Apr 9, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) reacts during the game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose Sharks Turn Back To Antti Niemi In Net For Game 7

The San Jose Sharks, faced with a do-or-die Game 7 Wednesday night in a series they once led 3-0, will return to Antti Niemi in goal after sitting the veteran in favor of Alex Stalock in Game 6.

Captain Joe Thornton said via the Sharks official Twitter account that Niemi is ready to go:

 

Niemi has played in two career Game 7s, winning one and losing the other with a save percentage of .931.

He won Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals against Detroit in 2011, making 38 saves in a 3-2 Sharks win. His Game 7 loss was a year ago in the conference semifinals to the Kings, in Los Angeles, when he made 16 saves in a 2-1 loss.

He’s been pedestrian in five games thus far in the series, with an .882 save percentage and a 3.90 goals-against average, stopping 120 of 136 shots.,

His .913 save percentage this season was his lowest of his career when playing more than half of a team’s games in a season. He had a 2.39 goals-against average, which is only exceeded by the 2.42 he posted in 2011-12.

Stalock wasn’t great in Game 6, though, stopping 26 of 30 shots and getting rung up for three goals in less than three minutes in the third period Monday night.

There have only been three teams in NH: history to come from a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series. The Toronto Maple Leafs did it to the Detroit Red Wings in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals, the New York Islanders turned the trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1975 Quarterfinals and the Philadelphia Flyers completed the comeback against the Boston Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.

Overall, teams that take a 3-0 series lead in the NHL have gone on to win the series 172 out of 175 times.

So you have to like those odds.

Tags: Antti Niemi San Jose Sharks

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