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Sharks clinch playoffs, then win in OT

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 06:26:56 UT

Brent Burns broke a 16-game goalless streak with his career-high 28th goal of the season on a power play at 3:10 in overtime as San Jose snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the New York Rangers. San Jose clinched a playoff berth when Los Angeles lost at Edmonton, long before the Sharks blew a 3-1 lead and fell behind, then rallied late in regulation to tie the score on Chris Tierney’s second goal of the night. Fourth-place Calgary — San Jose’s opponent in two of its last six games, including Friday’s — could move to one point back of the idle Sharks and Oilers with a win Wednesday. The Rangers scored twice early in the third period to cap a three-goal comeback and appeared on their way to extending the Sharks’ recent woes before Tierney scored his career-high ninth goal at 17:45 of the third to tie it 4-4. On only their second power play of the game, the Sharks converted as Burns ripped a one-timer from the left circle past goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Early in the third, New York’s Jesper Fast tied the game 3-3 with a redirected goal at 1:24, and J.T. Miller converted on a power play for his second of the game and 22nd of the season at 4:44 to put the Rangers on top for the first time. San Jose built a two-goal edge at 11:38 when Tierney stickhandled through the slot, took the puck off Jimmy Vesey’s stick and punched home a shot in close with Lundqvist down and out. The Rangers struck back on the power play in the final minute to cut their deficit to a goal.



Flames stay hot at home, top Avalanche

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 05:48:22 UT

Calgary’s Sean Monahan scored his team-leading 26th goal and added three assists as the host Flames inched closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. With six games remaining, Calgary can clinch a playoff spot for the second time in eight seasons with a regulation win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The Flames remain fourth in the Pacific Division but are just one point back of both the Sharks and Oilers. Micheal Ferland, Troy Brouwer and Johnny Gaudreau, with an empty-netter, also scored for Calgary, which has won nine of its past 10 home games. Yanni Gourde scored on a breakaway 4:25 into overtime to complete host Tampa Bay’s comeback from a three-goal, second-period deficit. The Lightning moved one point behind the Bruins for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card berth. Coyotes center Alexander Burmistrov returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. Red Wings 4, Hurricanes 3: Sharks forward Micheal Haley will miss the game as he serves a one-game suspension after receiving a match penalty Saturday for punching an unsuspecting Calle Jarnkrok of the Predators after Jarnkrok boarded Haley.



Frustration bubbles over in Sharks’ 6th straight loss

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 04:55:12 UT

Frustration bubbles over in Sharks’ 6th straight loss The Sharks may be ice cold, but their frustrations bubbled over late in their sixth consecutive defeat. Colton Sissons and James Neal each scored twice to lead the Predators over the staggering Sharks 7-2 on Saturday night. With the Predators up 5-2, Nashville’s Calle Jarnkrok was assessed a minor penalty for boarding San Jose’s Micheal Haley at 12:56 of the third. Haley was given a match penalty for attempt to injure, with Neal scoring on the 10-minute power play. Though the game marked the business end of a back-to-back after the Sharks lost 6-1 in Dallas on Friday night, DeBoer was more pleased with his team’s effort. “It’s a tough league when you are not executing little things,” said Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said. Center Joe Pavelski played in his 800th NHL game.



NHL draws ire on playoff format

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 04:48:39 UT

The NHL’s playoff format, instituted in 2013 to enhance division rivalries, is drawing a lot of criticism this spring. Winnik is unhappy with a system that pits the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in each division against each other in the first round while the division winners play the Nos. 1 and 2 wild cards from the same conference regardless of which division they come from. Winnik, who played 21 games with the Sharks at the end of 2012, is predictably upset because his Metropolitan-leading Capitals are at risk of having a much tougher first-round opponent if they slip into second or third in the division than whoever wins the Atlantic Division — a team that will have far fewer points than any of the top three finishers in the Metropolitan. [...] it’s received renewed scrutiny because it’s likely that four teams from the Metropolitan Division will crest the 100-point plateau; the fourth-place Rangers need six more points to get there. The Metropolitan situation is likely a one-season anomaly, and the league may be looking at other playoff options anyway since a 31st team (Las Vegas) joins the league next season, and a 32nd is almost certain within five years. [...] of who plays who and how many points were earned by each during the season, the Stanley Cup playoffs have never been better or more unpredictable. Briefly: Since the start of February, the Blackhawks have a league-leading 18 wins (in 22 games) and 37 points. … Oilers captain and league-leading scorer Connor McDavid is riding a six-game points streak and needs 13 over the final eight games to crack the century mark.



Goals 15 seconds apart help Wild beat Sharks

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:24:41 UT

Martin Hanzal and Charlie Coyle scored 15 seconds apart before the second intermission to help the Wild stop a five-game skid and pull out a 3-2 victory over San Jose on Tuesday night. David Schlemko and Patrick Marleau had goals that gave each team two scores in a 63-second span, a record for the fastest four-goal stretch in Wild history, but the Sharks got no more on the way to a season-high fourth straight loss. Matt Dumba scored on a power play in the first period to give Minnesota a recently rare early lead. Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary have surged into contention for the Pacific Division title, shrinking the Sharks’ lead to four points over the Ducks and Oilers and five over the Flames. Schlemko’s wrist shot from the blue line with 2:03 left in the second period tied it. Coyle followed Zach Parise’s second assist with a one-timer for a 3-1 lead before Marleau brought the Sharks closer with his wraparound.



San Jose shut out in Dallas, skid reaches 3

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:08:56 UT

San Jose shut out in Dallas, skid reaches 3 DALLAS — Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves to record his 36th career shutout Monday night. [...] one of the toughest shots he faced came before the game. “He was ready to go today, just because I hit him up high in warm-ups,” Dallas teammate Patrick Sharp said. Lehtonen thought Sharp’s shot helped him get in the right frame of mind before his 1-0 win over the Sharks. “Chances are there,” head coach Peter DeBoer said, so we’ve just got to bear down and we’ve got to get one dirty or ugly around the net. The Sharks outshot the Stars 30-20, including 12-6 in the third period. Dallas (29-33-10) is barely alive in the playoff race with 10 games remaining. Curtis McKenzie got his fifth on a tip-in from the slot that beat Sharks goalie Aaron Dell. Dallas missed two tries at the empty net.



Edmonton wins 4th straight

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:56:27 UT

Cam Talbot made 35 saves for his second consecutive shutout and seventh of the season as the Edmonton Oilers ended an eight-game homestand with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. Jonathan Quick stopped 29 shots for the fading Kings, who have lost four of five, further dashing their playoff hopes. Tyler Bozak scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with less than two minutes left, pulling host Toronto one point back of Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division. Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the lone goal and Mike Smith stopped 28 shots for the Coyotes, who have lost three straight. Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson each scored a power-play goal in the first two periods to give Buffalo its first consecutive wins for the first time in more than a month.



Flames climb into third place in Pacific

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 05:17:47 UT

Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had a goal and two assists each as the host Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on Sunday night. The Flames are one point behind the second-place Ducks and five behind the first-place Sharks. Lukas Sedlak and Brandon Dubinsky scored on penalty shots — the third pair in NHL history to do so in one game — as visiting Columbus clinched its first playoff berth since 2014. Sidney Crosby recorded his 10th career hat trick to lead host Pittsburgh past Florida. Crosby’s natural hat trick came in a 10:45 span of the second and the third periods, pushing his goal total to an NHL-high 40. Jonathan Toews had two goals and Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin scored in a 3:02 span of the third period as host Chicago rallied from a two-goal deficit to post its fifth straight win and clinch a playoff berth. Josh Morrissey one-timed in a goal with 7:17 left for host Winnipeg, which handed Minnesota its fifth straight loss. Carey Price stopped 30 shots as host Montreal completed a sweep of the home-and-home series.



Ducks inch closer to first-place Sharks

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 06:10:26 UT

Never mind that the visitors played the night before while the hosts were idle, the Ducks came into a sold-out SAP Center on Saturday and dictated play en route to a 2-1 win over the Sharks. Anaheim moved to four points behind the Sharks after completing a 3-0-2 series domination of San Jose. Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier continued his stellar work with injured John Gibson on the sideline. [...] San Jose lost the services of top-line left wing Jannik Hansen just past the midway point of the final period. The trade deadline acquisition went straight to the locker room with 9:45 left in regulation, and medical staff followed behind. Jakob Silfverberg’s breakaway goal at 13:29 accounted for the only scoring in the middle period and stood as the game-winning goal. Silfverberg blocked Paul Martin’s attempted drive just inside the Anaheim blue line, broke free behind the San Jose defense, and scored with a wrist shot past Jones. The Sharks cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play late in the period when Couture wristed his 25th goal past Bernier. Joe Thornton had the setup from behind the net 41 seconds after Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler gave the hosts a two-man advantage.



Sharks’ uneven play raises questions about March grind

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 01:21:30 UT

Sharks’ uneven play raises questions about March grind [...] against the Predators and Blues — two teams with a more urgent need for points than the Sharks — the hosts were clearly outworked. The Sharks appear destined to win the Pacific Division and have gone 11-4-5 since the All-Star break, so it’s not time to panic. [...] the 25th-ranked power play has converted only two in the past eight games and defenseman Brent Burns is without a goal for a season-worst 11 games. After Saturday’s showdown with the Ducks, San Jose plays six of seven on the road — three sets of back-to-backs, all at least one time zone away. Had to love the recent eight overtime playoff game in Norway that ended after 2 a.m. Not only for the two teams battling for 217 minutes and 14 seconds, but for the fans who stuck with it — and for several who were reported missing by loved ones. [...] it’s rumored the Sabres and Rangers will meet at Citi Field, home of baseball’s New York Mets. Toronto’s Auston Matthews (55), Mitch Marner (55) and William Nylander (50) are the first trio of rookies with 50 or more points since Winnipeg boasted Teemu Selanne (132), Alexei Zhamnov (72) and Keith Tkachuk (51) in 1992-93.




Sharks’ offense silenced in loss to Blues

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 06:34:14 UT

The Sharks didn’t bring their passion and energy to the rink Thursday, and paid for it in the form of a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center. The hosts’ two-game winning streak was snapped, but they remained seven points ahead of second-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division. After the Sharks and Blues each scored once in the first period, St. Louis took the lead for good with the only goal of the second. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester missed the net with a drive from the right circle, but the hard carom off the end boards went to an unmarked Zach Sanford, who banged home his third goal from the weakside at 5:49. Vladimir Tarasenko gave St. Louis breathing room in the third, gaining inside position on Sharks defenseman Justin Braun to tap a rebound of a Tomas Steen shot past goalie Aaron Dell at 8:34. The Sharks and Blues traded late goals to spice up an otherwise disjointed opening period. Scottie Upshall picked off a cross-ice clear by Burns at center, entered the zone and cranked off a low drive from above the right circle that beat a screened Dell at 16:40. The hosts struck back at 17:45, however, when defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s drive from the left point caromed off the skate of St. Louis’ Carl Gunnarson and past Hutton.



Oilers beat Bruins, move up to third in Pacific Division

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 05:48:52 UT

Oilers beat Bruins, move up to third in Pacific Division Patrick Maroon scored twice, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor McDavid added three assists as the host Edmonton Oilers beat the Boston Bruins 7-4 on Thursday night. Benoit Pouliot, Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic also scored for the Oilers, whose second consecutive seven-goal outing moved them one point ahead of the Flames for third place in the Pacific Division. Adam Henrique and Taylor Hall scored two goals apiece as host New Jersey snapped a 10-game losing streak by improving to 3-0 against Philadelphia this season. Viktor Arvidsson scored 65 seconds into overtime to lift visiting Nashville to its third consecutive victory. Josh Anderson had a goal and an assist as host Columbus won to pull two points behind the first-place Capitals in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference races. The Blackhawks extended their Central Division and Western Conference leads over the second-place Wild to three points. Morgan Rielly and Matt Martin scored 15 seconds apart in Toronto’s four-goal second period and Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season for the visiting Maple Leafs. Tyler Seguin snapped a 2-2 tie at 9:07 of the third as Dallas beat Vancouver, which went winless on a five-game homestand.



Bruins end Flames’ 10-game winning streak

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 05:37:57 UT

Brad Marchand scored his league-leading 36th goal of the season, David Backes returned after getting hurt to score the game-winner, and the Boston Bruins defeated host Calgary 5-2 on Wednesday night to end the Flames’ 10-game winning streak. Marchand is tied with Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the top spot in the NHL with 76 points. Backes got tied up with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and was taken into the corner boards 12 minutes into the game. [...] he returned seven minutes into the second period, and on his second shift back he broke a 2-2 tie. Rickard Rakell scored his 30th of the season, Ryan Getzlaf added a shorthanded goal and host Anaheim beat St. Louis, which plays in San Jose on Thursday. Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Dale Weise also scored for the Flyers, who closed within five points of the idle New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. J.T. Compher scored his first NHL goal and Calvin Pickard stopped 27 shots for host Colorado. Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov, third on the team with 22 goals, could miss the rest of the regular season with a lower-body injury suffered Tuesday, coach Joel Quenneville said.



Joe Pavelski scores two goals as Sharks top Sabres

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 06:14:23 UT

The Sharks’ captain continued his late-season goal surge, scoring two goals as San Jose beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 at SAP Center on Tuesday night. In lengthening their lead in the Pacific Division to nine points over idle Calgary and Anaheim with a seventh win in nine games, the Sharks also snapped an 11-game winless streak against the pesky Sabres, who had won in their previous five visits to San Jose. Pavelski scored his second of the game at 5:28 of the third period to give the hosts a two-goal lead. DeMelo’s shot caromed off a Buffalo defenseman to Pavelski, who punched home the lucky bounce from the weakside. Logan Couture added insurance with his 24th goal as he tipped a puck off the goal stick and over the head of Sabres netminder Robin Lehner at 14:57 of the third. San Jose, which trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes despite 20 first-period shots, continued its assault on the Buffalo goal in the second period, putting another 16 shots on net. The hosts took a 2-1 lead with 49.8 seconds left, and as fate would have it the goal didn’t even come off the stick of a Sharks’ skater. Micheal Haley applied a hard forecheck on Buffalo defenseman Cody Franson, who tossed the puck from the end boards to Jack Eichel in front.



Oilers rout Stars to end 3-game skid

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 05:47:24 UT

Patrick Maroon had a goal and an assist and the host Oilers snapped a three-game skid with a 7-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. Benoit Pouliot, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, David Desharnais, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and McDavid also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 2-2-1 through five games of an eight-game homestand and moved to one point behind the Flames and Ducks, who are tied for second in the Pacific Division. Alex Ovechkin ended a 10-game goal drought to help host Washington snap a four-game losing streak and move two points ahead of the Penguins for the top spots in the Eastern Conference and Metropolitan Division. Kane had a goal and two assists and Corey Crawford made 40 saves as visiting Chicago extended its winning streak against Montreal to seven games. Anthony DeAngelo scored the decisive goal in the 11th round of the shootout as visiting Arizona prevailed. John Tavares scored 34 seconds into overtime for visiting New York, which prevailed after wasting a two-goal, second-period lead. Ottawa, which had won four in a row, had wing Bobby Ryan in its lineup after he missed 11 games with a broken finger. Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and Thomas Vanek had four assists as host Florida stopped a five-game losing streak.