Coach: Antti Niemi to start Game 6

Updated: April 25, 2011, 6:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi will be back in net for Game 6 in Los Angeles on Monday night.

"He's ready to go back in and we have a ton of confidence in him," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said Sunday. "Any time he's had a bad game he's come back. The thing with him is he hasn't had two within a five-game span in a long time. He'll need to polish it up, just like the rest of us do."

Niemi was pulled in Game 5 on Saturday night after giving up three goals on four shots in a 3-1 loss to the Kings. Antero Niittymaki was solid in relief. Niemi, who won a Stanley Cup in Chicago last season, was also pulled in Game 3.

McLellan blamed defensive breakdowns for the Kings' first two goals, although he didn't defend Los Angeles' third goal by Dustin Penner, who had been scoreless since March 13, two weeks after he was acquired from Edmonton.

"I've got to stay on top of the crease when they get the puck. That's pretty much all I can take from the game," Niemi said. "Just be a little bit more challenging when they've got a chance to shoot. It takes just careful preparation and getting ready and not thinking about it too much."

The Sharks lead the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals series 3-2.

Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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