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STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF CAPSULES

Western Conference Preview

April 17, 2002

*--* Phoenix Coyotes (40-27-9-6, 6th) vs. San Jose Sharks (44-27-8-3, 3rd) Schedule: Tonight, Sat., Mon., April 24, 26*, 28*, 30* (*-if necessary, best of seven) Season series: San Jose, 3-2 Series preview: The Sharks believe this is the year they will go deep into the playoffs. The Coyotes seem happy just to be in them. If San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov holds up, the Sharks should be able to make this a quick series. Phoenix needs its special teams to dominate. Daniel Briere must score power-play goals and the Coyote defense, headed by captain Teppo Numminen, can't afford penalty-killing breakdowns. San Jose's biggest challenge will be dealing with the pressure of expectations. The Sharks played well in the playoffs as underdogs. Being a heavy favorite is a change for them Late-season acquisitions: None Key injuries: Pho--center Mike Sullivan (ribs); SJ--left wing Stephane Matteau (neck) Goaltenders' postseason records: Pho--Sean Burke (11-18); SJ--Evgeni Nabokov (1-3) Coaches' postseason records: Pho--Bob Francis (1-4) SJ--Darryl Sutter (22-34) Fast facts: The Sharks have six 20-goal scorers, the most of any team in the NHL this season. San Jose is only the second team in history to improve its point total for six consecutive seasons. The Coyotes are tough on home ice, where they're 12-0-0-1 in their last 13 MATCHUPS PHO SJ Goals 228 (9) 248 (4) Goals against 210 (16) 199 (9) Power play 15.1 (17) 15.9 (12) Penalty killing 83.1 (21) 85.8 (10) Save percentage 911 (8) 915 (3) Goals-against avg 2.52 (16) 2.40 (9) Penalty minutes 1,154 (21) 1,249 (13) Power-play goals 53 (16) 59 (8) Short-handed goals 8 (10) 15 (2) Players w/Cup titles 1 5 10+ goal scorers 9 8 Prediction: San Jose in five

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