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Goalies take center stage in Kings-Sharks series

NHL.com @NHL

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Antti Niemi was a major reason the San Jose Sharks failed to make it past the Western Conference final a year ago with his spectacular play in goal for Chicago.

Now that Niemi has traded in his Indian-head logo for a teal sweater, the Sharks are hoping he can play just as well in his second postseason as he did in his first when he helped end the Blackhawks' nearly five-decade title drought.

Niemi delivered in the regular season, posting the most wins (32), the third-best goals against average (2.11) and the fifth-best save percentage (.927) in the league after Dec. 1.

He leads the Sharks into their first-round series against the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Kings beginning Thursday night in San Jose.

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