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At the Rink blog

Devils expect to see extra motivation from Sharks

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 1:05 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Devils expect to see extra motivation from Sharks
NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Havlat will make his Sharks debut tonight and he'll play on the second line with Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe. San Jose coach Todd McLellan has talked about how Couture and Clowe have to be better than they have been through four games, and hopes Havlat's presence will give them a jolt.

"Hopefully this is a catalyst to get them going," McLellan said.

McLellan said he will try to manage Havlat's minutes depending on how the forward feels, but he expects the speedy right wing to be flying tonight.

"Usually when guys come back, their first game is a good one and you have to watch them in Games 2 and 3 after that," McLellan said. "We hope we get that from him tonight."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer expects Havlat to be dangerous.

"He's another talented weapon they're adding to the arsenal," DeBoer said. "It doesn't change the game plan, but he's another guy you have to deal with. It spreads their offense over two lines and makes it a difficult matchup."

DeBoer also expects the Sharks to play with desperation because they're 1-3-0 and need to start their six-game road trip on a positive note.

"Obviously they're one of the best teams in the League and they're not where they want to be, which tells you there is going to be some desperation in their game," DeBoer said. "That makes them very dangerous. We have to be prepared for that."

The Sharks will have extra incentive tonight because Joe Thornton is playing in his 1,000th NHL game, and defenseman Colin White is returning to New Jersey as a visitor for the first time in his long career.

"White and Thornton shouldn't be the motivators for our team; it should be getting a win and playing properly for 60 minutes," McLellan said. "We've played well in a lot of the games, but not for a full 60. We've made some errors that have cost us, and we've talked about that -- how it's been on our tape, on their tape and into the net. We have to clean that up."

The Sharks are averaging over 40 shots per game, but they've scored only 10 goals.

"I'd like to see us get more determined around the opposition's net," McLellan said. "With the amount of opportunities we've created, not many have come on second and third chances."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


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I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

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