Kings

Sharks collapse in Gm. 2, blitzed by Canucks 7-3

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Sharks collapse in Gm. 2, blitzed by Canucks 7-3

May 18, 2011

BOX SCORE SHARKS VIDEONHLPAGE NHLSCOREBOARDBOX SCORE SERIES SCHEDULE
Tim Panaccio
CSNCalifornia.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Ben Eager was fuming.

He couldnt get to Kevin Bieksa, who had already pasted Patrick Marleau in a fight.

Ah, but the Sharks' enforcer could get to Daniel Sedin, since his coach, Todd McLellan was rotating Eager throughout his lineup.

RELATED: Marleau puts up his dukes in vain

When Eager slammed the big Swede into the side boards with an unnecessary boarding penalty late in the second period, the entire complexion of Game 2 of the Western Conference Final changed.

And along with it, perhaps any chance of the Sharks coming back in this series after Wednesdays 7-3 decimation at Rogers Arena.

Although the Sharks killed off the boarding minor, Eager then took a bad tripping call in what was a one-goal game.

Chris Higgins scored a third period power play goal, before Daniel Sedin answered with another to blow things apart as the enraged Canucks buried the Sharks, turning a 3-2 lead into a rout. It places the Sharks in an 0-2 tank, with no water.

Ben Eager is one of our faster forwards, one of our more physical forwards, McLellan said. I think he has the ability to win battles and create scrums. I do believe the other team knows when he's on the ice.

Now, the negative. He can't march to the penalty box on an ongoing basis. The tradeoff obviously didn't work in our favor.

Marleau, trying to inspire his teammates who were hemmed into their own end nearly the entire second period, gave himself up to inspire teammates. They didnt respond.

Yeah, you know, weve seen that before with Kevin, Eager said. Its sad that someones got to sign him for big money when hes a phony. He goes after our top player, and hes been asked to fight many times before ... lots of players throughout the league and hes declined, so ...

RATTO: Don't hang Gm. 2 crash on Eager

Bieksa wouldnt fight Eager, but the bottom line is the hit on Sedin was entirely unnecessary. It woke a sleeping giant and enraged the Canucks.

I was out there to finish my check; I finish all my checks, Eager said. I went to close on him. He knows what he was doing there. He turned his back ... We killed that penalty. That last tripping penalty, I know it cost us and let the team down there.

McLellan defended Eager, saying he didnt cross the line, but admitted his team lost its composure with 13 penalties in the game -- nine in the last period.

They had more battle in their game than we did, McLellan said. This time of the year, when you have more battle and more of a tenacity to your game, you're going to win.

I thought maybe ... we got a little frustrated because we wanted to even the score on the Marleau fight. That was Ben Eager taking a run at one of the Sedins. It probably grew from there a little bit.

But at this point, you've got to have your emotions in check. You've got to maintain some composure.

In case youre wondering, the last team to win a Stanley Cup down 0-2 in a conference final was the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins. That team had Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, Joey Mullen and Mark Recchi.

These Sharks have Joe Thornton, Marleau, and ... well, lets just say, theyre not the Penguins.

Interestingly, McLellan said some of his players -- who should have raised their games and responded -- disappeared.

There's a few people in our group, and I'm not going to hide them anymore, they have to ask themselves whether or not they want to keep on competing, McLellan said.

Thornton singled out Marleau as the only player who sacrificed himself for his teammates. San Jose's captain called Marleau a gamer.

Its too bad we didnt have a bunch more gamers tonight, Thornton said. The game would have been different.

Logan Couture agreed.

"Pattys a leader, he said. People dont see that. Its good to see him step up. Hes a quiet guy and he doesnt show his emotion too much. We all see how badly he wants to win. He stepped up and made a statement tonight which was good for the rest of us. Unfortunately, we didnt follow through."

Instead, the Sharks and goalie Antti Niemi were hammered with four goals in the final period -- two on the power play.

San Jose has now been outscored 29-13 in its last eight conference final games (going back to 2004) and is 0-6 in the conference finals over the last two years.

You lose 7-3, not many people play well, Couture said. I didnt play well. The list goes on. Its embarrassing. Its the only word that comes to mind.

Youre in the conference finals and the Stanley Cup playoffs, you put an effort out like that. You cant feel bad for yourselves but you feel bad for the fans and the coaching staff that we gave an effort like that.

Much like Game 1, the Sharks came out fine and again scored the games first goal only to see Vancouver come back with two goals in 39 seconds to stun them.

Couture, whose line matched up against the Sedin twins (Henrik and Daniel), came up with the first goal at 2:28 when Dany Heatley gave Couture a perfect pass down the slot, allowing him to split the Vancouver defense of Sami Salo and Alexander Edler.

Not even seven minutes later, Henrik had the puck in the slot, turned and passed up a shot for his brother, Daniel, who whipped the puck past Niemi to tie it on the power play -- one of the power play goals the Sharks porous penalty-kill units allowed.

The Canucks took the lead on the very next shift, pinning the Sharks into their own end with Christian Ehrhoff backhanding the puck into the slot for a tap-in goal by Raffi Torres.

Just like that, the Canucks had a 2-1 lead, along with the momentum.

Marleau is a streaky scorer. If he gets one in the playoffs, he usually gets a couple. Marleau got his third goal in three games -- going back his Game 7 game-winner against Detroit -- to re-tie it at 14:02.

Then came the brutal middle period when the Sharks had no opportunities whatsoever.
Couture had a shot on Roberto Luongo 15 seconds in. Their next shot came at 10:01 by Joe Pavelski.

No rushes up ice. No grinding forecheck where the larger Sharks could use their size. And no puck cycling. In other word, no offense.

The period resembled the middle one in Game 1 when Niemi was under siege. The siege produced a back-breaking goal from Bieksa on a breakaway, stretch pass from Higgins. We kid you not.

The Canucks' third line of Ryan Kesler centering Higgins and Torres has made a critical difference in both games.

"Not fun. Embarrassing, Couture said. You look at the last 6-7 games weve played, were just not playing well. Were not playing the way we should be in the playoffs. Tonight was just embarrassing. Hopefully, it wakes us up a little bit."
Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for CSNPhilly.com E-mail him at tpanotch@comcast.net

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

BOX SCORE

Opportunity lost. The Sacramento Kings had a game handed to them on a silver platter Monday night in Phoenix and they couldn’t take advantage. Playing for a new head coach and without their star point guard, the Suns manhandled the Kings early and held them off late to come away with the 117-115 win and pick up their first win of the season.

Garrett Temple is known for his defensive prowess, but on Monday night in Phoenix, he was an offensive juggernaut. With the Kings falling behind early, the veteran wing hit 6-of-8 from long range to post 23 and keep the Kings in the ballgame late. He had a look at 3-ball to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.

It took Bogdan Bogdanovic less than a quarter to get comfortable with the NBA game. Phoenix drafted the rookie with the 27th pick back in 2014, but they abandoned their efforts to bring him over from Europe. He lit the Suns up 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but struggled to get it going after the break.

With Bogdanovic manning the two, fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox put on the jets at the point guard spot. Fox attacked Phoenix on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Skal Labissiere scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds off Joerger’s bench. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, while rookie Justin Jackson chipped in a career-best 10 points.

Buddy Hield couldn’t buy a bucket early, but his defense fueled his offensive in the second half. Hield grabbed a career-high five steals and added 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Sacramento’s Marquese Chriss did damage against his hometown team. The second-year forward dropped in 19 points and six rebounds before fouling out late. 

Devin Booker added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mike James finished with 18 points and seven assists starting in place of the exiled Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson came off the bench to score 15.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Temple caught fire and the Kings kept feeding him. Not known for his offense, the veteran wing went off in a wild game at the Talking Stick Resort Arena

TURNING POINT

Phoenix put the Kings on blast to start the game, outscoring the Kings starters 36-17 in the first 12 minutes of action. Dave Joerger went to his bench in the second and the combination of Fox, Bogdanovic and Labissiere went to work. The trio helped cut the Suns lead from 21 in the first quarter to eight before the half. They stole the momentum of the game.

INJURY UPDATE

Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic returned from a sprained right ankle to make his NBA debut. Labissiere tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off under his own power and returned to the game late.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return home to host DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday at Golden 1 Center. They’ll stick around Sacramento to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday before heading back out on the road for three games.

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

With just under three minutes to go and the Warriors leading by 25 points, Steve Kerr put the end of the bench into the game.

Somehow, with the game in control, rookie Jordan Bell found a way to produce the highlight of the night.

After Bell got a piece of Dwight Powell's shot, JaVale McGee batted the ball ahead. With no one in front of him, the rookie tossed the ball off the backboard and threw down a dunk. The sequence left his Warriors teammates flabergasted. But Bell may have broken an unwritten rule about showboating in a blowout game.

After the game, Draymond Green was not having it with possible criticism of Bell.

"Listen man, when you get on the basketball floor, I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go up 25 or with two minutes to go down 25, somebody is evaluating you. So you gotta play the game just like it's tied up or if you're up four or if you're down four. You gotta play the game the same way. Somebody is evaluating you. So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball. He got an And One. It was a great play. So, I got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That's what he did. I don't get all up into the whole 'Ah man, they're winning by this much, that's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference between if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It's a dunk," Green told reporters in Dallas after the Warriors' 133-130 win.

Green was then asked what he thought of the play, regardless of game situation.

"Great play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And One too. He missed the free throw though. We gotta talk about that. That's my message for him. Make the free throw," Green said.

Kerr reportedly apologized to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle after the game. Green commented on that.

"Steve's the coach. I'm not. That's not my problem," Green said.

Draymond wasn't the only member of the Green family defending Bell. His mom, Mary Babers-Green was on Twitter defending the rookie.

https://twitter.com/BabersGreen/status/922660243921874945