Harry How/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Dodgers are no longer the favorites to win the National League West with the Arizona Diamondbacks 2.5 games ahead of the reigning National League champions.OddsShark shared updated lines from Bovada which have the Diamondbacks listed at +135 (bet $100 to win $135) compared to the Dodgers at +190. That is a drastic difference from July 24 odds stemming from the same source http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authe...tt-joyce-jersey , which listed Los Angeles as a heavy favorite even in a tight division battle:OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win the NL West (BovadaOfficial):D-backs (72-58) +135Dodgers (70-61) +190Rockies (71-59) +210Giants (65-67) +8000OddsShark OddsSharkUpdated odds to win the NL West (BovadaOfficial):Dodgers -250D-backs +375Giants +900Rockies +1100Padres +90000While Arizona has more favorable odds than the Dodgers to win the National League West, those setting the lines for the World Series are less bullish on the Diamondbacks. As Covers shared, LV SuperBook has the Dodgers listed at 12-1 to capture the championship and the Diamondbacks just behind them at 14-1.Covers CoversUpdated MLB futures odds from LVSuperBook to win the 2018 World Series. em7GN2DbrqArizona and Los Angeles have to worry about more than each other in the race for the division crown and playoff positioning, as the Colorado Rockies are a mere one game behind the Diamondbacks and 1.5 games ahead of the Dodgers.The National League Central is also an issue for those NL West teams looking to make the playoffs, as the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers occupy the two wild-card positions with Milwaukee enjoying a one-game advantage over Colorado for the last postseason spot.It is a testament to Los Angeles' recent track record it still has fairly favorable odds to win the division and World Series as it is in third place in the division and is on the outside looking in at the playoff picture this late in the season. It won the NL West in each of the last five years, dropped last year's World Series in a heartbreaking seven games and features notable players such as Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner.However, the Diamondbacks are 8-4 against the Dodgers and 7-5 against the Rockies this season and have set the standard in the division to this point. If they continue taking care of business in the seven head-to-head games they have remaining against each division rival, Arizona will be in ideal position to win the NL West and play into October. When Major League Baseball broke for the All-Star Game about a month ago, it seemed safe to take some things for granted about the National League.For one, the NL Central race was strictly between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. For another, the NL MVP race was mainly between Nolan Arenado Glenn Hubbard Jersey , Freddie Freeman and Javier Baez.Then Matt Carpenter happened.Thanks to a wayward fastball that struck his right hand on August 15, the St. Louis Cardinals' 32-year-old infielder has been quiet of late. Yet his numbers since the All-Star break still boggle the mind. In 31 games, Carpenter has put up a 1.106 OPS and slammed an NL-high 14 home runs.Couple this with the strong work that Carpenter was doing prior to the break, and he now boasts a .957 OPS and 33 homers. The latter is already a career high, as well as the most in the NL this year. The former translates to a 159 OPS+ that also leads the Senior Circuit.Meanwhile, the temperature of the Cardinals has mirrored that of Carpenter's bat.Their 20-11 record since the break is the best of any National League team, and it's done wonders for their standing in the NL playoff chase. At the break, the Cardinals were 7.5 games out of first in the NL Central and four games outside the second wild-card spot. Now, they're four games out in the division and a half-game out in the wild card.This isn't all Carpenter's doing. In retrospect, the firing of manager Mike Matheny looks like the removal of a weight off the team's back. Also, St. Louis' bullpen has shaped up with an MLB-low2.07 ERA in August.It's nonetheless fair to surmise that the Cardinals wouldn't be doing this without Carpenter. And while this isn't an altogether unfamiliar position for the three-time All-Star, it's to his credit that the driver's seat is now all his.Carpenter emerged as one of the NL's better hitters between 2012 and 2016 Rickey Henderson Jersey , racking up a 130 OPS+. But he sunk to a 120 OPS+, and he began 2018 on track to decline even further. He had a .579 OPS at the end of April, and it was as low as .739 as late as June 7.But in 64 games since then? Try a staggering .306/.431/.711 slash line with 26 homers.The popular explanation for Carpenter's ongoing surge has something to do with homemade salsa鈥攚hich, to be fair, does look mighty tasty. Otherwise, the man himself can't really articulate how he's suddenly turned into a master slugger."It's not the hitter I was. It's not the hitter I've ever been. I'm just developing into somebody I've never tried to be. I don't really have an explanation for that," he said, according to Rick Hummel of theSt. Louis Post-Dispatch.From the outside looking in, however, the sluggerification of Matt Carpenter appears to be a case of a really good hitter deciding to assert himself.Salsa notwithstanding, Carpenter is probably best known for his fondness for efficiency. To wit, his 36.7 swing percentage since 2012 is the lowest of any hitter with at least 3 http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authe...h-hunter-jersey ,000 plate appearances. He also doesn't like wasting batted balls, preferring well-hit balls in the air.There's a fine line between patience and passivity, however, and Carpenter was on the wrong side of it earlier in 2018. His Swing% was down to 35.4, and that covered just a 54.7 Swing% against pitches in the strike zone.Carpenter hasn't exactly turned into Vladimir Guerrero since then, but those numbers are up to 38.9 and 60.2, respectively. His batted ball profile has also changed in ways that are conducive to maximum power:Carpenter has been better about getting the ball off the ground and hitting it hard. He's also been making more frequent use of his pull side, which is the best avenue for slugging.This isn't happening because he's been getting a curiously consistent diet of hanging breaking balls to feast on. Rather, it's happening because he's made mincemeat salsa of fastballs.Through June 7, Carpenter was swinging at just 31.9 percent of fastballs and hitting them at a 20.4-degree launch angle. Since June 8, he's up to a 39.2 swing percentage and a 21.7-degree launch angle against them.He's also gone from inside-outing fastballs to left-center field:Image courtesy of BaseballSavant.MLB.comTo driving them to right field:Image courtesy of BaseballSavant.MLB.comLo and behold, Carpenter has gone from slugging .435 against fastballs to slugging .772 against them. The latter is tops among all hitters since June 8.This doesn't mean Carpenter can't be stopped. Indeed Rollie Fingers Jersey , he's in the process of being stopped. He had been riding a five-game hitless streak before a 1-for-4 showing Sunday against the Brewers. The longer this slump continues, the more vulnerable the Cardinals' postseason odds and Carpenter's own MVP chances will become.But for now, both look pretty good.According to FanGraphs, St. Louis' postseason odds hit a nadir at seven percent on July 31. They've since shot up to 47.5 percent.For his part, Carpenter is front and center in the National League MVP race. He's been the NL's best hitter overall, as well as one of the hottest of the second half. As a bonus, eight of his 14 second-half homers have been either tying or go-ahead shots.If the next month-and-a-half is anything like the last month for Carpenter and the Cardinals, they're going to return to the postseason and he's going to have both numbers and a narrative going for him in the NL MVP race.Not bad for a player and a team that seemed dead and buried not too long ago. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.
ANAHEIM Darin Erstad Jersey , Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday for $100,000 or a player to be named.La Stella spent the past four seasons with the Cubs. He batted .266 while appearing in a career-high 123 games last season, excelling as a pinch-hitter while also playing second base and third base.La Stella led the major leagues in pinch hits (24) and pinch-hit batting average (.312), while his 11 RBIs tied for the big-league high. The Angels’ pinch-hitters were among the majors’ worst last season, batting .162 with a .265 on-base percentage.Atlanta drafted La Stella in the eighth round in 2011. He debuted with the Braves in 2014, but was acquired by the Cubs shortly after that season.He is a .264 hitter in five big-league seasons. La Stella is eligible for arbitration this offseason.The Angels released outfielder Jabari Blash to make room for La Stella on their 40-man roster. The 29-year-old Blash excelled as a power hitter for Triple-A Salt Lake, but batted .103 with just one homer in 24 games in the majors. The next generation of Cuban baseball stars may have a much easier time reaching the major leagues.Cubans can sign under rules similar to what players from Japan http://www.angelsfanproshop.com/authenti...in-upton-jersey , South Korea and Taiwan face, according to an agreement among Major League Baseball, its players’ association and the Cuban Baseball Federation announced Wednesday. Players from Cuba would be allowed to sign big league contracts without defecting.For decades, Cuban players have arrived under mysterious circumstances, and stories have surfaced of the harrowing lengths they’ve gone to come play in the United States. Here are a few prominent examples:GARBEY ARRIVESBefore Cuban stars like Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes were even born, Barbaro Garbey made his major league debut for the World Series-winning Detroit Tigers in 1984. He’d come over during the 1980 Mariel boatlift, when some 125 Shohei Ohtani Jersey ,000 Cubans were allowed to flee the island.A quarter-century later, Garbey told USA Today he had to try multiple times to join the boatlift.“The first three times, they recognized me, and said it was not for me,” he said. “The fourth time, the guy still recognized me, and he said Brandon Phillips Jersey , ‘OK, you want to go, get the hell out of here.'”NATIONAL TEAMERSThe influx of Cuban defectors really began in 1991 when pitcher Rene Arocha, in the United States with the Cuban national team, walked away from teammates at a Miami airport. Slick-fielding shortstop Rey Ordonez scaled a fence when he left the Cuban team at the 1993 World University Games in Buffalo, New York.Pitcher Rolando Arrojo was in Georgia with the Cuban Olympic team in 1996 when he sneaked out of a hotel, jumped in a vehicle and was off to Miami. He became an All-Star for Tampa Bay in 1998.THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERSThe Cuban national team was training in Mexico in 1995 when Livan Hernandez walked off from a hotel and was able to take a flight to Venezuela. Two years later Luis Valbuena Jersey , he was the MVP of the World Series for the Florida Marlins.Orlando Hernandez, Livan’s half-brother, was banned from Cuban baseball after Livan’s departure. Orlando was able to escape with a small group via boat in December 1997. He made it to the Bahamas and eventually joined the Yankees. He was part of three World Series winners in New York, and also won a World Series with the White Sox in 2005.PUIG’S JOURNEYPuig defected from Cuba in 2012 after several failed attempts. He was smuggled out of Cuba by traffickers linked to a Mexican drug gang, according to court testimony.The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ star said in a statement Wednesday that he is happy to know future Cuban players won’t have to go through that type of ordeal.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets captain David Wright believes he will return to the New York Mets this season.The 35-year-old third baseman participated in a simulated game before Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He faced Anthony Swarzak and Tim Peterson and hit an opposite-field homer to right-center off Peterson for his only hit.Wright has not played in a major league game since May 27 Youth Yannick Ngakoue Jersey , 2016, because of neck, back and shoulder injuries that required surgery.“I think so,” Wright said when asked if he thought the Mets would clear him to play this year. “The communication has been fantastic.”Wright hit .171 with two RBIs in 41 at-bats during 12 games of a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment from Aug. 12-29.“Where he got to at the end of the 20 days was not where we thought he needed to be,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said Friday. “Honestly, it does get more difficult to foresee a situation where he could come back to that level.”Wright intends to have another simulated game Tuesday and then meet with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, a son of owner Fred Wilpon. Jeff Wilpon watched Saturday’s session.“The last thing that I want to portray is that there is some sort of rift between the Mets and I. That’s false,” Wright said. “There’s been communication, and I know where they stand and they know where I stand. So the communication http://www.jaguarscheapstore.com/yannick...ue-jersey-cheap , especially recently, has been fantastic and I look forward to meeting Jeff in the coming days and formulating a game plan from here to the end of September.”A seven-time All-Star, Wright has salaries of $20 million this year, $15 million next season and $12 million in 2020, the final year of his deal. If the Mets reinstate him from the 60-day disabled list, it would likely diminish the amount of insurance money they could collect on his contract.“There’s been an open dialogue and, obviously, I want to play, and understandably there’s some hurdles that I have to clear before that Authentic Patrick Mahomes Jersey ,” Wright said.Wright fielded grounders in addition to hitting.“I’d like to have some better at-bats,” Wright said.Mets manager Mickey Callaway was impressed with Wright’s defensive footwork and his throws across the diamond.“You can see some things. More importantly it’s David feeling things, and him knowing that he can go out there and perform,” Callaway said. “He’s played a ton of major league games. He’s going to know when that time comes.”The rookie manager understands how much of a different club the New York could have been with Wright.“We would have been a much, much better team because of his leadership and his ability to play this game,” Callaway said.Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24, 2015, when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He returned late that season as the Mets won their first NL pennant since 2000 but has not played for them since May 2016. Dr. Robert Watkins operated that June 16 to repair a herniated disk in Wright’s neck. After Wright’s rehabilitation was slowed by shoulder pain last year, Wright had surgery Sept. 5 to repair his right rotator cuff http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.co...homes-ii-jersey , and Watkins performed a laminotomy in early October in which a bony layer over the spinal canal was removed to treat nerve compression. Two East Division leaders will meet at Fenway Park on Monday when the American League's Boston Red Sox (74-33) take on the National League's Philadelphia Phillies (58-47) as solid home favorites. The Red Sox will be looking to extend their three-game winning streak, while the Phillies hope to end a three-game skid after dropping three of four to the Cincinnati Reds on the weekend. MLB betting line: The Red Sox opened as -155 favorites (wager $155 to win $100); the total is at nine runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.0-3.6, Red Sox (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news. Why the Phillies can pay on the MLB linesPhiladelphia may have been caught looking ahead to this interleague series in getting outscored 16-6 in the last three games at Cincinnati. The Phillies had won three in a row prior to their losing streak, and they should be primed to rebound with All-Star Aaron Nola (12-3, 2.42 ERA) on the hill. The 25-year-old righty has not earned a win since July 9 but has not pitched poorly in his last two starts, allowing five runs and nine hits in 11 innings with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Nola is 4-3 on the road this year with a 2.86 ERA but has limited opposing batters to a .190 average in 11 outings away from home. Why the Red Sox can pay on the MLB linesBoston is the best team in baseball right now Authentic Derwin James Jersey , and it is not even close. Whether the Red Sox can maintain this sizzling pace remains to be seen, but they are a force to be reckoned with for the time being.Opposing Nola will be former AL Cy Young Award winner David Price (11-6, 4.17), who is coming off one of his best starts of the season. Carlos Osorio/Associated PressThe 32-year-old southpaw blanked the Detroit Tigers for 6.1 innings on July 20, scattering four hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Price did throw 14 pitches in a suspended game on Wednesday to follow it up, but that should not affect him here.Smart betting pickBoston has dominated interleague play over the past year, going 18-2 in its last 20 games against NL foes. Coincidentally, one of the two losses came at Philadelphia 1-0 on June 15, 2017. The Phillies are 9-4 in their previous 13 interleague games Authentic Aaron Donald Jersey , which is pretty solid as well, and they will have the better pitcher on the mound. Take Philly.MLB betting trendsThe total has gone over in eight of Philadelphia's last 11 games.Boston is 13-2 in its last 15 games at home.Boston is 7-1 in its last eight games when playing Philadelphia. All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty ImagesLos Angeles Angelspitcher and designated hitterShohei Ohtani underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Monday.General manager Billy Eppler revealed as much http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authent...soo-choo-jersey , perJeff Fletcher of theLos Angeles Daily News, and noted Ohtani will not pitch in 2019. Instead, he will only serve as a designated hitter, although it is not yet known when he will be available.The 24-year-old was initially put on the disabled list on June 8 and diagnosed with aGrade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. He underwent "platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapy," according to Yahoo Sports.But Ohtani ultimately opted to have surgery after newdamage to his ulnar collateral ligament was discovered."I think it was the proper decision Shohei made to have surgery, and the sooner the better," then-Angels manager Mike Scioscia said in late September, per ESPN.com."It obviously puts him out of pitching in 2019, but he'll be able to hit, and I think he's at peace with that," Scioscia added. "He wants to excel at both phases of the game. The fact he can't pitch (next season), there is a little bit of a void. But he'll be able to hit and focus on that."Ohtaniwas arguably the team's best player outside of superstar Mike Trout in 2018. On the mound Prince Fielder Jersey , he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 10 starts and 51.2 innings. At the plate, he hit .285 with 22 homers, 61 RBI and 59 runs in 326 at-bats.The injury didn't appear to negatively affectOhtani's impact at the plate, and his numbers there alone may be enough to earn himthe American League Rookie of the Year award. But it was his ability to make a major impact as both a starting pitcher and hitter that made him one of the most unique talents in baseball.Now, though, the pitching side of his overall game will be shelved for at least the 2019 season, a disappointment for both the Angels and MLB fans in general. ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves and their manager had plenty of reasons to be unhappy even after completing their first four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins since 2006.Seeing slugging rookie Ronald Acuna Jr., who had been on a home-run streak, hit by Jose Urena’s first pitch led to two melees on the field and more unrest in the clubhouse.Dansby Swanson filled the power void left by Acuna’s exit, hitting a two-run homer that led the Braves to a 5-2 win over Miami on Wednesday night.Acuna, who had hit leadoff homers in the last three games and homered in five straight games overall http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authent...n-beltre-jersey , didn’t get a chance to extend the streak. Urena plunked him on the left elbow with a fastball.The Braves said X-rays on the elbow were negative and results of further tests would be announced on Thursday.Benches and bullpens for both teams emptied onto the field twice after the pitch. No punches were thrown. Urena and Braves manager Brian Snitker were ejected.“He’s been swinging the ball incredibly well, obviously,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said of Acuna. “It just makes no sense. It was just completely classless on Jose Urena’s part.”Snitker, Freeman and other Braves players believe Urena intended to hit Acuna. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the umpires also believed Urena tried to hit the Braves rookie, but Mattingly was upset his pitcher was not ejected until Snitker came on the field for the second time.“If you think he’s done it on purpose, then throw him out right away,” Mattingly said.Urena said he was only trying to throw the pitch inside.“I made the bad pitch,” Urena said. “I missed my spot inside on the corner the way I wanted to start with him. I tried to get inside to move him.”Paul Nauert, the third-base umpire and crew chief, said the decision to eject Urena was delayed because “we wanted to make sure as a crew we were all on the same page. … When we got together as a crew, it was decided by the crew that yes, he should have been ejected. So that’s what we did.”An angry Snitker was near the front of the line of Braves players charging out of the dugout toward the mound. His emotions started to rise again following the game.“I’m not sure I’ve ever felt like that in a baseball uniform Nolan Ryan Jersey ,” Snitker said, adding Acuna “didn’t deserve that. … I’ve had three hours to calm down and all of a sudden I’m not real good right now.”Acuna became the 11th batter to be hit by a pitch from Urena this season, tied for the most in the National League.Acuna left the game in the second inning. He took his position in left field and then walked off the field. Snitker said Acuna had cramping in his forearm when he left the game.Because he was forced from the game after being hit by the pitch in his only plate appearance, Acuna will be eligible to continue his three-game streak of leadoff homers in his next game.Kevin Gausman (7-9) allowed two runs in six innings. A.J. Minter pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.Elieser Hernandez, who replaced Urena, allowed two hits in three scoreless innings.The Braves trailed 2-0 before scoring three runs off left-hander Jarlin Garcia (1-2) in the fourth. Charlie Culberson, who doubled, scored from third on Ender Inciarte’s grounder to first base. After Tyler Flowers walked, Swanson cleared the center field wall with his 10th homer.Culberson had three hits, including two doubles. Inciarte, who had a run-scoring single in the sixth, drove in two runs.Starlin Castro led off Miami’s fourth with his 10th homer into the seats in right field.TRAINER’S ROOMBraves LHP Max Fried http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authent...ned-odor-jersey , on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain, will make a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday — “quicker than we originally thought,” Snitker said. … LHP Sam Freeman (left shoulder inflammation) threw a scoreless inning for Gwinnett on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw again on Thursday.STREAKINGThe NL East-leading Braves remained two games ahead of Philadelphia. They have won five straight after completing their first four-game sweep of the Marlins since May 15-18, 2006 at Turner Field.The last-place Marlins have lost five straight and eight of nine.BIG LEAGUE DEBUTMiami left fielder Austin Dean, a 2012 fourth-round draft pick called up from Triple-A New Orleans before the game, was held without a hit in his major league debut.UP NEXTMarlins: Miami, off Thursday, opens a weekend series at slumping Washington on Friday night. RHP Dan Straily (4-5. 4.42) has a 3.86 ERA in two starts against the Nationals this season.Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (8-7, 4.33) will look to continue his success against the Rockies in Thursday night’s opener of a four-game series. Teheran is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine career starts against Colorado.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Carrasco dusted himself off Brandon Crawford Jersey , climbed back on the mound and smiled after dealing with another scary moment against the Minnesota Twins.Carrasco struck out 11 and withstood taking a liner off his glove in pitching the Cleveland Indians past the Twins 8-1 on Tuesday night.“I’m glad nothing happened,” he said. “Everything’s fine. It’s part of the game.”Francisco Lindor matched a career high with four hits while Jose Ramirez drove in three runs for the AL Central leaders.Carrasco (16-7) allowed four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He is tied for second in the majors in wins, one behind Luis Severino of the Yankees.In the fifth, Carrasco was hit in the glove by Ehire Adrianza’s liner. The force of the blow knocked Carrasco to the ground, but the right-hander immediately got to his feet. The ball rolled toward second baseman Jason Kipnis, who had no play at first.Indians manager Terry Francona and a team trainer went to the mound, and Carrasco signaled he wasn’t injured. The pitcher smiled as the trainer wiped dirt off his left hand and wrist with a towel.Francona admitted he was concerned when he headed on the field.“It didn’t sound good,” he said. “I was so relieved when it was his glove. He turned around and told us right away that it hit his glove, but I had my momentum going that direction so I kept going just to check on him.”On June 16 at Progressive Field, Carrasco was struck on the right elbow by a line drive from Twins star Joe Mauer. Carrasco sustained a bruise and missed three weeks — he is 8-2 in 11 starts since returning July 6.Carrasco admitted his mind flashed back to what occurred over two months ago.“That was when I thought about the last time I was facing those guys,” he said. “I was thinking about that. That’s why I started laughing.”Kyle Gibson (7-11) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Cave hit a solo homer in the ninth.Ramirez had a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run double in the sixth, driving in his first run since Aug. 17. Lindor and Ramirez were a combined 9 for 58 on Cleveland’s seven-game road trip.“You know they’re going to hit, but it’s still nice to see,” Francona said. “Frankie stayed in the middle of the field. Josey hit one ball good, another ball he got a hit because he beat it out.”Edwin Encarnacion and Greg Allen each drove in two runs for the Indians, who have dominated the AL Central but are 9-8 against the Twins. Cleveland is 31-11 against the rest of the division and leads second-place Minnesota by 14 games.“The game looks flat when you’re not swinging the bats well and are striking out,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We didn’t get much going. They were better tonight.”STILL THROWINGIndians RHP Trevor Bauer (stress fracture in right leg) threw off the mound and played catch up to 320 feet without a walking boot. He is still frustrated that his potential AL Cy Young Award season was derailed when he was struck on the leg by a line drive on Aug. 11.“I’m just sitting here and all of my personal season goals are slowly drifting away because I took a line drive off the ankle http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authenti...don-belt-jersey ,” he said.Francona hopes Bauer will make two or three appearances for the Indians before the regular season ends, but no timeline for his return has been established.SEASON OVERTwins RHP Michael Pineda (right knee) and LHP Adalberto Mejia (left wrist) will miss the remainder of the season. Pineda had Tommy John surgery in July of last year and was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. He has a slight meniscus tear that could require surgery. Mejia is experiencing nerve problems in his strained wrist.COOPERSTOWN CALLINGThe cap worn by Twins RHP Oliver Drake on Tuesday will be sent to the baseball Hall of Fame, which requested a souvenir from his major league record fifth team of the season. He pitched for the Brewers, Indians, Angels and Blue Jays before being claimed by Minnesota off waivers on Aug. 3. Drake struck out the side in the seventh.TRAINER’S ROOMTwins: SS Jorge Polanco was not in the lineup after experiencing leg cramps Sunday.UP NEXTTwins RHP Kohl Stewart (0-1, 6.94 ERA) takes on Indians RHP Adam Plutko (4-4, 5.09 ERA) in the second game of the series. The 2018 MLB playoffs roll on into Friday, with four games on the slate to keep baseball fanatics glued to their screens throughout the day.The National League Division Series opened Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers toppling the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Mike Moustakas' walk-off single in the 10th. The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, slugged their way to a6-0win over the Atlanta Braves.The American League Division Series gets going Friday, when the Cleveland Indians host the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox welcome their longtime rival New York Yankees.Friday Playoff ScheduleIndians (+130) at Astros (-140), 2:05 p.m. ET on TBSRockies (+141) at Brewers (-151), 4:15 p.m. ET on FS1Yankees (+165) at Red Sox (-180), 7:32 p.m. ET on TBSBraves (+195) at Dodgers (-238), 9:37 p.m. ET on FS1Odds according toOddsShark.Cleveland Indians at Houston AstrosPatrick McDermott/Getty ImagesYes, the Houston Astros are defending champions. And yes Jeff Samardzija Jersey , they paced the entire league with a plus-263 run differential. But don't let that fool you into thinking Houston will automatically steamroll the Cleveland Indians.The Indians aren't perfect, but they are trending the right direction. The midseason move to acquire Brad Hand and Adam Cimber shored up a bullpen that encountered some uncharacteristic rough patches, and the lineup has a former MVP as a wild card in August acquisition Josh Donaldson.None of this will scare the Astros, who are both seasoned and statistically dominant. They finished fifth in the AL in runs scored and OPS, first in ERA (by a mile) and first in OBP against (.282, the AL'sonly sub-.300 mark).Game 1 starters Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander might both rank among the five best pitchers in baseball, so there's not much of an advantage either way. Most hitting categories favor Cleveland, but the difference is minimal鈥?1 more runs, 11 more home runs and four extra batting average points.When it's this close to call, it might be safest to lean toward the home team, especially when said ballclub was the last to claim the crown.Prediction:Astros 3, Indians 2Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee BrewersDylan Buell/Getty ImagesWhile the Brewers and Rockies combined for five runs in 10 innings to start the series, a repeat performance feels unlikely. Given the collective firepower between them, there is plenty of potential for a noisier Game 2.Colorado starter Tyler Anderson had a losing record (7-9) and a forgettable ERA (4.55) in the regular season. That said, he had some of his best starts down the stretch. In five September outings, he pitched to a strong 3.25 ERA with more than three times as many strikeouts (24 in 27.2 innings) as walks (seven).Milwaukee counters with Jhoulys Chacin, who steered them through Monday's NL Central tiebreaker with 5.2 innings of one-hit http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authenti...ny-cueto-jersey , one-run ball. On the season, he sported a strong 15-8 record with a solid 3.50 ERA, the second-lowest in the rotation and his best mark since 2013 (minimum five starts).The pitchers seem unlikely to be the focal point of this contest, though. The Brewers and Rockies respectively finished second and third in home runs in the NL, and each roster includes a legitimate MVP candidate鈥擟hristian Yelich and Nolan Arenado, who both drove in 110 runs, scored 100-plus runs and clubbed at least 36 homers.The Brewers should be riding high after Thursday's thrilling victory, and when that energy is combined with a raucous home crowd, that sounds like the formula for a 2-0 series lead.Prediction:Brewers 8, Rockies 5 New York Yankees at Boston Red SoxFrank Franklin II/Associated PressConsidering the rich history of this rivalry, this matchup feels like a gift from the baseball gods. The stat sheet, though, tells a different story.The New York Yankees are really good鈥攖hey were one of only three teams to crack triple digits in wins. But the Boston Red Sox might be historically great.Boston's 108 wins were the most recorded since 2001. Its hitters were the AL's best in runs, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average and slugging percentage. Its pitching staff ranked third in ERA and strikeouts. Its defense tied for fourth in fielding percentage. Its baserunners were third in steals.The Red Sox have the AL MVP favorite鈥攁nd it's not J.D. Martinez Mark Melancon Jersey , who blasted 43 homers and drove in 130 runs. Rather, it's batting champ Mookie Betts, who hit .346, homered 32 times, scored 129 runs and stole 30 bases.The Game 1 matchup of Chris Sale and J.A. Happ feels like another lopsided advantage for the home team, provided the former can overcome a troubling bout of shoulder inflammation. Sale made just five starts after July and didn't go longer than five innings in any of them. His typically electric stuff has also suffered from a steepdrop in velocity.If Sale isn't all the way right, the Yankees have the power to jump all over him. They not only led the majors with 267 home runs, but they also paced the category by 32 dingers (a bigger gap than the one between Nos. 2 and 11).But it's hard to bet against this Boston team.Prediction:Red Sox 6, Yankees 3 Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles DodgersLachlan Cunningham/Getty ImagesHaving Clayton Kershaw pitch Game 2 speaks to the Dodgers' absurd depth in the rotation. L.A. had six different starters win at least seven games and post winning records, four of whom had ERAs of 3.02 or lower.Kershaw might not have beenKERSHAW!this season, but the three-time Cy Young winner and former MVP remains plenty filthy. This was his 10th straight campaign with a sub-3.00 ERA, and he tallied 155 strikeouts against only 29 walks.Atlanta has handed the starting duties to Anibal Sanchez, who was among this season's most pleasant surprises. Unceremoniously dumped by the Minnesota Twins in March, he went on to give the Braves a 2.83 ERA over 136.2 innings.Sanchez will need to be razor-sharp, though, as the Dodgers were the NL leaders in runs and home runs. They canmash, as they did with three long balls Thursday.The Braves' rise feels a tad ahead of schedule http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authenti...-sanders-jersey , though that's what can happen when sub-25-year-olds like Ronald Acuna Jr. (26 homers, 16 steals), Ozzie Albies (24 homers, 14 steals) and Johan Camargo (19 homers, 76 RBI) simultaneously enjoy a rapid rise. Tack on the likes of Freddie Freeman (23 homers, 98 RBI), Nick Markakis (93 RBI) and Ender Inciarte (28 steals), and Atlanta isn't short on offensive weaponry.The question is whether that will matter with Kershaw on the mound. He was relatively hittable late in the season (3.89 ERA in September), although his track record suggests he can catch fire at any minute.If you were asked for a preseason prediction about a Kershaw-Sanchez playoff matchup, you would have dismissed the question with uproarious laughter. The gap between them might not be comical anymore, but it's wide enough for us to predict a Friday sweep for the home teams.Prediction:Dodgers 5, Braves 1Statistics used courtesy ofMLB.comandESPN.com.鈥
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are turning to a familiar face to help with their inconsistent offense.Chicago hired Anthony Iapoce as its hitting coach on Monday http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authe...-hatcher-jersey , replacing the fired Chili Davis. The 45-year-old Iapoce was a special assistant in the Cubs’ front office for three years from 2013-15, helping several of their current position players while overseeing the club’s minor league hitting program.Iapoce also has a connection to former Cubs hitting coach John Mallee, who was replaced by Davis after Chicago was eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS in 2017. Iapoce was the hitting coach for Class A Jupiter from 2008-09 while Mallee was the minor league hitting coordinator for the Marlins.Chicago won 95 games in a franchise-record fourth straight playoff season, but its lineup struggled at times. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League in scoring Sean Manaea Jersey , but managed one run or less in 39 regular-season games. They scored just two runs over 22 innings in losing the NL Central tiebreaker game against Milwaukee and the NL wild-card game to Colorado.Iapoce served as Texas’ hitting coach the last three seasons, a span in which the Rangers ranked fifth in the American League in runs and fourth in home runs. The 2017 Rangers were the first MLB team with nine players to reach at least 17 homers in the same season.Prior to joining the Cubs, Iapoce spent three seasons as the roving hitting coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays. The former outfielder played 11 seasons in the minor leagues in the Brewers and Marlins organizations, as well as independent ball.Davis had just one year on manager Joe Maddon’s staff. He spent the previous six seasons as a hitting coach with Oakland and Boston. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY SportsAfter falling out of playoff contention http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authe...g-powell-jersey , the Minnesota Twins have reportedly traded star second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, Los Angeles will send utility man Logan Forsythe, outfielder Luke Raley and left-hander Devin Smeltzer to Minnesota.The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes first reported a deal was close.The Twins were a surprise playoff team last season after winning just 59 games in 2016. They started this season with high expectations because of that postseason appearance and signing starting pitcher Lance Lynn and closer Addison Reed to shore up the pitching staff.Dozier has been a mainstay for the Twins since his MLB debut in 2012. The31-year-oldmade the All-Star team in 2015 and set an AL recordin 2016 by hitting 40 of his 42 homers while playing second base.From 2014 to 2017 Pat Neshek Jersey , Dozier ranked second among all second basemen with 18.8 FanGraphs wins above replacement. His offense has taken a step back this season with a.224/.305/.402 slash linefor a Twins team that has disappointed with a 49-56after making the postseason last year.With Dozier being in the final year of his contract, the Twins were forced to decide if they wanted to play out this season before trying to re-sign him or add long-term assets they can build around in the future.Dozier is not an old man and is still in the prime of his career. He has hit all over the lineup in the past, primarily leading off for the Twins, so he gives Dodgers manager Dave Roberts more versatility in a lineup that also includes the newly acquired Manny Machadoand Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers got off to a slow start this season http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authen...-dykstra-jersey , so they needed to do something if they hoped to get back to the World Series. With Dozier's potent bat in their lineup, they have the depth to hold off the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants in the National League West.
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesThe Houston Astros are one step closer to defending their World Series title after completing a three-game sweep over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.George Springer hit two home runs in a 3-for-6 day to help Houston earn an 11-3 road win on Monday in Game 3. Cleveland led 2-1 until 10 straight runs led to an easy victory for the visitors.The three wins in the best-of-five series also gives the Astros their first playoff sweep in franchise history.Terry Francona Costs Indians With Pitching Staff GambleTrevor Bauer was a Cy Young candidate as a starter over the course of the season http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-gerrit-cole-jersey , but manager Terry Francona has decided to use him exclusively in relief this series, appearing in all three games.After allowing a run in 2.2 innings to start the series, he gave up three runs (two earned) in a miserable Game 3. He also had a pair of throwing errors that helped extend the decisive seventh inning.paul hoynes hoynsieTrevor Bauer has made 5 errors in his career. In the seventh inning in Game 3 of the ALDS, hes made 2.The Astros built their momentum and piled on the scoring against Cody Allen and others, totaling 10 runs in the last three innings. Five relievers were used to cover four innings, and all but one allowed at least one run.MikeClevinger had been all the Indians could have hoped for in his first career postseason start, especially afterproven starters Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco were unspectacular in Games 1 and 2.A solo home run was the only run heallowed in five innings that also included nine strikeouts.This wasn't enough to factor into the decision, though, as the bullpen couldn't hold onto the lead.The Indians succeeded in the past because Francona wasn't afraid to be unconventional with his pitching staff. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen virtually carried the club to the World Series in 2016.Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn't nearly as effective in 2018 and the manager's gambles didn't pay off in the playoffs. Bruce Hooley of105.7 The Zone gave his thoughts on the situation:Bruce Hooley BHOOLZNo other manager in baseball -- NONE -- could survive achieving less in 3 consecutive seasons with this starting staff and this talent. NONE! And before you say, quot;We won the Central 3 times. Thats hard.quot; Given the competition it is no harder than winning at solitaireThe players do have to perform Hector Rondon Jersey , but Francona didn't put his best ones in a position to succeed during the series.Astros Incredible Depth Makes Them Team to Beat...AgainJust like last postseason, the Astros are getting a lot of production from a wide variety of hitters already in the playoffs.Jose Altuve is the biggest name in the lineup while Alex Bregman was the best hitter in 2018, but there are several other players who can and will hurt you if given the opportunity.George Springer hit two home runs, including one in the fifth to start Houston's scoring for the day:MLB MLBYou can鈥檛 keep these Astros down for long. jrp8xNfpX2MLB MLB#Postseason Springer is a BEAST. sZYZMC6MRBMarwin Gonzalez then came through with the big hit in the seventh inning, driving in two runs with a bases-loaded double:MLB MLB.marwinGF9 with another MASSIVE hit. #ALDS FQexZ5g8ICAfter an RBI single later in the game, Gonzalez finished 7-for-13 in the ALDS.He and Springer were also two of five Astros players with at least four hits in the series.Carlos Correa even got in on the action with an eighth-inning three-run home run, which was his first hit of the postseason.No. 4 hitter Yuli Gurriel did virtually nothing in the series but Houston kept on going with little resistance. We also haven't seen the best out of Altuve, the reigning AL MVP.If these players reach their ability andCorrea builds off his big hit, the Astros' lineup could be unstoppable.Houston had the worst scoring offense of all the AL playoff teams (despite being sixth in the majors), but the team excels because it's not too reliant on one or two players coming through night after night. In a long postseason, this could be the difference.After the supporting cast showed what it could do a year ago Anthony Gose Jersey , the Astros look ready for another championship run in 2018.Indians Must Find Impact Hitter In Offseason After Quiet ALDSGame 3 was better for the Indians offense than the first two outings, where the team was held to a combined three runs on six hits. However, the final installment wasn't too much better with just three runs, with the problem being a lack of production from the team it was hoping to rely on most.Jose Ramirez looked like an MVP for much of the regular season but was no help in the ALDS while going 0-for-11 at the plate with three strikeouts.He was 0-for-4 in the must-win Game 3, ending his season by grounding into a double play. Considering he also hit 2-for-20 in the postseason last year, there are legitimate concerns about his playoff hitting.Meanwhile, the rest of the middle of the order didn't do much better.Ramirez,Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, the team's three through five hitters, combined to go 1-for-10 Monday and the trio only had two hits all series. This won't win too many games regardless of the opponent.Francisco Lindor did his job,getting a hit in each game of the series with home runs in each of the last two. Still http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-jimmy-wynn-jersey , you need a lot more than just a leadoff hitter in order to make a deep run in the playoffs.Looking forward, the Indians have some tough decisions with their lineup withDonaldson, Michael Brantley and Melky Cabrera among those hitting free agency this offseason. Whether or not these players are re-signed, the team still needs other hitters it can trust to carry the offense when the other stars aren't hitting.Even if Ramirez has better days, he and Lindor can't do it all by themselves.If the Indians want to extend this contention window, they need to add at least one more big-time hitter this winter. What's Next?With a ticket already punched in the ALCS, the Astros can now relax until the start of the next round on Oct. 13. The squad will take on the winner of the other ALDS between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, although Houston will only have home-field advantage against the Yankees. CHICAGO (AP) — Trevor Bauer was sailing along in another dominant start right until he got struck in the right ankle by a line drive.Another bruising blow couldn’t derail the Cleveland Indians.Bauer pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs to lift the Indians to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.Bauer (12-6) won his fourth straight start. He gave up one run and struck out eight before Jose Abreu’s leadoff liner hit him in the seventh.The ball appeared headed toward the upper portion of his leg before sinking a bit and striking the ankle with his foot in the air. It ricocheted toward first baseman Yonder Alonso, who stepped on the bag for the out.Bauer was slow to rise to his feet and walked around gingerly as manager Terry Francona and an assistant trainer came out to check on him. The Indians brought in Brad Hand, ending another dominant start. Bauer is 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his past eight outings.The Indians think he just has a bruise, though he did undergo precautionary X-rays after the game.“He got hit pretty hard Francisco Liriano Jersey , but then again just to cover everything, we’ll get an x-ray,” Francona said.Losing Bauer for an extended time obviously would be a big blow for a team that has been banged up. The Indians are also putting slugger Edwin Encarnacion on the disabled list because of swelling in his left biceps, Francona said.“We’ve got nothing but prayers and hopes that everyone will be back soon,” Brantley said. “But at the same time we’ve got to step up as a unit, as a team, go out there and still get our jobs done to the best of our abilities.”GOING DEEPThe game was tied at 1 before Brantley and Ramirez hit consecutive homers against James Shields in the sixth. Brantley also singled and doubled.Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 22nd save in 25 chances. He gave up a leadoff single to Yolmer Sanchez but struck out Avisail Garcia to end the game after Daniel Palka — who homered in the ninth in Friday’s 1-0 victory — flied to deep center.Shields (4-14) allowed two earned runs and seven hits in seven innings. Yoan Moncada homered in the third , but the White Sox committed three errors.“Yeah, it’s been a frustrating season, no doubt about it,” Shields said. “I’m just going to go out there and try and throw some quality starts and go as deep as I can in the game and give us a chance to win. Flip side http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authenti...e-morton-jersey , Bauer has been pitching very well this year, he’s a tough one to beat. You can’t really give up two home runs in one inning and expect to win the ballgame like that.”TRAINER’S ROOMIndians: Francona said the swelling in Encarnacion’s bicep is “not bad at all,” and X-rays on his right hand “came back actually really good, really clean.” Encarnacion has struggled since being hit on the right hand by Yankees reliever Chad Green before the All-Star break. He has often been swinging with one hand, putting more stress on his upper arms. … RHP Corey Kluber left the ballpark feeling ill prior to the game, though Francona said he should be ready to make his scheduled start against Cincinnati on Tuesday.White Sox: Manager Rick Renteria said OF Leury Garcia (strained left hamstring) continues to ramp up his activity, though the White Sox are “probably three or four days away” from deciding if he will go on a minor league rehab assignment. Garcia was injured on Sunday at Tampa Bay.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.69 ERA) looks to bounce back from a loss to Minnesota on Tuesday. He was 5-0 in his previous six starts.White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (4-8, 5.58 ERA) — 1-7 with an 8.24 ERA in his past nine starts — tries to break his slump. He was charged with four runs in 4 1/3 innings in loss to the New York Yankees on Monday.
DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche had New York boxed in from the start.All game Keith Yandle Jersey , really, with Colorado going on 10 power plays to keep the Rangers on the defensive throughout.Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen set the early tone with power-play goals in the first period, helping the Avalanche end a six-game slide with a 6-1 win over the Rangers on Friday night.Colorado finished with its most power-play opportunities since Oct. 16, 2008, when the team had 11 against Philadelphia.“The way we’ve been struggling lately it feels so good to get a win,” defenseman Tyson Barrie said.Gabriel Landeskog added a goal off his right skate, Alexander Kerfoot tipped in a shot, Rantanen deflected in yet another and Ryan Graves closed out the scoring with his first career NHL goal as a struggling Avalanche squad won for the first time since Dec. 19.Colorado finished 3 of 10 on the power play, with two of the goals scored following a 5-minute boarding call on former Avalanche player Cody McLeod just 2 1/2 minutes in.“It’s been losing hockey. It’s been negative — negative video, a negative vibe around the rink Authentic Nick Bjugstad Jersey ,” MacKinnon said. “It’s nice to finally end it.”To Rangers coach David Quinn, this loss boiled down to one thing — all those penalties. The Avalanche had 15:23 of power-play time.“You have zero chance to win a hockey game in that way,” Quinn said. “It wasn’t our night from the get-go. We created a lot of our own problems with the penalties.”Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Jimmy Vesey late in the third.Ryan Strome scored the Rangers’ lone goal midway through third period on a night they were outshot by a 47-25 margin. Alexandar Georgiev attempted to keep things close while giving Henrik Lundqvist a night off. Lundqvist was pulled Wednesday after allowing six goals in a loss to Pittsburgh.Barrie had three assists to give him 278 career points, the most by a defenseman in franchise history. Barrie broke the mark held by John-Michael Liles.“Finally nice to get it out of the way and put it behind me,” Barrie said. ” It’s something I can look back on and take pride in it. Johnny’s a great guy and a great player, so it’s nice to pass him and take him out to dinner.”After the morning skate, the Avalanche reiterated over and over the importance of a fast start to break out of their 0-4-2 skid.This helped their cause: Going on the power play early when McLeod slammed the face of defenseman Samuel Girard into the glass on a big hit. MacKinnon scored on a high wrist shot over Georgiev’s glove at 4:40, with Rantanen adding another 2:13 later when his pass went in off the stick of New York defenseman Neal Pionk.“It’s hard to play games when you sit that long in the box,” Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello said. “At the end of the day Vincent Trocheck Jersey , they were the better team than us.”Colorado was getting all the bounces, with Landeskog knocking in a goal with his right skate midway through the second period. The Avalanche led 5-0 in the third before Strome ended Grubauer’s shutout bid on a breakaway.Graves scored his first career goal following a rebound in the third. He was selected by New York in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, before being dealt to Colorado last February.“Regardless of who we were playing, it’s pretty sweet,” Graves said of his goal.NOTES: Rangers C Kevin Hayes missed the game with an upper body injury. … Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov remains day-to-day with a lower body injury. … The Avs are stumping for Landeskog to make the All-Star team through the “Last Men In” vote from the fans. There were buttons and signs that read, “Vote Gabe in.” … MacKinnon and Landeskog each have 25 goals this season.UP NEXT:Rangers: Stop No. 2 on a three-game trip will be Sunday in Arizona.Avalanche: Open a five-game trip Tuesday in Winnipeg. RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Taylor Hall has had the hottest stick in the NHL for the past month, but on Sunday his streak almost came to an end.Then came overtime.Hall came through with the winning goal with 22 seconds left in the extra period, giving the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.Article continues below ...The goal extended Hall’s league-best streak of games with a point to 18.New Jersey had won the first of the teams’ four meetings this season on Thursday night to start the Hurricanes’ three-game losing streak.”It was a self-starter type of game for us,” New Jersey coach John Hymes said. ”It’s on them to find a way to have the motivation to play as hard as we did and they did that. That’s a great sign for us moving forward.”Keith Kinkaid stopped 40 shots for the Devils.”I think the fact that this was a 5 o’clock game was pretty understated Adrian Kempe Jersey ,” Hall said. ”The fact that they’re not on a back to back, we played last night. The flight from Tampa to Carolina is a lot longer than you think. We weren’t a rested group by any means, but you saw the battle level that was there and that’s always good.”The Devils led 1-0 after a first period in which the Hurricanes outshot them 13-9.Nico Hischier scored New Jersey’s first goal on a power play midway through the first, assisted by Sami Vatanen and Kinkaid.The Hurricanes tied it at 6:25 of the second with Teuvo Teravainen scoring from Trevor van Riemsdyk and Victor Rask, who was playing in his 300th NHL game – all with Carolina.”I thought we had some good looks,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. ”We had the puck plenty. But that was a tough one. We gifted them both of their goals tonight.”The Devils went back ahead with 4:27 left in the second when Pavel Zacha scored on the assist from John Moore.Jeff Skinner tied the game in a sixth-attacker situation with 1:18 left in regulation on assists from Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin.Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had 18 saves.NOTES: LW Lee Stempniak and D Klas Dahlbeck were healthy scratches for Carolina. … RW Jimmy Hayes and D Will Butcher were healthy extras for New Jersey. … Devils backup goalie Eddie Lack is a former Hurricane. … The teams’ other two meetings are March 2 in Raleigh and March 27 in New Jersey.UP NEXTDevils: Host Columbus on Tuesday in the first of a three-game homestand.Hurricanes: Host Pittsburgh on Friday night.—
LAS VEGAS (AP) — After losing both games on a road trip Kailer Yamamoto Jersey , Vegas coach Gerard Gallant called a team meeting when the Golden Knights returned home.The goal was to get the defending Western Conference champs back on the same page with one another, reminding them what they’re capable of after reaching last year’s Stanley Cup Final.They responded Saturday night.Marc-Andre Fleury got his 50th career shutout, Brad Hunt and William Carrier scored their first goals of the season, and Vegas beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.“I thought (the meeting) was good, just to remind ourselves of what we have to do and who we are and how we have to play consistently,” Fleury said. “He didn’t go out there yelling at everybody, just straightforward, just honest, just making sure we simplify our game. That’s how we’ve had success before, and tonight we didn’t do anything fancy. But we played hard all game and it paid off.”Fleury, who earlier this season moved into 10th place on the all-time list for victories, stopped 34 shots. The 15-year veteran now has 410 wins, and is the 29th goaltender in NHL history to record 50 shutouts.Ryan Reaves equaled his goal tally from last season by scoring his fourth for the Golden Knights.“I thought we played our game tonight, and that’s what we were worried about,” Gallant said. “We’re trying to play a 60-minute game, and we’re trying to compete and battle hard and get back to the things that make us successful and I think tonight we did that.”Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said prior to the game he likes his team feeding off the adrenaline of playing back-to-back nights, but Carolina is now 1-2 on the second of consecutive games.After sitting out Friday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Arizona, goaltender Scott Darling made 22 saves for the Hurricanes, who never found a rhythm offensively and continued their dismal power play. Carolina, which came in with the worst power play in the NHL, was 0 for 3 with a man advantage. The Hurricanes are now 6 for 51 this season.Since opening the season 4-0-1 Womens Kris Russell Jersey , the Hurricanes are on a 2-6-2 slide, during which they’ve scored 17 goals after scoring 22 in their first five games.“Tonight was probably the game I didn’t like the most out of all of them, but even saying that, it was a grind game,” Brind’Amour said. “We gotta start finding ways to put the puck in the net, and that’s been the challenge here.”Carolina’s closest chance at a goal came midway through the third, but Justin Williams gloved the puck in after it hit the crossbar, resulting in a no goal. Moments later, on a power play, Michael Ferland’s wrist shot clanked off the goal post.“They had a lot of shots on net, but they get a lot of shots every night, they put pucks to the net and they go hard to the net,” Gallant said of the Hurricanes. “They got a real good team over there.”While Erik Haula has a point in four of the last six games and has two assists in a game six times this season, the positivity from Gallant’s words in the closed-door meeting were contagious enough to spark fourth-liners Reaves and Carrier, and Hunt, a consistent healthy scratch who was playing in only his fifth game this season.“When we’re winning hockey games those guys are a big part of our group and it’s good to see them get rewarded tonight,” Gallant said. “I know our players are real happy with those guys putting the puck in the night.”Hunt opened the scoring after getting Haula’s perfectly placed pass and burying it past Darling.Reaves found the back of the net with a backhand that slipped under Darling’s pads to extend Vegas’ lead to 2-0 early in the second period. Reaves, who scored a career-high seven goals during the 2016-17 season, while playing for St. Louis, is on pace to score 23 goals this season.Finally, after a forecheck created a turnover in Carolina’s zone Leon Draisaitl Jersey , Carrier was able to punch the rebound past Darling through the five hole to give Vegas a 3-0 lead.NOTES: Vegas D Colin Miller played in his 199th career game. … Shea Theodore extended his point streak to three straight games. … Carrier’s and Reaves’ goals gives the fourth line seven goals this season. … Vegas also continues to struggle with its power play, as it was 0 for 4, and is now 6 for 48 this season.UP NEXTCarolina: Visits St. Louis on TuesdayVegas: Visits Toronto on Tuesday The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins will renew their long rivalry Monday at Bell Centre with both teams fighting for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.The Canadiens (17-11-5), who hold the first wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, lead the Bruins (17-12-4), who hold the second wild-card position, by one point.The teams split their two meetings earlier this season, with each team winning in the other’s rink. The Canadiens defeated the Bruins 3-0 on Oct. 27 in Boston and the Bruins defeated the Canadiens 3-2 on Nov. 24 at Bell Centre.Article continues below ...For the second game in a row, the Canadiens will catch a team playing back-to-back games. The Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators for the third time in 12 days, all by 5-2 scores, on Saturday. The Senators defeated the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.The injury-riddled Bruins, who are without top center Patrice Bergeron (sternoclavicular injury) and defenseman Zdeno Chara (left knee injury), lost 4-2 to the Buffalo Sabres at home on Sunday, their sixth loss in their past 10 games (4-6-0).The Bruins tied the score 2-2 on a goal by defenseman Torey Krug with 6:39 to go in the third period but gave up Jeff Skinner’s second goal of the game shortly after and it turned out to be the winner.“I mean, we can’t get down on ourselves,” Bruins forward Ryan Donato said on the team’s Twitter feed. “The way we are playing has worked. We shouldn’t change that. Once we get our chances, we’ll continue to score.”“Right after a goal, the first and last minutes of each period, those are big moments. You can’t give up goals,” Krug said on the Bruins’ Twitter account. “You’ve got to keep that momentum and continue to go. It was another mistake where they scored the same type of goal twice in the game. Normally we pick up on that, make the adjustments and go from there. It was unfortunate we couldn’t keep that momentum and go because I thought we were playing pretty well.”The Canadiens http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-roberto-luongo-jersey , meanwhile, are 6-4-0 in their past 10 games.The win over the Senators was the 600th of Canadiens coach Claude Julien’s career.“It may be special, but I’m not the kind of person who pays much attention to things like that,” Julien said after the game. “In 20 years, when I’m in my rocking chair, maybe I’ll be able to look back on these kinds of moments, but right now I still have a lot of drive in me to continue winning. “It’s good, but to me it’s not as important as what I see in front of me.”The Canadiens bounced back from a 2-1 deficit after two periods to defeat the Senators. They got fired up after a goal by Phillip Danault, which would have given the Canadiens a 3-2 lead, was called back when coincidental minors were called, including a controversial embellishment call against Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen, who was being hooked by Senators defensemen Thomas Chabot.“We were a little upset and we transferred that energy the right way actually,” Canadiens captain Shea Weber told Montrealcanadiens.com. “It was a good reaction. I think guys were really obviously upset and I thought we deserved a goal there, but we did the right things and we came back and played the right way after that.”It was the 10th time the Canadiens have scored at least five goals in a game this season. They did it 11 times all of last season.“We’re a different team than we were last year,” Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher told the Montreal Gazette. “That kind of goes without saying.“I think we play with more energy, I think we play better as a five-man unit and that leads to success at both ends of the rink. We’re spending less time in our zone and playing more in the other end, and the more time you play down there it’s only a matter of time before pucks start going in.”
BOSTON (AP) — Bo Horvat had two goals and two assists and the Vancouver Canucks extended their winning streak to five games with an 8-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.Loui Eriksson added two goals and an assist and spurred a five-goal outbust in the second period. Ben Hutton and Erik Gudbranson each had a goal and an assist Richard Panik Jersey , and Antoine Roussel and Jake Virtanen added goals for the Canucks. They have scored 26 goals in the last five games.Jake DeBrusk scored twice, and Patrice Bergeron, Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen added goals for Boston. Jaroslav Halak was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots.LIGHTNING 4, ISLANDERS 2TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilveksiy made 35 saves, Tyler Johnson broke a tie with 1:26 left in Tampa Bay’s victory over New York.Vasilevskiy has allowed two or fewer goals in nine of 12 games.Johnson scored from just outside the crease off a pass from Nikita Kucherov. Steven Stamkos added an empty-netter. Mathieu Joseph and J.T. Miller also scored to help Tampa Bay improve to an NHL-best 12-3-1.Josh Bailey scored twice and Robin Lehner stopped 23 shots for the Islanders.FLYERS 5, COYOTES 4, OTPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Shayne Gostisbehere scored on a one-timer 1:01 into overtime after Dale Weise tied it with 2:13 left in regulation, and Philadelphia beat Arizona.Scott Laughton had two goals and Travis Konecny also scored. The Flyers began a five-game homestand after earning seven of a possible eight points on a four-game trip out West.Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Michael Grabner each had a goal and an assist, and Brad Richardson and Derek Stepan also scored for the Coyotes. They lost 5-2 at home to Philadelphia on Monday night.PANTHERS 4, OILERS 1SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Roberto Luongo made 26 saves in his second start since missing nine games with a knee injury to help Florida beat Edmonton.Evgenii Dadonov, Nick Bjugstad http://www.officialsabres.com/authentic-adidas-jack-eichel-jersey , Jonathan Huberdeau and Colton Sceviour scored for the Panthers. Mike Hoffman and Vincent Trocheck each had two assists.Leon Draisaitl scored for the Oilers, and Cam Talbot stopped 29 shots.HURRICANES 4, BLACKHAWKS 3CHICAGO (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov, Jaccob Slavin, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Calvin de Haan gave Carolina a four-goal lead early in the second period and the Hurricanes held off Chicago to Jeremy Colliton’s NHL coaching debut.Colliton became the 38th coach of the Blackhawks on Tuesday after Joel Quenneville was fired after 10 seasons. Chicago is 0-5-1 in its last six.Patrick Kane, David Kampf and Nick Schmaltz scored for the Blackhawks.STARS 4, SHARKS 3DALLAS (AP) — Devin Shore scored his second goal of the game to break a tie, Anton Khudobin tied a season high with 33 saves and Dallas beat San Jose.Dillon Heatherington’s shot from the left point went off a defender’s leg to Shore in the left circle, and he beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones with 5:47 to play.Stars scoring leader Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, and Gemel Smith also scored. Evander Kane, Timo Meier and Joe Pavelski scored for San Jose.WILD 3, KINGS 1LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zach Parise had a goal and an assist to reach 700 points in his NHL career as Minnesota defeated Los Angeles.Nico Niederreiter scored on the power play and Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves for the Wild, who have won eight of 10. Mikael Granlund added an empty-net goal.Jake Muzzin had a goal and Jack Campbell stopped 21 shots http://www.officialflames.com/authentic-adidas-sean-monahan-jersey , but the Kings were unable to put together their first three-game winning streak of the season.Parise put the Wild ahead 2-1 at 14:42 of the second period, getting his 700th point in 887 career games. Parise’s 339 goals are the most among active American-born players.Niederreiter had gone 22 regular-season games between goals dating back to March before scoring off a pass from Parise.SABRES 6, CANADIENS 5, OTMONTREAL (AP) — Rasmus Ristolainen scored at 1:38 of overtime to lift Buffalo past Montreal.Vladimir Sobotka and Jeff Skinner each scored twice, and Conor Sheary added a goal. Linus Ullmark gave up five goals on 32 shots through two periods, and Carter Hutton made five saves in the third.Jonathan Drouin, Matthew Peca, Andrew Shaw, Tomas Tatar and Nicolas Deslauriers scored for the Canadiens. Max Domi had three assists to extend his points streak to five games.GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5, SENATORS 3.OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — William Carrier put Vegas ahead for good after Ottawa rallied from a three-goal deficit.Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, Nick Holden and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Golden Knights Mikkel Boedker Jersey Womens , and Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves. Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Thomas Chabot scored for the Senators. As the Edmonton Oilers look for ways to avoid their fifth straight loss, the revolving door continues to spin.Several players are expected back in the lineup, but the Oilers will be without one of their surprising offensive weapons when they host the San Jose Sharks.Alex Chiasson is out with a foot injury suffered during Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Chiasson, who joined the Oilers on a professional tryout contract in October after winning a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in June, was placed on injured reserve after undergoing an MRI on Friday, meaning he’s out for at least a week.Article continues below ...Chiasson has a career-best 16 goals in 31 games, good for third on the team behind two-time scoring champion Connor McDavid (19 goals) and Leon Draisaitl (18).“We can’t rely on two (or) three guys to score all our goals especially with Chaser going down now. We need more guys to step up,” said Drake Caggiula, who has seven goals and missed Thursday’s loss with a bug caught during the Christmas break.Edmonton (18-16-3) may have defenseman Kris Russell back for the first time since an undisclosed injury on Dec. 11. If he doesn’t play Saturday, then he almost certainly will Monday against the Winnipeg Jets.While Jason Garrison (illness) could be back on the blueline as well, the Oilers are still without high-scoring defenseman Oscar Klefbom (hand) until at least the end of January.“We got smacked right in the face with injuries, and injuries to the wrong spot in our group where we couldn’t absorb it and now we’re trying to fight out of it http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-patrick-roy-jersey ,” said coach Ken Hitchcock, who made his debut as Edmonton’s coach on Nov. 20 with a 4-3 overtime win against the Sharks.Forward Jujhar Khaira should be good to go for the Oilers after a two-game ban for cross-checking St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn on Dec. 18. Khaira registered eight of his 13 points this season over his last 10 games.The loss to Vancouver started a seven-game stretch against Western Conference opponents, including two meetings with the Sharks.“We have to take it game by game. (Saturday), we have a tough team, a good team coming in here,” Khaira said.San Jose (20-12-7) avoided going winless on a four-game homestand with a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.“We’ll take the win,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “It was what an after-break game would look like. It was a little sloppy and a little messy, but we found a way.”The Sharks start a three-game swing with an 8-8-3 mark away from home. DeBoer noted that the next few weeks could be telling about the state of his club.“There’s no doubt we’ve got three weeks of a lot of games and a lot of tough opponents. … (The players) know what’s on the horizon and they know the work that we’ve got to do between now and then,” he said.Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture remain two players to watch. Pavelski, who has a team-best 23 goals, also has three goals and three assists in a six-game points streak in Edmonton. Couture did not register a point on the homestand but has five goals in a four-game run on the road.San Jose will also have a key player returning from suspension. Defenseman Erik Karlsson drew the first ban of his 10-year career for a check to the head of Los Angeles Kings winger Austin Wagner on Dec. 22. Karlsson has a nine-game assists streak and has 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) since Nov. 13.
WASHINGTON (AP) — From banner to blowout www.officialbluejackets.com , the Washington Capitals‘ Stanley Cup defense is off to a rousing start.After watching the franchise’s first Cup banner ascend to the rafters, the Alex Ovechkin-led Capitals scored two goals in the first two minutes on the way to a 7-0 thrashing of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. T.J. Oshie opened the scoring 24 seconds in and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the first of his two goals at 1:47 to give Washington the fastest first two goals by a defending champion in a season opener in NHL history.“We scored right away,” Ovechkin said. “After that, they were kind of in shock.”By midway through the second period, the Capitals chased goalie Tuukka Rask with five goals on 19 shots and ignited chants of “Back-to-back! Back-to-back!” from the fired-up crowd. That’s the chant Oshie started after the victory parade in June, and it was echoing throughout the arena four months later.“I said it because I believe it,” Oshie said. “We got a lot of guys in here that not too long ago were raising the Stanley Cup above our head. Not a lot’s changed.”Braden Holtby stopped all 25 shots he faced to improve to 15-2 with four shutouts against the Bruins.The emotional banner ceremony featured montages from the Capitals’ playoff run and ensuing celebrations and a roar when Ovechkin carried the freshly engraved Cup onto the ice and skated a lap with it. Minutes after Ovechkin kissed the Cup and put it back in its box, he and his teammates blew away any concern about an emotional letdown and began making a statement that they want to win it back.“We showed we’re not going to give a team easy ways to beat us,” Ovechkin said.In Todd Reirden’s first game as coach, the Capitals beat the Bruins for the 13th consecutive time, this time without Tom Wilson. Washington’s top-line right winger began his 20-game suspension for another illegal check to the head of an opponent in a preseason game.Without Wilson, the Capitals’ offense didn’t miss a beat as Ovechkin scored one of four power-play goals, Kuznetsov scored his second on the power play and John Carlson beat Boston backup Jaroslav Halak on a 5-on-3 advantage. Newcomer Nic Dowd joined the fun with a spinning back-hander, and Cup-clinching goal-scorer Lars Eller added the exclamation point with the seventh of the night.The Bruins were not pleased by Eller’s celebration, and winger Brad Marchand instigated a fight with him soon after.“His celebration was unnecessary Columbus Blue Jackets T-Shirts Authentic ,” Marchand said. “He took an angle in front of our bench and celebrated in a 7-0 game. So I just let him know.”Rask fell to 1-11-5 in his career against the Capitals with a 3.30 goals-against average and .889 save percentage that are each the second-worst of any opponent.“I’m out there to give us a chance,” Rask said. “It didn’t happen today. Three soft goals, you’ve got to look in the mirror and go fix it.”Only two goals came against Halak, whose presence on banner night in Washington was poetic after his performance for Montreal in the 2010 playoffs ended one of the Capitals’ previous best chances to win a championship.NOTES: The Capitals have outscored the Bruins 48-19 during this winning streak. … Reirden expects Wilson to appeal his suspension through the NHL Players’ Association. … Neither Reirden nor Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy would say who’s starting in goal for his team Thursday. … The Capitals set a team record for goals in an opener. … Washington C Nicklas Backstrom became the third player in franchise history to reach 800 points.UP NEXTBruins: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night in No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin ‘s debut.Capitals: Open the rival Penguins’ season Thursday night in Pittsburgh. LAS VEGAS (AP) — In four games back after missing 30 with an injury, Paul Stastny has made his presence known for the Vegas Golden Knights.William Karlsson and Stastny scored 1:03 apart in the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury got his 424th career win as Vegas rallied for a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.It marked the Golden Knights’ sixth straight win at home.Just over a minute after Karlsson skated down the left wing and fired one over Thomas Greiss‘ shoulder for his team-leading 14th goal at 6:22 to tie the score at 2-all, Reilly Smith — moved down from the top line to the second midway through the second period — fed Stastny, who put it in the open net with his second goal of the season to put Vegas ahead 3-2.“He’s easy to play with, he holds on to the puck, buys you that extra second to get open,” said Stastny, who has two goals and an assist in the last three games. “When you play with good players it doesn’t matter. I think a good coach will do a good job of switching two guys that will give a spark to two lines.”Defenseman Nate Schmidt had an empty-net goal and two assists and Brandon Pirri, also on the second line, scored as Vegas came back from two goals down near the midpoint of the second period. Fleury, who made 19 saves Columbus Blue Jackets Hoodies Authentic , picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season. He also broke a tie with Tony Esposito to take sole possession of ninth place on the career list, moving 13 victories behind Jacques Plante (437).“The second period we knew they were going to have a push,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “I would say we weren’t as committed as we were in the first, and their commitment level got raised and they got a lot of momentum.”Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each scored for New York, while Greiss stopped 43 shots.Smith, who leads the team with 18 assists, said he was fine with coach Gerard Gallant’s line move, especially since he’s played with Pirri since their childhood days in Toronto, and skated with Stastny during training camp.“Two easy guys to play with,” Smith said. “Stas is a smart player and he’ll find openings and make a lot of nifty plays out there. I’ve been playing with Pirri since I was 8 years old, so there’s a lot of chemistry between us two. It’s nice, if you’re shuffling lines, to be able to play with somebody you’re so familiar with. I think we played with a lot of energy and created a lot of offense.”The Golden Knights, who completed a season series sweep of the Islanders after losing both matchups last year, are 6-3-1 in December and hold the top wild card spot in the Western Conference with 42 points.“I liked our game; we kind of fell asleep for a minute and a half late in the first period and it cost us two goals Columbus Blue Jackets Hats Authentic , and we were disappointed with that,” Gallant said. “But I thought overall we played a real good solid game and lots of scoring opportunities. The second period was real good for us.”Trailing 2-0 after one period, the Golden Knights cut the deficit in half near the midpoint of the second. Pirri, who was called up from Chicago of the AHL on Wednesday, cleaned up a rebound in the crease with backhand over Greiss’ pads at 8:48. In three career games with the Golden Knights, Pirri has four goals.“I got to witness some playoff games last year and this building is pretty electric,” Pirri said. “So when you get this opportunity you want to make the most of it. After I scored it was pretty loud, so it was pretty fun.”Schmidt’s empty-net goal with 15 seconds left provided the final margin.The Golden Knights had a goal negated when Trotz challenged that Alex Tuch skated offsides prior to New York’s Ryan Pulock sliding into Greiss and the net while bringing the puck with him.Barzal gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with 1:30 left in the first period, and Nelson doubled it just 1:08 later.NOTES: Vegas D Colin Miller (undisclosed injury) was out for the first time since the Golden Knights joined the league last season. Karlsson is the only player to appear in all of the second-year franchise’s games. … Of Pirri’s 61 career goals, 19 of them have come on the power play. … Luca Sbisa, who played 30 games with Vegas last season, returned to T-Mobile Arena for the first time as an Islander.UP NEXTIslanders: At Dallas on Sunday.Golden Knights: Host Montreal on Saturday.
BALTIMORE (AP) — Adam Jones began the season by hitting a game-winning home run in the 11th inning. He ended it by walking off the field to a standing ovation.In between opening day and the season finale Adidas Anthony Beauvillier Jersey , there was a whole lot of anguish for Jones and the Baltimore Orioles.The Orioles closed out a trying season Sunday with a salute to Jones and a 4-0 victory over the Houston Astros that could end up serving as a parting gift to manager Buck Showalter.Jimmy Yacabonis, Paul Fry (1-2) and Mychal Givens combined on a one-hitter against the AL West champions, who open the playoffs at home Friday against Cleveland.Baltimore finished at 47-115, the most losses in franchise history and the most for a big league team since Detroit’s 119 in 2003. The Orioles were only the fifth team since 1900 to lose 115 or more.Baltimore is already in full rebuilding mode, which means the 33-year-old Jones and Showalter may not be back.“These decisions aren’t mine anymore,” Jones said. “It’s going to be fun.”When it came time for the Orioles to take the field before the game, Jones went out alone while players from both sides applauded and the fans stood and cheered.“My teammates sending me out there on an island by myself, I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Jones said. “Weird, because I’m never on the field by myself.”Jones started in center field, the position he held from 2008 until he was bumped to right field in August by 23-year-old rookie Cedric Mullins.Many in the crowd of 24,916 stood before each at-bat by Jones, who went 0 for 4.In the top of the ninth, Showalter sent Joey Rickard in to replace Jones , who received yet another standing ovation as he jogged off the field. Upon his arrival in the dugout, the chain of hugs and high-fives ended with his arms wrapped around Showalter.“It’s been a great run,” Jones said. “Go somewhere and see what the next chapter of my career is.”Hired by Orioles owner Peter Angelos in 2010, Showalter — like Jones — has a contract that expires this year and may not be renewed.“Mr. Angelos’ family has been great to me and mine,” Showalter said before the game. “So whatever direction they decide to go Adidas Scott Mayfield Jersey , I’m at peace with it.”Houston manager A.J. Hinch rested most of his regulars, making sure they’re fresh for the postseason. Charlie Morton started and worked three innings, allowing just one hit in a performance that showed he’s ready to be a factor in the playoffs.“He was good. It was nice him go back out there,” Hinch said. “I think cleared his conscience a little bit that he could let it go and everything was going to be OK.”Morton struck out four to finish with 201, making the Astros the fifth team in baseball history to have three pitchers with 200 Ks. The others were the 2018 Indians, 2013 Tigers, 1969 Astros and 1967 Twins.Brad Peacock (3-5) gave up four runs in the fourth inning, getting only one out.Houston’s only hit came in the fourth, when Jose Altuve hit a sharp single to right before leaving for a pinch runner.The defending World Series champion Astros finished 103-59 and have won a collective 204 regular-season games over the last two years.WHITTLING THE ROSTERHinch shaved five players off his projected playoff roster, with more cuts to come.Right-hander Dean Deetz, OF Kyle Tucker and LHP Reymin Guduan had their seasons end Sunday. Pitchers Framber Valdez and Cionel Perez will work at the team’s spring training facility.CORREA SHARPAstros shortstop Carlos Correa was rested Sunday after an abbreviated appearance Saturday that indicated he was no longer bothered by back soreness.“I don’t think we can forget he’s a really good player, and really good players step up when you need them the most,” Hinch said. “We’re going to need that starting Friday.”DUBIOUS RECORDOrioles first baseman Chris Davis sat out the entire series and finished with a .168 batting average, lowest in major league history by a qualifier.The previous record was .177, by Rob Deer in 1991 and Dan Uggla in 2013.ATTENDANCE DROPThe Orioles drew 1,564,192 for 78 home dates, their lowest figure in a non-strike season since 1978.“It’s up to us to give them something they want to embrace,” Showalter said. “Attendance is down. It’s our fault Adidas Dustin Tokarski Jersey , not theirs.”UP NEXTAstros: Hinch hasn’t announced his rotation for the playoffs, but Justin Verlander is the likely starter in Game 1.Orioles: The 2019 season opener will be at Yankee Stadium on March 28. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray was just happy to be back on the ice after a rocky start to the season.Murray made his first start in a month and his strong play, particularly in overtime, helped the Penguins to another win.Phil Kessel scored a power-play goal at 3:59 of overtime to give Pittsburgh a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.“It feels like forever since I played,” Murray said. “It was just really exciting. I was having a blast, just being back out there. And to get a win on top of that, I was very thankful.”Evgeni Malkin pushed a loose puck from the slot to Kessel, and he finished near the side of the net for the Penguins’ fifth victory in seven games.Tanner Pearson scored against his former team, and Matt Cullen and Bryan Rust also had goals for the Penguins. Matt Murray made 38 saves for his first victory since Oct. 25 at Calgary.Murray stopped Tyler Toffoli’s breakaway in the first 30 seconds of overtime. Murray also denied a quality overtime chance from Jake Muzzin in the slot.“Playing in a tight game like that with a lot of chances, a lot of excitement, that’s a lot of fun, especially going back and forth in overtime,” Murray said. “It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but it’s fun at the same time.”Penguins’ coach Mike Sullivan was pleased with Murray’s performance.“I thought Matt was really good for the first game back for as long as he’s been out,” Penguins’ coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought he was really sharp and he got better as the game went on. We gave up a couple breakaways in overtime and those were huge saves for us.”Muzzin, Matt Luff and Alex Iafallo scored for Los Angeles, and Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots. The Kings have lost four straight and eight of 10.Iafallo tied it at 3 with a power-play goal at 12:30 of the third period.“The guys, they want to win, and they have the drive Adidas Robin Lehner Jersey ,” Kings’ coach Willie Desjardins said. “Every guy is upset when we lose. I believe in the leaders on this team and I think they want to win. We didn’t get it done, but I thought they battled hard.”Murray missed the previous nine games with a lower-body injury before backing up Casey DeSmith the last two contests. He made his first start since Nov. 17 when he was pulled for the third time in six starts during a loss at Ottawa.Murray, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, struggled through his first 11 games, posting a 4-5-1 record with a 4.08 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage.“After coming back from injury like that, you definitely get the butterflies,” Murray said. “I don’t know how long it’s been, but it feels like forever since I last played.”Cullen’s short-handed goal opened the scoring for Pittsburgh. It was the Penguins’ second of the season and second in as many games.Rust extended the Penguins’ lead to 2-0 later in the period when he beat Quick to the glove side with a wrist shot.Toffoli scored in the first period for the Kings, but the goal was overturned following a Pittsburgh offsides challenge.Muzzin’s goal stood at 3:22 of the second period. Muzzin, a former Penguins’ draft pick, finished a one-timer from Anze Kopitar during an odd-man rush.Pearson put Pittsburgh in front 3-1 midway through the second period. He stripped Drew Doughty of the puck at the Kings’ blueline, eluded Quick’s poke check and elevated a shot above the fallen Kings’ goaltender.Pearson skated four full seasons and parts of two others with the Kings before he was traded to the Penguins on Nov. 14 in exchange for Carl Hagelin, who is out with a lower-body injury. Pearson, who won a Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2014, has four goals and six points in 16 games with Pittsburgh.Luff pulled Los Angeles back within one when he beat Murray to the blocker side with a wrist shot from the slot.But Murray did enough down the stretch to earn the win in his return.“I just had a blast and it was a lot of fun being back out there,” Murray said.NOTES: Pittsburgh has won four straight at home. … The Penguins played without D Kris Letang, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury sustained Friday in a collision with Boston Bruins’ F Joakim Nordstrom. Juuso Riikola took Letang’s spot in the lineup. … Kings’ D Dion Phaneuf missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … Pittsburgh F Jake Guentzel extended an eight-game home point streak.UP NEXTKings: Host Winnipeg on Tuesday night.Penguins: Host Anaheim on Monday night.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — St. Louis forward David Perron has zero points in two games against the Vegas Golden Knights.He has two wins Authentic Julio Jones Jersey , though.Perron made an emotional return to Vegas and Ryan O’Reilly scored twice to lead the Blues over the Golden Knights 4-1 on Friday night. Brayden Schenn and Oskar Sundqvist also scored for St. Louis.“It’s fun from the warm-up on to the last minute,” said Perron, who had a career-best 66 points with Vegas last season. “Obviously a lot of energy in this crowd and it’s always fun coming here. I got so many messages. … I feel the love from this city for sure.”Perron, who set the NHL record for most assists (50) by a player on an expansion team with the Golden Knights before signing with St. Louis as a free agent, made it no secret he wanted to re-sign with Vegas, but couldn’t come to terms with the club during the offseason.“It’s unfortunate how it worked out,” Perron said. “I still wish it could’ve been different.”While the Blues improved to 2-0-0 against Vegas and 4-1-0 against the Pacific Division this season, the Golden Knights are struggling to find the same magic they had during last year’s run to the Stanley Cup Final.Vegas had scored four or more goals in three of its past four games but was shut down by Jake Allen. The Blues goalie stopped 32 shots after allowing three or more goals in five of his previous six outings.“We know what kind of team they are,” Allen said. “We played them a couple of weeks ago … very offensive, very opportunistic team. They usually get their chances most games and we were able to shut them down.”William Carrier scored for the Golden Knights, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves.After posting a career-best 2.24 goals against average last season, Fleury’s 2.52 GAA is his second-highest since the 2009-10 season.Sundqvist, who has six goals in his 79-game career Julio Jones Jersey Limited , has scored three of them against Fleury this season, also scoring two on Nov. 1 in a 5-3 win at St. Louis.“It’s been working against Vegas so far this season,” Sundqvist said “I’ve gotten a lot of help with all the goals from my linemates and D-men. I don’t know why it’s been working, especially against Fleury, because I never scored on him before.”Moments after Vegas opened the scoring with Carrier’s breakaway goal against Allen, the Blues tied it when O’Reilly flipped it just under Fleury’s arm.St. Louis took a 2-1 lead in the second period when O’Reilly deflected Jaden Schwartz’s shot from the right wing. Schenn scored off a faceoff for a 3-1 lead later in the period, and Sundqvist scored 59 seconds later.The Golden Knights have been outscored in the second period 28-17.“It’s early in the season I know, but this has happened way too often,” center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “I think the coaches probably have a better answer than I will have. It’s one bad bounce and then suddenly we’re two or three behind. I really couldn’t pinpoint what is going on. But it seems to happen every time in the second.”NOTES: The Golden Knights played their final game without suspended defenseman Nate Schmidt, who sat the first 20 games for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program. … Gunnarsson left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. … Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists and has a point in seven of his last nine games. … St. Louis is now 3-0-2 against the Golden Knights since the start of last season. … O’Reilly leads the Blues with 10 goals and 23 points.UP NEXTBlues: Travels to play San Jose on SaturdayGolden Knights: Visits Edmonton on Sunday. ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn wasted little time in providing a much-needed spark on home ice.Schenn scored twice and Vince Dunn had a career-high three assists to help the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Thursday night.Schenn’s fight with Gabriel Landeskog three seconds into the game set the tone.”I thought we’d been a little bit flat at home lately,” Schenn said. ”You can try and start different ways, try to be physical early or offensive early. … I don’t do it often, but it’s part of the game and it’s good to get one every once in a while.”Blues coach Mike Yeo knew something was brewing when Patrik Berglund lined up to take the opening faceoff instead of Schenn.”I know people have different opinions of fighting in the game or whatever http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/julio-jones-jersey , but it sends a message to your team,” Yeo said.Landeskog was also trying to give the Avalanche a spark.”We’ve got to be better on the road so I figure, `start off the road trip and set the tone,’ and that was really it,” Landeskog said. ”He asked me and I didn’t have one this year so why not?”Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, and Ivan Barbashev, Kyle Brodziak and Alex Pietrangelo also scored. The Blues scored more than four goals for the first time since Dec. 9 as 13 of the team’s 18 skaters had at least one point.Carter Hutton made 23 saves as St. Louis beat Colorado for the fourth straight time. The Blues have earned points against the Avalanche in 12 consecutive games.Dunn is the Blues’ first rookie defenseman to have three assists in a game since Erik Johnson on Jan. 8, 2008.”I was just trying to play simple and make the plays over there and everybody contributed tonight,” Dunn said.Gabriel Bourque scored for the Avalanche, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. Semyon Varlamov allowed three goals in relief of Jonathan Bernier after he allowed three goals in 20 shots.The Blues took control on goals by Barbashev and Schenn 48 seconds apart early in the second period.Barbashev’s goal, beating Bernier short-side from a difficult angle at the left faceoff circle, broke a 1-1 tie at 4:17 of the second.Schenn’s second of the game made it 3-1 and ended Bernier’s night. It was Schenn’s third multi-goal game this season.Brodziak and Pietrangelo blew the game open with goals later in the second and Stastny scored six minutes into the third period.”I thought everyone stepped up tonight, everyone played a good game from the goalie out Authentic Matt Ryan Jersey ,” Schenn said. ”Guys were getting rewarded, which was good to see.”Schenn put the Blues on top 1-0 with a power play goal at 8:41 of the first period. Schenn’s 300th career point came off of a Jaden Schwartz slap shot off of Bernier’s pad that deflected directly to his tape.The Blues lost defensemen Joel Edmundson (upper body) for the rest of the game eight minutes into the first after he blocked a shot from Colorado’s Nail Yakupov. Yeo said he is definitely out for Friday’s game at Winnipeg.”When a guy goes down, everybody’s got to step up and everybody’s got to contribute like the way we did,” Dunn said.Bourque tied it at 1 at 2:50 of the second, capitalizing on Vladimir Sobotka’s giveaway.”We have to be better,” Landeskog said. ”I mean you look at the score, it’s embarrassing.”FACES IN THE CROWDCommissioner Gary Bettman and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey were at the game. Both league heads were shown the improvements to the Scottrade Center as part of $64 million in renovations to the 24-year-old facility.NOTES: Brodziak played in his 200th game as a Blue. … Avalanche F Mikko Rantanen (lower body) returned to the lineup after missing his first game of the season on Tuesday. … The Blues scratched R Chris Thorburn, D Robert Bortuzzo and C Oskar Sundqvist. … The Avalanche scratched L A.J. Greer, C Nathan MacKinnon and D Andrei Mironov.UP NEXTAvalanche: At Carolina on Saturday night.Blues: At Winnipeg on Friday night.
Dion Phaneuf is on the move again as the Los Angeles Kings hope he bolsters their blue line for a playoff run.Los Angeles acquired the veteran defenseman and forward Nate Thompson from the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night for forwards Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore. The Senators are retaining 25 percent of Phaneuf’s $7 million salary-cap hit Womens Eric Staal Jersey , so the Kings get a top-four defenseman for $5.25 million over the next three-plus years.”Dion brings to our club a great deal of experience and leadership,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said. ”He also plays with a physical edge, which complements our lineup well.”The 32-year-old Phaneuf was pulled from Ottawa’s bench during a 6-3 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins with the trade being finalized afterward. The Kings visit the Penguins on Thursday, so he doesn’t even have to leave Pittsburgh to meet up with his new team.”I’m excited to be going to the Los Angeles Kings,” Phaneuf said. ”It’s going to be a real good experience for me to be able to join that team. … I’m excited about the team that they have, where they’re at in the standings and I’m going to go there and do my best to do whatever I can to help their team.”Phaneuf has 16 points in 52 games this season and 478 in 954 games during his 13-year NHL career with the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators. He was traded again almost exactly two years after the Senators got him from the Maple Leafs.The timing of the trade was a bit unusual, though the fact he was dealt came as no surprise. After reaching double overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final last spring, the Senators are 19-27-9 and just three points out of last place in the Atlantic Division.”Everybody knows that things are going to happen,” Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson said. ”You just never know when it’s going to happen or if it’s going to happen. So, we wish him all the best … going to L.A. I know personally he’s going to do real well there.”Phaneuf joins a Kings team that’s just outside playoff position in the Western Conference and goes from playing with Norris Trophy-winning defenseman in Karlsson to another in Drew Doughty. He should be an offensive upgrade on the power play, where Los Angeles is ranked 19th in the league.The always budget-conscious Senators save money even as they take on the 35-year-old Gaborik’s contract http://www.minnesotawildteamshops.com/authentic-jared-spurgeon-jersey , which has about $11 million left on it over the next three years. Gaborik is a buyout candidate after this season, a move that would be an additional help to Ottawa’s bottom line.”Marian has enjoyed a tremendous career to date and has played an integral role with our team over the years, including a Stanley Cup championship,” Blake said.Phaneuf signed this $49 million, seven-year contract when he was with Toronto on New Year’s Eve 2013. He elected not to waive his no-movement clause last summer to be left unprotected in the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, a decision that cost the Senators defenseman Marc Methot.Now Phaneuf is gone, too.”The business is the business,” he said. ”For me, it’s a business decision that the Ottawa Senators wanted to move me, and I respect that.”—AP freelance writer Dan Scifo in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.— WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest from Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights (all times local):11 p.m.The Washington Capitals are one win away from the first Stanley Cup championship in the 43-year history of the franchise.T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly all scored in the first period and the Capitals cruised from there in routing the Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.Only the 1942 Detroit Red Wings have blown a 3-1 series lead after winning the first three games against Toronto.Game 5 is Thursday night in Las Vegas.—10:45 p.m.James Neal has ended a long scoring drought for the Vegas Golden Knights and Reilly Smith added another goal, but the Washington Capitals still lead 5-2 late in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.Neal scored 5:43 into the third period. He had missed an open net in the first period Jason Zucker Jersey , when the game was scoreless. His goal broke up Braden Holtby’s shutout bid. It was the first goal against Holtby in 62:14 of ice time, since Game 3.Smith added another with 7:35 left in the game, but Michal Kempny answered with a goal little more than minute later to restore a three-goal lead.The Capitals are looking to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series that continues with Game 5 on Thursday night in Las Vegas.—9:55 p.m.The Washington Capitals are 20 minutes away from a commanding 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.John Carlson scored the only goal of the second period on a power play at 15:23, giving the Capitals a 4-0 lead. T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly all scored in the first period.Vegas is still trying to find a way to put the puck past goalie Braden Holtby.The Golden Knights have not held the lead since Game 1 and have been outscored 10-3 since winning the opener. Game 5 is Thursday night in Las Vegas.—9:40 p.m.The Washington Capitals got three goals in the first period of Game 4 and are spending much of the second period making sure the lead stands up against the Vegas Golden Knights.Striving to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final, the Capitals have killed a pair of power plays to maintain a three-goal cushion.Vegas has a 20-13 advantage in shots on goal, but Washington has goals from T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly.The Capitals have not trailed at any point since their Game 1 loss.—9:30 p.m.High schooler Jack Merritt threw a crab on the ice after Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final and hopes it becomes a Washington Capitals tradition.The 15-year-old from Chevy Chase, Maryland, said before Game 4 that a crab is better than the ”stupid” plastic flamingo thrown onto the ice to celebrate Vegas Golden Knights wins. He knows all about the plastic rats in Florida, the octopi in Detroit and the catfish in Nashville. He wants crabs to be a thing at Capital One Arena after Washington victories.Merritt bought a crab from a local restaurant before Game 3 and brought it into the arena with hope. He got down to the lower bowl from his upper-deck seats and managed to get the crab on the ice after the Capitals beat the Golden Knights 3-1 to take a 2-1 series lead.Without tickets to Game 4, Merritt only hopes someone else follows his lead.—9:10 p.m.Capitals fans had plenty to cheer about during the first period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final after goals by T.J. Oshie Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey , Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly.They also got to cheer during a TV timeout.Two months after the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash killed 16 in Canada, forward Kaleb Dahlgren from the Saskatchewan junior league was shown on video screens at Capital One Arena.Dahlgren got a nice reaction from the crowd and then a roar when he lifted up his yellow Humboldt jersey to reveal a red Capitals jersey.—9 p.m.The Washington Capitals have taken a 3-0 lead into the first intermission of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.Washington is looking to take a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-7 series.Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly both scored in the final four minutes of the period after T.J. Oshie put the Capitals on top with a power-play goal 9:56 into the game.Wilson is known for hard checks and time spent in the penalty box, but on this occasion he beat Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot from the slot at 3:58. Not long after that, Smith-Pelly scored from a tough angle on the left side after a weird bounce.Earlier, with the game scoreless and the Golden Knights on the power play, Vegas winger James Neal hit the post in front of an open net.—8:35 p.m.T.J. Oshie has given Washington an early 1-0 lead over Vegas in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shot off Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury rebounded to Oshie in front of the net and he jammed it home on the power play 9:54 into the first period.The Golden Knights look much quicker on offense than in Game 3, when they took only 22 shots. James Neal missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring, hitting the right post when firing at an open net.It is the third straight game the Capitals have scored first and they have won the last two for a 2-1 series lead.—8:20 p.m.The puck has dropped, and Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final is under way in the nation’s capital with Vegas trying to even the series against Washington at 2-2.The Golden Knights are starting Tomas Tatar in place of David Perron, who was scratched. Perron has not scored a goal in 14 playoff games.The atmosphere was electric before the game. Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals baseball team were introduced as the ”Fans of the Game.” Nationals slugger Bryce Harper, who grew up in Las Vegas, was wearing a white Golden Knights Jersey.The fans waved white glow sticks and waved towels before the national anthem.Game 5 is Thursday in Las Vegas.—6:25 p.m.Red-clad fans are filling the streets of Chinatown before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights.Fall Out Boy is playing the pregame concert at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Chris Kunitz Jersey Womens , two days after Sting and Shaggy. The strains of ”My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark” could be heard blocks away over the sound of scalpers looking for hard-to-find tickets.According to Ticket IQ, the cheapest Game 4 tickets are up almost $400 from last week. The cheapest tickets available on Ticket IQ and StubHub are more than $1,000 each.—4:40 p.m.The Vegas Golden Knights are making at least one lineup change for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final by plugging in offensive-minded winger Tomas Tatar.Vegas has scored three goals against the Washington Capitals in the past two games and fallen behind 2-1 in a series for the first time in the playoffs. Coach Gerard Gallant says he hopes Tatar adds some offense and speed to a group that lacked both in a Game 3 loss Saturday.Tatar has not played since Game 3 of the Western Conference final against Winnipeg. It looked as if Tatar would replace struggling winger David Perron in Game 4, though Gallant on Monday refused to confirm that scratch and alluded to at least one other possible move.The Golden Knights traded a 2018 first-, 2019 second- and 2021 third-round pick to Detroit for Tatar at the deadline. He has dressed in just six of 19 playoff games, scoring one goal.Tatar did score the most goals against the Capitals this season: four in two games with the Red Wings, including an overtime winner.—More Stanley Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/StanleyCupFinals
An early November home game against an out-of-conference team that hasn’t made the playoffs the past six years has taken on added importance for the Pittsburgh Penguins.Pittsburgh (6-5-3) not only has lost five straight games going into a date with the Arizona Coyotes (7-6-1) on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena Adidas Gabriel Gagne Jersey , but the Penguins also have the pressure of responding to strong comments made by their general manager.Jim Rutherford, on his radio show, criticized the team’s play, wondered if things had gotten stale and indicated changes might be coming soon.Article continues below ...“He’s trying to do his job,” Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin said of Rutherford. “Our job is to be here in the locker room, support each other. Step on the ice and try to play a great game. Of course he’s not happy. Five games we lost. He sent a message. We understand he’s not happy. We all understand.”The Penguins have won the Stanley Cup twice in the past three years and are a close-knit group, so the idea of changes, such as trades, that would greatly alter the makeup of the team gets their attention.“I think we’re all motivated. I think we all understand that the expectations are high,” team captain Sidney Crosby said. “When things aren’t going right Adidas Mikkel Boedker Jersey , there’s always going to be questions. As a general manager, he’s got to evaluate and identify things. He’s got to do his job, and we respect that and understand it as players.“But we’ve got to go out there and play and do the best we can and make it a lot easier on him. It’s a lot easier when you’re winning games. That’s up to us.”Pittsburgh is 4-0-1 in its past five games against Arizona.The Coyotes are coming off two losses in a row against the Philadelphia Flyers after a four-game winning streak. On Thursday in Philadelphia, the Coyotes blew a two-goal lead and fell 6-5 in overtime.Brad Richardson was pretty harsh in his assessment of that loss.“To me, it was pretty simple — we got brain dead in the third,” he said. “We turned pucks over. Just get pucks in deep and we would have won the game.”Coach Rick Tocchet called it “a learning lesson.”Tocchet, a former Penguins assistant coach, is in his second season with Arizona, which lost 11 in a row a year ago to start the season. That might put a two-game losing streak in perspective.The Coyotes have thrived on strong defensive play. As of Friday, they ranked second in the NHL with 2.43 goals against per game.“We implemented the defensive system I wanted — a more aggressive style than they were used to Adidas James Van Riemsdyk Jersey ,” Tocchet told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.While penalty killing is rooted in defense, Arizona has also been opportunistic with a league-best nine short-handed goals.“That’s a lot of short-handed goals,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It was something we talked about with our power play (Friday) is making sure that we have a heightened awareness when they’re on the ice.”Pittsburgh has allowed three short-handed goals, as many as they gave up all last season. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Although the San Jose Sharks and the Anaheim Ducks both have been regular Stanley Cup playoff participants for the past 15 years, the California rivals somehow met in the postseason only once before this week.That first-round series in 2009 provided valuable lessons to the veterans remaining in both dressing rooms. The eighth-seeded Ducks eliminated the top-seeded Sharks in six tempestuous games culminating in the Ducks’ clinching home victory, which began with Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton dropping the gloves on the opening faceoff.Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin are still around in Anaheim, while Thornton, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Joe Pavelski are still in teal. When they drop the puck on another first-round meeting Thursday night at Honda Center Adidas Christian Folin Jersey , the veterans from both clubs will keep in mind what they’ve learned from many years of the playoff grind.”We would have liked to probably handle that series a little better,” recalled Pavelski, now the Sharks’ captain. ”We were great in the regular season. Just never really got it going. This group understands we want to get off to a good start. If you get that first goal under your belt and play with the lead, more often than not it puts that other team under a little bit of pressure.”Much has changed for both teams in the ensuing nine years, but this rivalry hasn’t cooled much. Getzlaf and Perry are still seeking their first Stanley Cup since 2007, while the Sharks are still waiting to raise it for the first time.The 38-year-old Thornton is still in teal, but his right knee injury seems likely to keep him out for the first round. Anaheim has its own injury woes headlined by the shoulder problem of top defenseman Cam Fowler, who is expected to miss the series.Here are more things to watch in the eighth playoff series between California teams in NHL history:OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS?: The series opens in Orange County because of a tremendous late-season surge by the Ducks, who won their final five games to slide in front of San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division. Anaheim overcame its early-season injury problems and the late-season absence of goalie John Gibson to finish with 101 points to San Jose’s 100. The Sharks lost five of their final six regular-season games and gave away home-ice advantage on the final day of the regular season. Home ice typically doesn’t mean much in the postseason, but the Ducks have lost in regulation at Honda Center just once in 17 games since Jan. 23.KANE’S CHANCE: Evander Kane provided a big spark for San Jose after being acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline with nine goals and five assists in 17 games. Kane’s reward for his strong play is his first trip to the playoffs nine seasons into his career. Kane never got a shot at the postseason with Atlanta Adidas Erik Karlsson Jersey , Winnipeg or Buffalo, but believes his style of play is conducive to this time of year.”I’ve said it in the past: I think I’m a playoff player,” he said. ”I’ve watched the playoffs and when I look at the style of play and it’s something I was jealous because I wasn’t involved in it. Now I get that opportunity and I have to back those words up.”SCORING D: Sharks coach Peter DeBoer has put a priority on getting offense from their defense and it paid off this season with San Jose ranking third in the NHL with 199 points from the blue line. The offense didn’t just come from last year’s Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns, with a team record five defensemen in all scoring at least 20 points, including a career-high 33 points from Justin Braun and a career-best 11 goals from Vlasic.”I don’t know what it is. He’s been preaching it for a few years but this year I think we really took hold of it a little bit more,” Braun said.SPECIAL TEAMS: The Sharks power-play has been a bit of a roller coaster this season. San Jose converted just 14.5 percent of its chances with the man advantage over the first 18 games before things started to click. The Sharks scored on 28.9 percent of their chances over the next 29 games before falling back into a rut after Thornton injured his knee. The power play slumped late in the year, converting at a rate of 16.5 percent over the last 35 games. The penalty kill was much more consistent, ranking second in the league at 84.8 percent for the season.—AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow in San Jose contributed to this report.—
LAS VEGAS (AP) At the start of the NHL season Adidas Marian Hossa Jersey , most figured the Vegas Golden Knights would be struggling heading into the final month and would be sellers at the trade deadline.Instead, they’re perched atop the league standings with 86 points, ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay, which has 85.William Karlsson scored two goals and Reilly Smith had three assists to lead the Golden Knights to a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.Tomas Hyka, Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Nosek and David Perron also scored for the Golden Knights.Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury, who is four wins shy of becoming the 13th goalie in NHL history to register 400 career wins, stopped 30 shots.Vegas, which has won five of its past six games, improved to 16-2-1 against Pacific Division teams.”I hate having seven-game homestands to be honest with you because you’re going to have some ups and downs,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”It’s tough to keep your guys focused all the time. But overall, to go 5-2 on this homestand, I thought we played for the most part good hockey. We scored a lot of goals. I thought our defensive game gotta get a little bit better. But we’re playing well, overall it’s been very good, I’ve been very happy with it.”Vancouver, which dropped to 3-7-1 in February, is 5-11-1 against intradivision foes.The Canucks got goals from Sven Baertschi Adidas Chris Wagner Jersey , Thomas Vanek and Daniel Sedin.Anders Nilsson, who played in his 100th career game, had 19 saves for the Canucks before being replaced by Jacob Markstrom at the start of the third period. Markstrom made 8 stops for Vancouver.”It’s definitely frustrating, I’m not happy with the loss,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. ”The players gotta realize that against a quick team they’re not gonna have as much time and space if you turn the puck over a couple of times inside their blue line.”Vegas opened the scoring when Hyka, playing in just his third NHL game, scored his first career goal 2:29 into the game.”I’m kind of still getting used to (the NHL), everything is faster compared to the IHL, but I play with two really good guys and they make a lot of things there for me and I’m just really happy I can play with them,” said the 24-year-old Hyka, about his linemates Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter.The Canucks then displayed a little bit of offensive prowess of their own, tying the game when Sam Gagner’s pass slipped under Vegas defenseman Luca Sbisa and Baertschi punched it home, then taking a 2-1 lead when Vanek tapped in a loose puck.Vegas reclaimed the lead on a pair of Karlsson goals, late in the first period and 5:36 into the second. Karlsson’s two goals give him 33 for the season, third-best in the NHL behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (36) and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (34).The Golden Knights extended their lead to 5-2 on Marchessault’s 22nd goal of the season, and Tomas Nosek’s seventh of the campaign.Sedin, who notched his 16th goal of the season when he beat Fleury top shelf with a power play goal 4:28 into the third period Adidas Joakim Nordstrom Jersey , said the Canucks haven’t seen a team faster than the Golden Knights all season.”If you’re a second too late, they’re gonna pass right by you and come the other way,” said Sedin, who has seven points in his last seven games. ”These guys can score, they got offensive skill up front and we knew it was going to be a back and forth game. We played good in the first and good in the third, but in the second it got away from of us.”Perron was credited with an empty net goal when the Canucks inadvertently sent the puck the length of the ice for the final margin. Along with his assist on Nosek’s goal, Perron tied his career-high of 57 points.DEALING:Just prior to the game, the Golden Knights were in fact involved in a three-team deal with Ottawa and Pittsburgh in which Vegas gave up American Hockey League prospect Tobias Lindberg. In turn, the Golden Knights will receive Penguins forward Ryan Reaves and a fourth-round pick from the Canucks. The deal also sent Senators center Derick Brassard to the Penguins, who sent defenseman Ian Cole, goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson and draft picks to the Senators.While the trade deadline is Monday at Noon eastern, several of the Golden Knights said the team is too focused on their playoff push to worry about major moves affecting the roster.”We definitely have good players all around our lineup … we like our team, we like the chemistry here,” Marchessault said before the game. ”Stuff can happen and you don’t necessarily expect it. A lot of things can happen and it’s out of your control, it’s part of the game. At the end of the day you gotta trust your organization.”NOTESVegas has now scored a power-play goal in 14 of its last 16 games. … The Golden Knights are 25-3-0 record when scoring the first goal of the game while their .893 win percentage when recording the opening mark leads the NHL. … Baertschi now has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) over the past seven games.UP NEXTVancouver: At Arizona on SundayVegas: At Los Angeles on Monday PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall because — to swipe a page from their glory days — he was Broad Street Bullheaded.Hextall preached patience.The Flyers want to win now.That clash of ideology turned toxic in Philadelphia’s front office, and it cost Hextall his job in his fifth season as GM. Paul Holmgren Timothy Liljegren Jersey Womens , the Flyers’ loyalist and team president, had few solid answers Tuesday as to why he made the move, other than to repeatedly call Hextall “unyielding.”Hextall’s arrival signaled a new era in Flyers history, one where short-term fixes, big-budget spending and mortgaging the farm system were no longer in vogue. He gamely tried to restock the farm system and refused to make a major trade for a star that could instantly inch the Flyers closer toward contention.And when all that got the Flyers were a pair of first-round playoff exits and a 10-11-2 record this season, Hextall got the boot.“He was unyielding in his plan and remained that way,” Holmgren said. “Good for him. He’s a well-thought out, deep-thinking guy.”The deep thoughts included packaging draft picks and prospects for All-Stars capable of carrying Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Vorcek and James van Riemsdyk at least into May.The Flyers expect to hire a GM in weeks and he’ll have to make an urgent decision: keep or fire coach Dave Hakstol.“I hate to say Dave Hakstol’s fate is in the next GM’s hands but it is,” Holmgren said. “I’m not going to make that decision.”Hakstol, 132-97-40 in three–plus seasons, was set to coach the Flyers on Tuesday night against Ottawa.Holmgren said he never asked Hextall to fire the coach he hired with no NHL experience out of North Dakota. But Holmgren said Hextall had told him “of course, I’m thinking about it.”But, Holmgren added, “he never did it.”The Flyers did at least discuss the potential of adding Joel Quenneville after the Chicago Blackhawks fired the three-time Stanley Cup champion coach.“I can tell you his name came up right away when he was let go,” Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott said. “I think Ron was set on Antoine Roussel Jersey Womens , stay the course.”With his biggest backer gone, and the Flyers wallowing, Hakstol’s job is in serious danger.“I like Hak. I think he’s done a decent job under the circumstances he’s coached under,” Holmgren said.“Decent” isn’t exactly an encouraging vote of confidence. Hakstol has had his issues — the Flyers are last in the NHL in the penalty kill (69.7 percent) — but Hextall’s decision to enter the season with two oft-injured goalies haunted the team. The Flyers have matched a franchise-high with five goalies this season while prized prospect Carter Hart lingers in the minors.“Is he our long-term solution? I don’t know that,” Holmgren said. “I’m not prepared to answer that. That’s another topic for the next GM.”Holmgren punted about every major issue facing the Flyers to the next GM, and there are plenty of top candidates. The Flyers have about $7 million in salary cap space, and enough talent that should entice some heavy hitters for the job. Former Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who won two Cups and now works for the Flyers, told Holmgren he wasn’t interested. But Chuck Fletcher, Ron Francis, Sean Burke and Brian Burke are sure to pique the interest of a team eyeing its first Stanley Cup since the back-to-back titles in 1974 and 1975.“What can we do now, today, to make the team better now? Not two years or three years from now,” Scott said.Hextall was criticized for refusing to listen to scouts and advisers and had been accused of cutting off alumni from access to the team. Hextall, a star goalie and one of the franchise’s more popular players, had wanted his own process on his terms.“His plan was his plan and we’re really hoping for a little more openness going forward,” Scott said.Asked when the Flyers decided to shift from long-term rebuild to legitimate contention Tim Schaller Jersey Womens , Holmgren was blunt.“We’re in the fifth year,” Holmgren said. “That’s a long time in hockey years.”The Flyers haven’t made the Cup finals since 2010 and haven’t won a playoff round since 2012.“It’s a long time,” Scott said. “We’re gonna go for it.”The decision to dump Hextall was about dollars and cents as much as it was the state of the roster. Fan apathy is at a low, attendance is down and tickets are steeply discounted on StubHub. There is little buzz apart from the new googly-eyed mascot.What’s more, the 76ers, their fellow Wells Fargo Center tenant, have overtaken the city in popularity, with big stars and packed houses.“They were having some challenges and then (Jimmy) Butler coming certainly helps things,” Scott said.So the Flyers need their own Butler?“Couldn’t hurt, that’s for sure,” he said, laughing.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers tried to make their annual Halloween game a festive occasion — popular mascot Gritty judged the costume contests during intermissions — but the only boos came from disgruntled fans each time Philly skated off the ice.The Islanders‘ romp started early Jean-Gabriel Pageau Jersey , and they seemed right at home against the listless Flyers.Brock Nelson scored two goals, Anders Lee had a goal and two assists and Robin Lehner stopped 22 shots to lead New York past Philadelphia 6-1 on Saturday.Leo Komarov and Anthony Beauvillier also scored to help the Islanders take a 3-0 lead through two periods in a game between teams near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Nelson scored in the first and third periods in his third straight game with a goal.“It doesn’t always have to be goals, just chances,” Nelson said. “If you can feed off of that, you can suffocate teams.”The Islanders opened a three-game road trip. They play eight of their first 11 games on the road this season.The Flyers were loose with the puck, sagged on defense and stopped skating hard after pucks in the defensive zone. A playoff team last season, Philadelphia has lost three straight games and four of five overall.Coach Dave Hakstol remains on the hot seat in his fourth season, and the Flyers (4-7) await what could be a make-or-break four-game trip out West.Maybe a road trip will give a needed boost to a Flyers team that has already lost four home games.“We tightened up in this building Mark Stone Jersey ,” Hakstol said.The Islanders weren’t terribly impressive either, but they were efficient, scoring two goals on their first six shots and three on the first 12.Michal Neuvirth wasn’t much help in net in his first start since last year. Neuvirth was out with an unspecified injury and the Flyers got little production from Brian Elliott and Calvin Pickard in his absence.The Flyers coughed up the puck and Komarov capitalized with a tip-in for a 1-0 lead in the first. The Flyers had another turnover later in the period and Jordan Eberle fed Beauvillier for a 2-0 lead.Nelson made it 3-0 on a sweet 2-on-1 attack that stunned Neuvirth and pretty much sealed the win.“Our bounces are not going our way, but the season is long and we have to stick together,” Neuvirth said. “We’ve got a good team in here.”It’s hard to tell. The Flyers’ core of Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek has done little to prove the franchise can ever become serious contenders and — with more games like this one — general manager Ron Hextall will have to decide if he wants to shake up the roster or make a move behind the bench. Or both.“I really feel like we’re pressing right now. We’re just tired of losing so we’re trying to do everything we can to make something happen, but sometimes it’s not always the right thing,” Giroux said.Adam Pelech made it 4-1 and Nelson had his first multigoal game of the season Youth Matt Duchene Jersey , bringing out chants of “Fire Hakstol!”Jori Lehtera scored for the Flyers in their third straight game with one or fewer goals. Hakstol shuffled his lines all game and no combination worked.Lee made it 6-1 on a power-play goal that Neuvirth barely swiped at and the fans that stuck around could only boo.“We want to keep creating those opportunities,” Lee said. “The more chances we get, the more are going to go in. It kind of culminated tonight.”NOTES: Flyers C Corban Knight left with an unspecified injury.UP NEXTIslanders: Play Sunday at Carolina.Flyers: Open the road trip Tuesday at Anaheim. The Flyers also will play the Kings, Sharks and Coyotes. The Nashville Predators are suddenly having trouble scoring goals. The Chicago Blackhawks are experiencing frightful difficulties preventing opponents from scoring goals.Something has to give Saturday night when the Central Division rivals meet at Bridgestone Arena, each looking to reverse recent losing trends.Nashville (17-8-1) is 1-2-0 on a five-game homestand, including a puzzling 3-0 loss to Arizona on Thursday that saw it get blanked by Adin Hill, he of six NHL starts. The Predators turned in a genuine smeller, drawing 24 penalty minutes Mike Condon Jersey , losing 33 of 61 faceoffs and failing to convert on their two power play chances.Article continues below ...“They were faster than us,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “They wanted it more. We didn’t have enough guys with their hands on the rope pulling it our way.”The Predators aren’t getting enough production from key players. Kevin Fiala has scored three goals all season and was demoted to the fourth line for a few games. Ryan Ellis has managed one goal. Craig Smith has only two goals in his last 17 games.Even the top line is struggling. Center Ryan Johansen has just three points in his last eight games, and left winger Filip Forsberg has only eight points in his last 15. That helps explain why Nashville is 4-5-1 in its last 10 games with just 27 goals.“It’s frustrating getting held off the scoreboard in our own rink against a new goaltender like they had,” forward Colton Sissons said. “It’s pretty disappointing. We’re just in a little bit of a funk here. We’re not feeling ourselves and not playing a game that’s winning hockey right now. Back to the drawing board, and we have to move on.”Based on the last five games, the Predators may have a perfect foil to correct their issues. Chicago (9-12-5) has lost 13 of its last 16 games, the results getting no better since it canned three-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6.The Blackhawks are 3-6-2 under interim coach Jeremy Colliton, including a 6-5 loss Thursday night in Winnipeg that highlighted their defensive problems. They have ceded 26 goals in their last five games Ryan Dzingel Jersey , coughing up eight in a Tuesday night loss to Vegas.“I thought defensive zone coverage was much better,” Colliton said after the loss in Winnipeg. “But now we had trouble off the rush. We’ve got to put it together. It’s tough to win until we sort it out. There needs to be some urgency there. If there hasn’t been already, it’s been long enough now.”Slow starts doomed the Blackhawks against the Jets, who scored in the first two minutes of each period. The Blackhawks led and played like a team caught in the transition between the end of a glorious era and the beginning of an uncertain one.“There’s no quit in this team, but we’ve got to get better,” Blackhawks forward Marcus Kruger said. “We can’t get behind every game. We have to stay in the game and build the game from there and make it harder on our opponents.”
NEWARK Drew Doughty Jersey , N.J. — The New Jersey Devils got a boost from an unexpected source during the first game of a back-to-back set Thursday night. On Friday, the Ottawa Senators will hope the return of a familiar face can generate momentum as they begin their own stretch of two games in as many nights.Center Matt Duchene is expected to play for the first time in more than two weeks Friday night, when the Senators visit the Devils at Prudential Center.The Senators haven’t played since Monday, when they edged the visiting Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime. The Devils lost Thursday night, when they fell to the host Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.Article continues below ...Duchene has missed the last seven games due to a groin injury he suffered against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 4. The Senators (15-16-4) went 3-3-1 without Duchene, who has cemented himself as one of Ottawa’s top offensive threats since he was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 5, 2017. Duchene ranked fourth on the team in points (49) last season despite his late arrival and is third this year (34 points) even after missing most of this month.“It’s gigantic for us,” Senators head coach Guy Boucher told reporters following practice Thursday. “We know he’s a big part of this team — one of the pillars, for sure. He’s a point-per-game player. If you count all the games that there’s a one-goal difference, that’s a lot of games.”A lack of success in one-goal games has undone the Devils (11-15-7), who are last in the 16-team Eastern Conference. With Thursday’s loss, New Jersey has now lost 10 of its 13 one-goal games (3-3-7).Despite the loss, the Devils got some unexpected help from a rookie goaltender. MacKenzie Blackwood made his first NHL start in that game and was saddled with the tough-luck loss after stopping 36 shots. Alas http://www.officialkings.com/authentic-adidas-dustin-brown-jersey , one of the two shots that got past Blackwood was a second-period penalty shot by Cam Atkinson that ended up as the game-winning goal.Although Blackwood did not get the win, his surprisingly good performance may pay dividends.“The fact that he can come in and play the way he did is big for our team,” Devils head coach John Hynes told reporters afterward. “It’s always one of those things where it’s (important to make) a first impression. And tonight was a great first impression. I think he earned the trust of his teammates and that’s important for a goalie.”Number one goalie Keith Kinkaid will likely return to net for the Devils Friday, when he’ll be opposed by Senators starter Craig Anderson.Kinkaid last played Tuesday, when he took the loss after allowing five goals on 21 shots before being pulled following the second period of the Devils’ 7-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anderson earned the win Sunday, when he recorded 31 saves against the Predators.Kinkaid is 2-2-0 in five career appearances against the Senators. Anderson is 11-3-2 in 16 games against the Devils. NEW YORK (AP) — The Calgary Flames have had trouble winning in New York in recent seasons. Opportunistic scoring and stellar goaltending changed that on this trip.Johnny Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway each scored twice and backup goalie David Rittich made 44 saves as the Flames snapped a six-game losing streak at Madison Square Garden with a 4-1 victory over the Rangers on Sunday night.“I felt great and I want to say thank you to my defense,” said Rittich, who won for the second time this season as the Flames improved to 5-3-0 and scored three or more goals for the seventh straight game. “We know we had to be better in the third period and we got the two points.”Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, the last-place team in the Metropolitan Division at 2-5-1.Gaudreau opened the scoring at the 17-minute mark of the first period, backhanding the puck past Henrik Lundqvist. Sean Monahan picked up the assist.Hathaway made it 2-0 at 12:21 of the second with his first goal this season. Gaudreau scored again at 14:55, extending the lead to 3-0 with his fifth of the season. Flames captain Mark Giordano assisted on the score, which was Gaudreau’s 300th career point.“It’s a cool accomplishment,” the 25-year-old Gaudreau said of the milestone. “Obviously Jake Muzzin Jersey , it makes it better with the team winning when you get an accomplishment like that, as well.”The Rangers were coming off an overtime loss at Washington on Wednesday after winning in a shootout over Colorado the previous night. The Rangers have had trouble scoring goals under new coach David Quinn.New York has yet to win in regulation. The Rangers have just 19 goals in their first eight games, including one shootout win and one in overtime.“We have to find ways to score goals.” Quinn said. “We’ve got to be more tenacious with our shooting mentality. It’s frustrating.”Rittich, an undrafted 26-year-old goaltender from the Czech Republic, made 12 saves in the first period, 13 in the second and 19 in the third.“We played better as the game went along and Ritter was great,” Hathaway said. “To have a player like that is a big part of this team.”Rittich’s lone blemish was Zibanejad’s power-play goal at 6:41 of the third. Zibanejad’s third goal this season was assisted by Neal Pionk and Mats Zuccarello.The Rangers had an excellent chance to narrow the deficit just over a minute later, but Rittich made successive saves on Jesper Fast and Zibanejad. Rittich denied Filip Chytil on a backhand from the slot with four minutes left.Hathaway completed the scoring for the Flames with his second goal at 18:07 of the third.“It’s too bad. I feel like these types of games are starting to add up, unfortunately,” said Lundqvist, who made 22 saves in defeat. “We are playing good enough to win games but we are not finding ways to win games. It’s obviously something we need to change fast.”Zuccarello echoed Lundqvist’s growing angst as the Rangers struggle to get wins.“We created a lot of chances and we can sit here and say that we didn’t play a bad game, but we lost,” said the 31-year-old Norwegian forward who leads the Rangers with six assists. “So Jeff Carter Jersey , it’s not good enough. We have to come to practice, talk about it and see what can do better.”The Rangers came into the contest with a 10-1-1 record against the Flames, starting with a 2-1 win at home on Nov. 22, 2010.Gaudreau, who leads the Flames with 12 points, was a teammate of Ranger forwards Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider at Boston College when the Eagles won the national championship.Gaudreau was a fourth-round pick by the Flames in the 2011 draft. He has points in seven of Calgary’s eight games, so far.“We found a way to score a goal towards the end of the first period, got our legs moving in the second and found a couple goals,” Gaudreau added. “Ritter obviously played really well for us tonight.”NOTES: The teams meet again on March 15 in Calgary. . Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic missed his seventh straight game because of a facial fracture. . Calgary scratched forwards Anthony Peluso and Austin Czarnik and defenseman Dalton Prout. . The Rangers scratched defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Fredrik Claesson and forward Ryan Spooner.UP NEXTRangers: Host Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.Flames: Visit Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
WINNIPEG San Jose Sharks T-Shirts Authentic , Manitoba (AP) — Nazem Kadri had his first goal of the season and John Tavares, Kasperi Kapanen and Tyler Ennis also scored in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night.Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots to help Toronto snap a two-game losing streak to improve to 7-3-0.Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves. The Jets were 4-1-1 on a six-game homestand, leaving them 6-3-1 overall.The teams will meet again Saturday night in Toronto.LIGHTNING 1, AVALANCHE 0DENVER (AP) — Nikita Kucherov scored on a power play with 13:36 remaining, Andrei Vasilevskiy outperformed Semyon Varlamov in a goaltender showdown, and Tampa Bay beat Colorad.Kucherov lined in a pass from Steven Stamkos for his 150th career goal. This after Kucherov nearly scored late in the second period, only to have the puck glance off a stick.Vasilevskiy turned back 23 shots for his 13th NHL shutout. Varlamov made 23 saves.PANTHERS 3, ISLANDERS 2, OTNEW YORK (AP) — Mike Hoffman scored a power-play goal 33 seconds into overtime to lift Florida past New York.Frank Vatrano and Evgenii Dadonov added goals, and James Reimer made 20 saves. Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle scored for New York.CANUCKS 3, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2, SOLAS VEGAS (AP) — Markus Granlund scored in the shootout San Jose Sharks Hoodies Authentic , leading Vancouver past Vegas.Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped all four shots he face in the shootout, and made 33 saves.Bo Horvat kept his hot streak going, scoring both of Vancouver’s goals. He now has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in the last nine games.Max Pacioretty and Ryan Reaves scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 26 shots. Based on games the teams played Thursday, indications are that the red lights behind the goals will be flashing frequently on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center.The Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres scored a combined 14 goals while allowing 10 in their victories over the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, respectively, on Thursday.“In preseason, people didn’t think we were going to be that high scoring of a team, but we keep proving people wrong and that’s what we need to continue to do,” Canucks center Bo Horvat said after scoring two goals and adding two assists in the 8-5 win over the Bruins.Article continues below ...The Canucks, who are 4-0-1 in their past five games, will be making the third stop on a six-game trip Saturday.The Sabres (8-6-2) are coming off a 6-5 overtime win over the Canadiens after they trailed 5-4 after two periods.“We’ve got a very resilient group and we’ve shown it,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “Our third period was our best period there. We kept coming San Jose Sharks Hats Authentic , had terrific looks. In OT, it wasn’t the way we planned it to get it, but it worked out well for us.”The game Saturday will be their first at home since last Saturday when the defeated the Ottawa Senators 9-2. On Sunday, they lost 3-1 to the Rangers in New York. The Canucks (10-6-1) have scored 26 goals in their past five games. Loui Eriksson had two goals and an assist against the Bruins.“I had some puck luck (Thursday) probably,” Eriksson said. “We know we have some young guys playing, and they are still learning, but they are handling their situations and responding well.”Canucks coach Travis Green said, “I’m happy with our group. We’re finding ways to score goals and get production from everywhere, which you need. I’ve said that a lot. You’re never excited when you give up five, but man, that was an exciting game. … (Horvat) has been carrying a heavy load for quite a bit and I like the way he’s playing now. It’s what we envisioned.“He’s able to produce and go against top centermen and that’s what we’ve talked about his game progressing and evolving to the player he’ll eventually be.”Canucks right winger Brock Boeser did not accompany the Canucks to Buffalo. He returned to Vancouver to see a specialist because of a groin injury that has kept him from the past two games.“He has gotten better, but he can’t quite get over the hump, so we want to make sure Custom San Jose Sharks Jerseys , and we’ll see what comes out of it,” said Green, who thinks that Boeser could rejoin the team during the trip.The Canucks will face a Sabres team that believes it can improve on the effort on Thursday.“There’s a lot of good things to talk about and there’s a lot of (areas) that we were very sloppy,” Housley said. “You look at the game itself, it was just uncharacteristic. A lot of guys were just off their game a little bit. We didn’t look clean.“Our executing wasn’t very good. At the same time, we’re down 5-4 in the third period in somebody else’s building. We find a way to tie it up and win it in overtime. We’ve got to recognize some things we’ve got to buckle down, but I give our guys a lot of credit for battling through that and finding a way to win.”Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen scored the winning goal in overtime.“That was a pretty bad game,” Ristolainen said. “You can’t have those games. But I think this game is going to make us tighter. We’re going to grow as a group here. We got a pretty ugly win. Grind it out, big two points and learn from it.”The Sabres are 4-2-1 at home and the Canucks are 5-4-1 on the road.
DENVER (AP) — For a brief moment Custom Ottawa Senators Jerseys , the Minnesota Wild lost track of the super speedy Nathan MacKinnon.That’s all it took. MacKinnon had a tap-in goal off a nifty pass from Mikko Rantanen to give Colorado the lead, Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 shots and the Avalanche beat the Wild 4-1 on Thursday night in the opener for both teams.“His vision is awesome,” MacKinnon said of his linemate. “I just drove the net and Mikko made a great play.”Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk didn’t have much of a chance on MacKinnon’s second-period goal that gave Colorado a 2-1 advantage. Rantanen skated down the left side and sent a pass through a sea of sticks to MacKinnon, who tapped it in before Dubnyk had a chance to fully turn his head.“He was in a good place and he made a good play,” Dubnky said.Wild coach Bruce Boudreau offered another explanation.“It’s MacKinnon. He’s going to get a lot of goals like that,” Boudreau said.MacKinnon picked up right where he left off from last season, when he tallied 39 goals and 58 assists on his way to finishing second in the Hart Trophy vote. He led the team in shots Thursday with eight. Carl Soderberg scored, while Rantanen and J.T. Compher added empty-net goals for the Avalanche, who moved to 15-5-3 in home openers since moving to town from Quebec.Varlamov returned to net after missing the playoffs last season with a knee injury he suffered late in the regular season. He made his eighth opening-night start in a burgundy-and-blue sweater, surpassing Patrick Roy for the most by an Avalanche goaltender. This also was Varlamov’s 400th career NHL game.“He’s grown so much as a goalie,” MacKinnon said. “His mindset is he can play a low-shot game and stay sharp, and he was great.”Colorado thought it had a two-goal lead when Colin Wilson scored 1:36 into the third after knocking in a puck out of the air. The goal was reviewed and disallowed after it was determined Wilson’s left glove batted the puck in.No matter, Varlamov protected things with save after save. None bigger than stopping an Eric Staal wrist shot with his right shoulder on a 2-on-1 with just under 5 minutes remaining.Rantanen added an empty-net goal with 1:53 remaining and Compher another in the waning seconds to seal the victory.Colorado outshot the Wild 40-21. Zach Parise gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead on a backhand pass from Mikko Koivu early in the first period. Parise missed the opening 39 games a season ago due to a back ailment that required surgery. After steadily working his way back into form www.flyersshoponline.com , Parise suffered a broken sternum in the playoffs.Minnesota is coming off a season in which it posted 101 points before losing to Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs.“There was some sloppiness that’s not going to be seen in game 20,” Boudreau said. “Pucks bouncing over the sticks and over-skating the puck and things of that nature. … I think they did know how quick the pace was going to be, faster than the preseason, but took us a while to get up to it.”As for the Avalanche, general manager Joe Sakic has modest goals this season after his team returned to the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. Their average age this season is 26.3. They ended last season at 25.8.“Our goal is to make the playoffs, but the most important thing for us is to see the growth of this group,” Sakic said. “We’re excited to see who makes that next jump.”NOTES: Wild F Marcus Foligno was tripped by D Tyson Barrie late in the second period. Foligno went to the bench favoring his left leg but returned a few minutes later. … F Vladislav Kamenev (lower body) and D Anton Lindholm (upper body) were taken off injured reserve and reassigned to the Colorado Eagles of the AHL. … Avs F Sheldon Dries made his NHL debut. He had two shots. … Soderberg also had an assist.UP NEXT:Minnesota: Starts a three-game homestand Saturday against Las Vegas.Colorado: Hosts Philadelphia on Saturday. PHILADELPHIA (AP) Sidney Crosby tormented the Flyers just as he has from the start of his NHL career. Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin were clutch when needed in pivotal games. And Matt Murray? Oh, just two shutouts and the type of outings that show more zeros on the board are possible in the second round – and maybe, beyond.But with the game on the line and facing a Game 7 on home ice where they already lost twice, the Pittsburgh Penguins turned to a blossoming postseason star to lead the way.Jake Guentzel was just the player to bail out the Pens.He scored the tying and go-ahead goals in Game 6, then scored two more – all four in succession – to put the game away and lift the Penguins to an 8-5 Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.The Flyers are headed home, as usual, with a Stanley Cup drought that dates to 1975.The Penguins are nestled in a familiar spot Philadelphia Flyers T-Shirts Womens , in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.But a bigger prize looms for the Penguins – a third straight Stanley Cup. The Penguins have won nine straight playoff series, which ties a franchise record and are the most in the NHL since the Detroit Red Wings also won nine from 1997 to 1999.The New York Islanders are the last team to win 10 straight, in fact, they won 19 consecutive postseason series (1980 to 1984) that included four Stanley Cup championships.Now comes the hard part.Pittsburgh has reached the same round as the last three teams going for a threepeat (1989 Oilers, 1993 Penguins, 1999 Red Wings) – and all three lost in the second round.The Penguins say, bring it on.”Things are never going to always go your way, especially in the playoffs,” Murray said. ”We got the job done. This time of year, it doesn’t matter how, it just matters that you get the win.”Crosby had a hat trick in Game 1 and matched a postseason-high with four points in a Game 3 win in the Philadelphia arena where fans stuck his photo on the inside of urinals.He shook it off – as if he was ever bothered by the activity – and scored six goals and had 13 points in the series.”Sid loves to compete. When he goes to hostile environments, he’s at his best,” coach Mike Sullivan said. ”He’s a high-stakes player. He has `it’. `It’ is what helps you perform in those big moments. It’s hard to explain `it’. You know `it’ when you see it. Sid is one of those guys.”Crosby has been the dominant and reliable Penguin over the course of a career that includes three Stanley Cups. But this season brought new challenges to the franchise.The Penguins have crafted a new identity after the departures of Chris Kunitz Philadelphia Flyers Hoodies Womens , Marc-Andre Fleury, Nick Bonino, Trevor Daley and Matt Cullen, all vital pieces of Pittsburgh’s 2016 and 2017 titles.”I think we have a bunch of capable guys that can play for us here. It’s kind of the next man up and the guys did a great job,” Guentzel said.Sure, four goals is a bit ridiculous, but Guentzel will need to be a key contributor again especially if Malkin isn’t ready to go.Malkin, who scored three goals in five games, sat out Game 6 with a leg injury. He missed the final four minutes of the first period in Game 5 after Philadelphia’s Jori Lehtera fell on it when the two got tangled in the corner. Malkin returned to start the second period. But he was hurt to the point where he sat out Game 6, and all it takes is one nagging injury to slow down the road toward completing the Stanley Cup trilogy.If he plays or not, there are still enough playoff-tested Penguins to keep them rolling.”We’ve been through a number of these elimination games over the last couple of years so it’s not a surprise to any of us,” Sullivan said. ”My hope moving forward is we can learn from those experiences and hopefully we have better success.”—