#1

So really, really blessed.”

in F r e i s t i l 24.08.2018 05:07
von liny195 • 252 Beiträge

LAS VEGAS — It looked like it was going to be so easy.

The expansion Vegas Golden Knights swept their first-ever playoff series with the Los Angeles Kings Courtland Sutton Broncos Jersey , then opened the second round of the Western Conference playoffs with a stunningly lopsided 7-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

But the Sharks won Game 2 in double overtime 4-3, and bounced back from a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 3 to blank the Golden Knights 4-0 on Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

Still, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said it’s no time to push the panic button heading into Friday night’s Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena.

“We’re 2-2 and we’ve got home ice,” Gallant said Thursday afternoon. “It’s best two out of three. There’s no panic. We get ready to play.”

Vegas is 32-11-2 on its home ice this season. However, San Jose won the last meeting there and comes in with momentum, winning two of the last three games in the series.

“We’re playing in the second round of the playoffs,” Vegas forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “We’re playing a good team. It’s how we handle it. We had times in (Wednesday night’s shutout loss) that we played better in the game, but for 60 minutes they were the better team.”

Gallant took it one step further, questioning the effort of a few of his players in the loss.

“It’s about playing fast Lamar Jackson Jersey Elite ,” Gallant said. “When you don’t play fast, you give San Jose a chance to break out and that’s what happens. They played fast last night and we didn’t have a chance to break out. It all goes hand-in-hand.

“When our forecheck is good we play a real good game. … When 10 to 15 percent of the guys don’t show up and forecheck like all the other guys, that makes the biggest difference in the world. San Jose had 20 guys competing and playing hard last night, and that’s why they were the better team.”

One thing is for certain. The Sharks have adjusted to the speed of the Golden Knights after the Game 1 blowout and put a premium on forechecking. They’re an overtime loss in Game 3 away from leading the series, 3-1.

“There’s a bunch of pieces that go into that,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said of slowing down the Vegas attack. “Puck management is a big part of it. They feed off turnovers and transition as quickly as any team in the league. That’s obviously a huge part of it. Your attention to detail through the neutral zone, top of the circles in your end to top of the circles in the other end, has to be really good to handle that.”

“When we make them come through us, 200 feet through all five guys Da'Shawn Hand Jersey Lions , we’re a lot tougher team to play against,” Sharks goalie Martin Jones said.

Jones, yanked after allowing five goals on 13 shots in the opener, bounced back to garner his sixth career playoff shutout on Wednesday night, stopping 34 shots in the process. San Jose also was a perfect 5-of-5 on the penalty kill.

“We’ve done a better job of not forcing plays through the neutral zone,” Sharks forward Logan Couture said. “If you don’t have it, just chip it and forecheck. That at least gives our defensemen a chance to get their guy and step up on them so they’re not flying through the neutral zone.”

Still, San Jose must find a way to win at least one more time at T-Mobile Arena, where a Game 7 would be played if needed on Tuesday Justin Bethel Color Rush Jersey , to advance to the Western Conference finals.

“It’s nothing to worry about,” Vegas center Cody Eakin said of Wednesday night’s loss. “It’s 2-2. Two of the (remaining) three are at home. We have the advantage.”

SALT LAKE CITY — Being a playoff novice isn’t preventing Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio from making a major impact on the court.

Rubio turned in one of the finest performances of his career while sparking the Jazz to a 115-102 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. He tallied 26 points on 9-for-18 shooting, 10 assists, 11 rebounds and two steals to help Utah claim a 2-1 series lead over Oklahoma City. The Thunder will look to even the series again when the two teams square off again on Monday night.

Rubio became the first Jazz player to earn a triple-double in the postseason since John Stockton did it in 2001. Being in the same company as an NBA Hall of Famer meant a great deal to Rubio.

“Having my name next to his name is an honor,” Rubio said. “I don’t know what else to say. It’s huge. I have huge respect for him.”

Rubio’s efforts rescued Utah when the Jazz dug a hole late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter. Oklahoma City took a 45-33 lead on a driving layup from Russell Westbrook about five minutes into the quarter. Rubio suddenly took over and imposed his will on both ends of the court.

Over the final 7:13 of the first half, Rubio ripped off 15 points on 4 of 8 shooting, collected six rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and had a steal. It turned a 12-point deficit into 58-53 halftime lead for the Jazz.

“Ricky attacked,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “He attacked Authentic Rashaan Evans Jersey , but with poise and he was making some shots. I thought he took good shots and it really stabilized our group during that time.”

Utah never trailed in the second half and the team’s latest win has put Oklahoma City in a desperate position going into Game 4. The Thunder need a victory to avoid going back to Oklahoma facing an elimination game on Wednesday.

“Game 4 is going to be a test of what type of team we are and who we are as a team,” forward Carmelo Anthony said. “We look forward to these type of challenges.”

The Thunder put tons of defensive pressure on the Jazz at times. Oklahoma City forced 19 turnovers and turned those turnovers into 33 points. But the Thunder could not take care of the ball when it mattered as the game progressed.

Oklahoma City coughed up 17 turnovers, leading to 15 points for the Jazz. Six of them came in the third quarter and led to 10 points for Utah. It allowed the Jazz to build an 89-75 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“We did a nice job midway through that second quarter and then I thought our turnovers came back and really caused a problem for us,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “I felt like our guys were working hard to get back, but it’s hard to recover when you turn the ball over like that.”

For Oklahoma City, snapping a two-game skid might come down to figuring out how to gain an edge around the basket. The Jazz have imposed their will in the post during the series.

In three games, Utah has outscored the Thunder 140-108 in the paint. The Jazz also have a 37-25 advantage in offensive rebounds and a 49-36 edge in second-chance points.

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