Sharks back in Tank to take on Ovechkin, Caps

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Sharks back in Tank to take on Ovechkin, Caps

Feb. 17, 2011

WASHINGTON (30-18-10) vs.
SHARKS (31-21-6)

Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

SAN JOSE (AP) -- A much-needed offensive breakout helped the Washington Capitals snap their latest skid. They will need all of the momentum earned from that victory to help win in San Jose for the first time in more than 17 years.

The Capitals look to end their woes in northern California on Thursday night while trying to avenge last week's home loss to the Sharks.

RELATED: Spotlight on the Capitals

Alexander Semin snapped a 17-game goal drought with his seventh career hat trick as Washington (30-18-10) ended a three-game losing streak with a 7-6 win at Anaheim.

"It could be a game that gets us out of the kind of spell we were in," said forward Mike Knuble, who also had a goal.

Semin recorded 18 goals with three hat tricks in the Capitals' first 25 games, but hadn't scored since Nov. 28, while missing 15 games with injuries.

Alex Ovechkin added a goal with an assist as the Capitals scored four more goals than they totaled the previous three contests. Washington has scored more than three goals three times in 22 games.

"It's good for us," said David Steckel, who found the back of the net for the first time since Dec. 26. "(There was) a little more sense of urgency."

The Capitals might need that same approach while trying for their first win at San Jose since Oct. 30, 1993. Washington has gone 0-9-0 with a tie on the road against the Sharks since then.

Ending that drought might be difficult if the Capitals can't improve play in their own zone. Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth each allowed three goals and combined for only 15 saves while getting little help up front Wednesday.

Washington hopes to put forth a similar defensive effort, but with more offense than it displayed during a 2-0 home loss to the Sharks (31-21-6) on Feb. 8. Ovechkin and Semin combined for seven shots, but the Capitals lost for the 13th time in 14 games to San Jose.

Ovechkin, however, has a goal and an assist in his last two games at San Jose. Semin has just one goal in five career games against the Sharks.

Currently fifth in the crowded Western Conference, San Jose is 10-2-1 following a six-game losing streak.

Patrick Marleau scored at 3:53 of overtime to lift the Sharks to a 2-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday. That helped San Jose avoid a third straight loss and go 5-2-0 on a season-high seven-game road trip.

REWIND: Marleau's OT goal ends road trip on a high note

Though Marleau has three goals and two assists his last four games overall, he's been held without a point in three straight versus Washington.

Devin Setoguchi, who has a goal and three assists in four games against the Capitals, also scored Tuesday to snap a three-game stretch without a point.

"I thought Setoguchi played one of his better games in a long time," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.

Antti Niemi stopped 30 shots against the Predators, and has a 1.57 GAA while winning five of seven. He made 25 saves and recorded his fourth shutout of the season at Washington last week.

REWIND: Niemi backstops 2-0 win over Capitals

San Jose's Logan Couture became the first rookie with seven game-winning goals on the road in one season last week against the Capitals. He's been held to one assist in four games since then.

Instant Replay: Warriors score 50 in third, win 10th straight vs Clippers

Instant Replay: Warriors score 50 in third, win 10th straight vs Clippers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Shaken by a languid and sloppy first half, the Warriors woke up after halftime and laid a 123-113 pasting on the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 35 points, including 20 in the pivotal third quarter, while Kevin Durant fired in 25 points and Klay Thompson tossed in 18.

The Warriors (48-9) finished off a four-game season-series sweep of the Clippers, extending their win overall streak over LA to 10 in a row, dating back to Christmas Day 2014. They’ve won the last 11 games played in Oakland.

Shooting 73.9 percent, the Warriors scored 50 points in the third quarter -- the first 50-point quarter in the NBA since the Lakers scored 51 against the Knicks on March 25, 2014 -- to fuel their comeback. They trailed by as much as 16.

Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford each scored 19 points to lead the Clippers (35-22), whose win streak ended at four.

The game featured several boisterous moments reminiscent of Warriors-Clippers battles of a few years ago. Officials called four technical fouls, three on the Warriors and one on the Clippers.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Though Durant was the triggerman for the comeback, scoring 11 points in an 83-second stretch early in the third quarter, Curry did most of the heavy damage, annihilating the Clippers with his outburst.

Curry’s line: 35 points (10-of-16 shooting from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 9-of-10 from the line), seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-26.

TURNING POINT

After a Rivers 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 66-54 lead with 9:24 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded by outscoring LA 45-21 over the remainder of the quarter and taking a 99-87 lead.

The Clippers got no closer than 10 in the fourth quarter, during which they trailed by as much as 23.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and C David West (L thumb fracture) were listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were healthy inactives.

Clippers: G Chris Paul (L thumb ligament tear) and C Diamond Stone (L knee bone bruise) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Saturday night, when they face the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The new look Sacramento Kings might not be done just yet. Despite trading away All-Star DeMarcus Cousins over the weekend, the young and energetic Kings moved to within a half game of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 116-100 drubbing of the Denver Nuggets.

Willie Cauley-Stein is ready for prime time. With plenty of extra opportunities to work with, the 7-footer went off for a career night, dropping in a career-high 29 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.  

Welcome to Sacramento Buddy Hield -- the centerpiece to the trade that sent Cousins to the Pelicans put on a show for his new fanbase. The rookie out of Oklahoma dropped in 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

Seldom-used rookie Skal Labissiere looked aggressive early, scoring eight of his career-high 12 points during the first half. He added three rebounds and two assists off the bench.

Darren Collison set up the youngsters, finishing the night with 10 assists and 12 points. Ben McLemore was overmatched at the small forward spot, but still managed to go for 10 points on 2-for-3 shooting from long range.

Tyreke Evans added 15 points in his first game back in a Kings uniform in nearly four years, while Kosta Koufos chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Gary Harris got it going from the perimeter, dropping in 23 points on 5-of-11 from deep.

Sacramento played small ball and Danilo Gallinari made them pay. In his first game after an eight game absence, the Italian-born forward scored 15 points and handed out six rebounds.

Wilson Chandler added 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jameer Nelson finished with 12 points and six assists and Will Barton tossed in 16 off the Denver bench.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Cauley-Stein put on an aerial assault with highlight reel dunks and pretty jumpers from the perimeter. The second-year big said he was ready to take off Tuesday when he spoke to media members, but no one saw this coming.

TURNING POINT

The Kings punched first and never stop hitting the Nuggets. Denver looked stunned as the Kings’ young players put on a show.

INJURY UPDATE

Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson are all out with varying degrees of hamstring issues. Afflalo sat with hamstring stiffness and is day-to-day. Temple is out for another few games with a left hamstring tear and rookie Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return to the court next Saturday for a mid-day matinee -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets drop by Golden 1 Center for a 2 pm start.