|Sharks aim for sweep of Ducks|
San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said Tuesday that the Sharks have had to work for everything they have accomplished this season. After an inconsistent start, the club reached 100 points for the first time since 2014.
However, through three playoff games, they have barely broken a sweat.
The Sharks look to complete a four-game sweep of the Anaheim Ducks in their first-round Western Conference series on Wednesday night at SAP Center in San Jose.
After taking the first two games in Southern California, San Jose scored four power-play goals and rolled to an 8-1 rout in Game 3 on Monday night at the Shark Tank.
San Jose has outscored Anaheim, 14-3, and is 6 for 17 with the man advantage in the series.
"One night it's (Logan) Couture's line. One night it's (Joe) Pavelski's line. One night it's somebody else," DeBoer said. "I think our group has played well the entire three games, just different lines have stuck pucks in the net at different times."
Couture and Pavelski are tied for the team lead with five points apiece, while Evander Kane has a club-best three goals. Seven Sharks each have a minimum of three points in the series.
"You want to finish it at home in front of your fans, especially against a rival," Couture said. "We know it's going to be loud. We know they're going to be energized."
With the benefit of all four lines rolling, Martin Jones has been nearly flawless in net. The 28-year-old set a franchise postseason record for most saves in a regulation contest with 45 in Game 3 and has stopped 98 of 101 shots in the series.
"It's not just the saves, it's the timing of the saves," DeBoer explained. "When you make saves at key times or the right times of the game, you just have that confidence as a group to try and make some more plays or take a chance here or there."
Jones is one playoff win short of becoming the second player in team history with 20 victories, joining Evgeni Nabokov (40 postseason wins between 2000 and 2010.)
With their backs to the wall, the Ducks would appear to have no option but to come out flying in Game 4. Or do they?
"We have to take a singular approach, and focus on the first shift, first period," coach Randy Carlyle said Tuesday.
A key to staying focused would be forgetting how Anaheim has gotten to this point -- especially after a game in which it set a club record for most goals allowed in a playoff game.
"You can't think about that game anymore," defenseman Hampus Lindholm told the Ducks' official website. "That's in the past now. We just have to go out there for the fourth game. It's going to be a do-or-die game for us. We're going to compete as hard as we can."
Lindholm is one of three goal-scorers in the series, along with Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim's all-time playoff scoring leader with 120 points, has just two assists.
"We've got to create more chances and score more goals. And tighten up defensively," defenseman Francois Beauchemin told the Los Angeles Times.
John Gibson has a 4.17 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in the series. While it's almost a certainty that he'll get the nod once more, backup Ryan Miller is 7-2-1 with a tie and a 1.78 GAA and .948 save percentage in his career in San Jose.
Game 5, if necessary, is set for Friday night in Anaheim.