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Round 2

Sharks to stick with same lineup in second round against Golden Knights

Coach says he'd be 'idiot' to make changes from group that swept Ducks

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks will likely use the same lineup against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Second Round that swept the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.

"We just won four straight against a great hockey team," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said after practice Friday. "I'd be an idiot to make lineup changes. I'm going to let you guys overthink that and let you make as many lineup changes as you want. Unless we find it necessary, why would you mess with how we're playing right now?"


[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Sharks series coverage]


The combinations for the four lines remained intact for practice:Joe Pavelski centered Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi on the top line; Logan Couture skated between Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker;Chris Tierney centered Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc; and Eric Fehr centered Marcus Sorensen and Melker Karlsson.

Center Joe Thornton continued practicing but skated again on a fifth line and remains day to day. The 38-year-old hasn't played since injuring a ligament in his right knee against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 23 and having surgery two days later. DeBoer said Thornton has not been cleared to play.

"Every day he's out there he's getting closer, but he's not in my conversation tomorrow for being in the lineup," DeBoer said. "But that changes every day."

Defenseman Brent Burns had a maintenance day. DeBoer said he expects him to be on the ice for the next practice "or the time after that." Burns played in Game 4 after missing the final 10 minutes of Game 3.

"He'll be fine going forward," DeBoer said. "We've got time so we might as well use it to our advantage."

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