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Game Inside the Game: WCQF Game 3 - Blues @ Sharks - April 16, 2012

Monday, 04.16.2012 / 11:52 AM PT / News
By Eric Lindquist  - Staff Writer
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Game Inside the Game: WCQF Game 3 - Blues @ Sharks - April 16, 2012


The San Jose Sharks get set to take on the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals tonight at 7pm! Please note all games will be carried LIVE locally on CSNCA-HD / 98.5-102.1 FM KFOX and the Sharks Radio Network

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 3, let’s take a closer look at the GAME INSIDE THE GAME for the Sharks and the Blues!

BAD BLOOD

"Our goal is to win, first and foremost. I think that's the best payback we can have, sending these guys home. And I'm sure that they're thinking the same thing." – Dan Boyle

The Sharks and the Blues combined for 132 penalty minutes on Saturday night with four sets of fighting majors in a nasty playoff game. The Sharks were unhappy with the “sucker punch” by Vladimir Sobotka that broke the nose of Dominic Moore during the post game brawl while the Blues were not thrilled with some “questionable” hits rolled out by the Sharks.

There were 724 penalty minutes called through the first 19 NHL playoff games this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That's the most the NHL has seen since the 2006 playoffs opened with 804 penalty minutes in 19 games.

There were only 12 fights in the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, with many of those occurring in the finals between the Bruins and the Canucks. Already this playoff season, there have been 11 sets of fighting majors and the playoff season is only a week old.

More to come in Game 3? Time will tell.

LINEUP CHANGES FOR GAME 3

SAN JOSE: despite the broken nose to Dominic Moore, he has stated that he is healthy enough to play. Media reports that Brad Winchester may be in the lineup for the Sharks to add a little more sand paper to the lineup after a nasty Game 2.

ST. LOUIS: Jaroslav Halak was injured in Game 2 and replaced by Brian Elliott in goal. St. Louis made changes several after Game 1, and one would expect that they keep the same lineup from Game 2 heading into tonight’s matchup.

MATCHUPS TO STAY THE SAME?

With having home ice advantage, the Sharks now have the luxury of making the final line change and can try to set up the line matchups in their favor. In Game’s 1 and 2, coach Ken Hitchcock had his top line of Perron, Backes, and Oshie (64 regular season goals combined) lined up against the Sharks top line of Marleau, Thornton, and Pavelski (79 regular season goals combined). Look for coach McLellan to mix things up tonight vs. the Blues.

DID YOU KNOW?

Fisticuffs... The Sharks had the 15th most fighting majors in the NHL during the regular season with 35, while the Blues had 42 fighting majors good for 7th most. The Sharks and the Blues lead the NHL with four fighting majors each in the playoffs.

Game 3 success…. The Sharks have won three straight Game 3’s heading into tonight’s game including an 8-3 record on home ice.

Close Games… the Sharks have played ten straight one goal games in Game 3’s with a 6-4 record in those games.

PIMS… Ryan Clowe is the all-time Sharks leader in penalty minutes in the playoffs with 97 penalty minutes in 65 games played.

THE BOTTOM LINE

With all the bad blood heading into Game 3, the Sharks do not want to get into a slug fest during this opening series vs. the Blues. The Sharks have been solid all season at home and have a 37-31 record in San Jose all-time in the Stanley Cup playoffs and can grab the series lead with a win tonight. With the top line for the Sharks held scoreless for the first two game, watch for coach McLellan to take advantage of the last line change on home ice tonight vs. the Blues.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - ANA 79 50 22 7 232 217 107
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 SJS 77 38 30 9 217 216 85
11 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
12 COL 77 35 30 12 207 218 82
13 EDM 77 23 41 13 186 260 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 77 36 32 11 68
L. Couture 77 26 38 -2 64
J. Thornton 73 14 48 -4 62
B. Burns 77 16 42 -4 58
P. Marleau 77 18 36 -16 54
T. Wingels 70 15 20 -4 35
T. Hertl 77 12 17 -1 29
M. Nieto 67 8 17 -10 25
M. Karlsson 48 13 10 -1 23
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
A. Stalock 8 7 2 .907 2.47
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