SAN JOSE -- In the first two games of the Western Conference Final, the San Jose Sharks forced the St. Louis Blues to play a game that doesn't suit their style. For St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock, the difference in this series from what the Blues saw against the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars in the first two rounds is twofold.
"Their speed is in their puck movement," Hitchcock said of the Sharks entering Game 3 at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports). "We have to have a better five-man unit doing it. They're stretching us out. They're making us play 3-and-2, and we're not at our best when we have to play 3-and-2. ... Everything we talked about was being better as a group of five because they have us stretched out into that 3-and-2 ratio, and that's not healthy. There's too many gaps, and they've jumped on some of these gaps now."