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#1 24-09-2017 11:22:21

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BOSTON – No team in the West scored more goals in the regular season t

BOSTON – No team in the West scored more goals in the regular season than the Chicago Blackhawks. But like the highest scoring team out East found out quite recently, the Boston Bruins can squeeze the life out of just about any offensive attack. A round of 28 mostly harmless shots made their way to Tuukka Rask on Monday evening, each and every one turned aside as the Bruins took control of the Stanley Cup Final with a 2-0 victory in Game 3 at TD Garden. Absent Marian Hossa, their leading scorer in the playoffs, the Blackhawks have now failed to elude Rask and the Bruins for a string of over 120 minutes, Boston snuffing out Chicagos high-powered attack since the opening frame of Game 2 at the Madhouse on Saturday night. “Were in the Stanley Cup Final against a team that deserves to be here, that is here because of the way they play defensively and check away from the puck,” said Patrick Sharp, who scored the last Blackhawks goal and leads the team with nine markers in the postseason. “Its tough to score out there. Weve got to find a way – we know whats on the line.” It was the third shutout of the postseason for Rask, who owns a eye-popping .946 save percentage, but on this night the 26-year-old was not exactly tested to the most trying degree. Chicago did little to make his life much of a nightmare. “Tonight I thought we made it rather easy on him,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville declared afterward, noting the lack of havoc in the immediate vicinity of the Bruins netminder. “Its hard to get A-plus chances. Youve got to manufacture the ugly kind of goals; tips, screens, deflections and the second chances.” Like for instance, the game-tying goal from Johnny Oduya in Game 1, a point blast that wiggled in off the skate of Andrew Ference with bodies in front. Or the overtime winner that same night from Andrew Shaw, a puck that was redirected twice just to beat Rask. Or the marker from Sharp in Game 2, a rebound with flurries of traffic and the Bruins netminder in turmoil. “We always talk about getting to the inside a little bit more, getting two guys screening him and guys going to the net,” said captain Jonathan Toews, who has just one goal in the postseason and has yet to register a point in this series. “We just didnt find those loose pucks. Weve got to find a way to do it.” Hurting matters further is the increasing instability of the power-play, which came up dry in three opportunities on Monday and has yet to score in 13 chances so far this series. Often the unit, which finished 19th overall in the regular season, has looked simply lost. In one such instance in the first frame, with Shawn Thornton whistled off for roughing, the Blackhawks had just a single shot, the two best opportunities actually coming for the Bruins, Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand both instigating partial breaks on Rask. “It was ugly at times,” said Sharp of the man advantage, “but there was also times where we had some scoring opportunities. Well work to be better.” The hunt for offence was made worse without the services of Hossa, who leads Chicago with 15 points in the postseason. The 34-year-old was scratched following the pre-game warm-up with a mysterious upper-body injury, replaced on this night by Ben Smith, who scored three goals in seven playoff games for the Blackhawks in the 2011 postseason. Forced to juggle his line combinations with Hossa out, Quenneville flanked Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger with Toews, stuck Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane alongside Michal Handzus, while shifting Smith onto a unit with Sharp and Dave Bolland. Scratched in the opening two games of the series, Viktor Stalberg made his debut on a trio that included Andrew Shaw and the suddenly quiet Bryan Bickell. Generally pleased with his teams efforts in a scoreless first, Quenneville saw it unravel in the second, the Bruins scoring twice on goals from Daniel Paille – his second in as many games – and Patrice Bergeron. Searching for a spark in that flailing middle frame, Quenneville would eventually plug Toews onto a unit with Sharp and Stalberg, Kane, who has just one point in this series, joining Saad and Shaw. The results remained the same. “Youre not going to get a ton,” said Quenneville of the minimal scoring chances. “Its a tight game. Scoring is going to be challenging. But weve got to be ready to play that kind of game….Its not like were thinking that we just want to go outrace them and look to exchange high-quality scoring chances off the rush because that feeds right into what they want to do. Weve got to be ready to play a patient game and make sure we capitalize when we do get opportunities and hopefully we get the power-play rolling.” Chicago endured a similar struggle to the present conundrum in a second round standoff with Detroit, managing just two goals combined in a string of three losses. They would rally with three straight wins themselves, finding their game with 10 goals in the process. “As soon as we get one that confidence is going to come,” Toews opined, noting a few too many shots directly at the glove of Rask, “[then] we can just make plays, we can let things flow a little bit more out there.” Boston, though, has a maddening recent history of squeezing the life from attacks like the Blackhawks. The Bruins held the Penguins, who scored more than any team in the league, to just two goals in the Eastern Conference Final, snuffing out the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to shocking avail. “Theres enough going on big picture that I dont think anyone is squeezing the stick or worrying about numbers or stats,” Sharp concluded, when questioned on the subject. “Its about winning the game right now.&rdquo Mike Ribeiro Jersey . Sgt. Eric ONeal says most of the arrests at Monday nights game were for public drunkenness, though one person was taken into custody on suspicion of trying to steal a seat from the stadium. P.K Subban Predators Jersey . That left plenty of energy for pitching books and swatting away free agency questions. Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds, and the Knicks avenged an embarrassing home loss with a rout of their own, beating the Boston Celtics 114-88 on Wednesday night for their third straight victory. http://www.predatorshockeypro.com/authe … rs-jersey/ . -- Mike Smith never saw his first NHL goal go in. Colin Wilson Jersey . The (11-11-4) Jets are seventh in the Central Division with 26 points.  Fifth place Dallas and sixth-seeded Nashville also have 26 points, but the Stars have three games in hand on Winnipeg while Nashville has two. Ryan Ellis Predators Jersey . I cant pinpoint a date, but I do remember a player from my youth. Brian Downing was with the Chicago White Sox at a time when I listened to every game I possibly could on the radio. That particular season the late great Harry Caray was calling the White Sox games. CINCINNATI -- Dan Straily thought there was no chance Billy Hamilton would get to the ball. The center fielder ran it down and made a diving catch on the warning track, providing the only break that the pitcher needed.Straily extended his surge since the All-Star break by pitching six innings and Joey Votto drove in a pair of runs to lead the Cincinnati Reds over the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Tuesday night.A day after losing to the Dodgers 18-9, the Reds won a close one against a Rangers team that has been shut out three times in its last nine games.Straily (10-6) hasnt allowed more than two runs in any of his eight starts since the break, going 6-0. He gave up three singles and two walks. He also got a huge assist from Hamilton, who ran down Carlos Beltrans fly to left-center field to open the sixth with the game scoreless.I usually have a pretty good angle on most of them, and that was the first one all year I thought he had no shot, Straily said. I was starting to move over to back up third, but he found a way. Its pretty amazing what hes doing out there.The remarkable catch was a potential game-changer.It was just a spectacular play, manager Bryan Price said. What a difference he makes in center field. If he doesnt win a Gold Glove, theres no justice.Raisel Iglesias gave up two hits in the seventh but escaped the threat with two strikeouts. Tony Cingrani gave up two walks in the ninth before retiring Ryan Rua on a grounder to complete his 16th save in 21 chances.Votto singled home a run in the sixth off left-hander Derek Holland (5-6), who had been on the disabled list since June 22 with an inflamed pitching shoulder. Holland gave up four hits and a walk in six innings. He also got his first major league hit, a single off the plate that bounced over Vottos head at first base.Holland grew up in Newark, Ohio, and had been unbeaten in his home state, going 3-0 in games in Cleveland. He would have loved to get another one at the other end of the state.That would have been very nice, he said. I left quite a lot of tickets. It was definitely good to be back in Ohio in front of family and friends.ddddddddddddHollands only walk set up the run. He walked Tyler Holt -- who pitched a perfect relief inning during Mondays lopsided loss -- to open the sixth. Holt advanced on Hamiltons sacrifice bunt and came around on Vottos single to right.Tyler Barnhart doubled home a run in the seventh off Jeremy Jeffress. Votto added a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Matt Bush.STILL HITLESSStraily grounded out in his only at-bat, leaving him 0 for 43 in his career. Cubs pitcher Jon Lester holds the record for a hitless streak to start a career at 0 for 66.INTERLEAGUE RECORDSThe Rangers are 10-6 in interleague play this season, with their pitchers going 3 for 19 at the plate. The Reds are 5-11. ... The Rangers are making their first visit to Cincinnati since 2007. The Reds lead the interleague series 8-7.GOMEZ UPDATEOF Carlos Gomez could join the club in Texas on Thursday. He signed a minor league deal on Saturday and is playing for Triple-A Round Rock. Manager Jeff Banister said hell get a chance to play left field and right field.JOSH HAMILTON WAIVEDThe Rangers placed OF Josh Hamilton on unconditional release waivers, though they hope his left knee is healthy enough to allow him to try for a spot with the team next season. By making the move now, hes eligible to play for them all of next season. He had surgery on June 8 to reconstruct his ACL and repair cartilage damage.TRAINERS ROOMRangers: RHP Colby Lewis will pitch for Frisco on a rehab assignment Wednesday. Hes been sidelined since June 25 with a strained back.Reds: SS Zack Cozart missed his sixth straight game with a sore left Achilles tendon.UP NEXTRangers: Yu Darvish (4-3) is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 1.74 ERA. He has made six straight quality starts, matching the club high for the season.Reds: Tim Adleman (2-1) makes his sixth career start and his first against the Rangers. 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24-09-2017 11:22:21




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