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NHL Game Day Preview: Sharks, Penguins look to finish off Kings, Lightning

Antti Niemi has been a storyline in this series for his inconsistent play. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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Antti Niemi has been a storyline in this series for his inconsistent play. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Game 1: 3-0 Penguins

Game 2: 5-1 Lightning

Game 3: 3-2 Penguins

Game 4: 3-2 Penguins (2OT)

Game 5: 8-2 Lightning

Game 6: 7:00 Monday

Notes: The Lightning average a goal per game more than the Penguins, but trail the series… The visiting team has won the past four games in this series… The Lightning rallied from 2-0 deficits in Games 3 and 4, but lost both… After being held without a point or a shot in 30-plus minutes of ice in Game 4’s OT loss, Steven Stamkos exploded with two goals and three points in Game 5… Pittsburgh’s league-best regular season penalty-kill is tied for the worst in the playoffs with Nashville at 63.6 percent… Tampa Bay’s penalty-kill is second-best in the post-season at 96.0 percent… Brett Clark and Matt Niskanen are the only defensemen in the series without a point… Dwayne Roloson (2.05, .942) has a much better GAA and SP than Marc-Andre Fleury (2.50, .903)… Lightning players had the option of staying in a downtown Tampa Bay hotel Sunday night…

Quote worthy: "I think I'd rather lose 8-2 than lose in triple overtime or something. No one was happy with the outcome. We gave up the first goal and it just deteriorated from there. That's the way it goes. That game is behind us." - Pittsburgh’s Arron Asham on his team’s Game 5 loss.

THN’s STARS OF THE SERIES (our total game night star points in parenthesis)
1. Marc-Andre Fleury (6)
2. Martin St-Louis (6)
3. Kris Letang (4)

What they’re saying in Tampa Bay: Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times writes about goalie Dwayne Roloson’s routine that keeps him on top of his game, even after a blowout.

What they’re saying in Pittsburgh: Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune writes the Pens are seeking to return to normalcy and play a shutdown Game 6.

Poll: Who will win Game 6?

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SAN JOSE SHARKS AT LOS ANGELES KINGS

Game 1: 3-2 Sharks (OT)

Game 2: 4-0 Kings

Game 3: 6-5 Sharks (OT)

Game 4: 6-3 Sharks

Game 5: 3-1 Kings

Game 6: 10:00 Monday

Notes: Antti Niemi allowed three goals on Los Angeles’ first four shots in Game 5, but will get the start in Game 6… Including the playoffs, on three occasions this season Niemi was pulled in a game and returned to the crease for the next match; he allowed at least three goals in the return attempt each time… Jonathan Quick’s 51 saves I Game 5 set a franchise record… The Sharks have been outscored 8-1 in the first period of this series… Dustin Penner’s goal in Game 5 was his third in 19 games with the Kings and first since March 13… Kyle Clifford and Brad Richardson both averaged less than 12:00 of ice in the regular season, but lead the team in playoff scoring with five points each… Both starting goalies have a GAA higher than 3.00… Every Shark defenseman who has played more than one game this series has at least a point.

Quote worthy: "We don't expect him to be perfect. We expect him to be a little bit better, and I think he expects that of himself." - San Jose coach Todd McLellan on goalie Antti Niemi.

THN’s STARS OF THE SERIES
1. Jonathan Quick (7)
2. Antti Niemi (5)
3. Drew Doughty/Dan Boyle/Ryane Clowe (3)

What they’re saying in San Jose: David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News writes about the team’s decision to turn back to Antti Niemi.

What they’re saying in Los Angeles: The Kings are looking to avoid being eliminated on home ice.

Poll: Who will win Game 6?

The NHL Game Day Preview will appear each day throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs to prepare you for the action ahead.

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