NHL Playoffs 2012: What to Know for Sharks vs. Blues Game 4

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 16:  Joe Thornton #19 of the San Jose Sharks attacks the goal from behind the net guarded by Roman Polak #46 of the St Louis Blues in the third period in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 16, 2012 in San Jose, California. The Blues won the game 4-3.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Game 4 of the San Jose Sharks' and St. Louis Blues' series is set for tonight at the Shark Tank. The Blues have won the last two games after dropping the first. The Sharks look to get back on track after falling short 4-3 last game.

On the Sharks' side of the ice, Todd McLellan changed the lines around to try to spark the offense. Patrick Marleau will be centering the second line with Ryane Clowe and Martin Havlat. Logan Couture joins Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski on the wing, according to the preview on Yahoo.

Michal Handzus and Brad Winchester will also replace TJ Galiardi and Dominic Moore on the lower lines.

The Blues, on the other hand, just have to keep on doing what they've been doing the past two games. They got great goaltending in Game 2, and it was decent in Game 3. The Blues need to keep up their special teams play, as it's been great. The Blues' power play unit has converted five chances out of 13.

The goaltending matchup will be Antti Niemi for the Sharks against Brian Elliot for the Blues.

Niemi will look to get back on track after allowing four goals last game. He only allowed five in the first two games combined.

Elliot will also be looking for a better outing, trying to prove he should be the Blues playoff netminder even after Jaroslav Halak has recovered from his injury. After splitting the shutout with Halak in Game 2, Elliot allowed three goals in the following game. (Granted, none were really his fault.)

The Sharks may be playing with a little bit more urgency due to the fear of falling behind three games to one, though the Blues will be determined to get ahead.

Speaking of emotions, expect at least a couple of fights this game. These two teams probably haven't forgotten Game 2 yet, and in such an important game, emotions are bound to run high.

Game 4 is right around the corner for the Sharks and Blues. It should definitely be an exciting, gritty game.