Sharks begin long homestand against Avalanche


Sharks begin long homestand against Avalanche

March 1, 2011

COLORADO (26-30-7)
vs. SHARKS (36-21-6)
Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet California

SAN JOSE (AP) -- After piling up victories while spending most of February on the road, the San Jose Sharks open March with a season-high six-game homestand.

They'll begin the stretch against a Colorado Avalanche team they beat rather convincingly in their last home game.

The Pacific Division-leading Sharks look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven Tuesday night against the free-falling Avalanche, who haven't won at HP Pavilion in more than three years.

Despite playing all but three of its 13 February games on the road, San Jose (36-21-6) still went a Western Conference-best 11-2-0 last month. The Sharks, who decided not to make any moves at Monday's trade deadline, completed the daunting portion of their schedule with a 4-3 shootout win in Calgary on Friday.

RATTO: Sharks stay out of the fray on deadline day

San Jose, winner of six straight and 15 of 18, is in third place in the West but only seven points ahead of 11th-place Anaheim.

"We're not out of the danger zone yet," center Joe Thornton said. "We still have to continue to win and our fate is in our own hands. But we can't stop getting points. Every game is really important right now."

Ryane Clowe and Devin Setoguchi again led the Sharks on Friday, as each scored their 18th goal. Clowe has four goals in his last five games, while Setoguchi has six in his last four.

REWIND: Clowe leads Sharks past Calgary in a shootout

Setoguchi recorded his first career hat trick in a 4-0 win over Colorado on Feb. 19, the Sharks' last home game.

Clowe had the other goal and Antti Niemi made 25 saves as San Jose moved to 8-1-2 against the Avalanche since the 2008-09 season. The Sharks, winners of five straight home games, have outscored Colorado 15-5 in winning the last five meetings in San Jose since a 3-1 defeat Feb. 6, 2008.

Colorado's loss in San Jose two weeks ago marked its 10th straight defeat. The Avalanche (26-30-7) bounced back with a 4-3 win in St. Louis three days later but have since dropped their last three.

They suffered a 3-2 loss to Anaheim on Sunday, falling just short of forcing overtime when Milan Hejduk hit the post with a sharp-angle shot just before the final horn sounded.

"I thought it was our best game in a long time," coach Joe Sacco said. "We played as a team. We were alive and there was desperation in our game. Guys were playing for each other."

Although Sacco was pleased with the effort, the Avalanche, who were tied for seventh in the West before losing 13 of 14, still dropped to 0-25-3 when scoring fewer than three goals.

That doesn't bode well for Colorado if Niemi is between the pipes.

Niemi, who has started the past 18 games, is 10-2-0 with a 1.72 goals-against average and three shutouts in the last 12.

In addition to its offensive woes, Colorado's penalty-killing unit is also struggling. The Avalanche have allowed at least one power-play goal in a season-high eight straight games, killing just 23 of 34 penalties.

The Sharks are 9 for 21 with the man advantage in their last six home games.

Steph Curry goes on rant over how Celtics-in-Finals comments were interpreted

Steph Curry goes on rant over how Celtics-in-Finals comments were interpreted

Stephen Curry wasn't taking the bait this time. Instead, he decided to fight back.

After the Warriors erased a 22-point halftime deficit to stun the 76ers in Philadelphia on Saturday, a reported tried to get Curry to talk about a possible NBA Finals matchup with the 76ers just like he had after Thursday's game against the Celtics. It didn't go well for the reporter. Curry wasn't having it.

"Hot takes. You can literally take one line of what I said and and say ‘very, very likely.’ Read the whole comment. I hate when that happens. I stand up here and talk for 45 seconds about that question and you want to take five words that put the Boston Celtics in the Finals. That’s the hype beast. I’ll be more specific next time about how I see the futures that surrounds who’s going to be in the Finals, even us. Whatever," Curry said.

A different reporter asked Curry if the situation frustrated him.

"Yeah, it did because, obviously, it was a question about Boston’s chances and how well they’ve been playing. I literally said they have to beat Cleveland because Cleveland has been there three times in a row. Obviously I made a joke because I haven’t been in Boston in the summer in a while. Probably nice weather. But the video is going crazy, so watch the whole video, watch the whole comment and you’ll get it right," Curry said before leaving the gathering of reporters.

Warriors F Kevin Durant won't play vs Nets due to ankle injury

Warriors F Kevin Durant won't play vs Nets due to ankle injury

A day after playing 33 minutes against the 76ers, Warriors forward Kevin Durant won't play Sunday against the Nets.

The Warriors announced that Durant is dealing with a left ankle sprain.

Durant finished with 27 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in the Warriors' 124-116 comeback win over the 76ers.

This will be the second game Durant has missed due to an injury this season. On Nov. 8, Durant sat out against the Timberwolves due to a thigh contusion.

Coverage of Warriors-Nets begins at 2pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the NBC Sports App.