Sharks look to start new win streak in Florida

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Sharks look to start new win streak in Florida

Feb. 13, 2011
SHARKS (30-20-6) vs.FLORIDA (23-24-7)
Coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California

(AP) -- The San Jose Sharks have gotten into the thick of the Pacific Division title race on their longest road trip of the season. Visiting the Florida Panthers could help that pursuit.San Jose looks to rebound from its first regulation loss in nearly a month Sunday when it faces a Panthers team trying to snap its longest home losing streak since 2008.Faced with a double-digit deficit in the Pacific in mid-January, San Jose (30-20-6) caught Dallas atop the standings thanks to a 9-0-1 stretch. The Sharks, though, fell two points back Friday night when they lost 2-1 at New Jersey while Dallas beat Chicago in a shootout."You don't want to see the streak end, that's for sure," said Patrick Marleau, whose 21st goal of the season gave the Sharks to a 1-0 third-period lead. "I think we carried the play a lot of the game and didn't find the back of the net. It's something we wanted to keep going. Now we have to start a new one."With its season-high five-game winning streak gone, San Jose will continue its seven-game trip with its first visit to BankAtlantic Center since a 4-3 loss Oct. 24, 2008. The Sharks outscored the Panthers 15-6 while winning their previous three visits.Florida (23-24-7) has dropped five straight at home - four after regulation - for its longest home losing streak since an 0-4-2 skid Dec. 22, 2007-Jan. 13, 2008.The Panthers' 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo on Thursday was their ninth defeat in 11 games overall and their seventh consecutive one-goal contest. They're 8-7-7 during a stretch of 19 of 22 decided by one score."We found a way to lose that point again," former Sharks first-round pick Steve Bernier said Thursday after scoring his fifth goal of the season. "It's frustrating but the last thing we want to do is to put our heads down. When you win, you get confident and go up in the standings."There's a good chance Tomas Vokoun will be in net to help Florida try to bounce back. The veteran netminder, who has surrendered three or fewer goals in each of his last nine starts, is 9-0-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average in his last 10 games against San Jose.He turned away 84 of 89 shots to help Florida win the last two matchups, including a 3-2 overtime victory at San Jose on March 13, after losing the previous six.Antti Niemi should get his first look at the Panthers in a Sharks jersey. A season after helping Chicago hoist the Stanley Cup, Niemi has cemented himself as San Jose's No. 1 goaltender, going 8-1-1 with a 1.88 GAA while starting 11 straight games during Antero Niittymaki's absence (lower-body injury).Niemi made 23 saves and posted his first career shutout in his only appearance versus Florida, a 4-0 Blackhawks victory in Sunrise on Oct. 3, 2009.Sharks captain Joe Thornton, one goal shy of 300, has scored in San Jose's last two games at Florida.Marleau has five goals and 12 points in the last eight versus the Panthers.San Jose is 0 for 6 on the power play over the last three games. Florida has killed all 15 penalties in its last four.

Bumgarner allows two runs, Giants start spring training with walk-off homer

Bumgarner allows two runs, Giants start spring training with walk-off homer

BOX SCORE

At Scottsdale, Arizona, Chris Marrero hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth and drove in four runs as the Giants rallied after Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs on two hits in the top of the first.

Marrero, a 2006 first-round draft pick of the Nationals trying to revive his career as a non-roster invitee, had an RBI single in the fifth.

Kevin Shackelford, the seventh Cincinnati pitcher, walked Orlando Calixte to open the ninth and Christian Arroyo blooped a single into left field before Marrero hit a line drive over the wall in left centerfield.

Patrick Kivlehan had a two-run single off Bumgarner in the first and Hunter Pence doubled in a run off Reds starter Rookie Davis. Davis, acquired from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman deal, is likely to open with Double-A Pensacola this year.

Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

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Sharks recall trio as bye week concludes

VANCOUVER – Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow and Tim Heed have accompanied the Sharks to Vancouver, and will presumably be available to play against the Canucks on Saturday in the first game after the bye week.

Forwards Timo Meier, Nikolay Goldobin and Marcus Sorensen, all of whom have played games with the NHL club this season, remain with the AHL Barracuda for the time being.

Labanc, 21, has 18 points (7g, 11a) in 45 games this season. Lately he has been skating as the left wing on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, and is looking to snap a 21-game goal drought.

Goodrow, 23, has played one game with the Sharks this season, going scoreless on Jan. 24 at Winnipeg. Unless the Sharks recall someone else before their game with the Canucks, Goodrow will likely play his second game as the team is carrying just 12 healthy forwards as of Friday afternoon. Joonas Donskoi did not accompany the Sharks to Vancouver, and remains day-to-day with what the club is offically calling an upper body injury but appears to be a right shoulder.

Heed, likely the seventh defenseman in case of emergency, has also played one scoreless game on Jan. 11 at Calgary.

Dylan DeMelo made the trip, but is still not ready. The defenseman told CSN last week that he’s on schedule with an eight-week recovery from a broken right wrist that would put his return around early March.