Sharks aim to bite into Penguins' lead on home ice

Fri Jun 3, 2016 6:57pm EDT
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(Reuters) - The Sharks will be banking on home comforts and incrementally improving form to help them take a bite out of the Pittsburgh Penguins' 2-0 lead when the National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals resume in San Jose on Saturday.

With the Penguins having won two closely contested encounters in Pittsburgh to start the best-of-seven series, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer promised that his team would be "much better" on home ice for Game Three.

"Home crowd, sleeping in your own bed, I think all those things are important in the playoffs," DeBoer told reporters on Friday.

"We just have to keep building our game. We were better in Game Two than we were in Game One. I think we'll be better tomorrow than we were in Game Two."

Asked whether his forwards could do a better job in supporting the defensemen, DeBoer replied: "I think our support, not just coming out of our own zone, but all over the ice, is always important. (It's been) a little bit off.

"Obviously, you have to give them some credit. Their speed pushes you into positions where if you're off by a couple feet, you're in trouble.

"We've gotten used to that over the first two games. I think we'll be much better."

The Sharks are in unknown territory as they make their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals but DeBoer is well aware of the level of fight needed on the biggest stage in the NHL.

Four years ago, DeBoer led the New Jersey Devils into the Finals where they fought back from a 0-3 deficit before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.   Continued...

Jun 1, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (13) passes the puck to right wing Phil Kessel (81) who scores a goal past San Jose Sharks defenseman Roman Polak (46) and goalie Martin Jones (31) in the second period in game two of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final at Consol Energy Center. Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports