SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are treating Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Monday as a must win, even though they are leading the best-of-7 series 3-2.
The Sharks can advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2016 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS), and although they would host Game 7 on Wednesday, they hope that won't be necessary.
"You have to be cognizant that those are the hardest games to win because the other team knows they are facing elimination, so for us, we've done a good job in the past of being able to do that," forward Evander Kane said on Sunday. "I know we've won in their building, I think we are a confident group heading in there."
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The Sharks have won two of the three games in Colorado this season but lost the most recent, 3-0 in Game 4 on Thursday.
"We have a great opportunity here. We know they are going to bring their best game so we have to do the same thing," forward Gustav Nyquist said. "It's a big game for us. We want to close this out on the road, obviously, and not have it go to Game 7 so we got to match their desperation."
The Sharks know anything can happen in a Game 7. They were trailing the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 with 10:40 remaining in the third period on April 23 before rallying for a 5-4 overtime win to clinch the series.
"As much as I enjoyed my first Game 7, I'd like to forego it maybe this series," Kane said. "Any time you get an opportunity to close out a series, you want to do it."
San Jose is 5-1 since 2016 with a chance to close out a playoff series, and 9-3 all-time in series it leads 3-2.
"We have a good team, and I think it's just important that we recognize that we don't want to give these guys any life, and we play with some urgency and desperation tomorrow," goalie Martin Jones said.
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The Sharks and Avalanche have alternated wins and losses in the series, a trend which San Jose hopes changes on Monday.
"We don't want to extend this if we don't have to, but there's another team that's going to play with a whole lot of desperation because their season is on the line, so we know that," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Tough building to win in, and we've got to go in and try and do that job."
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