Sharks clinch Pacific with 6-1 killing of Kings

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Sharks clinch Pacific with 6-1 killing of Kings

April 4, 2011

BOX SCORE SHARKS VIDEONHLPAGE NHLSCOREBOARD
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) There was little celebrating for the San Jose Sharks after another convincing clincher as they know they still have so much more to accomplish to make this season truly a success.Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist to give him 999 career points and help the Sharks clinch their fourth straight Pacific Division title with a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night."We have a pretty darned good division, so it's a feather in your cap," Thornton said. "But we still have some work to do. We're still fighting to get that second seed. But it's a good step for us."Kyle Wellwood added a goal and two assists, and defensemen Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks, who won for the eighth time in nine games. Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi also scored as San Jose moved one point past Detroit for second place in the Western Conference with 103 points with three games remaining.Michal Handzus scored the lone goal for the Kings, who lost for the second time in seven games and missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth. Los Angeles remained tied for fourth in the West with Phoenix with three games remaining and can clinch the playoffs with either a win or a Dallas loss."They came ready to play and we didn't," defenseman Matt Greene said. "It's a good lesson late in the year that you are never as good as you think you are. Especially if you going to give a good team the opportunity to beat you like we did tonight. We weren't up to par or anywhere close to where we need to be to get into the postseason."Jonathan Quick was knocked out early in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots and Jonathan Bernier didn't fare much better as the Kings allowed six goals for the second time in three games in San Jose this season.Four nights after clinching the playoffs with a 6-0 victory over Dallas, the Sharks put together another lopsided win to wrap up the division."It seemed like we had a little more jump tonight than they did and were able to capitalize," Wellwood said.This title was particularly notable considering San Jose was in last place in the Pacific following a six-game losing streak in January. But the Sharks have won 26 of 34 games since then and are headed into the playoffs playing their best hockey as they hope this is the year they can final make it to the Stanley Cup.There was little doubt in this game, with the Sharks striking first just 1:47 into the contest after Alec Martinez was unable to clear the puck out of the defensive zone after a faceoff. Torrey Mitchell stopped the puck along the boards and fired a shot that Quick blocked. Pavelski took the rebound in the slot and converted his 19th goal just 1:47 into the game.The Sharks added another just a few minutes later when Vlasic beat Quick with a wrist shot following a cross-ice pass from Wellwood for his fourth goal of the season.The Kings briefly appeared to get back into the game when Handzus knocked a rebound past Antti Niemi less than 2 minutes into the second period. But San Jose responded just 22 seconds later when Wellwood tipped a point shot by Vlasic in for his fifth goal."That's happened a lot to us this year. Giving up a goal after we score one, those are momentum goals," Kings forward Dustin Brown said. "We never recovered from that goal."The rout was soon on with Thornton springing Boyle loose with a cross-ice pass that made it 4-1 and ended Quick's night just 5:33 into the second period.Thornton's rebound goal midway through the period gave him his 999th career point as he looks to close in on the milestone before the end of the regular season.The biggest excitement in the third period came when Douglas Murray and Boyle squared off with Los Angeles' Kyle Clifford and Brad Richardson in a pair of fights with 2:50 remaining. Boyle jumped into the fray to help out his defensive partner and completed his "Gordie Howe" hat trick of a goal, assist and fight."I turned around and saw two guys hitting at Dougie," Boyle said. "I know he could probably take two guys any day of the week, but I just wanted to go in there and help him out like he's been doing for me all year."NOTES: The Sharks have outscored their opponents 43-18 over the last nine games. ... Thornton has 11 straight seasons with at least 20 goals, one behind Jarome Iginla for the longest active streak. ... Sharks F Ryane Clowe left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. ... Monday was the 35th anniversary of the final game ever for the Bay Area's first NHL team, the California Golden Seals, who beat the Kings 5-2 in Oakland.

Raiders owner Mark Davis: Oakland will always be part of our DNA

Raiders owner Mark Davis: Oakland will always be part of our DNA

The Oakland Raiders received conditional approval from the National Football League to relocate the franchise to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Shortly thereafter, owner Mark Davis issued the following statement:

“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness. I would like to thank Commissioner Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment. Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality.

[RATTO: Raiders fans got remarkably little bang for their bucks, or for their hearts]

“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff. We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”

The only owner who voted against the move was Miami's Stephen Ross, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Oakland Raiders media services contributed to this story

NBA Gameday: The Kings host a hungry Grizzlies team vying for playoff positioning

NBA Gameday: The Kings host a hungry Grizzlies team vying for playoff positioning

The Sacramento Kings return home after a tremendous come from behind win over the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center. They’ll face a Memphis Grizzlies team that was handed a 12-point loss in Golden State on Sunday.

Willie Cauley-Stein hit the glass in the win over the Clippers, tying his career-high in rebounds with 14. His final board came on a putback lay-in with 1.8 seconds remaining, which proved to be the game winner. Since the All-Star break, the second-year big is posting 12.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 31.9 minutes per game.

Memphis is in a heated playoff race. They currently sit seventh in the Western Conference standings, but they trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by just a game and a half with nine games remaining.   

OPENING LINE

Grizzlies by 6.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Buddy Hield vs. Tony Allen -- Hield put on a show with his late game heroics on Sunday afternoon. The rookie knocked down a huge 3-pointer, stole the inbounds pass and hit a second triple to help Sacramento erase an 18-point deficit in the final five minutes of the Kings’ win over the Clippers. He’ll face a good old fashion brawler in the Grizzlies Tony Allen on Monday night. Despite his advancing age, the 35-year-old Allen brings a defensive intensity that Hield must adjust to.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 28-45, third place in Pacific

Grizzlies: 40-33, third place in Southwest

INJURY REPORT

Kings: PG Ty Lawson (knee) status unknown at this time, SF Tyreke Evans (knee) out, SF Rudy Gay (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Malachi Richardson (hamstring) out for the season.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (foot) questionable, F Chandler Parsons (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Grizzlies lead the season series 2-1, including victories in the last two meetings between these teams. The Kings hold a 44-38 advantage over the Grizzlies all-time.  

QUOTE

“I thought the whole game, the guys didn’t lose effort and they deserve it. Look at our last couple of weeks, even though the results haven’t been what we want it to be, so many guys that kept fighting, they were able to deserve this win.” -Darren Collison on the Kings’ big win over the Clippers