Two down, two to go -- Sharks top Red Wings 2-1

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Two down, two to go -- Sharks top Red Wings 2-1

May 1, 2011

BOX SCORE SHARKS VIDEONHLPAGE NHLSCOREBOARD
SAN JOSE (AP) The defensemen are scoring, the high-scoring forwards are working in the defensive zone, and Antti Niemi played the same way he did when he knocked San Jose out of the playoffs a year ago.That all added up to another win for the Sharks and a 2-0 series lead against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference semifinals.Ian White and Niclas Wallin scored their first goals of the postseason, Niemi made 33 saves and the Sharks put together a complete performance to beat the Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday. RATTO: Sharks so razor-sharp, even McLellan can't critique
Niemi helped kill off three penalties in the opening half of the first period and came up with countless big saves in the final two periods of perhaps his best playoff game since helping Chicago sweep San Jose in the conference finals a year ago."We like him on our side a lot better," forward Dany Heatley said. "He's a steady guy. He makes the saves he should make; he's in position. And he makes a lot of saves he shouldn't make. He changes games for us sometimes."White scored on a power play in the first period and Wallin extended the lead early in the third period as the Sharks put together two of their best back-to-back games to jump on top of the Red Wings for the second straight year.While Detroit could blame a lack of rest for falling into a 3-0 hole to San Jose a year ago following a seven-game first-round series, the Red Wings were well-rested this year after sweeping Phoenix. But that made no difference against a determined Sharks team that has won 10 of 12 games against Detroit."We weren't good enough," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "They won more battles than we did. By doing that they end up with the puck more times than we do. They held serve at home. We have to lick our wounds on the flight home."Jimmy Howard was again strong for the Red Wings, making 35 saves, but he got little help from his teammates. The Red Wings hope to change their fortunes when the series shifts to Detroit for Games 3 and 4 starting Wednesday night.The Sharks controlled play in the second period and took control of the scoreboard with the rare goal from Wallin early in the third. He skated into the offensive zone and fired a shot that hit off Howard's shoulder and helmet, popped in the air and fell into the net for a 2-0 lead.It was Wallin's fourth goal in 83 postseason games, but the first in regulation."It feels good to score goals," he said. "I'm not that kind of guy, but I can shoot the puck, too. Just let it go and see what happens. A lucky bounce."Detroit's frustration quickly materialized as Tomas Holmstrom took a roughing penalty on Jason Demers to negate a power play, and Niemi kept coming up with the big saves. His best moments came when he stopped Nicklas Lidstrom from the point, and then Danny Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg on rebounds midway through the third.The Red Wings finally broke through with a power-play goal by Zetterberg with 6:02 remaining. They couldn't get the equalizer, with the best chance coming when Lidstrom hit the post late in the period."We just turn around and go home," Lidstrom said. "That's the way you have to approach it. You can't feel sorry for yourself. We have to rebound as a team. It's been two close games and they've got the break each time."Both goalies came up big in a second period that featured plenty of hard hits, scoring chances and animosity that boiled over when San Jose's Ben Eager and Detroit's Todd Bertuzzi fell into the Red Wings bench during a scrum. The two nearly went at it again after serving coincidental roughing penalties, but Bertuzzi didn't respond when Eager dropped his gloves. Eager was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
GAME 2 NOTES: Sparks over Pavelski's 'snow showers'
Niemi stopped a short-handed breakaway by Darren Helm early in the period and made two nice stops against Zetterberg on a Detroit power play shortly after that. Niemi also had a tough stop on Zetterberg in the final minute, playing more like the goalie who helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup last season than the one who got pulled twice in the first round against Los Angeles this year."He's spectacular," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "He's the reason why we're in this postseason and it feels like every time he's in the net. he gives us a chance to win."Howard was even better in the second and needed to be as the Sharks controlled the play for much of the period, winning two thirds of the faceoffs and outshooting Detroit 19-9.Howard robbed Devin Setoguchi and Dan Boyle midway through the period and made a diving stop on Patrick Marleau at the end of a power play. Even when a puck managed to slip by Howard, the Sharks couldn't score as forward Pavel Datsyuk cleared a loose puck from the goal line after a great effort by Douglas Murray almost led to a goal.The sellout crowd was loud from the start and got more frenzied when the Sharks broke out to a rare early lead this postseason when White beat Howard with a blast through a screen on a power play with Justin Abdelkader in the box for high-sticking.That came after the Red Wings managed just three shots during six minutes with the man advantage in the first 10:23 of the game."We need to find answers," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We have to make adjustments. I don't know what's going on with the power play."Notes: The Red Wings have lost six of their last seven series when falling behind 2-0, with the only win coming in the first round against Vancouver in 2002. ... San Jose had allowed nine straight first-period goals before White's tally.

Source: Louis Riddick out of running for 49ers general manager

Source: Louis Riddick out of running for 49ers general manager

The 49ers on Wednesday informed multiple candidates for the team’s general manager position that they would not be brought back for second interviews, according to a team spokesman.

One of the individuals who did not make it past the first round of interviews is ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

Riddick was closely associated with coach candidate Josh McDaniels, the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator. McDaniels removed himself from consideration for the team’s head-coaching opening on Monday. Riddick previously worked in the personnel departments of Washington and Philadelphia.

“The 49ers pared down its list of general manager candidates (Wednesday) morning and thanked those who will not be included in the second round of interviews,” 49ers spokeman Bob Lange posted on Twitter. “Upcoming interviews will be announced as they were in the first round.”

The 49ers will seek second interviews with Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, along with Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton. Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is also still believed to be in the mix.

One source described the 49ers’ general manager search as “fluid.” The 49ers are expected to formally offer Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan the head-coaching position after the Falcons’ season has concluded.

The 49ers want to match a coach and general manager. Shanahan, if he officially accepts the 49ers’ offer, would likely be involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ next general manager.

Source: Packers execs on list of 49ers GM finalists

Source: Packers execs on list of 49ers GM finalists

Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf will be among the finalists to receive second interviews for the 49ers general manager position, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday morning.

Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton will also be among the finalists, reports the NFL Network, but a second interview with him has yet to be confirmed, a source said.

The 49ers are also expected to bring in another candidate or two for a second interview, a source said.

The second interviews are expected to take place after Sunday, when the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers play in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers will have a second interview with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for the head-coaching position.

The 49ers are expected to make a formal offer to Shanahan to become the team’s next head coach, and the NFL Network reported Tuesday night it is “almost certain” he will accept. The 49ers will be allowed to speak with Shanahan next week, regardless of Sunday's outcome, but are not allowed to hire Shanahan until the Falcons' season is over. 

The 49ers interviewed nine candidates for the general manager position. Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed his name from consideration on Tuesday.

Sources say that Kirchner and coach candidate Tom Cable, Seattle’s offensive line coach, were in serious talks with the 49ers on Tuesday about filling the organization’s top two positions. But Kirchner and Cable felt like they were being used as leverage to land Shanahan as the head coach.

The other general manager candidates who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe were Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, Seattle co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer, ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Carolina assistant general manager Brandon Beane, Indianapolis vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III.

Gutekunst, 43, is in his 18th season with the Green Bay and his first as director of player personnel. He and Wolf originally interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 5.

Gutekunst received a new title prior to last season after Packers general manager Ted Thompson denied permission for him to interview for the director of player personnel job with the Tennessee Titans. He was also denied from joining the Philadelphia Eagles’ personnel department in 2015 during Chip Kelly’s tenure with the team.

Wolf, 32, is in his first season as Green Bay’s director of football operations after receiving a promotion after being denied an opportunity to interview with the Detroit Lions last year.

Wolf is the son Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf. He has also worked closely through the years with current NFL general managers Reggie McKenzie, John Schneider and John Dorsey.