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NHL PLAYOFFS

Western Conference Preview Capsules

April 11, 2001|ROY JURGENS

No. 4 ST. LOUIS

vs.

No. 5 SAN JOSE

Best of seven

Thursday at St. Louis, 4 p.m.

Saturday at St. Louis, 10 a.m.

Monday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

April 19 *at St. Louis, 4:30 p.m.

April 21 *at San Jose, noon

April 23 *at St. Louis, 4:30 p.m.

* if necessary; all times Pacific

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records: St. Louis 43-22-12-5, San Jose 40-27-12-3.

* Season series: Tied 2-2-0.

* Coaches: STL: Joel Quenneville, 17-19 (.472) in playoffs. SJ: Darryl Sutter, 20-30 (.400) in playoffs.

* Scouting report: In last season's playoffs, the eighth-seeded Sharks stunned the top-seeded Blues in seven games. At the trade deadline, St. Louis got wingers Keith Tkachuk, Cory Stillman and Scott Mellanby, adding muscle to go with the finesse of forwards Pierre Turgeon and Pavol Demitra. Star defenders Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis missed big chunks of the season because of injuries but will be 100%. The Sharks struggled offensively when Vincent Damphousse went down with a shoulder injury but have him back for the playoffs. Recent acquisition Teemu Selanne has also grown accustomed to his new surroundings with seven goals and 12 points in his last six games. Forwards Owen Nolan and Mike Ricci shine in postseason play. Young players Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart continue to improve.

* Goaltending: Roman Turek will get a chance to prove that last season's playoff performance was an aberration. However, he has not excelled this season, going from 42 wins last year to only 24 while his goals-against average rose by a third of a goal. Shark rookie Evgeni Nabokov started the season on fire, but then cooled as the season dragged on. Nabokov showed a lot of poise for a rookie, especially on the road, where he posted a 1.94 goals-against average.

* Team leaders: STL--Scott Young (40 goals), Pierre Turgeon (52 assists, 82 points) SJ--Patrick Marleau (25 goals, 52 points), Niklas Sundstrom (39 assists).

* Late-season additions: STL--LW Keith Tkachuk, LW Cory Stillman, D Alexei Gusarov, RW Scott Mellanby. SJ--RW Teemu Selanne, RW Bill Lindsay, D Jeff Norton.

* Injury report: STL--D Jeff Finley (concussion) day to day. SJ--D Gary Suter (calf) day to day.

*--*

THE MATCHUPS STL SJ Goals scored 249 (8) 217 (17) Goals allowed 195 (T5) 192 (T3) Power play pct. 18.7 (9) 14.0 (24) Penalty killing 85.3 (7) 86.2 (5) Goals against avg. 2.34 (6) 2.30 (3) Save percentage .899 (18) .911 (4) Avg. penalty min. 16.4 (22) 16.7 (23) Short-handed goals 15 (2) 8 (T17)

*--*

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