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Game Inside the Game - 5/27/2013

by Eric Lindquist / San Jose Sharks


Sharks Force Game Seven

“It’s time for us to change the story,” said Todd McLellan regarding the home team winning every game so far in series. “They earned the right for home ice and it is our job to take it away from them.”

Joe Thornton and TJ Galiardi scored and Antti Niemi made 24 saves as the Sharks won Game 6 by the count of 2-1 on Sunday evening to tie the best of seven series 3-3. The series will conclude at the STAPLES CENTER on Tuesday at 6 PM. Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on NBCSN / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network.

Before each game day, SJSHARKS.COM will take a look at the “Game inside the Game” as the Sharks continue their quest toward the Stanley Cup! Line matchups, player vs. player battles, head-to-head stats, and key figures highlighted each game day.

Before Game 7, let’s take a closer look GAME INSIDE THE GAME for the Sharks and the Kings.

Lineup changes for Game 7?
San Jose: No injuries to report for San Jose in Game 6. – Adam Burish was back in the lineup after breaking his hand in Game 4 vs. the Canucks and skated on the 4th line with Andrew Desjardins and Bracken Kearns. Burish was extremely effective as he led the Sharks with four shots on goal and was 4-for-4 in the faceoff circle.

"It was fun to get back in, it was fun to contribute," Burish said. "Obviously, it was fun to get a big win at home. It was loud. The fans were great and it was a fun one to be a part of."

Defenseman Justin Braun left early in the first period with a lower body injury but retuned and finished the game.

Martin Havlat left Game 3 after playing 4:25 of the first period for San Jose (first game since getting injured in Game 1 vs. Vancouver) and was replaced by Tim Kennedy in Game 4. Raffi Torres is serving his series long suspension for his hit on Jarret Stoll in Game 1.

*Spreading the ice… the Sharks had nine players play at least 19 minutes in Game 6. – led by Joe Thornton (22:01).

TJ Galiardi – Joe Thornton – Brent Burns
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
James Sheppard – Scott Gomez – Tommy Wingels
Adam Burish - Andrew Desjardins – Bracken Kearns

Matt Irwin – Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Scott Hannan – Brad Stuart

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Los Angeles: No injuries to report for LA in Game 6.
Forward Jarret Stoll left Game 1 late in the second period after he was checked by Raffi Torres and has not played since – and replaced by Brad Richardson. Kyle Clifford and Matt Greene returned to the lineup in Game 4 for the Kings for their first action of the series. Willie Mitchell is still out with an undisclosed injury. Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Keaton Ellerby, and Alec Martinez did not dress in Game 6. Forward Jordan Nolan returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three straight games and took Tyler Toffoli’s spot on the 4th line.

*Drew Doughty played a ton in Game 6…. Leading the way for the Kings with 27:55 of ice time.

Kyle Clifford – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dustin Penner – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Trevor Lewis – Dustin Brown
Jordan Nolan – Colin Fraser – Brad Richardson

Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Did You Know?

*Welcome back… forward Adam Burish returned to the Sharks lineup after missing the first five games of the series with a broken hand. Burish led the Sharks with four shots, went 4-for-4 in the faceoff dot, and played very well on the ice 4-on-4. Adam has now played 37 playoff games for the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks and has eight points (3-2-5) and 34 penalty minutes.

*1st time for everything… the San Jose Sharks have never won a series when dropping the first two games of a series. The Sharks have dropped their previous nine series when falling in a 0-2 series hole. San Jose has been swept twice, lost in five games twice, and were eliminated in six games five times in those instances. – this is the first time the Sharks have forced a Game 7 when being down 2-0 to start a series.

*Times have changed… LA went 10-1 on the road last spring on the way to winning the Stanley Cup…but has lost six of seven games away from home this year.

*Road PP woes…
the Sharks are just 1-for-18 on the road in the playoffs (5.6%) – this must change on Tuesday with Game 7 in LA.

*Hit Parade… the Kings have outhit San Jose 92-46 in the last two games.
*Backs against wall… with the win in Game 6, the Sharks are now 10-15 in games in which they face elimination…. 6-5 on home ice.

*When losing Game 6…
LA fell to 13-7 all-time in Game 6s. The Kings have never won a series in which they lost Game 6….The Kings are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s.

The Bottom Line:

“I mean, every game’s been close. Every game’s been – besides (Game 5) has been closely decided… closely contested. So it’s not a shock it’s come to seven. I’m sure both teams didn’t want it to come to this point, but here we are. We’ve just got to win one.” – Rob Scuderi.

“It’s one game,” said Logan Couture about Game 7. “This is what we play for…. right?”

“We really don’t have anything to lose. We are going to play a Game 7 vs. the Stanley Cup Champions in their building.” – said Todd McLellan.

It will all come down to one final game after a tightly contested first six games of the series. The Sharks are 5-2 all time in Game 7’s, including a 3-2 record on the road. Although the Kings have the experience of winning the Stanley Cup last season – they have not played a Game 7 since 2002. Meanwhile, many of the current Sharks (eight players) including Antti Niemi won a Game 7 over the Detroit Red Wings to advance to the Western Conference Finals in 2011. The Sharks must build on that experience and have a successful power play to move on to the next round…. It will not be easy…. but it most certainly will be fun to watch on Tuesday!

GO Sharks GO!

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