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.Y. -- San Jose has dominated the Eastern Conference all season, and Sharks captain Joe Thornton kept that trend going against an old friend. Matt Nieto and Jason Demers scored first-period goals, and the Sharks made the most of 26 shots against the Islanders and goalie Evgeni Nabokov in a 4-3 victory on Friday night. Thornton and Marty Havlat added goals in the second period for the Sharks, who won their fifth straight and improved to 20-6-3 against the East. Antti Niemi made 35 saves for San Jose, which faced former Sharks goalie Nabokov in his first start against them. "It was definitely weird seeing him on the other side," Thornton said of his long-time Sharks teammate. "But we had to focus because they play hard every night. Were glad to get the two points." The Sharks (44-17-7) are battling Anaheim for the top spot in the Pacific Division. San Jose will play at the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. "Getting the lead was important and we had contributions from all four lines," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "Every game is big this time of year. Now were just looking forward to our next game, which will be in a building thats always tough." Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, who lost for the fifth time in six home games. New York, which began a four-game homestand following a 2-1-1 trip, is an NHL-worst 9-17-8 at home. Islanders coach Jack Capuano chose to look on the positive side, despite another defeat at Nassau Coliseum. "Thats a top-notch team we played, so any little breakdown and its in the back of your net," he said. "I thought we had a great effort. We worked hard as a group and we were getting chances." Nieto made it 1-0 with 6:33 left in the first off a flurry in front of Nabokov. The 38-year-old Nabokov played 563 games for the Sharks during his decade with the franchise. He left San Jose to play in Russia after the 2009-10 season, then joined the Islanders during the 2011-12 campaign. Demers made it 2-0 at 14:46 with a drive from the right wing for his fourth of the season. Lee cut the Islanders deficit in half 32 seconds into the second period, the rookies sixth goal in eight games this season. Thornton restored San Joses two-goal lead with his 10th of the season at 9:32, firing a rebound past Nabokov after Brent Burns initial shot came directly to him in the left circle. The Islanders stayed with the fleet and powerful Sharks, and Nelson tipped in Matt Donovans shot from the point to make it 3-2 at 17:02 of the second for his 12th goal. But Havlats goal put San Jose up 4-2 before Nielsen completed the scoring with his 21st goal of the season at 19:38 of the third with Nabokov pulled for an extra skater. The Islanders played without speedy forward Michael Grabner (concussion) in their first home game since trading forward Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andrew MacDonald last week. Johan Sundstrom made his debut for the Islanders, the ninth rookie to play for them this season. The Sharks are 8-1-1 in their streak of 12 games against Eastern opponents. This was their first visit to Long Island since Oct. 29, 2011. The Islanders (25-34-9) tied the franchise record for goals in a period on Monday, scoring seven in the third in a 7-4 comeback win over the Canucks in Vancouver. But they mustered little against Niemi (33-13-6), who replaced Nabokov as the Sharks starter after helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2010. NOTES: The Sharks lead the NHL with 69 first-period goals and have won 40 or more games 11 times since 2000-01. ... The Sharks were without defenceman Brad Stuart (upper body) and forwards Tomas Hertl (knee) and Raffi Torres (knee). ... Defenceman Thomas Hickey is the only Islanders player to be in all 68 games this season. Taj Gibson Jersey
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JOLIET, Ill. -- Facing the biggest credibility crisis in its long history, NASCAR issued a stern warning to its drivers and teams Saturday and said it wont tolerate any more attempts to alter the outcome of races. After a scandal-filled week spent investigating teams and undoing attempts to manipulate its championship field, NASCAR came forward with a series of rules that will change the way teams have called races for years. NASCAR Chairman Brian France told teams he expects them "to give 100 per cent" at all times, meeting with them for nearly 20 minutes at Chicagoland Speedway on the eve of the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. "I think we wanted to be very clear and we wanted to reinforce the cornerstone of NASCAR, which is giving your all," France said. "We addressed team rules, a variety of other things, all designed to do what our fans expect, and that means that their driver and their team give 100 per cent to finish as high up in a given race as possible. We were very clear about that. Thats our expectations." The warning came after an unprecedented week for NASCAR, which has been rocked by allegations of race-fixing since Clint Bowyer spun his car with seven laps remaining last Saturday night at Richmond, the race that completed the 12-driver field for the Chase. NASCAR was forced to investigate when it became clear that Bowyer spun in an attempt to stop leader Ryan Newman from winning and give teammate Martin Truex Jr. one last chance to earn a Chase berth. The investigation uncovered at least three instances of race manipulations and led to severe sanctions against Michael Waltrip Racing and the removal of unwitting participant Truex from the Chase in favour of Newman. The central piece of evidence was radio communications, and the penalties against MWR set off a chain of events NASCAR never anticipated. Next came allegations of a scheme to sell track position and it triggered a new investigation involving deep-pocketed Penske Racing and tiny Front Row Motorsports. It culminated Friday with Frances stunning decision to expand the Chase field to 13 drivers to accommodate Jeff Gordon, who had been bumped out of the Chase by the shenanigans of three drivers. Gordon was pleased with the ruling, but uncomfortable with the way the week developed. "The integrity of the sport has been put at question," Gordon admitted. "I think we have one of the greatest sports that exists. To see our integrity questioned is very upsetting to me, and I think we, along with NASCAR, have to solve this. I wish it had not happened under these circumstances." NASCAR ultimately decided it couldnt prove Bowyer spun on purpose, but did find that MWR manipulated the race to help Truex by having Bowyer and Brian Vickers pit late in the race. The idea was that Joey Logano would bump Gordon out of a Chase spot, and Truex would get in through a wild card. But in singling out the MWR cars for pitting to help Truex, NASCAR threw into question the long-accepted practice of deal-making between teams. That brought to light a late race conversation between Front Row team members, who were willing to have David Gilliland move aside for Logano in exchange for something it had previously asked for from Penske Racing. When told to relay that information to Loganos spotter, the crew chief is told the request for track position is coming from the "whole committee." "Weve got the big dog and all of his cronies," the spotter said in an apparent reference to team owner Roger Penske and other team employees. NASCAR has tightened many of the areas that allowed the manipulations to occur in a series of new rules that were outlined for the teams and will begin Sunday. Karl-Anthony Towns Jersey
. Among them: --No more deals, no offering a position in exchange for a favour or material benefit, no altering the finish, no intentionally causing a caution, no intentionally pitting to gain advantage for another competitor or intentionally wrecking another competitor. The list of things not allowed is a work in progress, NASCAR President Mike Helton said. Penalties can include suspension. --Only one spotter per team will be allowed on the spotter stand. It means Roger Penske can no longer watch the race from his preferred perch on the roof, and NASCAR will install a camera atop every roof to monitor things. --Digital radios are now banned on the spotter stand, meaning spotters can no longer communicate on a private channel with a team. Spotters will also be limited to two analog radios, scanners and a handheld fan device. All communications from the spotter stand to the team can be monitored by the public. --NASCAR said it will address new restart rules Sunday. Some drivers have complained about inconsistency on how restarts have been policed all season, and fans complained winner Carl Edwards jumped early last week past leader Paul Menard. Its been overshadowed in the Chase controversy, and will apparently be addressed before Sundays race. Gordon had hoped the meeting would lead to positive changes for the sport. "This has probably been coming for a couple years now and needed to change sooner," Gordon said. "I like the fact that some things are going to change because all we all want to do is race our guts out every single lap. None of us want to go out there and give up a spot or race somebody different because our teammate is running for a championship. We want to go out there racing for every position, every lap, as hard as we can." France said he didnt speak to any drivers after the meeting, but sensed a redefining of the rules was overdue. "This is what they want. They want to have clarity and they dont like team rules, and they dont like some of the things that have gone on in the past," France said. "Theyre never pleased when we call them to a meeting. But I also believe that they understand what we want to get back to -- its to not worry about anything but winning races and doing your best." Paul Wolfe, crew chief for defending series champion Brad Keselowski, said NASCAR was clear in its meeting. "I think it got everyones attention," Wolfe said. "I think everyone should have a pretty clear understanding ... if you go out there and run 100 per cent to your ability and run a normal race, then everything will be fine." Seven-time champion and Hall of Famer Richard Petty believes none of the events at Richmond differed from what occurred a week earlier at Atlanta. But because of the stakes -- 10 drivers vying for five Chase berths -- he said the actions of a few were magnified and NASCAR had to act. "If it had happened at Atlanta, nobody would have paid any attention to it," Petty said. "But, it was a perfect storm (at Richmond). Thats what makes such a big deal out of it." For NASCAR, the next step is getting back on track on Sunday and putting on a good, clean race. "Circumstances happen that are unhelpful in the credibility category, theres no doubt about that," France said. "You go back to what youre about, and what were about is the best racing in the world with the best drivers giving 100 per cent of their ability." Wholesale NFL Autographed Jerseys NFL T-shirts From China Camo China NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Outlet Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2020 Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys NFL Cheap Wholesale NFL Gear Jerseys NFL Cheap Discount Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap
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