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Staying out of box can help Sharks contain Sedins

by Eric Gilmore
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks have a simple plan to cool off the suddenly hot Sedin twins Friday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against Vancouver.

"Stay out of the penalty box," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said after San Jose's morning skate. "Five or six out of their seven points are on the power play. That's a huge part of their game. They've got a lot of skill, even 5-on-5, but they've been doing a lot of good things on their power play and we've got to do a better job on our PK."

For the record, five of the seven points Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin combined for against San Jose have come on the power play, where they've used their passing, shooting and puck-handling skills to all but toy with the Sharks.

In Vancouver's 7-3 Game 2 win, Daniel scored two power-play goals. Henrik notched assists on both of his brother's power-play goals, as well as adding an assist on even-strength goal. Henrik scored the game-winning goal on the power play in Vancouver's 3-2 victory in Game 1 and had an even-strength assist.

"I think 5-on-5 we've done a pretty good job against them. They're going to have the puck. You can't do anything about that. They're good players. We can't take penalties like we did. The Sedins, 5-on-5, we're not going to change a thing." -- Niclas Wallin

"I feel like any time you take bad penalties it comes and bites you," Sharks defenseman Daniel Murray said. "It comes with our overall game, too. We haven't had enough offensive zone time. We haven't controlled the play enough. Once you play a lot of defense and you're chasing a lot, you get worn down. That's when guys like that capitalize."

"I think 5-on-5 we've done a pretty good job against them," Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin said. "They're going to have the puck. You can't do anything about that. They're good players. We can't take penalties like we did. The Sedins, 5-on-5, we're not going to change a thing. We know what to do. If they start rolling around, you can't go out and charge at them. They're too good. They're going to roll off and create something from that, but I think 5-on-5 we've done a pretty good job."

During the regular season, Daniel led the NHL with 104 points, while Henrik was fourth with 94. But entering the conference finals, they faced plenty of criticism and scrutiny after two rough rounds in the playoffs. Daniel had a combined 10 points and Henrik 9 against Chicago and Nashville. In just two games against San Jose, Henrik already has 5 points and Daniel has 2.

"I know they've been taking some heat throughout the playoffs, but what they've done throughout their careers and looking at the past two seasons, I'm sure they're pretty confident, even though they've been taking some criticism," Murray said. "What do I know? I don't see into their heads. They're obviously great players. I've seen some of the other games. I think they've still created things and created problems for other teams. It takes five guys to defend against them."

As he did Thursday, defenseman Dan Boyle said the Sharks gave the Sedins "a little too much respect the first two games, way too much ice."

Vlasic agreed that the Sharks should turn up the heat on the Sedins in Game 3.

"We could close on them sooner," Vlasic said. "Of course they like the time and space going east-west with the puck. We could close on them earlier, be more physical, that's for sure."

When the Canucks do go on the power play, Wallin said, the Sharks need to tighten up their penalty kill, which was brilliant against the Red Wings.

"Obviously they're good passers," Wallin said of the Sedins. "We can't start running around, especially on PK. We've got to collapse. You go from there and go out. Right now, our last game in the end we started chasing guys to the net instead of being there and going out in lanes. They've got a guy wide open in the slot. That's a tough play, especially against them."

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