Sharks, Kings head to L.A. for Game 3 showdown


Sharks, Kings head to L.A. for Game 3 showdown

April 18, 2011
Coverage starts at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With leading scorer Anze Kopitar sidelined for the playoffs and Jarret Stoll suspended one game, the Los Angeles Kings found some much-needed offense among their defensemen.

Drew Doughty notched four points in the Kings' 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks that tied their first-round playoff series at a game apiece. Besides scoring twice, Doughty assisted on a power-play goal by fellow defenseman Jack Johnson and a rebound goal by forward Kyle Clifford.
RATTO: Sharks get started at re-establishing control

Stoll will be back for Game 3 on Tuesday night at Staples Center. He missed Saturday's win after being suspended for a hit from behind on Sharks defenseman Ian White, who plans to return, too.

RELATED: White wants to suit up for Game 3

White left the series opener, which the Sharks won in overtime, after absorbing Stoll's hit and didn't play in Game 2 because of a concussion, but he practiced on Monday.

Stoll said Monday that he texted White to "let him know that I didn't mean to hurt him in any way. He appreciated the text and reaching out to him. Sorry it happened, sorry I missed a game and happy our team came out and got the win."

"Having Stoli back is a huge part for us," Doughty said after practice. "Our fans are going to be great, really loud and we're going to be really pumped and excited for it."

The Kings will wear their black jerseys at home, where their average attendance of 18,083 was the highest in club history, and they're encouraging their fans to dress all in black while waving black rally towels.

"With two California teams especially, it's going to get revved up, and that's great for the game," Kings coach Terry Murray said.

Sitting out Game 2 gave Stoll a coach's perspective on how the Kings played.

"There wasn't any stretches where we had lapses or inconsistency with our play," he said. "We stuck with it and kept going. Everybody was just rolling over the boards and having fun with it. When you do that, you're usually going to come out on top."

Doughty's four points tied a Kings playoff record for a defenseman, and Johnson added an assist. When the duo wasn't scoring, they were shutting down San Jose's attack.

"He definitely made his plays when he was there and scored a few goals but they came off our breakdowns," Sharks center Joe Pavelski said about Doughty. "We need all five guys playing defensively as well as on the offense. We can handle him when we do that and put pucks in better spots."

Doughty keyed a power play that improved to 3-for-6 in the series after struggling in the regular season. The same thing happened a year ago against Vancouver in the first round, when the Kings were 10-for-26 with a man advantage before eventually losing in six games.

"Last year we really stepped up on the power play as well. I don't know why we can't do it during the regular season," Doughty said. "It's a key part to our offense. With Kopi being out, our offense is going to struggle a little bit more so our power play has got to come up huge like it did last game. We got to capitalize every chance we get."

Doughty is doing just that after a lackluster training camp and suffering a concussion in October that sidelined him for six games. The effects lingered long after, when he wasn't the same aggressive player that helped Canada win Olympic gold last year.

"He wasn't quite moving. He wasn't skating with the authority, with the puck in particular and then the concussion happens, so there's a big step back after recovering from that," Murray said.

"Players sometimes, not just Drew, are going to say, 'Gee, I thought I was playing pretty good,' especially when you're a young guy. The last half of the year he's been playing the kind of game that we want."

The Sharks will need at least one win in the next two games to regain home ice advantage and avoid facing elimination when the series returns to the Bay Area.

"They outcompeted us in every aspect of the game," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. "That's usually what it is. The team's that down comes out hard. The team that's up has to try to match their intensity and we didn't do that. In Game 3 we'll have to play the way they did (Saturday)."
REWIND: Sharks flat in 4-0 loss to Kings

Reports: Thunder acquire Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott from Bulls

Reports: Thunder acquire Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott from Bulls

Just before the deadline, the Bulls and Thunder reportedly agreed to a deal.

Chicago is sending Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to Oklahoma City for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow.

Gibson, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, is averaging 11.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

McDermott, the 11th pick in the 2014 draft, is registering 10.2 points per game and shooting just under 38 percent from deep.

The Thunder took Payne 14th overall in 2015 out of Murray State. The 22-year old is averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 assists in just 20 games this year.

The Thunder (32-25) lead Denver by 6.5 games for the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, and are just 1.5 games behind Memphis for the sixth seed.

Harbaugh: I deserve a medal

Harbaugh: I deserve a medal

In Kyle Shanahan’s first breath after being introduced as 49ers head coach on Feb. 9, he mentioned Jim Harbaugh, along with Bill Walsh, George Seifert and Steve Mariucci.

The head coach of Michigan was listening, and he appreciated the gesture.

“It was very flattering that he said nice things about us at his news conference, and I appreciated that,” Harbaugh said on "The TK Show," a podcast from Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area Newsgroup.

“Now, I don’t think I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert, etc. But I think did – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I’m not wrong.”

That is correct.

Since John and Denise York took over control of the 49ers in 2000 from Denise’s brother, Eddie DeBartolo, the 49ers have employed eight head coaches. Mike Nolan was fired after seven games of his fourth season. The two coaches who followed Harbaugh -- Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly -- were fired after 5-11 and 2-14 seasons, respectively.

Harbaugh’s teams advanced to the NFC Championship game in each of his first three seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance. He and the 49ers “mutually parted ways,” the club announced, immediately after the team finished with an 8-8 record in 2014.

“I take pride in that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal, for that.”

Shanahan mentioned Harbaugh during his opening remarks at the introductory press conference earlier this month:

“I’ve got to start out thanking Jed and the whole York family. Giving me this opportunity is, it’s a dream come true and it’s not just an opportunity to be a head coach, but to be a head coach at a place like this where you talk about Bill Walsh, you talk about George Seifert, Steve Mariucci, Jim Harbaugh and you can go down the line with the coaches.”

Said Harbaugh, “Just appreciated it. Appreciated it, and not just for me personally, but appreciated that for all the wonderful players we had and the wonderful coaches and the effort that was put in. People poured their hearts and souls into those years. It’s just appreciated that Kyle would make that comment.”

Harbaugh said he has deep respect for Shanahan and new 49ers general manager John Lynch, whom Harbaugh asked to speak to his Stanford teams during his four-year tenure as head coach.

“Yeah, I would’ve loved to have worked for John Lynch,” Harbaugh said. “He reminds me a lot of the athletic director we have here Warde Manuel, who’s also a former player and a teammate of mine. Common sense guys who are team guys, just the way they go about their business always speaks volumes.

“I thought John took note when they were going through the process. e didn’t want his name mentioned and I think that’s . . . I don’t know if a lot of people noticed that, but I think that’s a profound thing. I think that speaks volumes for who he is as a person. He wants to do a good job and it’s for the right reasons. He’s a competitor at the highest level, so I have great respect for that.”

Kawakami also asked Harbaugh about whether he believes quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still capable of being an NFL starter.

“There’s no doubt he can be an NFL starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said.

“I’m sure Kyle, the coaching staff there and John will meet on it, they’ll think about it, they’ll watch, much like we did when we got in there in 2011. And they’ll make the best decision they can for the team and the organization and it’ll play out the way it’s going to play out.”