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Demers, Burish Could be Options for Lineup

Monday, 05.20.2013 / 6:14 PM / News
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Demers, Burish Could be Options for Lineup
San Jose is a little thin up front, but Adam Burish is progressing faster than expected from a broken hand and defenseman Jason Demers was practicing with the forwards Monday and could return for Game 4.

SAN JOSE, California -- The San Jose Sharks began scrambling to adjust their forward lines early in the first period of Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Vancouver Canucks when Martin Havlat suffered an injury.

The Sharks are still scrambling.

When practice began Monday, injured defenseman Jason Demers (left ankle) was skating with the forwards, and injured forward Adam Burish was practicing for the first time since breaking his right hand in Game 4 against Vancouver.

Demers and Burish are just two potential options for coach Todd McLellan's lineup Tuesday night when the Sharks face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of their semifinals series at HP Pavilion (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Center Logan Couture didn't practice, but McLellan said he'll definitely play in Game 4. Couture suffered an apparent injury to his left leg early in the second period Saturday night in the Sharks' 2-1 overtime win in Game 3 against the Kings. He returned by the end of the second period and wound up scoring the game-winning goal.

"Just gave him some time off the ice," McLellan said. "He'll be playing."

Havlat and fellow top-six forward Raffi Torres definitely won't. In his first game back since being injured against Vancouver, Havlat lasted less than two periods Saturday before being injured again. He's been ruled out for Game 4. Torres was suspended by the NHL after his hit on the Kings' Jarret Stoll in Game 1 and won't be available the rest of this series.

Burish said he's still "day to day," but is recovering faster than expected.

"Hopefully one of these days when I beg the doctors hard enough, they'll say OK," Burish said. "If the doctors let me, I'd play tomorrow if I could. My goal is to get back in this series sometime. When that is, I don't know. It will be between us and the coaches and the doctors to see when that is. But I'll be ready whenever it is.

"They're just encouraged where everything is, the way everything looks," he said of his doctors. "Everything's good, everything's fine. They're surprised how fast it's gone. That's good news. No real surprises, though. Everything's moving along the way it should."

Burish took part in the entire practice. He was able to grip the stick well enough to handle the puck and take wrist shots, and even scored during a two-on-one rush.

"He was excited, obviously," McLellan said of Burish. "He had a lot of energy, and actually moved the puck fairly well. Maybe he's closer than we originally thought. It's a good sign for us."

Demers missed the final four regular season games and hasn't appeared in the playoffs, although he has been practicing for over a week. Demers played some forward while growing up and also as a rookie with the Sharks in 2009-2010. He played a handful of games at forward late in the regular season and in the playoffs on the fourth line.

"I play a simple game when I'm a forward, nothing too fancy," Demers said. "It's for sure different when you have the play in front of you as a D-man than when you're kind of right in the middle of it."

McLellan said the Sharks might dress seven defensemen and give Demers an occasional shift at forward.

"It's an option as he gets healthier and times go on," McLellan said.

Demers just wants to get back in the lineup at any position and make his 2013 playoff debut. He said he's physically ready to play.

"I feel good," Demers said. "It's just a question of getting back into game shape. As soon as you do a couple of shifts, especially in this kind of series, you'll be in shape real quick. I'm just helping out wherever I can and going where they tell me to go.

"It's a great series right now. We could easily be up 2-1. It could easily be the other way around, for sure, but it's been a great series, good rivalry. Both teams are playing great, at a top level. Just watching from the stands, you're anxious to get out on the ice. For sure, I'm chomping at the bit a little bit."

Author: Eric Gilmore | NHL.com Correspondent

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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