4th line fuels streaking Sharks in win over Devils

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help the San Jose Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.

Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.

The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider’s return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.

Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.

After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.

Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose’s first shot against Keith Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose’s second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.

The Sharks got off to a fast …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Utah’s ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ lineup has rare off night

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not uncommon for certain lineups to get nicknames in hockey.

The Mafia Line. The Crazy Eights. The Legion of Doom.

That’s not as common in the NBA, but the Utah Jazz’s combination of Ricky Rubio, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder and Rudy Gobert has become an exception — and, better yet, exceptional.

“The Rubio-Mitchell-Ingles-Crowder-Gobert lineup isn’t a death lineup,” Jazz fan Mark Mueller wrote on Twitter. “It’s THE destroyer of worlds lineup.”

Coming into Tuesday’s game against Atlanta, The Destroyer of Worlds Lineup was the most destructive lineup in the NBA — albeit against opponents, not other planets.

Since trading for Crowder, the Jazz had won 13 of 15 games and had used that dominating lineup more than all but one other combo before Tuesday’s stunning loss to Atlanta. In 119 minutes together prior to this dud of a 99-94 loss, those five combined for a 76.4 defensive rating (points per 100 possessions).

As Tom Haberstroh, formerly of ESPN and currently with Bleacher Report, put it, “That is (bleeping) sickening.”

That’s a high compliment, by the way.

Jazz coach Quin Snyder has used the lineup toward the end of multiple games to much success, including against smaller lineups. It allows Utah flexibility in switching from positions one through four. Snyder pointed out that starting power forward Derrick Favors is capable of that, but this particular pairing has been mostly spectacular in limited stretches.

“Every lineup has different strengths and weaknesses, so it’s something we’ve had some success with,” Snyder said, “but, frankly, we’ve played small at the end of the game with Joe Johnson too at various times, so we just need to keep improving, and that’s true with every lineup.”

Crowder has quickly acclimated to playing with The Stifle Tower. Teaming with the 7-foot-1 French center allows him to defend more aggressively because …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

Jazz fall to Hawks for second time this season in front of John Stockton, Karl Malone

SALT LAKE CITY — Joe Ingles insisted he didn’t stay up too late overthinking it last night.

Nobody else on the Utah Jazz team needed a reminder of what happened the last time they faced the Atlanta Hawks, either.

“We all know that, but we’re not going to be in there hyping each other up over that,” Ingles said during shootaround.

For those that do need a reminder, the 14-point road loss on Jan. 22 ultimately sparked a Jazz hot streak, where they won 21 of the next 23 games.

Unfortunately, that didn’t carry over to Tuesday’s rematch as the Jazz were upset again, 99-94, snapping their nine-game win streak.

Jazz legends Karl Malone, John Stockton and Jerry Sloan all enjoyed the action in Vivint Arena on Tuesday night, but even that couldn’t stop Hawks guard Dennis Schroder from burning the home team for a career-high 41 points.

“He was just hitting shots,” said Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. “And it got him going in the first quarter when he started hitting a bunch of shots, and when you see the ball go in that many times it does a lot for you confidence-wise, and it just went on from there.”

Mitchell ended with a team-high 24 points but shot an abysmal 9 for 28 from the floor, connecting on just 1-of-10 3-point attempts. As a team, Utah knocked down 37.1 percent of its shots, including 6 for 34 from beyond the arc for 17.6 percent.

Even with the terrible shooting, the Jazz were still within a point, 95-94, with 15.9 seconds remaining before Taurean Prince iced the game with four late free throws.

Despite Schroder’s career-night, Atlanta didn’t perform that great offensively either, connecting on just a 40.4 percent clip. Prince finished with 11 points and Dewayne Dedmon logged 15 points and 15 rebounds.

“We defended,” said Jazz coach Quin …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

BYU overcomes Utah’s ninth-inning rally, gets wild 7-6 victory in 10th

PROVO — It just wouldn’t be a BYU-Utah game without a little drama and some wild moments.


The Cougars scored four runs in the second inning and seemed to be in command, leading 6-2 Tuesday night at Larry H. Miller Field.

But you can probably guess what happened next — the Utes rallied, tying the game with a four-run inning of their own in the ninth, sending the contest into extra innings with the score knotted at 6-6.

The contest ended in the bottom of the 10th when BYU pinch runner Cam Richins scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch by Utah reliever Trenton Stoltz, propelling the Cougars to a 7-6 victory.

Nothing new in this rivalry. Last year, BYU played a five-hour, 13-inning game in Provo that also ended by the score of 7-6.

“The four-run lead felt like a one-run lead. It really did,” said BYU coach Mike Littlewood. “We talk about being cliché, but it always comes down to the last at-bat. I’ll bet you 90 percent of these games come down to the last at-bat or the last inning to determine a winner.”

BYU’s Keaton Kringlen, who’s battling a hamstring injury, led off the 10th with an infield single. Richins pinch-ran for Kringlen, and he reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Favero. Jake Brown, who was pinch-hitting for Kyle Dean, drew a walk that culminated with Stoltz’s game-ending wild pitch, scoring Richins.

“That’s his role. Cam doesn’t complain that he’s not playing,” Littlewood said of Richins. “He knows that he’s the fastest guy on our team. You saw it tonight. That’s why he’s on our team. He can help us win games like that.”

For the Cougars, the victory eased some of the pain of being swept by Loyola Marymount last weekend.

But the agony continued momentarily for BYU Tuesday night.

In the ninth …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News