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Couture's 11 points in series most in Sharks history

Center has goal, two assists in Game 7 against Predators to set record

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Center Logan Couture had 11 points in the Western Conference Second Round against the Nashville Predators to set the San Jose Sharks record for most points in a Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Couture had six goals and five assists in the second-round series, and his 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 12 playoff games lead the NHL.

He passed Igor Larionov's 10 points against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 1994 playoffs with a goal and two assists in the Sharks' 5-0 victory in Game 7 at SAP Center on Thursday.

Couture took advantage of a turnover by Nashville defenseman Shea Weber to score an unassisted goal 36 seconds into the second period, increasing San Jose's lead to 3-0. He had the primary assist on goals by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau in the third period.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Couture snaps it past Rinne

Couture couldn't explain his scoring explosion.

"I don't know," Couture said. "A couple breakaways, a couple lucky bounces. Shea Weber doesn't turn many pucks over like that. Take advantage of the opportunities I was given. [Marleau] made a great shot on that one. [Thornton] scored a big goal. Guys were scoring, and I was getting some good chances."

Couture missed 30 games because of injuries early in the 2015-16 season. He had surgery in October to repair a broken right ankle before sustaining a thigh injury and having surgery for internal bleeding in December.

"He was outstanding," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's just getting better. Again, I can't [overstate] how traumatic an injury he dealt with in the first half of the year. Everyone saw how much we missed him. To get him back now, he's fresh, obviously. He's feeling, I think, getting back to 100 percent, and we're seeing it, the season he maybe could have had had he been healthy all year. He's an elite player."

Couture scored two goals, including the game-winner, in San Jose's 5-2 victory against Nashville in Game 1, and then had a goal and an assist in the Sharks' 3-2 win in Game 2. He had at least a point in all seven games.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Thornton buries rebound for PPG

"He's been a big part of this team," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "His line has brought us a lot of energy a lot of nights. You saw the series he had. It was good to see."

Couture centered the second line between Marleau and Joonas Donskoi the final three games of the series. On Thursday, they were part of a defensive effort that limited the Predators to eight shots through two periods and 20 for the game.

"They couldn't get through the neutral zone," Couture said. "We played in their end, and they were tired. By the time they got into the neutral zone, they were chipping it in and chasing. That was our game plan, and we did it pretty well."

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