Havlat puts San Jose Sharks closer to ninth-straight playoff appearance

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San Jose Sharks

Also Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets to slow theeir late-season surge, the New York Islanders beat the Toronto Maple Leafs to cut the gap between the teams to two points, the Ottawa Senators ended the Washington Capitals’ eight-game winning streak, and the Dallas Stars boosted their playoff hopes with a victory over the Vancouver Canucks.. San Jose’s Logan Couture added two goals and two assists, and Raffi Torres and Joe Pavelski also scored for the Sharks, who have won three straight.. The Wild dropped behind St Louis into seventh place in the conference.. Minnesota has a four-point lead over ninth-place Dallas and Detroit.. Los Angeles’ Kyle Clifford scored the tiebreaking goal as the Kings edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.. Jonathan Quick made 20 saves for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who kept pace with San Jose for fourth place in the West by snapping Columbus’ five-game winning streak.. Columbus, which was last in the NHL on 25 February but is 16-5-5 since, leads Detroit and Dallas by two points in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.. New York’s John Tavares had two goals and an assist as the Islanders rallied past the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3.. The Islanders overcame an early 2-0 deficit to win the first of five straight road games they will play to end the regular season.. New York earned its fifth win in six games while seeking a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.. The Leafs were outshot 38-21.. Ottawa’s Kyle Turris scored twice as the Senators halted the Washington Capitals’ streak with a 2-1 victory. source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/apr/19/marty-havlat-san-jose-sharks-playoffs

Havlat scores twice as Sharks roll

But he has excelled against the Wild this month with three goals and two assists.. He has no points in his last 10 games against the rest of the league.. Along with the two goals, Havlat also drew the penalty that set up Couture’s power-play tally when he was held by Clayton Stoner early in the second.. The Sharks capitalized on a nifty passing sequence when Joe Thornton fed Patrick Marleau behind the goal line and Marleau set up Couture in the slot for a one-timer that made it 2-0.. ”The way he’s been playing lately he’s driving our bus right now,” coach Todd McLellan said.. ”He’s the head guy and he’s making it happen and we’re happy for him.” Take a look at the best NHL photos from this week’s games .. Bouchard brought the Wild back when he beat Niemi with a backhand on a breakaway off a nice feed from Jason Pominville , but Havlat restored the two-goal lead late in the period with help from his linemate Couture.. Couture leaped to knock down Backstrom’s clearing attempt behind the net and quickly fed Havlat in front for the easy goal with Backstrom scrambling to get back in position.. ”It was lucky,” Couture said.. ”I think I reached behind my head and was able to knock it down.. I looked right up and saw Marty in the slot.. So I’ll take it.” Torres and Pavelski then broke the game open when they teamed up for a pair of goals in a 22-second span early in the third period. source: http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/san-jose-sharks-roll-past-minnesota-wild-041813

Havlat’s 2 goals lead Sharks past Wild 6-1

”Coming to the rink we’re excited to do it.. To have a point night like this is always nice.” Couture, Havlat and Patrick Marleau controlled their matchup with Mikko Koivu, Zack Parise and Charlie Coyle by winning faceoffs, getting the puck into the Wild zone and converting on their scoring chances.. Couture and Marleau had two assists apiece and Havlat added another as the trio combined for nine points.. Raffi Torres and Joe Pavelski also scored for the Sharks, who have won three straight games to remain tied for fourth place with Los Angeles in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.. Antti Niemi made 26 saves in his 22nd straight start.. ”We all feel comfortable,” captain Joe Thornton said.. ”We all like where our game is.. We can still improve in some things and we still got some games in the regular season to win.. But, yeah, we keep getting better.. It’s a perfect time for that.” Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the lone goal for the Wild, who dropped behind St.. Louis into seventh place in the conference.. Minnesota has a four-point lead over ninth-place Dallas and Detroit in the battle for the final playoff spot in the conference but has one fewer game remaining. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/havlats-2-goals-lead-sharks-051639114–nhl.html?.tsrc=sun?date=90099009009

San Jose Sharks making their points at home

5, when the Blackhawks were in the middle of their NHL record season-opening streak of 24 games without a regulations loss.. Players and coaches say they have no explanation to San Jose’s success at home.. But coach Todd McLellan does have the last personnel change and has been more consistently matching a line of Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Marty Havlat against the opposition’s top scorers.. San Jose has taken 37 of 44 possible home points with two more games remaining at HP Pavilion before the Sharks finish the season on the road.. The Blackhawks, who have played one fewer home games than the Sharks, and Pittsburgh Penguins have the next best home point totals with 34.. Those teams lead the two conferences with 70 and 66 points respectively, while the Sharks have 55.. Workload appears to be the main reason McLellan chose to sit rookie defenseman Matt Irwin this week in order to give veteran Scott Hannan a chance to crack the lineup after being acquired from the Nashville Predators at the trade deadline.. “He’s the one defenseman that’s played 75 games already, having played in the minors during the lockout.” McLellan, who put Irwin back in the lineup Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild, exaggerated only slightly the defenseman has played 35 games in Worcester and 34 in San Jose this season.. “For him to get a game just to sit and watch and catch his breath, I thought we saw the results of that tonight,” McLellan said after team beat the Wild, 6-1.. “He was fresher and he made some good plays.” The Sharks had Friday off, but will practice 11 a.m.. Saturday at Sharks Ice before a 5 p.m. source: http://www.mercurynews.com/sharks/ci_23064940/san-jose-sharks-making-their-points-at-home

Torres gives Sharks shootout win

San Jose Sharks left wing Raffi Torres (13) celebrates with teammates

There was lots of hitting and scrums after whistles in a game that had a playoff-type feel.. Both goaltenders were sharp early, turning aside tough chances and allowing few rebounds as neither team scored for the first 28 minutes.. The scoring chances picked up midway through the second period with each team tallying twice to send the game to the third period tied at 2.. Burns got the Sharks started on one energetic shift.. It began with him stealing an outlet from Dustin Penner as soon as he came on the ice and then skating in to beat Quick with a wrist shot from the slot to make it 1-0.. Burns was joined for the ensuing faceoff by linemates Thornton and Galiardi, and after a strong forecheck he sent a centering pass from the corner that Galiardi tipped in from in front of the blue paint to make it 2-0.. When it comes to style in NHL, goalies rule with their masks.. VIEW PHOTOS .. Niemi looked as though he would make that lead stand up, especially when he robbed Richards with a pair of glove saves in traffic to help kill a two-man advantage for Los Angeles.. But the Kings got on the board on the 5-on-4 power play when Muzzin’s point shot beat Niemi, ending San Jose’s nearly 147-minute scoreless streak, dating to the first period Saturday in Dallas. source: http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/san-jose-sharks-beat-los-angeles-kings-in-shootout-041613


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