-- With Ryane Clowe
out of the lineup for the San Jose Sharks
for Tuesday night's Game 6, it offers a chance for players to step up in his absence against the Detroit Red Wings
, who have turned a 3-0 deficit in the best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal series into a 3-2 hole with two straight wins.
Perhaps the player who will rise to the occasion will be Patrick Marleau
, who has yet to score a point this series after registering 37 goals and 36 assists during the regular season and 2 goals and 3 assists in the Sharks' six-game victory against the Los Angeles Kings
in the first round.
Marleau was asked Tuesday morning what the Sharks would need to do without Clowe, who leads the team in playoff points with 13.
"Everybody has to pick it up that much more," Marleau said. "He's a big part of this team and it's an opportunity for someone to step up."
The follow-up question asked him specifically if this was his chance to break through in the series.
"I think everybody should take it upon themselves to do a little more and not go out of the system or anything like that," Marleau said.
Marleau was called "gutless" by Versus analyst and former NHL star Jeremy Roenick
following the Sharks' 4-3 loss in Game 5 on Sunday. Roenick backed down a bit from those comments the next day, but coach Todd McLellan
said he'd like to see more out of Marleau, regardless of what a pundit says during a television broadcast.
"My expectations out of Patty are no different tonight than any other night regardless of a comment that's made on TV," McLellan said Tuesday. "We expect him to show up and compete hard. He's a world-class player who can skate and shoot. I feel that there's a little bit more there in his game, and I think we're going to get it."
Marleau has 15 shots and is a minus-1 in five games against the Red Wings. Linemates Joe Thornton
and Devin Setoguchi
have 5 assists and 4 goals, respectively, in the series.
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo