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Boyle eager to get back on ice after Game 3 miscue

by Rick Sadowski
DENVER -- Dan Boyle still feels awful about his Game 3 faux pas in overtime that allowed the Colorado Avalanche to grab a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinals despite being dominated for most of the contest by the San Jose Sharks.
Avalanche rookie Ryan O'Reilly managed to get just enough of his stick on Boyle's attempted clear around the boards to nudge the puck behind Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov 51 seconds into the extra period Sunday for a stunning 1-0 win.
Sharks coaches and players have rallied around the 33-year-old defenseman and expect him to come up big Tuesday night when the series resumes at the Pepsi Center, but Boyle said the sour feeling would linger for a while.
"I want to play right now and, unfortunately, I have to wait another day," he said Monday while addressing reporters at the team hotel. "It's a nightmare, certainly the last thing you want to happen. It's unfortunate, but this is where I need to show my … I guess leadership, and try to come through and bounce back."
Boyle said he watched replays of the decisive play following Sunday's game.
"I guess on TV it's not obvious (what happened)," he said. "I was surprised to get the puck in the first place, which is not an excuse, but definitely right away (O'Reilly) puts his stick right there. I'm trying to go around the boards with it and it ended up going into the net. But it wasn't obvious on TV."
Boyle was trying to make a backhand pass to Douglas Murray behind the net when O'Reilly foiled his strategy.
"He was probably a fraction of a second right after me," Boyle said. "In my mind, I wanted that to go around the boards. He put his stick on it and … a horrible, horrible bounce.
"I wish I could say I turned the page already, but I haven't. I need to play. Until we drop the puck it's probably going to be with me. I think it's probably going to stay with me until the series is done. Hopefully, if we win the series, I can officially turn the page.
"Ten years ago it probably would have been a scary thing. (As a) young guy, I would have been a mess. We're not done, it's 2-1. It was a horrible, horrible situation for me and I feel terrible, but we still have some work to do and we're not done."
The Sharks sounded as if they already have put Sunday's gut-wrenching loss behind them, even though it marked the second time in the series that an unfortunate bounce proved costly.
Chris Stewart's shot from the corner in Game 1 hit Sharks captain Rob Blake's skate and bounced into the net with 49.3 seconds left to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win.
Forward Ryane Clowe, who had eight of the Sharks' 51 shots on Sunday, said the team's mood was upbeat.
"I think more than anything guys just chuckled and laughed about it," he said. "What do you do? What can you do?"
Asked what his team needed to do differently in Game 4, Sharks coach Todd McLellan quipped:

"Score on the right goalie, I guess."
He added: "We can be a little bit humorous with it today. I think we need a little bit of an opportunity to smile."
McLellan said he hadn't spoken to Boyle, other than "walking by him" to lend encouragement.
"He's a high-end player," McLellan said. "His game's built on integrity and he's fine."
Said Blake: "That happened, it's over, it's a game, it's a loss. We'll take it as that and we've got to find our way back in the series."
The Sharks accomplished just about everything they wanted Sunday except get a puck behind Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson. They outshot the Avalanche 42-7 in the second and third periods and launched a total of 15 shots on six power plays.
They did it without forward Dany Heatley, who was scratched because of an undisclosed injury. McLellan said he expects Heatley would be able to play Tuesday, giving the high-powered Sharks yet another offensive weapon.
"Any time you take a 40-goal or 50-goal scorer out of your lineup … I'd like to think if he's in our lineup and we have another 50 to 55 shots on goal and he's in on them, eventually the puck's going to go in," McLellan said. "(Heatley's absence) hurt us, but I was especially proud of the way the guys picked up the slack."
"I wish I could say I turned the page already, but I haven't. I need to play. Until we drop the puck it's probably going to be with me. I think it's probably going to stay with me until the series is done. Hopefully, if we win the series, I can officially turn the page." -- Dan Boyle
Counting attempted shots that sailed wide of Anderson's net and shots that were blocked, the Sharks launched 93 shots Sunday while the Avalanche only had 33.
"He made a lot of big saves," Sharks center Joe Pavelski said of Anderson. "We have to figure him out, I guess. You tip your hat to him a little bit, but you still look at yourselves. There's a way to do it. We scored six goals (in Game 2)."
The Sharks used their size, speed and skill to control the tempo and keep the Avalanche hemmed in its own end. San Jose has outshot the Avalanche in every game and by a wide margin, 103-39, in the past two games.
"It has to eventually happen to go your way, but what I don't want our team doing is pressing so much offensively that we forget that we have to play in the other end," McLellan said. "We have to get the saves we need, we have to take care of it defensively and stay out of the penalty box. I think if we repeat what we did in Games 2 and 3, we'll get enough opportunities that will be rewarded."
Clowe figures the Sharks are due for some good fortune.
"I think the hockey gods are going to come with us soon, but you have to keep plugging." he said. "I think at the end of the day you look back sometimes and say that's what made us stronger, what helped us get to the next step. We had a bad bounce in Game 1 and we had a big comeback in Game 2. I thought we might be past it. But you never know."

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