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Sharks were ready, no matter what

San Jose keeps same lineup, will play Predators in second round

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Hours before the San Jose Sharks found out which team they'd play in the Western Conference Second Round, coach Peter DeBoer already made one key decision: He's sticking with the same lineup and goaltender -- Martin Jones -- he used for all five games of San Jose's first-round victory against the Los Angeles Kings.

"We're obviously going to start the same way we ended and then we'll see how the series goes and what we need," DeBoer said after an optional practice Wednesday.

The Sharks will play the Nashville Predators, who defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in Game 7 of their series at Honda Center on Wednesday. Game 1 will be at SAP Center on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

The Sharks had high-tempo practices Monday and Tuesday, but had yet to begin on-ice or video work aimed at either the Ducks or Predators.

"We've always kind of operated on our own game, what we have to do to be successful," San Jose defenseman Brent Burns said. "No reason to change. I think that's kind of the way we've always been. 

"You know a lot of teams pretty well. It's always good to fine-tune it and go through little things, the nuances about the team, but at the end of the day you've just got to play. It's read and reacting, communication and then our own game."

DeBoer and his assistant coaches planned to watch Game 7 between the Ducks and Predators then prepare their final pregame report to present to the players Thursday.

"We basically prepared for both teams," DeBoer said. "So we'll come here and watch the game and then just fine-tune whatever team it is, that presentation. We've got to get all of this information to the players, basically tomorrow, because we start Friday."

The Sharks haven't played since Friday, when they clinched the series against the Kings in Game 5. The Sharks have had at least five days off between series four other times since 2006. They lost all four series after those long breaks.

Burns said he's not concerned about having a letdown.
"Whatever happens, you're at the home building or away building, you're in the rink early," Burns said. "You feel the energy right away. You usually have no issue getting up for the first one. I think it's usually the other way around. It's trying to stay calm and keep it together. It's a great thing. Playoff hockey, that's the best. You've got a great energy. You can feel it in the air."

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