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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Monday, 04.06.2015 / 5:42 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Stars at Sharks

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars each are still barely alive in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that could change even before their game begins at SAP Center on Monday.

A victory by the Winnipeg Jets against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center would eliminate the Sharks and Stars. That game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET; the puck drops in San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET (FS-SW+, CSN-CA PLUS).

A road victory by the Los Angeles Kings against the Vancouver Canucks would also eliminate the Sharks and Stars. The Kings' game at Rogers Arena starts at 10 p.m. ET.

With 87 points and three games remaining, the Sharks trail the Kings and Jets by five points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. Dallas, which also has three games left, trails the Kings and Jets by six points. The Kings and Jets each have four games remaining.

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Posted On Friday, 04.03.2015 / 4:06 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Coyotes at Sharks

SAN JOSE -- Fourth-line forward Mike Brown will return to the lineup for the San Jose Sharks after missing 47 games with a broken right leg and face the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center on Friday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A, CSN-CA PLUS).

Brown, one of the Sharks' toughest and grittiest players, hasn't played a game since Dec. 9 when he was injured against the Edmonton Oilers. He hopes to energize the Sharks as they continue their late-season push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"That's the plan," Brown said after San Jose's optional morning skate. "I play an energy style, and I'm going to play physical. I'm not going to think too much or go out of my role. I've got to play the same way I've played my whole career. That's the way I play, and I'm going to go out and keep it simple, get in on the forecheck, be solid in our zone and try to produce offensively if I can."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 5:00 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Avalanche at Sharks

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks got some help in their desperate attempt to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday when the New York Rangers defeated the Winnipeg Jets. And yes, Sharks coach Todd McLellan was "scoreboard watching" as he prepared for San Jose's game against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Wednesday.

"We're watching all the games at home, the channel changer's going left and right," McLellan said. "We need help, and when you put yourself in that situation you haven't had the year that you wanted to have. We're in that situation now. So we need help and we're cheering for teams, which isn't right, but that's the way it's going right now."

The Sharks (83 points) trail the Jets by seven points for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. Colorado (82) is eight points back of Winnipeg. The Sharks and Avalanche also trail the Los Angeles Kings (88) and Dallas Stars (84) with six games remaining.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.12.2015 / 4:58 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Predators at Sharks

SAN JOSE - Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne gave up one goal on 33 shots the last time he faced the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Dec. 13.

San Jose's Antti Niemi was even better, making 29 saves in 2-0 shutout.

Niemi and Rinne will meet again in a battle of Finnish goaltenders at SAP Center on Thursday, and goals could be at a premium.

"They obviously have a good offensive team," Rinne said. "We have a good offensive team. You never know, but yeah, we're likely to see a tight game. They are fighting for their lives, and for us it's been trying to regain our form and get back to playing well."

The Sharks have won three of their past four games and Niemi's strong play has been a key factor. He made 39 saves and stopped seven of eight shots he faced in the shootout Monday in San Jose's 2-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Posted On Monday, 03.09.2015 / 5:04 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Sharks

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are desperate for a victory, and they'll try to get one at SAP Center on Monday against a Pittsburgh Penguins team that hasn't won in San Jose since Oct. 22, 1997.

The Penguins have gone 0-9-1-1 over that span, losing nine straight in San Jose. The Sharks and Penguins tied 1-1 during the 1999-2000 season.

The Penguins haven't won a game in San Jose since Oct. 22, 1997, going 0-9-2 since then.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 5:11 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canucks at Sharks

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks will be without injured defenseman Matt Irwin when they play the Vancouver Canucks in a crucial Pacific Division game at SAP Center on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, CBC).

Irwin sustained an upper-body injury during practice Friday while taking a shot and did not skate Saturday. Scott Hannan will replace Irwin in the lineup against Vancouver, and the Sharks recalled defenseman Taylor Fedun from Worcester of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Irwin had played 19 straight games and had been playing his best hockey of the season before getting hurt. In his past four games Irwin had two goals and two assists.

"He's been really good since he got back into the lineup," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He worked so hard when he was out of the lineup to improve his foot speed. He's quicker. Offensively he's contributed in a lot of areas. His confidence is at an all-time high. It's unfortunate for him as an individual to not be able to continue on, but hopefully he's very short-term and has the opportunity to get back in before he loses anything that he's gained."

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Posted On Monday, 03.02.2015 / 4:49 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Sharks

SAN JOSE - Backup goaltender Alex Stalock will make his first start since Feb. 17 when the San Jose Sharks try to end their eight-game home losing streak Monday against the Montreal Canadiens, the top team in the Eastern Conference.

"I think enough worrying about other teams," Stalock said after the Sharks' morning skate. "Obviously they've got a good team but it's what's in this room. It's what we do. That's going to be the difference tonight, what we bring, what we offer. That's from the goalie out."

The Sharks had a players-only gathering away from the rink Sunday, their latest attempt to break out of their slump.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 5:18 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Sharks

SAN JOSE - Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond will try to extend his four-game winning streak and two-game shutout streak when he faces the struggling San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday.

Hammond has won the first four starts of his NHL career and is coming off of back-to-back shutouts against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. He hasn't allowed a goal since the 7:38 mark of the first period Saturday against the Florida Panthers, a shutout streak of 172:22.

Hammond said he's enjoying the amazing ride, but trying to stay focused.

"Obviously people are very happy for me and they want to congratulate me, and I do hear stuff," Hammond said. "You want to enjoy it but at the same time you need to kind of limit the noise and stay focused on the task at hand. I think throughout this whole kind of few games here I've been able to do that. I don't see anything changing. I think for me it's just preparing the same way and going through the same routines I do on game days and practice days and just doing what got me here."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 5:35 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Sharks

SAN JOSE - Henrik Zetterberg skated Thursday for the first time since being punched in the head Saturday by Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn, but he'll miss his third straight game when the Detroit Red Wings face the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

Zetterberg has been bothered by headaches, and he said he's still "got a little symptoms" but feels "significantly better" than he did Saturday.

He went on the ice near the end of Detroit's morning skate and skated on his own. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he expects Zetterberg to miss Detroit's road game Saturday against the Nashville Predators, then return Wednesday when the Red Wings open a two-game homestand against the New York Rangers.

"You're always concerned," Babcock said. "I don't think anybody was worried that much about it. It looks to me that he'll be playing against the Rangers."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.15.2015 / 6:35 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Sharks

SAN JOSE - After missing four games with an upper-body injury, San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic might return to the lineup against the Tampa Bay Lightning at SAP Center on Sunday.

Vlasic practiced Saturday for the first time since going on injured reserve. He said afterwards he was close to being ready to return but expected he'd have to pass one more medical test before being cleared.

With a 5 p.m. PT game, neither the Sharks nor the Lightning had a morning skate.

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Quote of the Day

That's the biggest goal I've ever scored. It's a great feeling any time you do that, especially at home. We're one game away from a Stanley Cup berth. It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.

— Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey on scoring the overtime winner Monday to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead against the Blackhawks