The Sharks know what they have in Antti Niemi, and know what they can count on, which might make all the difference for them.

There are no mysteries with this goaltender in this situation. No guesses, hypotheses and meaningful shrugs.

They know he will work hard -- yes, there he was out on the ice with a handful of teammates during an optional workout at Sharks headquarters on Friday, not too many hours after their early-morning arrival after winning Game 4 in Los Angeles.

They know Niemi won't be perfect. (And through four games, he hasn't been.)

But most importantly, the Sharks know that their goaltender won't be sketchy and demoralized after one bad game.

Niemi had the bad game in Game 3, when he gave up four Kings goals in a little over a period and was pulled before the Sharks' epic comeback.

But coach Todd McLellan put Niemi back in the net for Thursday's Game 4, and Niemi responded by making several big, early saves to jump-start the Sharks' 6-3 victory.

"I was pretty confident it was going to happen," McLellan said Friday of Niemi. "He's rarely ever come back with a stinker the next night. "...