Game Notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 5

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Game Notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 5

April 23, 2011

Kevin Kurz
CSNBayArea.com

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Sharks lead best-of-seven series, 3-1

Projected Line-ups

LOS ANGELES

Scott Parse Michal Handzus Justin Williams Ryan Smyth Trevor Lewis Dustin Brown Kyle Clifford Brad Richardson Wayne Simmonds Dustin Penner Jarret Stoll Kevin Westgarth
Willie Mitchell Drew Doughty
Jack Johnson Rob Scuderi
Matt Greene Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick

Jonathan Bernier

SAN JOSE

Patrick Marleau Joe Thornton Devin Setoguchi Dany Heatley Logan Couture Ryane Clowe Torrey Mitchell Joe Pavelski Kyle Wellwood Ben Eager Scott Nichol Jamal Mayers
Douglas Murray Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic Jason Demers
Ian White Niclas Wallin

Antti Niemi

Antero Niittymaki

Starting Goalies

After struggling through the first three games of the series and in danger of losing his starting job, Antti Niemi responded with a strong effort in Game 4, making 35 saves in a 6-3 Sharks win. Niemi was pulled in favor of Antero Niittymaki after giving up four goals in just over 20 minutes in Game 3, so it was an important rebound effort for the Finland native.

Jonathan Quick will once again start for Los Angeles despite allowing 12 goals in the last two games, although he cant be faulted for many of them. Quicks 3.49 goals-against average and .894 save percentage are slightly better than Niemis 3.63 and .877 stat line.

Previous Games

The biggest question headed into Game 4 was, how would the Kings react to their historic collapse in Game 3? The answer was, not very well. The Sharks jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and although the Kings came back to within a goal after two periods, San Jose took over again early in the third.

The Kings did control Game 2 at HP Pavilion, however, and claimed a 4-0 victory on the Sharks home ice. They will have to duplicate that effort tonight if they want to keep their season alive.

Roster Watch

There arent expected to be any lineup changes for the Sharks, who have gotten contributions from just about everyone since they began mounting their epic Game 3 comeback. In fact, no less than 12 of their regulars have at least two points in the series.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, will insert winger Scott Parse into the lineup according to media reports. Parse hasnt played since November 15, and had a goal and three assists in five games before hip surgery. Parse may take the place of Dustin Penner, who has been a bust with the Kings since arriving via trade from Edmonton.

Whos Hot

Ryane Clowe has seven points in the series, including back-to-back two-goal games, and is tied for second in the NHL in playoff scoring. Joe Pavelski has scored a goal in three of the four games, while defenseman Ian Whites five assists lead the team.

Los Angeles best line in the series has surprisingly been Kyle Clifford, Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds, which has combined for eight points.

Storylines

Its quite possible that the Kings are already finished from a mental standpoint. The aforementioned Game 3 train wreck was obviously the turning point, as the Kings looked poised to take a 2-1 lead in the series with Game 4 at home before everything fell apart. They will have their hands full against a Sharks offense that is firing on all cylinders and will benefit from the added energy provided by its home crowd.

Give the Sharks credit they smelled blood in Game 4 and took full advantage of a wounded opponent, which is something that good playoff teams do. Now, they just have to finish them off.

49ers' Kaepernick benched in fourth quarter vs Bears

49ers' Kaepernick benched in fourth quarter vs Bears

CHICAGO -- Trailing by 18 points early in the fourth quarter Sunday, 49ers coach Chip Kelly had seen enough from quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kelly benched Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert after Kaepernick and the 49ers' passing game was non-existent against the Chicago Bears on a snowy day at Soldier Field.

Kaepernick completed just one of five pass attempts for 4 yards. He was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards to give the 49ers minus-21 net yards passing in his three quarters of action.

Gabbert entered with the 49ers trailing 24-6, and his first pass was an 18-yard completion to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. The series ended with a punt when tight end Vance McDonald dropped a pass from Gabbert on a third-and-10 situation.

 

Inactives: Amerson, Riley re-join Raiders starting lineup vs Bills

Inactives: Amerson, Riley re-join Raiders starting lineup vs Bills

OAKLAND – The Raiders knew they were going to be without some interior defensive linemen on Sunday against Buffalo, with Stacy McGee and Darius Latham ruled out earlier in the week.

There were several other key defender with an uncertain playing status, and the Silver and Black got good news on all of them. Cornerback David Amerson (knee) said he was ready to return after missing last week, and he will play against the Bills.

Interior linebackers Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley Jr., both questionable with hamstring injuries, are active and ready to go. They are key cogs in a run defense that must operate well to slow the NFL’s best run game.

The Raiders will move on without DJ Hayden, who is now on injured reserve, and will look to either Dexter McDonald or Keith McGill, a safety with professional experience at cornerback, as the No. 4 option. TJ Carrie will take on Hayden’s job at slot corner.

There was a curious inactive, with DeAndre Washington a healthy scratch for a second straight week as the Raiders consolidate their running back rotation. Latavius Murray has become a true lead dog, with Jalen Richard as an accent back and return man.

Menelik Watson will be the extra lineman moving forward, meaning Denver Kirkland was a tolerated inactive against Buffalo.

The Bills are missing some key players, including tight end Charles Clay, receivers Percy Harvin and Robert Wood and cornerback Ronald Darby.