Sharks Use 2nd Period Barrage To Beat Ducks 8-1 For 3-0 Lead | The News Amed
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Sharks Use 2nd Period Barrage To Beat Ducks 8-1 For 3-0 Lead

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Joonas Donskoi scored one goal and set up another to start a four-goal barrage in the second period and the San Jose Sharks raced past Anaheim for the third straight game, beating the Ducks 8-1 on Monday night for a 3-0 series lead.

The Sharks used their superior speed to create odd-man rushes that paid off when Donskoi scored and then set up Marcus Sorensen in the opening four minutes of the second period to seize control of the game and series.

Eric Fehr and Tomas Hertl added goals later in the second to turn this all-California series into a rout. Logan Couture had a goal and two assists, Joe Pavelski, Evander Kane and Chris Tierney scored power-play goals in the third period, for the Sharks, who have outscored the Ducks 14-3 through the first three games of the first-round series.

Martin Jones made 45 saves, the most for a Sharks goalie in a regulation playoff game.

San Jose will look to complete the sweep in Game 4 at home Wednesday night. Only four NHL teams have lost a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games with the Sharks the last to do it in 2014 in the first round against Los Angeles.

Rickard Rakell scored a power-play goal but the Ducks once again looked a step slow against the speedier Sharks. Anaheim has scored three goals all series, including just one at even strength.

John Gibson allowed five goals on 24 shots being pulled after two periods.

The game turned early in the second after Brandon Montour fell near center ice, giving the Sharks a two on one. Donskoi converted on a give-and-go with Evander Kane and San Jose was off to the races.

Donskoi then set up the next goal on another odd-man rush when he fed Sorensen, who faked a forehand and then beat Gibson with a backhand on a similar move that led to goals for Kane and Couture in the first two games.

Jones then made a big stop on Rakell from the slot to preserve the two-goal lead and Fehr helped put the game away when he skated through two defenders and beat Gibson up high to make it 4-1.

That led to some predictable frustration for the Ducks and Nick Ritchie got into a scrum in front of the San Jose net with Dylan DeMelo, giving the Sharks a power play.

A slash by Francois Beauchemin gave San Jose a brief two-man advantage and Hertl converted on the power play after the first penalty ended to make it 5-1.

Pavelski, Kane and Tierney scored in the third against Ryan Miller.

Fresh off the two wins in Anaheim, the Sharks were greeted by a frenzied crowd that sparked them to a fast start. Mikkel Boedker got things started when he used his speed to get around Hampus Lindholm and feed an open Couture in the slot for the tap-in into the open net.

San Jose maintained the pressure but Gibson stopped Chris Tierney on a breakaway and the Ducks then killed a penalty. That seemed to turn things in Anaheim’s favor as Timo Meier was sent to the box for San Jose and the Ducks capitalized.

Rakell, held to no points and two shots the first two games after scoring 34 goals in the regular season, took a pass in the faceoff circle from Brandon Montour and sent a one-timer off the far post and into the net for the equalizer.

NOTES: D Andy Welinski was back in the lineup for the Ducks after being scratched in Game 2 for Kevin Bieksa. … F Jason Chimera got his first action of the series for Anaheim in place of Antoine Vermette. … Sharks C Joe Thornton, who has been out since Jan. 23 with a knee injury, took part in pregame warmups once again but isn’t ready to play.

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More AP hockey: www.apnews.com/tags/NHLhockey

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Kucherov Lightning Beat Devils 3-1 End First-round Series

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Nikita Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning are moving on in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Kucherov scored his 27th career postseason goal and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26 shots as the top seed in the Eastern Conference beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on Saturday to end the first-round series in five games.

Mikhail Sergachev became the youngest player in Lightning history to score a playoff goal and Ryan Callahan, back in the lineup after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury, sealed it with an empty-netter with 1.7 seconds remaining.

Tampa Bay, which won the first two games at home before splitting a pair on the road, advances to a second-round series against the winner of the first-round matchup between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Kucherov, who had 100 points during the regular season, had five goals and five assists in the series. His sizzling shot past goalie Cory Schneider put Tampa Bay up 2-0 at 12:27 of the third period, and his 10 points were the most ever for a Tampa Bay player in a playoff series

Sergachev, at 19 years, 300 days, became the youngest player in franchise history to score a playoff goal, giving the Lightning a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Schneider did all he could to give the Devils a chance to extend their first playoff appearance since 2012. He stopped 35 of 37 shots, including Tyler Johnson’s breakaway that kept New Jersey within striking distance after Kyle Palmieri trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead to one goal with three minutes left.

Will Butcher and Taylor Hall assisted on the only goal for New Jersey, which played without injured defenseman Sami Vatanen.

Sergachev was second among NHL rookie defensemen in scoring with 40 points (nine goals, 31 assists) during the regular season and had had an assist for his first career postseason point in his playoff debut in Game 1.

New Jersey kept it close, killing off four consecutive penalties in the second period, when the Lightning outshot the Devils 18-4 but couldn’t expand its one-goal lead.

Schneider had two more saves early in the third as Tampa Bay sputtered on a fifth power-play opportunity.

Notes: The Lightning was 0-for-10 on the power play in Games 4 and 5, yet won both games. … Vatanen, New Jersey’s top defenseman, was injured during the opening period of Game 4 when he was checked high by Kucherov. The Devils also played without RW Stefan Noesen, who was scratched with a lower-body injury. … Callahan (upper body) returned after missing Games 3 and 4.

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More AP hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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Backstrom Scores In Ot Caps Take 3-2 Series Lead On Jackets

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Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal of the game 11:53 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday and a 3-2 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Braden Holtby made 16 of his 39 saves in the third period to help Washington get to overtime. Four of five games between the teams have gone past regulation making fatigue a factor for Game 6 Monday night in Columbus.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie scored along with Backstrom in regulation for the Capitals, who became the first home team this series to win a home game. Holtby has been in net for Washington’s three consecutive victories after replacing Philipp Grubauer in Game 2, stopping 102 of 108 shots to turn the tide.

Fellow Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky allowed a soft goal to Kuznetsov as one of his four on 29 shots in the loss. Matt Calvert scored shorthanded and on a breakaway and Oliver Bjorkstrand had a deflection goal for Columbus.

Holtby said Friday referees have done a good job in the playoffs calling it like the regular season, and that trend continued in abundance in Game 5. An early roughing call on Washington’s Lars Eller yielded nothing, and a slash by Columbus’ Thomas Vanek actually led to a shorthanded goal by Calvert 10:08 into the first period.

Backstrom tied the score at 1 less than three minutes later, banking the puck off Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard’s left skate and watching it trickle down Bobrovsky’s back and in for his first goal of the playoffs.

The parade to the penalty box continued in the second period of a sloppy, mistake-filled game. A bad line change by the Blue Jackets gave the Capitals a 3-on-1 rush that was easier than any power play, with Kuznetsov going five-hole on Bobrovsky 3:21 into the second.

Just 84 seconds later, a turnover by Oshie sprung Calvert on his highlight-reel breakaway during which he whiffed on a shot before spinning, scoring and following the puck into the net. Riding a streak of double-digit penalties killed, the Capitals cashed in on their fourth power play of the game 16:42 into the second when Oshie tipped John Carlson’s point shot past Bobrovsky.

Carlson’s primary assist gave the pending unrestricted free agent defenseman eight points in the series.

A failed clear by the Capitals allowed the Blue Jackets to tie the score again 2:30 into the third period when Bjorkstrand got the tip of his blade on Ian Cole’s point shot to deflect the puck between Holtby and the post. Holtby made several big saves in the third period to keep the game going, including a stop on Pierre-Luc Dubois on a rebound and again as the 19-year-old center tried to bat the puck out of the air.

NOTES: Just 26 of the first 40 minutes were played at 5-on-5. … Thirteen of the Capitals’ past 24 playoff games have been decided in overtime. … Blue Jackets C Alexander Wennberg returned after missing Games 2, 3 and 4 following a hit to the head from Tom Wilson. He replaced Sonny Milano in the lineup. … The Capitals made no changes after winning back-to-back games in Columbus, keeping Chandler Stephenson on the second line in the absence of Andre Burakovsky, who’s out for at least the remainder of the series with an upper-body injury.

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Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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Matt Harvey Not Happy About Being Taken Out Of The Mets Starting Rotation

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New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has lost his spot in the starting rotation, manager Mickey Callaway announced Saturday.

Harvey, who will be available coming out of the bullpen starting Tuesday, was not happy about the decision.

“It’s the decision that they made. I have to suck it up and go out there and do everything I can to get things back in gear,” he said. “I don’t have to agree with it but I have to go out there and do the best I can to get things going and do everything I can to help this team get back to where I believe I can help this team, and that’s as a starter.

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“On a scale of 1 to 10, obviously I’m at a 10 with being pissed off, but my performance hasn’t been there and I just have to do whatever I have to do to get back in the starting rotation. And that’s right now go to the bullpen and work on some things, get some things back to where they need to be and get my (s—) in order and figure it out.”

“He threw a bullpen today, and he’ll be available Tuesday,” Callaway said. “I don’t think he is obviously very happy about it. I wouldn’t say he’s discouraged. I think he’s motivated to go out there and show everybody that he can be a starter again at some point.

“He can help us . . . it’s inevitable that he’s going to make more starts for us this year. That’s how baseball goes. Everybody uses tons of starters; 11 was the average last year for every team.”

Since a solid first start, Harvey has struggled, most recently when he allowed six earned runs in the first three innings Thursday night in Atlanta as the Braves beat New York 12-4. That dropped Harvey to 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA. In 26 innings over four starts, he’s allowed 26 hits, four home runs and four walks.

With the return of injured left-handed starter? Jason Vargas imminent, the Mets have been considering going to a six-man rotation or moving a current starter to the bullpen.

Instead, lefty Zack Wheeler (1-1, 2.77) will remain in the rotation with Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz. Vargas, recovering from a broken bone on his non-pitching hand, will make a rehabilitation start Monday for Triple-A Las Vegas and then join the rotation.

Harvey, 29, has allowed a combined 14 runs in his last three starts. He was 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA in 2017.

The right-hander was an All-Star in 2013, but missed the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery. He helped the Mets reach the World Series in 2015, missed half of the 2016 season following surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and he was out more than two months last season with a right shoulder injury.

Harvey has started 104 major league games and come out of the bullpen just once, doing it last season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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