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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 6:48 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Sharks expect better effort in do-or-die Game 6

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture was angry and frustrated Thursday night in the wake of a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinal.

Couture's mood hadn't improved much, if any, by Friday afternoon, after a brief team meeting as the Sharks tried to regroup from their worst performance of the postseason.

That might be a good thing. Couture, for one, said he plans to use his frustration as motivation Sunday against the Kings at HP Pavilion when the Sharks face an elimination game for the first time this year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"I know I will. I hope everyone else does as well," Couture said. "I wasn't happy with the way I played personally. It's going to motivate me for Sunday's game. I hope it motivates the rest of the guys as well."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 5:04 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Kings look to take control of series on road in Game 4

SAN JOSE -- Playing the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion is never easy, but Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he welcomes the chance to put a hammerlock on their Western Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night in Game 4 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"They live off playing in their own arena," Doughty said after the Kings' optional morning skate there. "To be able to get a win in their home rink I think will be a little deflating for them. We know how tough it's going to be to steal one here tonight, but we're determined to do it. If we go back to Staples [Center] up 3-1, we know there's a good chance we can close out the series. Right now it's just one game at a time, and tonight's the most important."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 9:20 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Havlat in Sharks lineup for Game 3

SAN JOSE -- Just minutes after the San Jose Sharks' morning skate ended Saturday, coach Todd McLellan got the news he had been waiting for regarding injured forward Martin Havlat.

"He came to see me and said he's ready to go," McLellan said. "So we'll find a spot for him."

The Sharks trailed the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in their Western Conference Semifinal series heading into Game 3 Saturday (NBCSN, TSN, RDS). With Havlat back in the lineup, the Sharks' lines have a new look at HP Pavilion.

Havlat had been out with a lower-body injury since midway through the first period of Game 1 of the Sharks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 12:38 AM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Sharks trying to stay physical during down time

SAN JOSE -- After two days off, the San Jose Sharks got back to work Friday, and coach Todd McLellan put them through the gauntlet.

Actually, "the old gauntlet" drill," as Sharks forward TJ Galiardi called it.

One by one, each player fought his way past every other teammate, who was lined up along the boards.

"It's a fun drill," McLellan said. "Most of them enjoy doing it, have a lot of fun with it. We haven't practiced for so long, and the physicality part of the game right now is something you can't lose. After taking a couple days off we wanted to bump and grind."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 10:17 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Canucks have faith in Schneider

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider is back in net Tuesday at HP Pavilion for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks (CNBC, TS, RDS).

The Canucks trail 3-0 in the best-of-7 series, and Schneider gave up five goals on 28 shots before being pulled 4:07 into the third period of a 5-2 loss Sunday in Game 3 after missing the first two games with an undisclosed injury.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said it wasn't a hard decision to stick with Schneider instead of turning back to Roberto Luongo, who relieved Schneider in Game 3 after losing Games 1 and 2.

"Cory, in my opinion, is our MVP," Vigneault said after the Canucks' morning skate. "He's one of the reasons why we got into the playoffs. He's had great bounce-back games and he's been outstanding this year, and I think our group has total faith in both goaltenders, but they've got a lot of faith in Cory and I've got a lot of faith in him. That's why we're going with him tonight."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 6:15 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Pavelski regains playoff form for Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski gave just a taste of the Stanley Cup Playoff highlights to come in his second postseason game six years ago as an NHL rookie.

Pavelski scored early in the second period against the Nashville Predators, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead and sparking them to a 3-1 win in Game 4 of a Western Conference Quarterfinal.

The next year, Pavelski had five goals and four assists in 13 playoff games. Two years later, he scored nine goals and added eight assists in 15 postseason games. In 2011, he scored five goals and had 10 points in 18 playoff games.

"There are certain players that have the ability to elevate their play," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Pavs' competitiveness and smarts allow him to do that. He lays it on the line every night. He goes to the spots you need to go to score."

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:39 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Sharks know they can't become overconfident

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are sitting on a 3-0 Western Conference Quarterfinals series lead against the Vancouver Canucks, but they know better than to become overconfident.

After taking a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings in the semifinals two years ago, the Sharks lost three straight and were pushed to the limit in Game 7 before securing a 2-1 win.

Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart played for the Red Wings in that series.

"It can be a lesson for sure," Stuart said Monday morning at Sharks Ice, where San Jose had an optional practice. "Each game in the series, each victory is harder to get. The third victory is harder than the second and the fourth victory is always the hardest. We have to remember this will be the toughest game to win, and we have to approach it like that. If you don't, things can turn quickly.

"I was on the other side of it two years ago. You lose that momentum and all of a sudden, you get 3-2 and you're a little nervous and then it's 3-3 before you know it. You want to come out with the mindset of finishing a team off as quickly as you can. Playing those extra games catches up to you even if you do advance."


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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Schneider starts Game 3 for Vancouver

SAN JOSE -- Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider will start Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Schneider missed the first two game with a mysterious "body" injury, but he declared himself "100 percent" healthy after taking part in the Canucks' morning skate at HP Pavilion.

"I'm playing so I'm 100 percent," Schneider said. "When you play, you're good."

Before Game 1, Schneider said he was healthy enough to play, but Roberto Luongo started the first two games at Vancouver. Luongo allowed only three goals in each game, but the Sharks won both times, 3-1 in Game 1 and 3-2 in overtime in Game 2.

"I felt like I could play, but I took a little bit of time off and that seemed to help," Schneider said. "Fortunately we had the luxury of a guy like Roberto here, so I wasn't pressed into action. That's not something that every team has. Louie's probably been our best player the first two games."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 8:40 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Marleau comes alive for Sharks

SAN JOSE -- After scoring one goal in his final 16 regular-season games, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau woke up when the bright lights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs came on.

Marleau scored a goal in each of the Sharks' first two playoff games against the Vancouver Canucks, helping San Jose take a 2-0 lead as the series moves to HP Pavilion for Game 3 on Sunday night (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Marleau scoring goals in the postseason should come as no shock. He has scored 54 playoff goals, a franchise record and the most by any active NHL player other than Jaromir Jagr. Marleau is tied for 40th all-time in playoff goals.
Not bad for a player who has often been criticized for not producing enough in the postseason.

"You just have to look at the stats," Sharks forward Brent Burns said. "The guy is incredible. The only knock on him is he just makes it look too easy. I wish I could do that. He's an unbelievable talent and he's one of the hardest working guys here. It's pretty incredible to see and just follow a guy like that."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 7:14 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Sharks could welcome Canucks' goalie change

SAN JOSE -- The Vancouver Canucks have the San Jose Sharks guessing which goalie they'll face Sunday night at HP Pavilion in Game 3 of their first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series (10 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN, NBCSN, CSN-CA).

Goaltender Cory Schneider, who missed the first two games with a mysterious "body" injury, was on the Canucks' flight Saturday to San Jose. Of course, so was goaltender Roberto Luongo, who started and lost the first two games of the series at Vancouver.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan was asked Saturday how Schneider being in net would change the series.

"It might be a great thing for us," McLellan said. "I think Luongo's been tremendous. I really do. I think he's made some great saves in the series, just as [our Antti] Niemi has. If they want to take that quality of goaltender out of the lineup and go to the other one, we'll take our chances with that as well."

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3