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Regular Season in Past When Western Finals Begin
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Evgeni Nabokov views his 45-save masterpiece in Chicago the same way he does the seven-goal outburst the Blackhawks had in San Jose during the regular season.

Both are absolutely irrelevant once the Western Conference finals between the Sharks and Blackhawks begin. Nabokov says it's a different season once the playoffs start.

That's a good thing considering San Jose lost three of four regular season meetings between the top two teams in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks feel mostly the same way, saying there are only a few things that can be taken from games that were played in November, December and January.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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