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Sharks Down But Not Out Heading To Game 3

by Cecile Nguyen / San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are down but not out.

“We put ourselves in a bit of a hole here but we have a good team,” defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “We’ve been the best team all year. We have to prove it now and I think the guys know that we need to step up. We’re not nervous or overly worried. We’re not going to go out there and try to do too much. We’re just going to do what we have done all year.”

A day after their Game 2 loss to the Ducks, the Sharks’ attitude remained positive.
“We’re confident,” said center Joe Pavelski. “We’ve had some good practices and guys are hungry.”

Of the 291 NHL Playoff series to go 0-2, the team that was trailing has only come back to win the series 12.7 percent of the time. Of the 291 teams, 66 of those teams have owned home-ice advantage. Of the 66 home teams, only 16 have overcome a 0-2 deficit in the League’s history.

“I guess we’ll just have to make history then,” Vlasic said with a smile. “We did a lot of good things in both of those games; we just have to build on that. We have faced adversity all year and it’s no different right now.”

The past 20 teams to drop the first two games of their Playoff series have gone on to lose their match up. The Edmonton Oilers were the last time to come back to win their series after a 0-2 start. They did so in the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals against the Sharks.

“It’s human nature to try to do too much. Everyone in this locker room cares a great deal and wants to win more than anything,” Pavelski said. “We know our game. We have to trust our game and know it to the point where when the pressure comes we have our habits form where we know what we need to do and plays that we have to make.”

Team Teal will try to right themselves in Game 3 the Honda Center Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s exciting playing at home -- no doubt there,” Pavelski said. “But we’re going on the road now and it’s a new test. Maybe they (the Ducks) haven’t been as good at home, but we’re going to be prepared.”

San Jose played six games against their division rivals this season, three of them in Anaheim. The Sharks won two of three in Anaheim during the regular season.

“It’s always nice to have the home crowd behind you,” winger Jonathan Cheechoo said. “All year when we’ve played with these guys it’s been close games. Hopefully we can go in there and steal a couple of close games ourselves.”

“On the road you don’t have to do anything fancy,” Vlasic said. “We just have to get on them.”
Head Coach Todd McLellan said the Sharks scoring first will be essential come Tuesday.
“A lead would be important,” McLellan said. “To get a lead it would give us a jump start and it may create a doubt in (Anaheim’s) mind.”

“After the game, there was definitely an air of disappointment, but I still don’t believe there’s a doubt,” McLellan said. “Disappointment is important but doubt is critical. I haven’t sense doubt from anybody in the room.

“The results speak for themselves; you have to win games,” he continued. “You can play good and close all you want but we try to distinguish last night, we were in the process. We’ll take some of those games during the year but we’re not in that process anymore, we’re in the winning part now.”

McLellan’s lineup change seems to have worked and sparked the Sharks Sunday night.

“The line changes at the end of the night made our team better,” Pavelski said. “Maybe they stay the same; maybe they change (the lineup). I think we’ve been doing some good things we just need to break through now.”

Anaheim’s goaltender Jonas Hiller was once again helped out by the crossbar. The Sharks have by denied by the post three times this series.

“It’s a stat you don’t want to lead,” defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said. “We’re going to keep shooting and hopefully the puck will go in.”


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