Marleau's O.T. goal lifts Sharks with four ticks left

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Marleau's O.T. goal lifts Sharks with four ticks left

Feb. 23, 2011

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PITTSBURGH (AP) Foiled by Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury once already in overtime, San Jose's Patrick Marleau went back to the front of the net to see if he could get another opportunity.He did, and took advantage, converting Logan Couture's rebound from close at 4:56 of overtime to seal a 3-2 victory over the Penguins on Wednesday.It was Marleau's second goal of the game, and came exactly a minute after he broke in on a clear-cut breakaway only to have his backhand gloved by Fleury."That wasn't my best move, that's for sure, but it was a good save," Marleau said.
VIDEO: Patrick Marleau postgame
Marleau's resilience resembled that of his team's, which didn't let down after allowing Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy to force overtime by scoring with 50 seconds left in regulation."It's just a sign of our perseverance," Marleau said. "You don't want to see that happen, but when it does happen, you want to see guys forget about it right away."The decisive goal came during a scramble in front, and after Fleury stopped Couture from in close. The puck dribbled to the left of the net, where Marleau flipped it in for the surging Sharks who improved to 14-2-1 in their past 17 games.It was Marleau's sixth game-winner of the season, and second in overtime in a span of five games, after he settled a 2-1 win at Nashville.The Sharks extended their winning streak to five games while also vaulting a point ahead of Phoenix into first place of the tightly packed Pacific Division.Couture, with his franchise rookie record-tying 25th goal of the season, also scored while Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots.Kennedy scored twice for the Penguins, who are winless in their past three (0-1-2) and dropped to 2-5-2 in their past nine since Evgeni Malkin sustained a season-ending knee injury to join captain Sidney Crosby on the injury list. Crosby is out indefinitely after missing his 21st straight game with a concussion.Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wasn't pleased with the outcome, even though the Penguins earned a point to move four points ahead of the fifth-place Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference.
RELATED: NHL standings
"It doesn't feel much of a consolation prize to add a point there," Bylsma said. "We think we need to play better than that to get the result we want going forward."The Penguins might be down yet another key player after defenseman Brooks Orpik did not return for the start of the second period after taking Marleau's shot off his hand late in the opening period. Orpik skated off shaking his hand and was escorted up the tunnel.Bylsma said he would wait until Thursday to update Orpik's status.The new-look Penguins continue to have difficulty scoring, despite shaking up their lineup by adding forward James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen in a trade that sent defenseman Alex Goligoski to Dallas on Monday.Both Neal and Niskanen made their debuts, but the Penguins extended their string to 15 games since they scored four or more goals in regulation.Pittsburgh has been shut out three times during that span, including a 1-0 loss to Washington on Monday."I don't really care how many goals we score, we've just got to win," Neal said. "We played well last game, we played pretty well tonight. We need to keep playing well every night and give ourselves a chance."Neal finished with two shots on goal, his best chance coming four minutes into the third period, when he blasted a shot on the fly from just inside the blue line, only to have Niemi get his right shoulder up for the stop. He made an even better save with 7:01 left, getting his glove up to snatch a snap shot from Kris Letang, who was driving in alone up the right wing.Niemi sees Sharks developing chemistry during their second-half run."I think it comes from just being confident that we are able to do it and we trust each other," Niemi said. "We've been playing really well lately, and we've got to keep it up."The Sharks, coming off a 4-3 win at Detroit on Tuesday, won by rallying from a 1-0 deficit, after Kennedy opened the scoring during a scramble in front at 5:48 of the first.Couture tied it 3:01 into the second period. He's tied with the Islanders' Michael Grabner for the rookie lead in goals and also tied the franchise rookie record set by Pat Falloon in 1991. Marleau then scored 5:28 into the third period to put the Sharks ahead 2-1.Fleury kept the Penguins in the game. He finished with 35 saves, including a pair of blocker shots on bang-bang chances from Joe Pavelski and Kyle Wellwood with 4 minutes left.Notes: In closing a brief two-game homestand, the Penguins hit the road for a five-game swing that opens at Carolina on Friday. The home games are the only two for Pittsburgh during a 25-day span. ... The Sharks conclude a three-game road trip at Calgary on Friday before returning home for a six-game homestand, which opens Tuesday against Colorado. ... For the second consecutive home game, the start of the second period was delayed because the house lights wouldn't come on in the first-year Consol Energy Center. The delay on Wednesday lasted more than 15 minutes, or 10 minutes longer than on Monday.

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

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USATSI

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.