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Shaks Eager for Game Seven

Monday, 05.27.2013 / 1:31 PM / News
By Jonathan Okanes  - Staff Writer
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Shaks Eager for Game Seven
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Attempting to defeat the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. But playing in a Game 7 at any venue does.

That’s why the Sharks are looking forward to Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night game in Los Angeles. The Kings have won 13 home games in a row dating back to the regular season, but Game 7s have a way of turning their noses at trends and producing a story of their own.

“It’s one game. This is what we play for,” Sharks center Logan Couture said. “It’s exciting. We have to win in their building. It’s a Game 7. It’s going to be fun.”

The home team has won every game of this series so far, and the Kings played their best game of the series at home in Game 5. The Sharks were sharp in Sunday’s win in Game 6, and played better as the game progressed. They’ll need to try to take that momentum with them as they head South for the decider.

“We really don’t have anything to lose,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We’re going to play Game 7 against the Stanley Cup champs in their building. We look forward to that challenge.”

The consensus is the Sharks will need a strong start to win on the road in Game 7. The team that has scored the first goal has won every game in the series, and Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick isn’t the kind of guy you want to play catch-up against.

“We wanted this opportunity,” Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said. “We wanted to go play. We feel like we’ve played some good games there before. It’s been awhile since we’ve won, so we’re due.”

Although the home team is undefeated in the series, it’s not like the visiting team has been completely dominated or not had its chances to win on the road. The Sharks held a 3-2 lead at Staples Center in Game 2 before a couple of late penalties allowed the Kings to come back for the win. All three of San Jose’s home wins have been tight. The Sharks had to withstand a flurry of pressure from Los Angeles to hold on for their win in Game 4.

“It’s followed the script,” McLellan said. “It’s time for us to get there and try to change the story. Obviously, we’re going to have to play a much better game than we did the last time in that building. They earned the right for home ice. It’s our job to take it away from them.”

A win in Game 7 would send the Sharks to the Western Conference finals for the third time in four years. San Jose would love a chance to play in front of their home fans again. With the season on the line Sunday, the Sharks were buoyed by a deafening crowd at the Shark Tank, where good times continue to be had.

Now, it’s a matter of silencing what figures to be the Staples Center version of a deafening crowd.

“It’s great playing in this place,” Pavelski said. “Now we’ll bottle it up and take it over there.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 64 41 16 7 192 155 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 64 31 25 8 179 181 70
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 64 32 27 12 59
L. Couture 64 21 33 0 54
J. Thornton 60 12 41 -2 53
B. Burns 64 16 31 -3 47
P. Marleau 64 15 31 -16 46
T. Wingels 57 13 16 -3 29
T. Hertl 64 10 15 -1 25
J. Braun 53 1 19 3 20
M. Vlasic 59 7 12 11 19
M. Nieto 54 4 13 -10 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 24 17 7 .912 2.62
A. Stalock 6 7 1 .904 2.66
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