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From The Ice

Matt Nieto possible to return in game two

San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto (83) shields the puck from Nashville Predators defenseman Anthony Bitetto (2) during game three of the semi-final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and the San Jose Sharks, held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire)

San Jose Sharks winger Matt Nieto has been sitting out for the club with an upper body injury since the second round of the postseason, when he was injured while playing against the Nashville Predators.

Now, though, he seems to be clear to return.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer suggests that Nieto could draw back into the lineup for game two against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which would replace one of either Tommy Wingels or veteran Dainius Zubrus in the team’s depth chart. This would be the forward’s first game back since May 9th, as he was healthy scratched in his first game back from the injury – but despite being scratched, this could be good news for San Jose’s secondary scoring as they head into the Stanley Cup Final.

Drafted 47th overall by the Sharks in 2011, Nieto – a native of Long Beach, California – put up a goal and three points in his first 11 games with the Pacific Division club this postseason, prior to going down with his injury. That came after his slowest offensive season recently, but the 23-year-old forward still had decent numbers during the year; with eight goals and 17 points in 67 regular season games, the winger serves as a solid middle six option for the team.

The Sharks will head into game two (either with or without Nieto) tomorrow evening against the Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They’ll look to come back from a tough game one loss on Monday, when the Penguins walked away with the win after a late game third goal put them up 3-2.

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