AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Kings right wing Dustin Brown celebrates his goal on a penalty shot with teammate center Anze Kopitar during the third period of their game against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
NHL: Kings at San Jose, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
The Sharks have been dogging the formerly toothless Kings for quite some time — a 5-1-1 mark against them in their last seven meetings in San Jose. But this time, the Kings come in as leaders of the Pacific Division, against the team that is the division’s three-time defending champs. The Kings, without a division title since Wayne Gretzky’s days in 1991, start Shark Week as the hunter, not the hunted.
NBA: Clippers vs. New Jersey, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
rare win here only means the Clippers avoid their worst start in 12 seasons. The Nets have lost 23 in a row on the road against Western Conference teams.
College basketball: USC vs. Santa Clara, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m., USCTrojans.com; UCLA vs. Pepperdine, Pauley Pavilion, 8 p.m., ESPN:
And these aren’t even the best teams that the West Coast Conference can throw at the Pac-10.
NFL: Philadelphia at Washington, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
We’ll end Week 10 with a Stephen Wright quote: “Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.” No matter how high these Andy Reid-Eagles appear to be clearing the clouds behind Michael Vick — coming off a win over Indianapolis and 3-1 on the road so far — they haven’t weaseled their way past a Donovan McNabb-led Redskins yet, having lost 17-12 to them in Week 4. Vick actually cracked some ribs in that loss to Washington. The Redskins will also have Billy Ray Cyrus (Hannah Montana’s dad) sing the National Anthem and do a halftime show. It’s the best of both worlds.
NBA: Lakers at Milwaukee, 5 p.m., Channel 9:
It may just be a coincidence that on a night when Staples Center is occupied by the “So You Think You Can Dance 2010 Tour!” the Lakers think can waltz away with three straight road wins, starting in Bucksville.
College basketball: UCLA vs. Nevada Pacific, Pauley Pavilion, 8:30 p.m., ESPNU:
This is the official closer to the ESPN gimmick of cramming 20 televised games in a 24-hour “marathon” time frame. Although it actually could have started with the Bruins’ game the night before against Pepperdine since that one ended past midnight on the East Coast. We’re too bleary eyed to figure out all the logistics that go into this, only to know some poor kids have to get up in the middle of the night on the East Coast for their 6 a.m. tipoff to keep the engine running.
NHL: Ducks at Dallas, 6 p.m., Prime:
Twice in five nights for these two teams. And three times in the last 11 games. Is there a method to this?
NBA: Lakers at Detroit, 4:30 p.m., Channel 9:
Even though pizza baron (and Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner) Mike Ilitch said earlier this week that he was close to completing his purchase of the Pistons, it appears that current caretaker Karen Davidson has reopened talks with other interested parties, and a source tells the Detroit News that Ilitch has lowered his bid. Could this be the opening that Magic Johnson has been waiting for?
(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
Columbus Blue Jackets’ R.J. Umberger, left, celebrates his goal against the St Louis Blues with teammates Jan Hejda, right, and Nikita Filatov in the second period on Wednesday, Nov. 10.
NHL: Kings vs. Columbus, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
A return trip to Staples Center means keeping alive a few streaks for the Kings: 8-0 at home, 31-for-31 in the power-play kill – and the youngest roster in the league. They face a Blue Jackets team that last week handed the previous one-loss and visiting St. Louis Blues an 8-1 whooping — the largest winning margin in franchise history. Before the game, some of the Blues and Blue Jackets players got into verbal exchange in the hallway. A few Blues were kicking a soccer ball around, and a Blue Jackets player, R.J. Umberger, while doing his warmups, apparently sprinted too close to their game. Umberger reportedly had grown tired of what he perceived as gamesmanship by the Blues, and the Blues have been pretty physical with the Jackets in recent seasons. Umberger ended up with a goal, an assist and 17 penalty minutes — a double-minor for high-sticking, 2 minutes for roughing a 10-minute misconduct.
NBA: Clippers at Minnesota, 5 p.m., Prime; NHL: Ducks at Minnesota, 5 p.m., FSW:
One of these games is at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, the other is at Minneapolis’ Target Center. Put ’em on the same night, turn up the heat at the Hormel factory, and watch the Twin Cities go nuts.
College basketball: USC vs. Rider, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m., USCTrojans.com:
Your opener of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic tournament is a home game, then a trip back East for the rest of it.
College football: UCLA at Washington, 5 p.m., ESPN:
After their one-point win over USC at the Coliseum on Oct. 2, the Huskies have lost three of their last four, and that includes a double-OT win against Oregon State. This is the last home game for Jake Locker, but he missed a 53-15 loss to No. 1 Oregon two weeks ago, resting some broken ribs. “If we get Jake back, that’s great – we’d love to have him,” says coach Steve Sarkisian. “But if we don’t, that doesn’t mean we can’t win the game.” Sarkisian has obviously been watching UCLA game film.
NFL: Chicago at Miami, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:
A shoutout to Joe Theismann, who once said you don’t have to be “Norman Einstein” to be a genius: Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, right, was upset after his team’s loss to Baltimore recently — he thought fullback Le’Ron McClain spit on him, and his quarterback Chad Henne got hit twice after he slid, but the officials missed it. “Yeah, a little Stevie Wonder and Anne Frank … Is that the blind girl? Helen Keller . . . I don’t know who the f— Anne Frank is. I’m mad right now. I’m not as swift as I usually am.”
NBA: Clippers at Indiana, 4 p.m., Prime:
Sorry, can’t come back to Staples Center yet. Usher has it booked.
NBA: Lakers at Minnesota, 5 p.m., Channel 9:
Don’t make Derek Fisher mad again. Remember how he called the team “irresponsible” and “reckless” and “disrespectful” after the Lakers barely beat the struggling T’wolves last week? That was a night when Kevin Love had 23 points and 24 boards. Then he had a 31-31 night against the Knicks. He just may shoot for 40-40 here. Unless D-Fish takes the charge.
NHL: Kings at Buffalo, 4:30 p.m., FSW:
An OT win last weekend against the beast in the East, the Washington Caps, gave the swashbuckling Sabres their first home win of the season in seven tries. On guard.
NHL: Ducks vs. Columbus, Honda Center, 7 p.m., Prime:
Anaheim is actually breathing down the Kings’ necks in the Pacific Division, but we’re not impressed quite yet.
College football: USC at Oregon State, 5 p.m., ESPN:
Pop quizz time: Anyone need a reminder about the Trojans’ last trip to Corvallis, Ore., back in September of ’08? As the nation’s No. 1-ranked team with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, they trailed 21-0 at the half and went home with a 27-21 loss, thanks to 186 yards and two rushing TDs by Jacquizz Rodgers. It was the first time in 41 years that the Beavers had defeated a No. 1 team. “I’m beside myself,” USC coach Pete Carroll said afterward.
College football: Notre Dame vs. Army at Yankee Stadium, 4 p.m., Channel 4:
The 5-5 Irish, coming off a huge win over Utah, need one more victory to be bowl-eligible. So it could either come here against the 6-4 Cadets, or next week at USC.
“I think any football coach would want to sleep in his own bed and play in a stadium with 80,000 fans,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “But I also know the realities that there has to be when it comes to looking at your schedule and television, there has to be time and place where you move those games to give you the best leverage nationally. I’m a realist in that sense and I’m a football coach, and that is, you tell me where to play them and I’m going to play them.”
NHL: Kings at Boston, 4 p.m., FSW:
The Bruins, 2-4-1 at home so far, have just one goal in their last two games coming into this week. In their previous five games, they had 20.
NBA: Clippers vs. New York, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
We’re completely asbestos free.
College basketball: USC vs. Bradley at Springfield, Mass., 2 p.m.:
It’s part of the Hall of Fame Classic, giving the Trojans a weekend at the place where basketball was invented (and another game against New Mexico State on Sunday morning before the field trip ends).
Mixed martial arts: UFC 123: Rampage Jackson vs. Lyoto Machida, Detroit, Mich., 5 p.m., PPV:
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Rampage Jackson says his loss at UFC 114 last May in the main event to Rashad Evans has nothing to do with him being pulled away to play the role of B.A. Baracus in the movie version of “The A-Team.” Jackson, 5-2 in the UFC, said: “I knew I lost that fight before I even stepped in the cage. The day I lost that fight was a couple of weeks before the fight even started. It had nothing to do with the movie tour or anything. … Because the fight as so delayed and so well-promoted, I felt like I owed it to my fans to fight no matter what the outcome was, so I still fought.” And got pummeled. The reason that fight was delayed — it was supposed to be part of UFC 107 in Memphis, Tenn., Jackson’s hometown, but then he signed on to do the movie. And UFC president Dana White wasn’t happy. In the welterweight undercard, B.J. Penn goes against Matt Hughes.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Galaxy forward Mike Magee attempts a bicycle kick as FC Dallas’ Atiba Harris, right, defends and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman looks on in Sunday’s Western Conference playoff match at the Home Depot Center.
Soccer: MLS Cup in Toronto: Colorado vs. Dallas, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
Dallas’ football club seems a bit rejuvenated, eh? Sorry, Galaxy.
NBA: Lakers vs. Golden State, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., FSW:
Their fourth game in six nights. What’s the rush to get the regular season finished?
NFL: N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:
We’re told at least the stadium lights are fairly reliable in Philly.
NFL: Indianapolis at New England, 1 p.m., Channel 2:
Colts QB Peyton Manning had a season-low 185 yards passing in their not-so-pretty win against Cincinnati last week — and 73 of them went to tight end Jacob Tamme.
NFL: Oakland at Pittsburgh, 10 a.m., Channel 2:
The new book, “Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death and John Madden’s Oakland Raiders” author Peter Richmond points out how that “badass” era of the 1970s Raiders might have come to an end in Pittsburgh during the second game of the ’77 season, “when the gods of Three Rivers crippled Foo, the truest Badass, for the year, ending his season and delivering a blow to the gut of the team. ‘If there’s one day when our little world started crumbling,’ says Phil (‘Foo’) Villapiano now, ‘it was that day.'” It was a 16-7 Steelers’ win, played on their new fake grass, on a day Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier didn’t pile up 100 yards between them. The Raiders, coming off a bye week and 5-4 in the AFC West, might be great at controlling the clock, but can they control their destiny the rest of this season?
NHL: Ducks vs. Edmonton, Honda Center, 1 p.m., FSW:
How does Sunday afternoon hockey compete with the NFL in Orange County?
NASCAR: Ford 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 10 a.m., ESPN:
Denny Hamlin’s lead in the Sprint Cup’s Chase slipped to just to 15 points over Jimmie Johnson in the final event of the season. Will he have enough left in the tank?
(AP Photo/Jason Babyak)
James Hibbs of Richmond, Va., a fan of Denny Hamlin, stands in front of Hamlin’s car prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.