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The Task Is Clear

Sharks Know What They Have To Do In Game 5

Saturday, 05.7.2011 / 3:53 PM PT / News
By Tony Khing  - Staff Writer
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The Task Is Clear
The San Jose Sharks have played eight games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Over these eight games, they haven’t lost two straight.

They’ll be taking a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series vs. Detroit into tomorrow’s game, which comes after their 4-3 loss at Detroit in Game 4 on Friday night. The Sharks tied the game after Detroit had built a 3-0 lead, but Darren Helm’s goal at 18:33 of the third period was the winner.

The Sharks task is quite clear for tomorrow’s Game 5.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops shot by San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton (19) during the third period in Game 4 of a second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series, Friday, May 6, 2011 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 4-3, but the Sharks lead the series 3-1. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
“They all know,” Joe Thornton said about his teammates. “There’s no rookies in here. Everyone has led at times this year. Everybody knows what needs to be done. There’s no surprises in here.”

“We missed an opportunity last game,” Dan Boyle said. “You don’t want to prolong this any longer. They deserved to win the last game. They were better than we were.”

“It’s not going to end on its own,” Ryane Clowe said. “We have to battle for it and play better. I think you’ll see a better game from us tomorrow.”

What’s San Jose’s task? One part is limiting Detroit’s chances inside the San Jose zone. The Red Wings are a puck possession team which thrives on time with the puck and shooting pucks on the opposition’s net. In Game 1, Detroit was limited to 25 shots on goal. In Game 5, the Red Wings had 40.

“A lot of their chances and their momentum in the O zone leads from pucks on our stick,” Clowe said. “We’ve got complete control and it’s either on their stick, it’s a bobble play, it’s not executed or it’s a missed pass. A lot of times the puck gets in the neutral zone and they go right back again. We just didn’t come clean out of our end.”

“We looked at the video today,” Devin Setoguchi said. “They did a good job going to the net and getting second and third opportunities. It’s more about what we need to do and not worry about what they’re doing. We need to execute better.”

“We weren’t good enough to win the game the other night,” Coach Todd McLellan said. “We probably weren’t good enough in Game 3 as well. I thought the gap got a little wider in Game 4 and we have to close it. Their intensity level went up and we didn’t meet it. They did a lot of good things in our zone by throwing pucks at our net and getting to second opportunities.”

There’s also the importance of a good start. In this year’s playoffs, San Jose has been outscored 13-4 in the first 20 minutes.

San Jose Sharks' Dan Boyle, third from left, celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings with teammates Patrick Marleau (12), Ryane Clowe (29) and Kyle Wellwood (20) during the second period of Game 4 of a second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs hockey series, Friday, May 6, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
“Everyone understands,” Boyle said about the need to start strong. “We’ve been outscored a ton in the first period. It’s not from lack of being prepared. We know what we have to do. We have to find a way to execute better in the first period.”

Another part is being in control. The Sharks will have the advantage of playing before a sold out HP Pavilion on Sunday. Playing before friendly faces can make the home team try a little too hard.

“It’s going to be important to come out with energy,” Boyle said, “but also controlled energy. You can lose control when you’re so excited.”

And finally, there’s the question about momentum. Does Detroit have it because of their late game heroics on Friday? Or does San Jose have the edge because they’re playing at home?

“Momentum starts over and over and over again,” McLellan said. “Every game. We had an emotional win in Game 3 and it didn’t swing Detroit’s momentum at all. It’s up to us to reestablish it and Detroit will be looking to do the same thing.”

FROM THE PUCK BAG
If you have a ticket for tomorrow’s Game 5, you’ll get a rally towel courtesy of Club One, Sims Recycling Solutions and El Camino Hospital. And make sure you use your “Game G” tickets…There’s a new installment of "EQ vs. Shark" (featuring Jason Demers) available for your viewing pleasure. Take a look right here...K-FOX Morning Personality Greg Kihn is still belting out the tunes. He wrote a song for the Sharks 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A music video was released on YouTube this past Wednesday and has already been played on CSN Bay Area’s “Chronicle Live.” You can check it out here.

GAME ON!
Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals between San Jose and Detroit will be at 5 p.m. at HP Pavilion. Watch the game on Versus and listen to the game on 98.5/102.1 K-FOX and www.sjsharks.com

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 73 44 23 6 207 167 94
5 MIN 74 42 25 7 211 183 91
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 74 40 27 7 217 195 87
10 DAL 74 36 28 10 232 236 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 74 21 40 13 177 254 55
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 74 35 31 10 66
J. Thornton 70 14 48 -4 62
L. Couture 74 24 36 -3 60
B. Burns 74 16 38 -5 54
P. Marleau 74 17 35 -16 52
T. Wingels 67 15 19 -6 34
T. Hertl 74 12 17 -1 29
M. Nieto 64 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 69 9 14 13 23
M. Karlsson 45 13 9 -2 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
A. Stalock 6 7 1 .903 2.65
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