Sharks seek to stay hot at home against Red Wings

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Sharks seek to stay hot at home against Red Wings

March 3, 2011

DETROIT (39-18-7) vs.
SHARKS (37-21-6)

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

SAN JOSE (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks held off the Detroit Red Wings last week to keep their win streak going.

The Sharks have since extended that run to a season-high seven games, but will next face a Red Wings team that's won three straight at HP Pavilion on Thursday night.

San Jose has surged to the Pacific Division lead by winning 16 of 19 and will try to add to that total by matching its season-best eight consecutive victories from 2009-10.

The Sharks (37-21-6) earned one of their latest victories in Detroit on Feb. 22. Devin Setoguchi had a key third-period goal in that 4-3 win among his two scores, and Antti Niemi stopped 35 shots.

REWIND: Sharks get extra point with shootout win over Avs

Niemi has a 1.85 goals-against average over 19 consecutive starts and a 1.64 GAA during the win streak.

For his efforts in place of an injured Antero Niittymaki, he was rewarded with a 15.2 million, four-year contract extension Tuesday before recording a 2-1 shootout win over visiting Colorado.

RATTO: Niemi stands tall amongst NHL goalies

"It wasn't pretty. It was a greasy win," said Ryane Clowe, who tallied the only goal in the tiebreaker. "It was nice to get the win, but it wasn't our best game by any means."

Joe Thornton scored the tying goal with 2:58 remaining in regulation and helped his team open a season-high, six-game homestand with its sixth consecutive victory at HP Pavilion.

"You want to play good for the fans, but we have to stick with our game and to what's working," Setoguchi said. "If we can do that at home, we'll continue getting wins."

The Sharks haven't won at home over the Central Division-leading Red Wings (39-18-7) since Jan. 17, 2009, and fell 5-3 there Nov. 30. Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and two assists, and Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and two assists in the rematch of last season's Western Conference semifinals.

The Red Wings enter this meeting having won six of seven on the road, but suffered that lone defeat Wednesday as Anaheim's Bobby Ryan converted an overtime penalty shot.

"They did a good job and put some pressure on us," coach Mike Babcock said. "Their goalie made some saves, and we missed a couple of open nets. The game was set up for us to find a way to get a win, and we didn't."

Detroit will try to bounce back by avoiding their second three-game losing streak to San Jose and first since Dec. 16, 1997-March 5, 1998.

Logan Couture scored twice in a 5-2 win over the Red Wings on Dec. 6 and Thornton added a goal. He has five goals and three assists during a five-game point streak against Detroit.

Zetterberg doesn't have a point streak versus San Jose, but he has totaled 13 goals and 10 assists in his last 17 matchups with the Sharks.

Niemi, though, might have a good chance to limit the Detroit winger as he's 4-1-1 with a 2.15 GAA in six career appearances against the Red Wings.

Detroit's Jimmy Howard, meanwhile, has allowed nine goals in his past two meetings with the Sharks after giving up eight in his previous four. Backup Joey MacDonald hasn't fared much better, going 0-2-0 with a 3.28 GAA in three career matchups.

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

LOS ANGELES -- Marcus Stroman tossed six hitless innings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries.

Stroman dominated the tournament's highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S. territory finished runner-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.

Stroman, who was named the tournament's MVP, avenged his shakiness in the Americans' 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.

He allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan's double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when Stroman departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead.

Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning.

The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.

Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off.

Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S.

In that game, Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego.

The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.

Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on before their team fell behind 4-0.

Fans were on their feet chanting "U-S-A" when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford's two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0.

The U.S. tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Burgos' wild pitch moved runners to second and third before he walked Lucroy to load the bases a second time. Kinsler flied out to end the inning.

The Americans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen's RBI single with two outs.

The U.S. defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final.

The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892.

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Milwaukee Bucks are where the Sacramento Kings hope to be in two seasons - young, athletic and on their way to the playoffs. Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center, the visiting team jumped all of the Kings early on their way to a 116-98 win. 

The Greek Freak didn’t let up on his fellow countryman, Georgios Papagiannis. Giannis Antetokounmpo went at the Kings from the opening tip, finishing the night with 32 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.  

Former Kings Jason Terry and Spencer Hawes heard boos every time they touched the ball. Unfortunately for Sacramento, they hit almost every shot they took, combining for 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Greg Monroe added 15 points and five rebounds. Mirza Teletovic finished with 13 points off the bench and Khris Middleton hit 3-for-6 from long range to score 13. 

Rookie Buddy Hield put on a shooting clinic. The 22-year-old shooting guard dropped in 8-of-16 from the field on his way to 21 points and four rebounds

Darren Collison set up his teammates from the opening tip. The veteran point guard dropped in 10 points and a team-high seven assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Garrett Temple stepped up his scoring, chipping in 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and chipped in three rebounds in the loss. 

Willie Cauley-Stein stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and four blocks. 

Arron Afflalo started at the small forward position and added 12 on 5-of-9 shooting. Tyreke Evans came off the bench, posting 18 points in 20 minutes of action behind Afflalo.

Skal Labissiere managed to shake off a rough first half to drop in eight points and grab eight rebounds, and fellow rookie Georgios Papagiannis picked up four points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off Dave Joerger’s bench.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Antetokounmpo was as advertised and more. The 6-foot-11 forward gave the Kings fits from start to finish on his way to another huge performance.

TURNING POINT

The Bucks blew up in the first half, scoring 69 points on 61.4 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. This game was over before the teams headed in for the break.

INJURY UPDATE 

Kosta Koufos and Ty Lawson both missed the game for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is out with a right hamstring thickness tear, but is expected back soon. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

The Kings hit the road again following the game against Milwaukee. They will face the Golden State Warriors on Friday evening at Oracle Arena, followed by a stop in Los Angeles on Sunday to visit the Clippers.