Sharks enter playoffs as underdog for change

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- For years, the San Jose Sharks have entered the postseason as one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, only to fall short somewhere along the line.

That may be why San Jose is embracing its new role as underdog so much heading into the first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

The Sharks had to scramble just to make the playoffs after an eight-week funk when they lost nearly two-thirds of their games. They recovered to win their final four in the regular season to earn the seventh seed in the Western Conference. That set up a first-round matchup against the second-seeded Blues beginning Thursday night at St. Louis