Sports

Sharks win Pacific title

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller reacts to a goal by San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau, center, before Marleau can raise his arms in celebration.  Anaheim defenseman Kent Huskins, left, can only watch.
Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller reacts to a goal by San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau, center, before Marleau can raise his arms in celebration. Anaheim defenseman Kent Huskins, left, can only watch. AP

ANAHEIM -- With the Pacific Division title locked up, the San Jose Sharks can rest some players before heading into the postseason.

"We wanted to get it done and over with," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said Friday night after the Sharks beat Anaheim 3-1. "Now, we've got four games where some guys need a little break.

"Like Joe Thornton, Brian Campbell and people like that, you can take their minutes down and give other guys opportunities who haven't been playing much to get in there and get themselves ready for the playoffs."

The Sharks won their third division crown and first since the 2003-04 season. They also finished first in the 2001-02 campaign.

Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick scored the go-ahead goal and said winning the division was "humongous, huge."

"Especially being in the division with the Stanley Cup champions (Anaheim)," he said. "Obviously, it's a good feeling, but it's the first step in the process that we have in our minds right now."

BLUES 4, RED WINGS 3 (OT), at Detroit -- Brad Boyes' second goal of the game and 40th of the season gave St. Louis an overtime win over NHL-leading Detroit.

AVALANCHE 5, OILERS 4 (SO), at Denver -- Joe Sakic forced overtime by scoring with 5.9 seconds left in regulation, then added the decisive tally in a shootout as Colorado strengthened its playoff position with a win over Edmonton.

DEVILS 5, FLYERS 4, at Newark, N.J. -- Brian Gionta, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the shootout to lead New Jersey over Philadelphia for its 12th consecutive home victory.

CANADIENS 4, SABRES 3 (OT), at Buffalo, N.Y. -- Christopher Higgins scored 3:38 into overtime to cap Montreal's rally against Buffalo. Tomas Plekanec scored consecutive goals in the final three minutes, and Montreal regained the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

WILD 4, CANUCKS 0, at St. Paul, Minn. -- Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brent Burns scored with the man advantage for Minnesota and sent Vancouver to its fourth consecutive loss and a tie for eighth place with Nashville in the Western Conference. Niklas Backstrom posted his fourth shutout of the season and set a franchise record with 31 victories.

PREDATORS 2, BLUE JACKETS 0, at Columbus, Ohio -- Dan Ellis shut out Columbus for the second time in four days. Jan Hlavac and Radek Bonk scored on consecutive shots in the second period, and Ellis made a career-high 43 saves. Nashville is 15-0-1 over 16 meetings with Columbus.

HURRICANES 7, THRASHERS 1, at Raleigh, N.C. -- Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Hamilton each scored two of Carolina's five power-play goals in a rout of Atlanta. The Hurricanes are 6-1-1 against Atlanta and have scored at least five goals in all but one of those victories.

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