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At the Rink blog

Sharks come right back with Niemi

Saturday, 11.05.2011 / 3:45 PM

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

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At the Rink blog
Sharks come right back with Niemi
SAN JOSE – Antti Niemi will be back in goal Saturday night for the Sharks against Nashville, two days after giving up two goals in the first two minutes and four seconds against Pittsburgh and getting pulled for backup Thomas Greiss.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan said the decision to start Niemi was an “easy” one for him to make, even though Greiss gave up just one goal and stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 4-3 shootout win.

“He’s going to be our goaltender when it counts,” McLellan said Saturday of Niemi after the Sharks’ morning skate at HP Pavilion. “He hasn’t had a lot of time throughout training camp and he needs to play some games. So it’s pretty simple. With that being said, Thomas played extremely well. We all appreciate his effort and he’ll get many more opportunities to play this year, but tonight it’s about [Niemi] getting his game back.”

Niemi, who faced just six shots Thursday, said he’s ready to put the game behind him.

“I think just get right back at it. Hopefully get some saves today early on. For my part, I want to get past that game as fast as possible,” Niemi said.

McLellan said he expects Niemi to bounce back and have a solid game.

“The other night I think there was a real focus on us pulling [Niemi], but if we could have pulled 18 other guys and replaced them, we would have done that, too,” McLellan said. “It just happens to be that position where a goaltender gets yanked and he doesn’t go back in. we expect him to be sharp along with the other 18 guys that are dressed.”

Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday