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Last round: Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings four games to two, and won three in Overtime, so they are comfortable in the extra period. Niemi was shaky, but Niittymaki showed he was solid coming off the bench in two occasions, once even helping the Sharks win a comeback game 6-5 in OT.
The Red Wings swept the Phoenix Coyotes, which is always a good sign. However, they haven't played a game since the 20th. So there will be the rust factor.
For goalies, even though Niittymaki has looked far better so far in the Playoffs, Niemi is sure to get the start who performed great against the Wings this year. He should be able to rebound.
The Red Wings will ride Jimmy Howard, who's looked a tad shaky in his sophomore campaign. So the edge in the pipes goes to San Jose.
For what it's worth, the Sharks won the season series three games to one.
Also last postseason, the Sharks won the series matchup four games to one, so they have the confidence factor.
The Sharks are very deep offensively, leading the way with Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, and strong second-string scorers Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi, and rookie Logan Couture.
The Wings look to match that with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterburg, and Tomas Holmstrom.
While the Wings have a great offensive line, the Sharks are a deeper team, and have an edge in offense.
Prediction: Sharks win series 4-2
Last year, the Sharks won the series 4-1, but the Red Wings are still a tough team nonetheless, but the Sharks are too good a team, and shouldn't have too much trouble if Niemi plays solid in the net.