On a road trip where

SAN JOSE http://www.goldenknightsshoponline.com/authentic-oscar-dansk-jersey ,
Calif. (AP) Washington struggled to generate any offense,
Nicklas Backstrom’s goal was enough to send the Capitals home on a good
note.Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for his fifth career shutout and Backstrom
broke a scoreless tie late in the second period to help the Capitals salvage the
final game of their California swing with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks
on Saturday.”I just thought it was a pretty complete team effort,” coach Barry
Trotz said. ”I would probably say the last seven, eight periods we played pretty
well. We just didn’t get the results that we wanted in all three games
here.”Washington was outscored 7-1 in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles to open
the trip before a narrow win in San Jose moved the Capitals one point ahead of
Pittsburgh for first place in the Metropolitan Division, pending the Penguins’
game in Toronto later.Alex Ovechkin, two goals short of 600 for Washington, was
held scoreless for the third straight game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic thwarted one
chance for Ovechkin to get goal No. 599 with a strong back check and goalie
Martin Jones robbed Ovechkin on a partial breakaway midway through the third
period to keep San Jose’s deficit at 1-0.Lars Eller’s empty-net goal sealed the
win for the Capitals.The Sharks were unable to get anything past Grubauer and
fell to 3-2 on their six-game homestand. San Jose failed on two power-play
chances, falling to 1 for 32 with the man advantage over the past 14 games.”We
were one shot away from tying that game or maybe going the other way, but
definitely that second period we didn’t have that push that we needed,” Sharks
captain Joe Pavelski said.Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks but couldn’t stop
Backstrom’s one-timer late in the second period after Washington appeared to
enter the zone offside.Brett Connolly found Backstrom alone in the faceoff
circle and he beat Jones high to the glove side for his 17th goal of the season.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer didn’t challenge for offside, and the goal stood.”It
wasn’t offside. It wasn’t offside,” DeBoer said. ”He didn’t touch it before the
other (player) came out and tagged out, so it clearly wasn’t offside. That’s why
we didn’t call it.”The Sharks controlled play for much of the first period but
were unable to turn that into goals as Timo Meier hit the post during a power
play on San Jose’s best opportunity. Tomas Hertl also hit the post on the power
play in the second period as San Jose failed to take advantage of two penalties
by Tom Wilson.”It could have gone the other way today,” Grubauer said. ”They had
four or five posts. It could have gone a different way, too. Lucky and blessed
to get the two points.”The Capitals took over in the second, outshooting the
Sharks 12-3. That heavy pressure finally paid off late in the period with
Backstrom’s goal that was Washington’s second on the trip.”It’s hard to be
satisfied with your game when you’re not scoring or winning,” Backstrom said.
”That’s something we all are as a hockey player. We want to win and that’s what
counts. We weren’t happy with our situation. But obviously it’s nice we turned
it around tonight and got two points. That’s huge.”NOTES: The Capitals had not
won in regulation at San Jose since their first trip to the Shark Tank on Oct.
30, 1993 Authentic
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, when they won 4-2. Washington had 13
losses, one tie, one overtime win and one shootout win since then. … The
Capitals are 24-3-3 when scoring first.UP NEXTCapitals: Host the Winnipeg Jets
on Monday.Sharks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.— DENVER (AP) — Don’t be
fooled: That third-period lead isn’t so safe.Not this season, anyway. There’s
been quite a comeback for the comeback.The NHL has seen 110 third-period
comeback wins spanning 611 games through New Year’s Eve. That’s third-most in
league history and not far off the 114 rallies in 2014-15 and 113 in ’13-14,
according to research by the NHL stats and information department.Going into the
new year, the only teams without a third-period comeback for a win in regulation
were Carolina (0-13-2 when trailing after two) and Los Angeles (0-17-1). And the
only team not to lose with a final-period lead remains Toronto, which is
19-0-0.Translation: Don’t leave early, because anything can and often does
happen in the final period.“Fans are getting what they want,” joked Montreal
forward Tomas Tatar said. “It’s got to be pretty intense for them.”These days
and in this speedy version of the game, no lead seems out of reach. Take Tampa
Bay on Saturday: Down a goal in the third against Montreal, Adam Erne tied it up
and then scored the game-winner with 1:02 remaining.“There’s no more of sitting
back and closing and trying to suffocate the other team,” Montreal coach Claude
Julien said when his team was in Denver on Dec. 19. “It’s a skating game now.
With the skating game that’s being allowed right now, there’s more offense being
showcased.”Try sitting on the puck to protect a lead with the likes of Connor
McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Nikita Kucherov or Nathan MacKinnon attempting to swipe
it away.Good luck with that.“The league is just getting faster and faster, young
guys are coming through the league and they’re really, really good skaters,”
Tatar said. “It’s just a fast game. It’s faster than ever.”Not only
that http://www.goldenknightsshoponline.com/authentic-reilly-smith-jersey ,
but these youngsters don’t view things as erasing a deficit so much as an
opportunity to crank up the intensity.“Everybody is good throughout the lineup,”
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “That makes it that much harder to put
teams away. It goes to show how many good players there are in the league and
how many game-changers there are, that can turn things around.”And no slashing.
Or holding. Or hooking. Defensemen need to be on their best
behavior.“Defensively speaking, when you can’t clutch and you can’t grab — it’s
been that way for 10 years now — that really opens up the ice and allows guys to
score,” Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole said. “The guys are as skilled as they’ve
ever been. Every year, they’re more skilled and scoring more and more ridiculous
highlight-reel goals. Guys are shooting from the goal-line and it’s going off
the side of the goalie’s mask and in. Guys are doing stuff now that they haven’t
done before — or doing it more often.“The skill level is as high as it’s ever
been in the league.”Hence, the volume of comebacks. This also helps when down: A
positive attitude.“You always have to believe. You can’t give up,” Tatar said.
“And you don’t have to. There’s a big chance you score one or two goals and
you’re back in the game.”That was the case on Dec. 15 for Dallas, which fell
behind the Avs 3-0 after one period and 4-2 after two. The Stars tied it up late
in the final period before Colorado scored twice to earn the win.Nothing is
easy.“I don’t feel comfortable with any lead until the buzzer sounds,” Avalanche
coach Jared Bednar said. “It’s a tribute to the talent around the league. When
teams start feeling it, they start coming at you in waves, and it’s tough to
defend.”That’s why the best defense is sometimes to remain on the offensive.
Don’t sit back — keep striking.“We’re trying to stay aggressive,” Landeskog
said. “The O-zone is the best place to play defense. At least, that’s the way we
think about it. That’s easier said than done. The team that’s behind is always
going to push.”THREE AMIGOSMikko Rantanen (17 goals, 45 assists) and MacKinnon
(24 goals, 35 assists) get the lion’s share of the credit on the high-scoring
top line for Colorado.Chalk up another assist for Rantanen, though, because he
wanted to make sure Landeskog received full credit William
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, too. Landeskog’s tied for the team lead with 24
goals.“He flies under the radar,” Rantanen said. “The way he plays the game is
the right way always. That’s real fun to watch.”WINTER CLASSICThe 2020 Winter
Classic will be held at the Cotton Bowl in Texas. Dallas will host the 12th
edition of the NHL’s annual outdoor game on New Year’s Day against an opponent
yet to be determined. Commissioner Gary Bettman also said the Heritage Classic
will return on Oct. 26 when Winnipeg plays Calgary at Mosaic Stadium in Regina,
Saskatchewan. In addition, the NHL will bring an outdoor game to the Air Force
Academy on Feb. 15, 2020, as part of the Stadium Series. Colorado will play a
team not yet announced.LEADERS (through Monday)Points: Nikita Kucherov (Tampa
Bay), 65; Goals: Alex Ovechkin (Washington), 29; Assists: Kucherov, 46;
Game-winning goals: Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado), 7; Rookie goals: Elias
Pettersson (Vancouver), 19; Goals-against average: Robin Lehner (New York
Islanders), 2.14; Shutouts: Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas), 5; Wins: Fleury, 22; Save
percentage: Lehner, .930.GAME OF THE WEEKJohn Tavares leads Toronto against
Minnesota on Thursday. Tavares is two goals shy of 300 for his career. He was
the first overall pick by the New York Islanders in 2009.
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