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Red Wings win Game 4 late, stay alive vs. Sharks

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Red Wings win Game 4 late, stay alive vs. Sharks

May 6, 2011

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DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings figured out a way to be on the winning side of a one-goal game against the San Jose Sharks.For Detroit, it was about time.Darren Helm scored with 1:27 left, lifting the Red Wings to an elimination-avoiding 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Friday night."For us it was an overtime game, a game we obviously had to win," Helm said.The Sharks won the first three games of the second-round rematch by a goal after beating the Red Wings by one goal for a fourth time in Game 5 last year."It's a great feeling just finishing on top and finally getting a win," said captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored twice in the first period to give Detroit a three-goal lead that slipped away.The Sharks will take their 3-1 series lead back to San Jose with a chance to advance on Sunday night to the NHL's final four.
RATTO: Sharks can't capitalize on comeback
"We have an opportunity to win at home," coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to learn from this one and we're going to be better."Detroit is trying to become the fourth NHL team to win a series after trailing 3-0."We think we have an opportunity," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.The Red Wings had a chance to win Game 4 big as they did last year, but couldn't put away San Jose.Logan Couture had a goal 15 seconds after Lidstrom's second, Dan Boyle scored midway through the middle period to pull San Jose within 3-2, and Dany Heatley tied it early in the third."I like the fact that we were resilient when we weren't playing real well," McLellan said. "We found a way to claw our way back into it."Helm put Detroit back ahead for good, scoring from the left circle off a cross-ice pass from Patrick Eaves, who got the puck off a long rebound following Brian Rafalski's shot."When I saw the puck, it was on the other side," said San Jose's Antti Niemi, who stopped 26 shots.Jimmy Howard made 25 saves for the win.The tightly contested series has mirrored last year's matchup between the highly talented, puck-possession teams. San Jose won the first three games by a goal each time, but again failed to complete the sweep.Todd Bertuzzi scored first this time 6:22 in, just as he did last year in Game 4, when he gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 5:40.The Red Wings went on to win that game 7-1 before getting eliminated in Game 5.Detroit appeared to be on the way to another blowout win after Lidstrom scored twice in the first period to make it 3-0."We didn't answer the bell as well as we could've," San Jose forward Joe Pavelski said.The Sharks, though, refused to get routed.Couture quieted Joe Louis Arena at 18:16 of the first, and Boyle silenced the fired-up fans when he made it 2-1 at 13:44 of the second.The Sharks had their first power play 4:12 into the third, shortly after tying the game, but didn't take advantage. San Jose had another power play with 8:25 left and failed to score."It was getting hairy near the end," Bertuzzi said.Bertuzzi started the scoring with a spectacular play, making a 360-degree spin with the puck and beating Niemi with a backhander from the right circle.From the other circle, Lidstrom's slap shot off a long rebound made it 2-0 midway through the first period. The defenseman got control of a pass with his left skate, whacked the puck out of the air, and bounced it past Niemi."You guys were talking about retirement," Babcock said when asked about the 41-year-old Lidstrom's performance. "I think he answered that pretty good."The cheers turned to groans seconds later when Helm had a giveaway, and Howard gave up what seemed like a soft goal to Couture. Howard went low and Boyle shot high after a cross-ice pass caught back-checking forward Jiri Hudler out of position to make it 3-2 midway through the second period.The Red Wings were scrambling to keep up with San Jose on the tying goal, too, leaving Heatley alone in front for a shot that Howard couldn't stop.In front of a standing crowd, Detroit made the big play in the heart-pounding final minutes to avoid elimination."It was a huge adrenaline rush," Howard said. "Our fans were going crazy the last 10 minutes of the game. That really helped energize us."NOTES: The 2010 Flyers, 1942 Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders are the only NHL teams to overcome 3-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven series. ... Lidstrom's first goal gave him 181 career playoff points, breaking a second-place tie with Ray Bourque for scoring by a defenseman, and broke an 11th-place tie overall with Jaromir Jagr. ... LW Ryane Clowe assisted on each of San Jose's goals, giving him 12 points to rank among scoring leaders this postseason.

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM -- Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday night.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. John Gibson stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced after giving up his fifth goal. Anaheim had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

Four goals came in the third period. First, Anaheim pulled within one when Ondrej Kase stole the puck from behind the net and quickly fed Getzlaf, who fired it past Dell.

One minute later, the Sharks answered when Thornton's slap shot went in.

Boedker's second goal gave San Joe a 5-2 lead, and Karlsson's goal on goalie Ryan Miller made it a runaway.

The Ducks first found the net in the final minute of the second period, but that took a two-man advantage and a bit of luck.

Rakell was camped a few feet below the crease when he snapped a shot. San Jose's Justin Braun stuck out a stick, but it deflected the puck off the back of Dell's arm and into the net.

It was Rakell's team-high 17th goal this season.

San Jose appeared to take a commanding 3-0 lead on a power play in the second period. Boedker fired a shot from the top of the right circle that whistled past Gibson.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Anaheim's No.1 line turned the puck over. Thornton snapped it out to Labanc, who popped free for a breakaway. He beat Gibson on his short side for his fifth goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a nifty give-and-go when Tomas Hertl skated down the far side and sent a pass through the legs of Anaheim's Brandon Montour and right to Vlasic in front of the net.

Vlasic snapped it past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.

Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

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49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.