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Stanley Cup Final

Nieto returns to lineup for Sharks in Game 2

San Jose forward has missed past eight games with injury, will play against Pittsburgh

by Shawn Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

PITTSBURGH -- San Jose Sharks forward Matt Nieto will be in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Nieto has missed the past eight games with an upper-body injury.

"I'm really excited," Nieto said. "I can't wait to get out there, it's been awhile. Stanley Cup Final, you know, it's going to be really fun and exciting. I feel good and I am ready to go."

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-7 series 1-0.

Video: Matt Nieto set to return for Sharks in Game 2 of SCF

Nieto sustained the injury during the second-round series against the Nashville Predators and did not play in the Western Conference Final against St. Louis. He last played May 9 against Nashville.

Nieto, who has one goal and two assists in 11 postseason games, isn't worries about being rusty.

"I went through a similar situation in the L.A. series," Nieto said, referencing the five-game defeat of the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference First Round series. "I was out a month before that and I showed up and felt better than I thought I would. It's kind of hard to prepare for a game at this stage of playoffs, but the adrenaline kind of takes over."

San Jose coach Peter DeBoer will use Nieto in an attempt to combat the speed game of the Penguins. Nieto is among the fastest forwards on the Sharks.

"He was a big part of our team all year," DeBoer said. "When he went down, we had some great contributions from guys to fill that hole, but he brings some things that are unique to his skill set that we think can help us."

Center Dainius Zubrus most likely will come out of the lineup. He has played 10 games this postseason, scoring one goal and two points.

Nieto says he believes he can help the Sharks force the Penguins to play more of a 200-foot game and slow down their transition game.

"For me, it's about using my speed, putting pucks behind their 'D', forechecking, creating turnovers," he said. "Ultimately we want to play as much in their zone as we can because we know how deadly they are at the other end."

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