PITTSBURGH — For several members of the Sharks, losing a 3-1 lead in a playoff series is not a foreign feeling. But the one positive those players can draw from those painful experiences is the knowledge that momentum in a series can change. Quickly.
Trailing 3-1 in games in the Stanley Cup final, the Sharks say they will take that attitude into Game 5 against the Penguins tonight.
"I think the one thing about our group is there's a lot of belief in our game and in each other," coach Pete DeBoer said Wednesday. "The other thing about our group is they've been on the other side, up 3-0, and saw how quickly that vanished against L.A. (in 2014). We have some guys that vividly remember that. They know how quickly a win can turn the momentum."
First-year Sharks Joel Ward and Paul Martin have also endured their share of heartbreak in the postseason. Last season Ward and the Capitals lost a 3-1 series lead to the Rangers in the second round. Martin, with the Penguins the previous five seasons, lost two 3-1 leads, in 2011 in the first round against the Lightning and in 2014 in the second round against the Rangers.
"Each individual is different, every team is different," Martin said. "But there is that mental element that 'Okay, there goes one game and they have some momentum and they're pushing and getting better. So we need to make sure we're ready to go.'
"But yeah, I've been up 3-1 a couple times. … There's so many things that can happen when you win just one game. It can change a series. That's our focus, to get this win."