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Sharks and Stars Aligned for Round 2

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
When the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, San Jose Sharks fans will get to see their team play an opponent that has arguably become the biggest rival in franchise history. The Dallas Stars are coming to town for the Western Conference Semifinals.


Whether it’s Ed Belfour in net, or alternating Pacific Division titles, Sharks fans are always ready to see the Stars, even ensuring they drown out the random Dallas fan who tries to yell out Stars during the National Anthem.

Team Teal and Dallas have combined to win six of the last seven Pacific Division titles and their rivalry is not just in the regular season. The upcoming Stanley Cup Playoff series will be the third time the clubs have met in the postseason, tying for the most of any playoff opponent, with Dallas winning a first round match up in 1998 and a second round battle in 2000.

In Game 4 of the 1998 meeting, Andrei Zyuzin tied the series at two apiece when he scored the first ever Sharks overtime winner at HP Pavilion. But then Mike Keane closed out San Jose’s season with his own overtime winner in Game 6.

In 2000, San Jose fell in five games, but was forced to play without then captain Owen Nolan for two of the contests due to injury.

Unlike those two series, the Sharks will have home ice advantage against the Stars this year.

This regular season, the Sharks and Stars split their series at 4-4. On an ironic note, the two clubs each won their first three games of the series on the road. That did not change until March 27 when the Sharks topped the Stars 3-2 in overtime at HP Pavilion and the Stars won the regular season finale 4-2 in Texas.

During the regular season, the Sharks were led by Joe Thornton and his 96 points from 29 goals and 67 assists. Defender Brian Campbell finished as the Sharks second leading points man (he spent most of the year in Buffalo) by acquiring 62 points, and Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo hit 24 and 23 goals respectively. Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski were right behind them with 19 apiece.

But then the postseason hit and Ryan Clowe jumped to the front of the leader board, notching four goals and eight points in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Calgary. Pavelski led the way with two game winners and who can forget Jeremy Roenick’s clutch four point night to win Game 7.

In the 82-game regular season, Dallas was led by Mike Ribeiro as he was better than a-point-a-game with 83 points. Brenden Morrow led the team in goals with 32 tallies while Brad Richards, Mike Modano and Niklas Hagman each surpassed the 20 goal mark.

In the playoffs, Dallas also has former playoff MVP Brad Richards in the lineup alongside Jere Lehtinen who was a top scorer against Anaheim. And like Pavelski, Stu Barnes potted two game-winning goals.

Between the pipes will stand Sharks ironman Evgeni Nabokov and Dallas’ Marty Turco.

Nabokov is coming off a spectacular season that earned him a Vezina nomination for the NHL’s best goaltender. His 2.14 goals-against-average and league leading 46 wins speak for themselves.

Turco’s regular season numbers included a 2.31 GAA, a 32-21-6 mark and a .909 save percentage.

Neither club had a quick opening round with the Sharks going seven games with Calgary and the Stars needing six to dispatch Anaheim.

It should be a great series for hockey fans everywhere.

J.R. IN 7
Roenick’s four points in Game 7 were the most by an NHL player in the seventh game of a playoff series since May 29, 1993, when Wayne Gretzky had three goals and one assist for the Kings in their 5-4 win at Toronto.

It was the third time that Roenick scored two goals in a Game Seven. That ties him with Wendel Clark for most multiple-goal Game Sevens by an NHL player. Four players have done it twice: Wayne Gretzky, Patrik Elias, Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny.

STEALTH CHANGE
The San Jose Stealth’s last home is Saturday, April 26th at Noon against the Colorado Mammoth for the National Lacrosse League’s (NLL) Western Division Championship. The first 1,000 youth 15 years and under in attendance will receive an authentic lacrosse stick.

Adult seating is $23.50 and $14 for students, seniors and youth. A hot dog, soda and bag of chips package is available for $4.50 and popcorn is only $2. Tickets are on sale at ticketmaster.com, the HP Pavilion Ticket Office or by calling the Stealth at 925.460.8290.

The Stealth have secured a home playoff date for the first round and it will be Sunday, May 4th at 3 p.m.

BEST SINCE 2002
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s telecast of Game 7 of the San Jose Sharks/Calgary Flames Western Conference Quarterfinals registered an average rating of 4.6 (over 111,000 households) and drew a peak audience of over 212,000 households (8.8 rating). Last night’s game was the highest-rated Sharks telecast on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area since May 15, 2002 Sharks/Avalanche Round 2, Game 7 which posted a 5.7 rating (over 137,000 households).

Sharks ratings have increased 200% when compared to the regular season ratings (2.7 playoffs vs. 0.9 regular season). Throughout the playoffs, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Sharks/Flames ratings have averaged over 65,000 households watching per game. The Sharks 2007/08 playoff average to date rating of 2.7 represents a 35% increase over 2006/07 first round average of 2.0 in four telecasts (Sharks/Nashville Predators).

1 rating point = 24,194 TV Households in SF DMA
Ratings information provided by Nielsen Media Research

STREET RALLY
The San Jose Sharks will kick off Round Two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Dallas Stars (Game One of the series) with a pre-game street rally on Friday, April 25.

The rally will be open to the public from 4:45 – 6:45pm and will take place next to HP Pavilion on Autumn Street between Santa Clara Street and St. John Street.

Activities for the playoff rally will include music and a live DJ from Sound in Motion, a giant 30’ inflatable slide, slapshot hockey, face painting and balloon art from Dizzy Entertainment, poster making, and other fun and games for the kids.

Food will be provided at the rally by the Aramark Playoff Territory Grill. The first 1,500 Fans can also enjoy a tasty (and free!) dessert of ice cream served out of the Sharks Ice Cream Truck.

In addition, the Sharks Foundation will have a benefit beer booth with proceeds from the beer sales going to The Sharks Foundation. Corporate partners of the Sharks will also have manned sponsor booths at the rallies.

Along with fun and games there will be a SVS&E Merchandise Booth featuring all the latest gear in Sharks Playoff Territory.

Entertainment plans for the pre-game playoff rally will occur, weather permitting, but are subject to change and will be updated once the plans are finalized. Up to date information will be available at sjsharks.com.

NEXT GAME
San Jose and Dallas will play Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals at 7 p.m. (Pacific) on Friday, April 25 at HP Pavilion. The game will be available on Versus, 98.5 KFOX FM and SJSHARKS.com.

  Click here to download the Sharks 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule (Outlook, Palm or Lotus Notes)
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