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Sharks know closing out Kings won't be easy

San Jose can eliminate Los Angeles by winning Game 5 on Friday

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones was a backup for the Los Angeles Kings two years ago when they overcame a 3-0 deficit and beat the Sharks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jones, perhaps more than any Shark, knows how hard it will be for San Jose to close out the Kings in their Western Conference First Round series after taking a 3-1 lead with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night at SAP Center.

Game 5 is Friday at Staples Center (10:30 p.m. ET: CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-CA, PRIME).

"We got a big job ahead of us," Jones said Thursday before the Sharks flew to Los Angeles. "We're going to be facing a desperate team, a team that's won in the playoffs. For us we don't want to change anything. Just make sure we come with the same energy and have a good start. Play the same way we have been."

The Kings have won the Stanley Cup in two of the past four seasons. In 2014, they won each of their first three series in seven games, beating the Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings beat the Sharks in seven games in the second round in 2013.

"We realize to take these guys out it's going to be a lot of work," Sharks forward Joe Thornton said. "We still got a lot of work ahead of us. They're a great team so we're going to have to bring our best game to this point in Game 5."

The Sharks are trying to keep calm as they approach arguably their biggest game of the season. Coach Peter DeBoer said he won't have anything special to say to his team, now that it has a chance to clinch the series.

"This is just business as usual," DeBoer said. "I'm a big believer you approach every game -- Game 1, Game 4, Game 7 -- the same way. You put your head down and you go to work. When you look up hopefully you're on the right end of it and the series is over.

"I think there won't be any special speeches, anything significant done that we haven't done already. I think it's just show up and let's throw our best game out there and if it takes another two or three games to get this done, we don't care. We just want to get it, we want to move on. It's win and move on."

The Sharks have won all four games against the Kings at Staples Center this season: two in the regular season and Games 1 and 2 in the playoffs. With a fifth straight win there, the Sharks will advance to the second round.

"We need to close it out," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. "We're going there to win the game. They're going to come out with their best game. We've got to prepare to match that."

DeBoer said the Sharks will simply try to replicate their performance from Game 4.

"I think the worst thing you can do is start overanalyzing it or thinking about it," DeBoer said. "At the end of the day, they're a hockey team. We've shown we can beat them. We know it's not going to be easy, but we just got to go out and get the job done."

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