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Sharks ready for challenge from Penguins

DeBoer says key for San Jose is sticking to its game plan in Stanley Cup Final

by Mike Battaglino / NHL.com Staff Writer

Coach Peter DeBoer is a quick study, and that will help the San Jose Sharks deal with the speed of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

DeBoer told "NHL Live" on Thursday that Western Conference playoff series against the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues should have the Sharks prepared for Game 1 of the Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I think we got a little bit of a preview of that," DeBoer said. "Nashville I found was a really fast team, they played fast between the defensemen that they rolled out and the forwards they rolled out. St. Louis definitely had a speed element to their game ...

"So I think we've seen some of that through the playoffs here. ... I think we've shown through the three rounds we've played that we can play any way you want to play, and as long as we stick to our game plan, we're capable of having success. But either opponent, it's going to be tough, tough, and I think our guys are ready for that challenge."

Video: Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer on Stanley Cup Final

The Sharks will play in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time after defeating the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Wednesday. The Penguins defeated the Lightning 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday.

"We're getting ready to work," DeBoer said before that game. "The coaches are meeting at the rink, we're going to watch [Game 7] there. Our preparation will start the minute we find out who we're playing tonight.

"It looks like a long turnaround between now and Monday, but for the amount of work we have to do, especially against a team that we don't see from the Eastern Conference as often as we do the Western Conference, there's a lot of heavy lifting to be done by the coaching staff in the next couple days."

DeBoer will coach in his second Cup Final after getting there with the New Jersey Devils in 2012, when they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.

"It really is a blur," DeBoer said. "You're game to game and you're riding that emotional wave of the wins and the losses. You don't get a lot of time to reflect on it unless you get a couple days between series like we have right now. So it's nice to kind of put your feet up and relax and realize what this group's accomplished already."

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