Game 1 notes: Sedin twins assault Niemi's net


Game 1 notes: Sedin twins assault Niemi's net


VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Looks as though the Mounties can remove those missing person posters of the Sedin Twins from the light poles all along Burrard Street, near the waterfront.

Henrik and Daniel finally showed up Sunday night at Rogers Arena in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals as the Canucks came from behind with a 3-2 victory over the Sharks.

Henrik Sedin scored the eventual game-winner while Daniel Sedin had a key block on Dan Boyles shot soon after. Henrik had just one shot in the game and made it count.

Were here to score goals, to produce, Henrik said. We come to the rink, we know when were not playing well. We dont have to hear that from everyone else. There have been games where we havent been happy with our performance.
RATTO: Canucks constrict Sharks in Game 1

There have been other games where weve been happy with the way we played, and in a few of those games weve been minus players a lot. That doesnt help with the media coverage.

Daniel? He had six shots on Antti Niemi.

I didnt think our first two periods were bad, but the third, we took over, Daniel said. We were down, but we took over. Weve been winning games, but maybe we havent played as good as we wanted to. Tonight, for 60 minutes, I thought we played a really good game.

So did Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

You know, theyre always thinking, Vigneault said. Tonight, when we got caught out there at the end and I called timeout, Hank turned and looked at me on the bench. He said, Let me switch sweaters with Danny.

McLellans reaction: Sharks coach Todd McLellan was impressed with the Sedin Twins, as well.

They're Henrik and Daniel, McLellan said. One was the most valuable player in the league last year, one was supposed to be the most valuable player in the league this year. Do we worry about them? Absolutely.

I told our group prior to the game there's a lot of focus on Ryan Kesler and deservingly so. Two, three guys we really needed to focus on was that line.

I don't know what happened in the Nashville series as far as their chances and opportunities go. We watched a little bit on video. But I know we have a ton of respect for both of them. They showed it tonight.

Brutal goal: That would best describe what happened to Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo on the games first goal.

He went behind the net to play a puck, then under pressure, shot it directly into the right circle, almost a tape-to-tape pass to the Sharks Joe Thornton, who buried it into an empty net.

I don't like to make excuses, but if you remember the play a few minutes earlier, Ben Eager slashed my stick, Luongo said. It was kind of broken, and when I went to make the pass I didn't get all of it.

It looked pretty bad, obviously. I've been playing the puck a million times this year, and I think I've done a pretty good job at it. Marty Turco makes mistakes playing the puck, and he's the best in the league. But I could hear the fans were a little nervous afterwards.

Loose pucks: McLellan swapped Jason Demers out on defense with Ken Huskins but would not confirm an injury as the reason. Lineup change with Jason Demers, obviously Husky went in and I thought he played a pretty honest game, McLellan said. We'll see what we do for Game 2. Asked again on Demers, he replied. He's bumped and bruised, just like everybody else. Niemi had four saves on Daniel Sedin in the first period, including a good one from distance off a screened shot San Jose won the faceoff battle, 52-to-48 percent.Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insiderfor E-mail him at

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres


SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers hit a three-run homer to cap San Diego's eight-run sixth inning and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers also singled off Chris Stratton (1-0) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

HOUSTON — Andrew Triggs keeps checking off all the right boxes in his first season as a major league starting pitcher.

Coming into the year, manager Bob Melvin said the right-hander’s biggest challenge would be retiring lefty hitters. He’s done that splendidly.

On Saturday, the A’s needed to see if Triggs could bounce back after his first rough outing of 2017. He responded with the best of his 11 career starts, holding a potent Astros lineup off the scoreboard for seven innings as the A’s registered a 2-1 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak.

The effective cutter that eluded Triggs when he lost to the Mariners last Sunday was back. Houston’s hitters waved helplessly at the pitch and began their walk back to the dugout all in the same motion, as Triggs rang up a career-high nine strikeouts. His seven innings also were a career high for the 28-year-old.

“We’re not really swinging the bats right now,” Melvin said. “We score two runs and we’re facing a lineup that you expect to score a bunch of runs. So to pitch as well as he did and go through the lineup three times, give us seven innings of work, is pretty good.

“He had the one off-outing, and every outing (besides that) has been pretty spotless.”

Triggs, whose 1.84 ERA ranks seventh in the American League, doesn’t blow people away with his fastball. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot that suggests it might be easy for left-handed hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand. Last season, the batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all roughly 40 to 50 points higher for lefties than for righties off Triggs.

All he’s done coming out of the gate this season is hold lefties to an .087 batting average (4-for-46). Another revealing stat: Opposing cleanup hitters are 0-for-14 off him.

Triggs credited catchers Stephen Vogt, Josh Phegley and, when he’s been up with the big club, Bruce Maxwell for their expertise in calling pitches against lefties.

“They’ve done such a good job keeping the sequences unpredictable,” he said. “You command pitches, you’re gonna get guys out. I know the stereotype is when you throw from the angle that I do, you’re gonna struggle with lefties. I’ve been aware, at least of that profile, for a while. I’ve worked on it quite a bit.”

Triggs had his entire repertoire working Saturday, according to Vogt.

“He was keeping them off-balance. Even when it seemed they were starting to sit on his slider, he starts sneaking some heaters by them. He was outstanding.”

But he had help. First baseman Yonder Alonso made a terrific leaping grab of Josh Reddick’s liner in the fifth that might have gone for extra bases. An inning before that, Jaff Decker made an on-the-money throw to third from deep right field to nail Carlos Beltran tagging up on a fly ball.

“He’s got a good arm so don’t sleep on him at all,” Triggs said.

Given how their month has gone, it’s no surprise the A’s got both their runs on homers. They’ve gone deep 31 times in April, their most homers in the month since they clubbed 34 in 2006. Lowrie, who’s spent two stints with the Astros and owns an offseason home in Houston, went deep to right to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Khris Davis mashed his 10th homer in the eighth for what wound up being an important insurance run when Jose Altuve followed with a homer off Sean Doolittle.

Davis’ teammates by now are accustomed to seeing the left fielder flaunt his opposite-field power. He’s hit three homers this series, all to straightaway right or right-center.

Said Lowrie: “I think at this point it’s fair to call it special.”