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Sharks overpower Jets in bounce-back win

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 04:10:09 UT

Sharks forward Joel Ward had the type of game a player happily would take on any day, from October, when the first puck of the season is dropped, until June, when the Stanley Cup champ is crowned. “If it wasn’t for people like Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, I definitely wouldn’t be here today,” Ward said after he scored the Sharks’ first goal and added a painful assist in Monday’s 5-2 victory over Winnipeg at SAP Center, a fine rebound from Saturday’s 4-0 loss to St. Louis. [...] at 11:54 of the first period, Ward scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway that ended a 115-minute, 48-second San Jose scoring drought. Less than three minutes into the second period, Ward passed to Tierney a split second before defenseman Mark Stuart slammed Ward into the boards so hard he had to leave for a concussion check. Tierney got the puck to Meier, the 20-year-old rookie, who scored his second career goal on another breakaway as several players from both teams crowded the boards in the Sharks’ end where Ward went down. The Jets added a goal so bizarre it had Jones laughing even as it lowered his save percentage. Nineteen seconds remained when Jones tried to shoot the puck across the ice for an empty-net goal. Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau assisted on Burns’ power-play goal, Pavelski’s 40th point of the season and Marleau’s 20th. ...



It’s Wild at the very top of NHL’s Western Conference

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 05:38:00 UT

Dubnyk made 33 saves, Jason Pominville scored in the third period and Minnesota beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday to grab sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference. “To beat this team eight times in a row is really something,” said Boudreau, who was behind the bench in Anaheim when the Ducks were eliminated by the Blackhawks in the 2015 Western Conference finals. Minnesota (28-9-5) jumped in front for good when Marco Scandella shot the puck behind the net and it caromed right to Pominville standing all alone on the right side of the crease. Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter was sent off for tripping with 22.4 seconds left, but Chicago didn’t get a good look even with the 6-on-4 advantage. Patrick Kane scored twice on a whopping 12 shots for the Blackhawks (27-14-5), who were coming off an ugly 6-0 loss at Washington. The reigning NHL MVP beat Dubnyk on the stick side at 4:33 of the first, and then added his 14th of the season in the second. The wing dug the puck out of the faceoff circle and snapped it over Dubnyk’s left shoulder for a 2-0 lead at 4:16. Skating on a 2-on-1 with Damon Severson, Hall chose to hold the puck and beat Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom through the legs. The Capitals, who lead the NHL with 63 points, came alive with four goals on seven shots in the first seven minutes of the third period.



Sharks fall to Blues; Thornton ejected

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 07:09:54 UT

The visitors played a physical brand of hockey and received stellar goaltending from one-time Sharks farmhand Carter Hutton en route to a 4-0 win over the team that eliminated them from the Western Conference finals last spring. Hutton stopped 23 shots for his fifth career shutout as San Jose was blanked at home for the second time in 21 games. What is left now for the Sharks, losers of two straight, is to wonder if Joe Thornton will receive supplemental discipline for a major penalty and game misconduct earned just over a minute after the Blues took a 2-0 lead midway through the middle period. The Sharks had an opportunity to break a scoreless tie in the second when 11 seconds after Blues forward Alexander Steen slashed Tommy Wingels, St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo did likewise to Thornton to give the Sharks an extended two-man advantage. [...] after Pavelski missed a wide-open net by firing a shot off the side of the cage, he took out some frustration on Blues defenseman Colton Parayko and drew an interference penalty to cut short the 5-on-3 advantage. Once Pietrangelo came out of the box to give the Blues their first power play, it wasn’t long before Parayko let fly with a slap shot from above the right circle that appeared to deflect off the stick of Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and past goalie Martin Jones. The Blues went up 2-0 at 10:01 when Perron scored his 11th by punching in a loose puck at the side of the net. Sharks defenseman David Schlemko returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury. …



Beagle, Holtby help Capitals rout Blackhawks

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 05:37:40 UT

Washington’s Jay Beagle scored twice to lead the host Capitals to their eighth consecutive victory, a 6-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. Braden Holtby stopped 24 shots and got the benefit of goaltender interference on Vinne Hinostroza’s would-be goal for his fifth shutout in the team’s past 14 games. The Vezina Trophy winner is 9-2-2 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in that time. Nick Foligno had a go-ahead power-play goal in the third period for visiting Columbus, which improved to 2-3 since it won 16 in a row. Nash missed eight games with a groin injury; Buchnevich had been out since Nov. 12 with a back injury. John Tavares recorded his sixth career hat trick as visiting New York snapped a three-game losing streak. Rookie Brendan Perlini scored two of his team’s four first-period goals and host Arizona held off Winnipeg. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who left a game Thursday after a slap shot hit his face mask, practiced Friday. ... Predators defenseman Roman Josi (upper-body injury) and forward Colin Wilson (lower-body injury) were placed on injured reserve.



Parity, youth defining NHL season

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 05:07:52 UT

Half of the NHL season is in the books, and several positive story lines have emerged. Almost half of the season’s first-half games (48.8 percent) were decided by a single goal. [...] 23 of the 30 teams are within five points of a playoff spot. Last season, the Sharks were among five teams to reach the playoffs after having missed the postseason in 2014-15 — a growing trend. In nine of the past 11 seasons, at least five teams that didn’t make the Stanley Cup playoffs one season have qualified for them the next. [...] the league is getting what the salary cap promised to deliver — a reasonable amount of parity and the feeling that none of the 30 markets are going to be out of playoff contention for too long. Rookies Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk and Zach Werenski — in addition to second-year star Connor McDavid — have made huge impacts for their teams, not to mention legitimizing the league’s promotion of its young stars even before the season started. The players the league hopes will be front and center are putting up the points and making each of their teams winners. [...] while rain was forecast the next day in St. Louis, the Blues beat their rival Blackhawks 4-1 in a Winter Classic match-up that ended less than an hour before it started to pour. Florida’s Jaromir Jagr is the only active player to reach the milestone faster than the Capitals’ captain, doing it in 763 games, compared with Ovechkin’s 880. Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo is out at least eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken wrist he suffered in Edmonton on Tuesday. Goalie Craig Anderson has been unavailable to the Senators since early last month to be by the side of his wife, Nicholle, who is receiving treatment for throat cancer. Detroit’s run of 25 playoff appearances — the longest current streak in major pro sports — is in jeopardy. The players and International Olympic Committee want the NHL to make its players available, but league owners are balking with no hard deadline in sight.



Calgary holds off Sharks

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:17:39 UT

Hamilton and rookie Matthew Tkachuk each finished with a goal and an assist for the Flames, and Michael Frolik also scored. Couture opened the scoring at 9:40 of the first period when he redirected a point shot fired by Burns through Johnson’s legs for a power-play goal. Burns put the Sharks back up by one at 16:06 when his wrist shot from the point found the back of the net behind Johnson, who was screened on the play. The Flames were rewarded for their hard work during a man advantage when Tkachuk deflected a shot taken by Backlund past Dell with 31.7 seconds left in the second period. Johnson then stopped another breakaway attempt by Boedker in the game’s final minute to preserve the victory for the Flames.



Mikkel Boedker’s hat trick keys Sharks’ win over Oilers

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 07:48:50 UT

Mikkel Boedker’s hat trick keys Sharks’ win over Oilers Boedker scored three goals for his fourth career hat trick to lead the Sharks to a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said getting the 27-year-old going again will be key to his team’s second-half success. Brent Burns and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who won back-to-back games after losing three in a row. Burns’ point shot through traffic gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with 18 seconds remaining in the opening period. Benning, with his second career goal, got the Oilers back in it 22 seconds into the third, and Klefbom’s slap shot off a face-off 2:23 later pulled the Oilers to 4-3. Couture put the Sharks back up by two at 5:06, as the rebound of his shot went off his leg and in while he was crashing the net. The Sharks took a 1-0 lead 1:39 into the opening period as Boedker got to a rebound and lifted the puck over the sprawling Talbot, who was making his NHL-leading 38th start of the season. San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic returned to the lineup after missing four games following being hit in the face with a puck.



John Gibson’s shutout lifts Ducks over Stars

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 06:39:54 UT

Silfverberg scored a power-play goal in the second period, and the Swedish forward set up Andrew Cogliano’s top-shelf shot with 5:18 to play. Antti Niemi stopped 36 shots for the Stars, who wrapped up their three-game road trip with their fourth loss in five games. Gibson played in his ninth consecutive game for the Ducks and earned his ninth career shutout — his second in four starts. After a scoreless first period, the teams exchanged fruitless power plays in the second before Anaheim finally snapped its 0-for-16 drought with the man advantage, its longest of the season. Late in the third period, Silfverberg surged ahead on a rush and threaded a cross-ice pass to Cogliano for an exceptional top-shelf shot. Duncan Keith scored a power-play goal 38 seconds into overtime, lifting host Chicago to its fourth straight victory. Victor Rask had two assists and an empty-net goal, Jeff Skinner had a goal and two assists, and Derek Ryan had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Buffalo goalie Anders Nilsson stopped 39 shots but lost his shutout bid on Brayden Schenn’s power-play goal with 2:07 left.



Sharks’ Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Martin Jones on All-Star team

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:52:26 UT

Three members of the defending Western Conference-champion Sharks were named NHL All-Stars on Tuesday. The journeyman enforcer scored two goals and was voted the MVP after an equally improbable grassroots online campaign by fans to vote him into the game as a captain — even after he was traded from Arizona to Montreal and sent to the minors. The NHL changed its fan-voting rules this season to reduce the chances of a similar situation, adding stipulations that players had to be on their team’s roster Nov. 1 and hadn’t been sent to the minors before Jan. 26. McDavid, the NHL’s 19-year-old leading scorer with 48 points, is headed to his first All-Star Game after missing last season’s with a broken collarbone. Crosby, right behind McDavid with 44 points, surprisingly hasn’t played in an All-Star Game since his second NHL season in 2007, missing four subsequent selections because of injuries.



Blue Jackets get back to their winning ways

Mon, 9 Jan 2017 05:46:55 UT

Nick Foligno scored 2:33 into overtime to lift the host Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night. The Flyers’ Brayden Schenn had tied it with 17 seconds left in regulation to send the game into the extra period. Foligno then lifted a shot over goalie Steve Mason’s shoulder to get the win for the Blue Jackets, their first since a 16-game winning streak was followed by two losses. Boudreau was fired by the Ducks after their first-round playoff exit last spring despite leading Anaheim to four consecutive Pacific Division titles and to the 2015 Western Conference finals. Ryan Hartman scored off a goalmouth scramble in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and tacked on two empty-net goals as host Chicago won its third in a row. Mark Stone had a goal and two assists and Mike Condon stopped 35 shots as host Ottawa snapped a four-game losing streak. Patrick Maroon had two goals for Edmonton, which outshot the Senators 17-3 in the third period and 29-8 over the final 40 minutes. Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, who leads all rookies in goals (21) and points (37), will be out indefinitely with a concussion, head coach Paul Maurice said.



Sharks score season-high six goals in win

Sun, 8 Jan 2017 07:09:51 UT

On a night the California Golden Seals were honored, the Sharks enjoyed their most explosive game of the season to beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-3, ending a three-game losing streak in the process. “It took the old boys to get us back and show the way,” captain Joe Pavelski said of the NHL’s first venture into Bay Area hockey. The Sharks surrendered the first goal, but later scored on three consecutive shots to take a 3-1 lead after one period. Tommy Wingels got the onslaught started by blasting a shot from the high slot that ricocheted off teammate Joonas Donskoi, then off the shoulder of Detroit forward Riley Sheahan and past Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau. San Jose struck again at 17:29 when Mirco Mueller let fly with a low slap shot from the left point that beat a screened Coreau. Marleau capped the first-period scoring with a steal at center and a wrist shot that fooled Coreau at 19:31. [...] Mikkel Boedker ended a 28-game goal drought with his third of the season at 4:11, redirecting another drive by Burns. [...] Pavelski increased his team lead in goals with No. 15 at 10:31, punching a rebound past Mrazek before Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou capped the scoring at 13:46.



Rangers rally to hand Blue Jackets second straight loss

Sun, 8 Jan 2017 05:43:15 UT

Michael Grabner scored on a breakaway with 17 seconds left to complete the Rangers’ comeback as New York rallied for a 5-4 victory. The Rangers scored four unanswered goals, three in the final period, to win for the fifth time in six games. Brian Gionta scored midway through the third period and host Buffalo rallied for its second victory in three games. Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, the NHL’s rookie scoring leader, was escorted to the dressing room after taking an open-ice hit from Buffalo’s Jake McCabe. “I don’t have a problem with the hit,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice, who had no update on Laine’s condition after the game. Braden Holtby made 30 saves for his second straight shutout and fifth this season as visiting Washington won its fifth in a row by handing Ottawa its fourth straight loss. T.J. Oshie, who scored for the Capitals, took a hard hit from defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the second and went to the locker room favoring his left shoulder. Minnesota’s Zach Parise scored the tying power-play goal with 42.1 seconds left in regulation, but Pearson ended it with a slick deflection in front of Darcy Kuemper for his fourth goal in six games. Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl, Sean Couturier and Radko Gudas scored in the second period as host Philadelphia ended a five-game losing streak. Alex Chiasson and Matt Stajan scored in a 1:03 span in the first period to help host Calgary end Vancouver’s six-game winning streak. Anthony Duclair and Radim Vrbata scored in the shootout to help host Arizona to snap a nine-game losing streak. Mark Letestu scored a power-play goal at 3:59 of overtime and Cam Talbot stopped 19 shots for visiting Edmonton. Paul Stastny scored twice and Patrick Berglund broke a third-period tie with his seventh goal of the season as host St. Louis handed Dallas its third consecutive loss.



Avalanche end 10-game home skid

Sat, 7 Jan 2017 06:38:58 UT

Nathan MacKinnon scored 4:43 into overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Friday for their first home win in more than seven weeks. MacKinnon also assisted on Gabriel Landeskog’s first-period goal, and Calvin Pickard finished with 35 saves for Colorado, which had lost 10 in a row at home. Nazem Kadri sparked Toronto’s four-goal first period with a power-play score as the visiting Maple Leafs won for the sixth time in seven games. The victory gave Toronto 44 points, moving it into third place in the Atlantic Division, a playoff spot. “We’re not even 40 games into the season and there is a lot of hockey still to be played,” said James van Riemsdyk, who added two assists. Markus Granlund had two goals and an assist as host Vancouver extended its NHL-current-best winning streak to six games despite managing just 13 shots on goal. Ondrej Kase scored at 4:24 of overtime to lift host Anaheim, which handed Arizona its ninth consecutive loss and moved two points ahead of the second-place Sharks in the Pacific Division. On his winner, Kase was stopped by Mike Smith, but the goalie bobbled the puck and Kase swiped it from him in the crease and swept it into the open net. Former Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin signed a one-year, $650,000 extension with the Predators.



At season’s halfway point, Sharks looking (mostly) good

Sat, 7 Jan 2017 05:53:47 UT

The Sharks reach the 40-game mark Saturday, nearly the midway point of the season, and a good time to analyze what’s working and where the concerns are. Most important, San Jose is in the thick of the Pacific Division chase: two points behind first-place Anaheim after the Ducks defeated Arizona on Friday. The Sharks’ 48 points through 39 games is a pace for 101 — topping San Jose’s total of 98 last season — but might not be enough to win the Pacific. The Sharks are much better at SAP Center this season while still boasting a winning record on the road, where they were tops in the league last season. Re-establishing the fact their barn is hard a tough place for opponents to play was an offseason priority that’s being met. The pipeline between the Barracuda of the American Hockey League and the Sharks is wide open. The All-Star defenseman appears hell bent on winning the Norris Trophy this season. Power play: [...] a component to the downturn in goal production, San Jose ranked only 19th in the league before Friday and 27th on the road. Head coach Peter DeBoer has started to experiment with personnel of late, moving Marleau to a second unit and promoting Joel Ward for more net presence. San Jose’s two marquee signings — forward Mikkel Boedker and defenseman David Schlemko — are having problems assimilating to their new team. Boedker was a healthy scratch Thursday for the first time. A lot more is expected than a 28-game goal drought and eight points. Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher needed surgery to repair a broken hand, the result of getting struck by teammate Shea Weber’s booming slap shot on a power play in Dallas on Wednesday. The Americans on Thursday in Montreal won for the third straight time when competing in a World Junior gold-medal game, overcoming deficits of 2-0 and 4-2 to beat Canada 5-4 in a shootout. Recent Sharks castoff Matt Nieto debuted with the Avalanche on Friday on a line with Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg. … Arizona farmhand Craig Cunningham, after surviving a heart attack suffered on the ice just before a minor-league game Nov. 19, had a portion of his left leg amputated on Christmas Eve because of an infection . … NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hinted at the possibility of three outdoor games next season, and Columbus (Ohio Stadium?) possibly being a host for one.



Blue Jackets’ winning streak ends at 16

Fri, 6 Jan 2017 06:29:49 UT

Columbus head coach John Tortorella paced up and down the bench, trying to keep his team’s spirits high as it faced its first two-goal deficit since November. The Blue Jackets just didn’t have it in Washington on Thursday as their winning streak ended at 16 games with a 5-0 loss to the Capitals. Columbus fell one shy of the NHL record for consecutive wins set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins. Columbus’ power play was blanked over five chances and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing five goals on 23 shots. Colton Sissons, who entered the game with two goals this season and seven in 78 career games, had his first hat trick to lead visiting Nashville. Patrick Maroon had a hat trick and also fought with 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara for visiting Edmonton. Jared Coreau made 34 saves, one on a penalty shot, for his first career shutout as visiting Detroit won. Patrick Kane scored 56 seconds into overtime for host Chicago, which welcomed back leading scorer Marian Hossa from a five-game injury absence. MONTREAL — Troy Terry scored the lone shootout goal, Tyler Parsons stopped all five shots he faced in the tiebreaker and the United States outlasted Canada 5-4 on Thursday night to win the world junior hockey title.