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Sharks won't shuffle lineup in Game 4

San Jose sticks with same combinations against Los Angeles

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent


Western Conference First Round 

San Jose leads best-of-7 series 2-1 

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVAS, CSN-CA, FS-W 

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks, coming off a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings, will have the same lineup for Game 4 at SAP Center on Wednesday. 

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Tuesday changes were possible and that he needed more production from his bottom three lines. But DeBoer decided to stick with the same lineup he used the first three game, meaning the fourth line of center Chris Tierney, Tommy Wingels and Nick Spaling will remain intact, despite combining for six minor penalties in the past two games. 

"It's not just the fourth line," DeBoer said. "I thought [Joe Thornton's] line was very good, and I thought our other three lines, the depth of our lineup, was real average. This isn't on the fourth line. The fourth line is taking too many minor penalties. That's something they need to fix, but we need more out of the depth of our lineup." 

DeBoer downplayed the possibility of juggling his lines. 

"We have all those options; new guys in, new guys out, different combinations," DeBoer said. "I also don't want to panic. We could be sitting here 3-0 right now against the team that's won two of the last four Stanley Cups. We've played well. We're one shot away last game from being up 3-0 in this series. We're in a good spot. I like where we're at, and we've got all those options available but I'm not ready to pull the trigger on any of that stuff yet. I still like where we're at." 

Based on their morning skate, the Kings likely will stick with the same lineup, forward lines and defensive pairs from Game 3. 

The Kings had 61 hits to 39 for San Jose in Game 3, and forward Milan Lucic said maintaining that physical approach will be crucial in Game 4. 

"It's a part of our game and what gives us success, so we want to keep getting in on the forecheck and keep finishing our checks," Lucic said. "It paid off for us on the winning goal last game." 

Kings captain Dustin Brown's hit on San Jose forward Joonas Donskoi forced a turnover that led to a 2-1 rush and Tanner Pearson's game-winner at 3:47 of overtime. 

Defenseman Drew Doughty said the Kings need to match the emotional level they had in Game 3. 

"Emotionally everyone was very invested in the game," Doughty said. "Every one of our leaders were talking a lot. Everyone was really feeling good about themselves, and we knew we were going to win that game. We just felt it in the room. We still have a lot of things we can do as a team on the ice systematically better, but emotionally I really like where we were last game." 

Sharks defenseman Paul Martin said San Jose needs to get back to playing the simple, responsible and intense game they played when winning Games 1 and 2 at Staples Center. 

"Last game, we didn't play a bad game, we just didn't play one of our better ones," Martin said. "They needed a response, which they got. We realize that we could be a lot better. I think sometimes through that game we just let the clock tick away instead of taking control of the game the way we had been in Games 1 and 2. We didn't have that nervous intensity that we had for the first ones." 

Here are the projected lineups: 


Dwight King - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik

Milan Lucic - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson - Vincent Lecavalier - Dustin Brown 

Kyle Clifford - Trevor Lewis - Kris Versteeg  

Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty 

Jake Muzzin - Luke Schenn  

Rob Scuderi - Jamie McBain  

Jonathan Quick  

Jhonas Enroth  

Injured: Alec Martinez (undisclosed), Matt Greene (shoulder), Jordan Nolan (back) 

Scratched: Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff, Kevin Gravel  


Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski  

Joonas Donskoi - Logan Couture - Joel Ward  

Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Melker Karlsson  

Nick Spaling - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels 

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun  

Paul Martin - Brent Burns  

Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak  

Martin Jones  

James Reimer  

Injured: None 

Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Micheal Haley, Dainius Zubrus  

Status report:  Martinez remains in Southern California and continues to get treatment for his injury, coach Darryl Sutter said. He missed the final four regular-season games and hasn't played in this series since late in the second period of Game 1 when he blocked a shot. ... Doughty played 35:01 in Game 3 but said he expects his minutes to be reduced with McBain getting more ice time. ... Zubrus, Haley and DeMelo will be healthy scratches for the third straight game. ... Jones will start against his former team for the ninth straight time, including five games in the regular season. ... Greene skated again but hasn't played since the third game of the regular season. 

Who's hot: Pearson (one goal, two assists) scored the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 3. ... Lecavalier has a two-game point streak with a goal and an assist. ... Thornton scored the Sharks' only goal in Game 3, 30 seconds into the first period, and has a two-game point streak (one goal, one assist). ... Pavelski has three goals and four points, both highs for the series.


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