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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 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 48 24 18 10 42
L. Couture 48 18 24 2 42
J. Thornton 44 10 27 0 37
B. Burns 48 11 24 -6 35
P. Marleau 48 9 24 -10 33
T. Wingels 47 11 14 -2 25
J. Braun 47 1 18 4 19
T. Hertl 48 8 9 -2 17
M. Vlasic 47 6 10 13 16
J. Sheppard 42 4 9 -2 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 19 11 5 .912 2.57
A. Stalock 5 5 1 .905 2.65
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