The struggling Los Angeles Kings fired coach John Stevens on Sunday just 13 games into his second season in charge. Willie Desjardins will be the Kings’ interim head coach for the rest of the regular season, general manager Rob Blake said. Los Angeles also fired assistant coach Don Nachbaur and hired former Kings forward Marco Sturm , also a former Bruin, to replace him on Desjardins’s staff. Los Angeles is last in the overall NHL standings after a 4-8-1 start and last in the league with 2.15 goals per game. The Kings have been outscored, 45-28, but they had won two of their past three games following a six-game losing streak.
‘‘I'm looking to get the compete and the passion back,’’ Blake said after announcing his second coaching change in 19 months. ‘‘We need our players emotionally involved. It’s difficult to win when you’re not. We expect Willie to bring that passion and that excitement to this team.’’
The Kings beat Columbus, 4-1, on Saturday in Stevens’s final game in charge.
Desjardins, the former Vancouver head coach, will lead practice Monday and will debut behind the bench when the Kings host rival Anaheim on Tuesday night.
The Kings still have a wealth of top-end NHL talent including Hart Trophy finalist Anze Kopitar, Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Drew Doughty, and high-scoring forward Jeff Carter alongside newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk. But with goalie Jonathan Quick missing all but four games because of injuries, Los Angeles has stumbled through the past 3½ weeks with its top-heavy roster of well-paid veterans, inconsistent depth players, and a patchy defense.
Djokovic stunned in Paris
Karen Khachanov upset a tired-looking Novak Djokovic, 7-5, 6-4, to win the Paris Masters title and deprive Djokovic of the chance to match Rafael Nadal’s record of 33 Masters titles. Djokovic, a record four-time champion at the indoor event, looked out of energy after an epic three-hour semifinal win against Roger Federer on Saturday. After also being taken to three sets by Marin Cilic in Friday’s quarterfinals, Djokovic’s semifinal finished at around 8 p.m., and he felt he was unable to recover sufficiently from that draining encounter.
‘‘I didn’t unfortunately. But I don’t want to talk about that,’’ Djokovic said. ‘‘I want to talk about how well [Khachanov] played all week and absolutely deserved to win today.’’
Asked again whether it was a case of emotional fatigue, after such an intense tussle with Federer, Djokovic repeated his praise for Khachanov.
Although Djokovic broke in the fourth game to move 3-1 up and then led 30-0 on serve, the unseeded Khachanov broke him straight back and the momentum abruptly shifted away from Djokovic.
Zardes paces Columbus
Gyasi Zardes scored his 20th goal of the season in the 61st minute, helping the Columbus Crew beat the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, in the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Columbus. Zardes had a sliding finish of a back-heel pass from second-half substitute Federico Higuain. It was Zardes’s third career postseason goal . . . Eric Remedi scored his first MLS goal in the 37th minute and visiting Atlanta United beat New York FC,1-0, in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series . . . Sebastian Blanco put the Timbers in front with a goal in the 29th minute and host Portland hung on over a tense second half to go up, 2-1, in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal against the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders were hurt by a pair of key injuries in the opening half that forced them to use two substitutions. Cristian Roldan had to leave the game in the 31st minute with a groin injury. Seattle also lost midfielder Chad Marshall, who had to be taken by stretcher off the field with a right knee injury in the 40th minute . . . Diego Rubio scored from distance in the 60th minute, seconds after entering as a second-half substitute as Western Conference champion Sporting Kansas City tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, in Sandy, Utah, in Game 1 of the two-legged semifinal. Albert Rusnak scored for RSL in the 52nd minute by volleying home Damir Kreilach’s header on a give-and-go. Rusnak, one of RSL’s key players, will miss the next game after picking up a yellow card on a needless challenge of Graham Zusi far from goal.
Rose wins, regains No. 1
Justin Rose defended his Turkish Airlines Open title to return to the top of the world ranking. Rose beat Haotong Li of China on the first playoff hole after the pair finished the final round tied on 17 under par at the Regnum Carya Resort in Antalya, Turkey. Rose rallied from a three-shot deficit with a 3-under 68, and then defeated Li on the first playoff hole with a par. The first time Rose reached No. 1 in the world was two months ago . . . Bryson DeChambeau holed an eagle putt from 60 feet on the 16th hole that carried him to a 5-under 66 and a one-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas. DeChambeau won for the fourth time in 12 starts on the PGA Tour and moved to No. 5 in the world ranking . . . Local favorite Nasa Hataoka shot a 5-under 67 to win the Japan Classic in Shiga for her second LPGA title of the season. Hataoka offset a pair of bogeys with seven birdies at the Seta Golf Club to finish at 14-under 202, two strokes ahead of compatriots Momoka Ueda and Saki Nagamine, and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who all shot 68.
Kansas fires football coach
Kansas fired football coach David Beaty, effective at the end of the season, ending a three-plus year tenure marked by modest improvement but just a handful of wins. Beaty has a career record of 6-39 with three wins against Power Five opponents. He will be paid $3 million under terms of his contract, which was extended two years through 2021 in late 2016. After a 27-3 loss to Iowa State on Saturday, in which the Jayhawks looked unprepared and uninspired, Beaty was let go with three games left in another disappointing season . . . Bill Brown, the Minnesota Vikings fullback who was a four-time Pro Bowl pick in 14 seasons in the NFL, has died at 80. The Vikings announced the death Sunday, before a moment of silence for Brown prior to their game against Detroit. Brown’s son-in-law, former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon, said on Twitter that Brown ‘‘passed away peacefully.’’ . . . A British man who spent five months at sea is believed to be the first person to swim around the island of Great Britain, making his way back to land in Margate in southeastern England. Ross Edgley, 33, had not been ashore since June 1, when he set off on his 1,780-mile aquatic journey . . . Sara Cox, 28, became the first female to referee a top-level English rugby union match, taking charge of Northampton’s 15-14 Premiership Cup victory at Wasps.