Sharks looking to eliminate Kings in Game 5

Sharks looking to eliminate Kings in Game 5

April 22, 2011

San Jose leads series 3-1

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) From an epic comeback to a pair of six-goal outbursts to the two big road wins that gave the San Jose Sharks control of their first-round series, it was all in all a pretty successful trip to Los Angeles.

The task for the Sharks now is closing out the Kings at home in Game 5 on Saturday night and avoiding another trip to Southern California.

"When you have the opportunity to win that fourth game you have to take advantage of it," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We're at home, we don't want to have to get back on a plane and go back there and fight for another 60-plus minutes. You want to take care of business when you can, get the extra rest. When you can put a team away, put them away."

RATTO: Sharks poised to finish what they started

Most of the Sharks took the day off Friday to get some rest a day after taking a 3-1 series lead with a 6-3 victory at Staples Center. It marked the second straight six-goal game on the road against a team known for its tight defense and moved the Sharks to the brink of the second round.

San Jose had scored that many goals in a playoff game just five times in 142 postseason contests before doing it twice in a row. Despite the outburst, Kings coach Terry Murray is sticking with goaltender Jonathan Quick for Game 5.

"They have three lines that are as good as any three lines in the NHL," Murray said. "If we're going to have success against them, and whenever we do have success against them, we're playing a solid game, everyone is on the same page doing the right things with the puck and we have good defensive posture."

The contributions have come up and down the roster as 12 players have recorded points in each of the past two games. The top line delivered the game-winning goal in overtime on Tuesday when Patrick Marleau set up Devin Setoguchi to cap just the fourth comeback ever from a four-goal deficit in a playoff game. The line also got the key goal early in the third period Thursday from Joe Thornton that made it 4-2.

Ryane Clowe has back-to-back two-goal games from the second line, where Logan Couture also scored a key goal to fuel the comeback in Game 3. Joe Pavelski got the tying goal in Game 3 and joined linemate Torrey Mitchell with a goal in the third period Thursday.

REWIND: Sharks sweep Kings in L.A.
The defense has even chipped in with one goal and 11 assists the past two games, making the Sharks a very difficult team to match up with defensively.

"We've got three pretty sick scoring lines," forward Scott Nichol said. "We've got a threat when those guys get out there. It's hard to check. If you have a checking line, who do you check? You've got to leave one of those three lines exposed. And that's what you want in the playoffs. You don't want just one line going or one player. We've got a whole unit together, pulling the same way."

Nichol, the fourth line center, is one of the few players who didn't record a point the past two games but found his own way to make a mark. He enticed Kings star defenseman Drew Doughty into a matching roughing penalty in the second period Thursday that led to a pair of four-on-four goals that opened the scoring.

Nichol also drew a double minor on a high stick by Matt Greene that led to a third goal, leading Murray to call him the reason the Sharks won the game.

"He's definitely not fun to play against but he's certainly fun to play for and with and watch," Boyle said. "The guy just never quits. He's the energizer bunny out there. He was obviously a big part of the win yesterday. I don't believe he was on the score sheet, but he was a big reason why we won and he's just one of those guys you love to have on your team."

The Kings will try to regain the form that led them to a 4-0 win in San Jose in Game 2 and the 4-0 lead the following game, eliminating the giveaways and other mistakes that have helped fuel the Sharks' offense.

Despite being outscored 12-4 since taking that big lead, the Kings still have their confidence.

"We saw the things we can do to them, we have moments of domination," Doughty said. "We just need to clean up our D zone. If we clean that up, really focus hard on that, and just keep getting the goals we're getting, we should be fine."

While the Kings are trying to keep their confidence up, the message from the Sharks coaching staff was to avoid getting complacent. Coach Todd McLellan said his team struggles when the players start feeling comfortable and stop doing some of the little things such as blocking shots, managing shift length and getting the puck in deep that have made them successful.

"If we let up or take our foot off the gas pedal for any little bit it's going to cost us," McLellan said. "I'd like to think we're growing up as a team and are able to put some of those lapses behind us. Tomorrow will be a reflection on whether we've learned a lesson or whether we'll be taught a lesson."

Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


LANDOVER, Md. – The first two Raiders games went according to plan. They established an early lead, played solid defense and cruised to victory. The offense proved a dynamic and defenders exceeded expectation.

That streak snapped on Sunday night, when nothing went right.

The Raiders fell off the rails early and never recovered, losing a 27-10 decision to Washington at FedEx Field.

They made an average Washington squad look like a juggernaut. A prolific Raiders offense wilted under Washington pressure. Their mighty offensive line had its worst day in a while and typically reliable quarterback Derek Carr was off target.

The Silver and Black had just 128 yards of total offense, and gave up explosive plays on defense. They were beat soundly on both lines, and were never able to dig out of a early rut.

The Raiders were uninspired in most instances, but Marquette King gave his team some life. He forced a muffed punt late in the third quarter that James Cower recovered. Carr found Jared Cook on a 21-yard touchdown that ended the shutout.

The defense didn’t allow a comeback to take shape, giving up a 74-yard reception to running back Chris Thompson – he had 188 yards of total offense – that set up a field goal that put the Raiders down three scores.

Cory James forced a fumble deep in Washington territory, but the Raiders only mustered a field goal

The Raiders laid an egg in the first half. They got manhandled on both sides of the ball, committed silly turnovers and gave Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins far too much time to work.

He picked the Raiders secondary apart on two touchdown drives that established a two-score halftime lead. Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, seeing more time with Jordan Reed hurt, had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders have long struggled covering tight ends, and made the veteran look like his old self, when he was dominant as a 49er.

The whole team seemed flat early in this game. Marshawn Lynch struggled to get the ground game going, Carr threw too many to the other team and the Raiders fell in an early hole.

Carr’s rough start: Derek Carr’s first pass was an interception. It wasn’t the only one. The typically reliable Raiders quarterback was out of sync to start this nationally televised contest, and the offense sputtered as a result. He was sacked on consecutive plays, as the offensive line struggled to maintain a pocket.

Washington scored after both Carr interceptions, and he finished the first half with just 32 passing yards.

Marquette strikes again: Raiders punter Marquette King puts some English on his punts. They’re tough to catch when he does that.

He forced a muffed punt for the second time in as many games, Sunday night, which helped the Raiders get on the scoreboard. James Cower recovered the muffed punt, and Carr found Jared Cook a few plays later to score the team’s first touchdown.

Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments


Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments

Sacramento — Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé released the following statement.

“I have a deep respect for our nation’s unwavering commitment to free speech and support all Americans’ right to freely express themselves. The President's recent comments are deeply disappointing, because our focus should be on fostering a culture of sensitivity and inclusion. Our mission at the Sacramento Kings has always been to unite our community and use our platform to create positive change, so we continue to stand with our players, and all people, who use their platform to raise awareness and make Sacramento and our country proud.”

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