide in front of San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim overcame its early-season injury problems and the late-season absence of goalie John Gibson to finish with 101 points to San Joses 100. The Sharks lost five of their final six regular-season games and gave away home-ice advantage on the final day of the regular season. Home ice typically doesnt mean much in the postseason, but the Ducks have lost in regulation at Honda Center just once in 17 games since Jan. 23.

KANES CHANCE: Evander Kane provided a big spark for San Jose after being acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline with nine goals and five assists in 17 games. Kanes reward for his strong play is his first trip to the playoffs nine seasons into his career. Kane never got a shot at the postseason with Atlanta Authentic Brent Burns Jersey , Winnipeg or Buffalo, but believes his style of play is conducive to this time of year.

Ive said it in the past: I think Im a playoff player, he said. Ive watched the playoffs and when I look at the style of play and its something I was jealous because I wasnt involved in it. Now I get that opportunity and I have to back those words up.

SCORING D: Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has put a priority on getting offense from their defense and it paid off this season with San Jose ranking third in the NHL with 199 points from the blue line. The offense didnt just come from last years Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns, with a team record five defensemen in all scoring at least 20 points, including a career-high 33 points from Justin Braun and a career-best 11 goals from Vlasic.

I dont know what it is. Hes been preaching it for a few years but this year I think we really took hold of it a little bit more, Braun said.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The Sharks power-play has been a bit of a roller coaster this season. San Jose converted just 14.5 percent of its chances with the man advantage over the first 18 games before things started to click. The Sharks scored on 28.9 percent of their chances over the next 29 games before falling back into a rut after Thornton injured his knee. The power play slumped late in the year, converting at a rate of 16.5 percent over the last 35 games. The penalty kill was much more consistent, ranking second in the league at 84.8 percent for the season.

AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow in San Jose contributed to this report.

鈥?The New York Jets are choosing stability over a shake-up.The team announced Friday it extended the contracts of general manager Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles, keeping the pair for at least the next three seasons through 2020.The extensions are for two years each, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contracts. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.During their time here, they have worked together to help the organization build a foundation on which to grow, acting owner and CEO Christopher Johnson said in a statement. They are identifying, developing and getting productivity out of our players.I believe we are headed in the right direction.The announcement came two days before the Jets complete their season at New England. New York is 5-10 and will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight year and the third under Maccagnan and Bowles.This provides us continuity and stability as we continue to move this team toward sustained success, Johnson said. We still have a lot of work to do and I am excited to work closely with both of them as we move forward.The decision is not a huge surprise, although there was growing speculation on Bowles future as he completed the third year of his original four-year deal. He is 20-27 during his tenure with the Jets Anthony Averett Jersey Elite , and could be looking at his second straight 5-11 season.But Bowles is credited with instilling a culture change among his players, who were in mostly every game this year. Seven of the Jets 10 losses have been by 10 points or fewer.We have a plan that were going forward with and everybodys on the same page, Bowles said.Maccagnan oversaw a roster purge in the offseason that cleared big names and high salaries from the locker room, replaced by mostly younger 鈥?and less-expensive 鈥?talents.Because of the heavy roster turnover, little was expected of the Jets going into the season. Some fans and media predicted New York would have a tough time winning just a couple of games, so a 3-2 start was one of the NFLs early surprises.Bowles stressed a team-first approach, adopting a One Team, One Goal slogan, which he had painted all around the facility as well as other motivational words on the doors and hallways. Throughout the season, players highlighted the teams unity and the positive vibe despite rough stretches 鈥?and many credited Bowles.He understands how to coach players and understands how to get guys to buy into a program and really commit to it, linebacker Jordan Jenkins said.Several players expressed their pleasure at the news on social media, supportive in the locker room of Bowles and Maccagnan coming back.I like stability and I like to be able to play for one coach and I like to be able to play in the same system for a while, said defensive end Leonard Williams, who along with many teammates learned of the news from reporters. It makes me comfortable and it makes me know who Im playing for and who Im playing with. I feel like a team is only going to progress when you have stability.Left tackle Kelvin Beachum pointed to the fact that Bowles has the overall respect of the players in the locker room.When youve got a coach that keeps it black and white, is not BSing Authentic Daryl Worley Jersey , is not shooting smoke up your behind, thats great as a player because you know exactly what youre going to get, he said. Coach Bowles is consistent.Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, scheduled to be a free agent this winter, believes the Jets are heading in the right direction.With Mike putting the roster together and Todd coaching the way hes coached with all the great coaches we have here, its a testament to them, Seferian-Jenkins said. When we keep adding pieces, were going to be a force to be reckoned with, and Im very, very excited for them and very happy for them.Bowles downplayed the decision, saying hes focused on the season finale against the rival Patriots.Its just business as usual, he said. Were trying to win a game on Sunday and well get ready for next year.Bowles and Maccagnan will have plenty to chat about in the upcoming weeks with 16 players scheduled to be free agents, including Seferian-Jenkins, quarterback Josh McCown, linebacker Demario Davis Dante Pettis Jersey Elite , cornerback Morris Claiborne and center Wesley Johnson. New York will have around $80 million in salary cap room this offseason, so they can be expected to be active in free agency.The Jets will be in the market for a quarterback via free agency or the draft, where they currently hold the No. 7 overall pick.New York will have to decide about defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, the teams highest-paid player, who fell out of favor after repeated issues with tardiness.There will be raised expectations, especially with fans decidedly mixed on Bowles staying. Some pointed to the competitiveness with which the team played, while detractors think the coachs in-game decisions have left something to be desired.Obviously, Im hard on myself, but Im supposed to be, Bowles said. Im always hard on myself. So Ill take a long, hard look at myself next year and Ill come back fighting..