Game 3 notes: Marleau scoring, confidence rising


Game 3 notes: Marleau scoring, confidence rising

May 20, 2011

Tim Panaccio
SAN JOSE -- Among the few players that Sharks coach Todd McLellan didnt need to single out as underachieving in this Western Conference Final was Patrick Marleau.

Hes pretty much given the Sharks a chance in this series, with four goals -- five in his last four games going back to the Detroit series.

The 31-year-old forward had a fair bite in Saturdays 4-3 victory in Game 3, too, with a pair of early goals.

Things are just starting to go in, Marleau said. I'm playing with some pretty good players, obviously. Just getting into some good areas. The puck is starting to go in.

You can almost see his confidence grow in this series, regardless of the fact the Sharks trail, 2-1.

Yeah, it's nice to produce and help a team win, Marleau said. What it boils down to is wins right now. Do whatever it takes to win. I think each line played really well tonight and we're going to need that again next game.

The McGinn hit: Jamie McGinn is facing a fine andor suspension for his boarding hit that knocked Vancouvers Aaron Rome out of the game in the third period.

McGinn got a five-minute major plus a game misconduct which allowed the Canucks to score twice to turn the Sharks 4-1 pad into a one-goal nail-biter at the end.

If I were Aaron Rome Id be upset right now but they got the right call in the ice, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Sharks coach Todd McLellan thought it was a deserved major.

And McGinn?

Im a player who finishes my checks, he said. Im not trying to hurt anyone out there. Its unfortunate he got hurt. I tried to cut him off and hit him on the shoulder. Thats all it was.

As for a possible suspension ...

Its tough, McGinn said. I got in the lineup finally and I thought I did a good job. To go right back upstairs in the press box sucks.

McGinn watched the Canucks score twice from the dressing room.

This is twice that its happened to me, McGinn said. Its tough every time.

Lineup changes: So, on one hand McLellan doesnt blame Ben Eager for the Game 2 disaster in Vancouver.

Yet on the other, Eager had to take the fall because he was a healthy scratch for Game 3, as was Scott Nichol.

The new fourth line had Andrew Desjardins between McGuinn and Jamal Mayers.

The thinking was speed, and that was evident in the opening period when McGinn outraced the Vancouver defense for a loose puck and subsequent scoring chance at the other end.

McLellan denied taking Eager out because of the bad boarding penalty he took in Game 2 on Daniel Sedin that led to the Sharks unraveling.

Ben Eager played four games against us last year and played very effectively for Chicago and didn't take any penalties, McLellan said. He has the discipline to control himself. We just felt we would go with a different lineup.

Ehrhoff injured: Vancouver suffered a significant loss on defense when Christian Ehrhoff incurred an upper body injury early in the second period and did not return. Vigneault said both Ehrhoff and Rome are questionable for Game 4.

Loose pucks: Douglas Murray logged 3:20 of PK time in the second period, thanks those back-to-back, 5-on-3 power plays that Vancouver failed to convert. He led the Sharks with 5:09 of PK time. ... Logan Couture collided with teammate Ryane Clowe in the third period and went off the ice, returned briefly to the bench, then went back to the dressing room. McLellan said Couture would play in Game 4. ... Joe Thornton notched three assists, giving him eight points (1-7=8) in his last six games. ... Dan Boyle picked up a goal and an assist, giving him a four-game point streak (1-5=6). He continues to lead all defensemen in points (3-12=15) and assists through the playoffs.
Tim Panaccio is the NHL Insider for E-mail him at

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win


SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.


Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors


SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.