The Sharks were all over the Kings in Game 1 but still lost. Niemi allowed two goals on 20 shots in the 2-0 loss. They will need Niemi to steal a few games in this series because Jonathan Quick already stole one for the Kings.
Niemi carried his strong regular season (24-12-6 / 2.16 GAA / .924 SV%) into the first round of the playoffs. He was excellent in the four games it took the Sharks to send the Canucks packing. He posted the playoffs sixth best GAA (1.86) and SV% (.937). He will go head-to-head with last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick in what should be a thrilling goaltending duel.
Niemi is 2-0 with a 1.44 GAA and .951 SV% in the first two games of this first round series. The Sharks have played well so far and could take a stranglehold on the series with a win tonight in San Jose.
Niemi had a great season and was easily the Sharks best player this season. He was a workhorse this season starting 43 of the 48 games. He posted a 24-12-6 record with a 2.16 GAA and .924 SV%. He was a perfect 3-0-0 with a 1.63 GAA and .943 SV% against the Canucks this season.
On Tuesday, it will be Lehtonen against Antti Niemi.
Niemi gave up four goals on 22 shots in a loss to the Blue Jackets on Sunday. He will be back in goal tonight when the Sharks take on the desperate Stars. San Jose can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win so Niemi should make for a good start.
Niemi allowed four goals in each of his last two starts, both resulting in losses. He will face a hungry Red Wings team who sit eighth in the Western Conference and are looking to extend their streak to 22 straight seasons with a playoff appearance. Niemi has been great vs. Detroit this season (1-0-1, 0.48 GAA and .984 SV%)