Disputed play goes their way after a long review and goaltender Ray Emery does well, improving to 6-0-0 in seven appearances. They move to sixth place in the West in the playoff race.
The Ducks endured more than a few nervous moments Wednesday before sealing a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, but they have learned to thrive on the kind of pressure that can make lesser players go weak in the knees.
If the tension was especially high in Wednesday's game at the Scotiabank Saddledome, they barely noticed.
"Is there one that hasn't been?" Coach Randy Carlyle said after his team vaulted into sixth place in the West by winning for the seventh time in eight games and ninth in 11.
The Ducks had played seven straight one-goal games and were in the same situation Wednesday until Corey Perry scored into an empty net for his second goal and league-leading 46th. The Ducks are six points ahead of ninth-place Dallas, which has two games in hand, and six ahead of the Flames, who have only four games left.
"They were desperate and we're desperate as well," goaltender Ray Emery said after he improved to 6-0-0 in seven appearances. "We need points and it's a tough building to come into, but we did a good job. We got a lead in the first and battled hard the rest of the game to keep it."
They almost didn't.
They overcame Jarome Iginla's early goal and took a 2-1 lead on two power-play goals, a Bobby Ryan wraparound and Perry's deflection of a Cam Fowler shot, then waited through a lengthy video review of a Tim Jackman shot that appeared to have crossed the goal line at 14:50 of the second period. It was not ruled a goal on the ice by referees Gord Dwyer and Marc Joannette, and NHL executives in Toronto said because no replay could conclusively prove the puck had crossed the line, the referees' ruling should stand.
The Flames claimed they should have been awarded a penalty shot because Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf cleared the puck out of danger by closing his hand on it, a contention supported by replays on Canada's TSN network.
The Ducks added to their lead four minutes later when Lubomir Visnovsky tied a club record for defensemen with his 16th goal of the season, a long blast that was deflected by Calgary's Cory Sarich and past goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. Calgary pulled within a goal 32 seconds into the third period thanks to a five-on-three power play gained following some undisciplined penalties by the Ducks, but Perry iced it with 47 seconds left.
"The hockey was not pretty but it doesn't matter," said Visnovsky, who matched the 16 goals scored by Fredrik Olausson in the 1998-99 season. "It was an important two points for us."
Emery wasn't sure how the NHL would judge the disputed play, which developed when the puck hit the arm of Calgary center Matt Stajan and popped up in the air before it was swatted by Jackman.
"I think the puck kind of flipped over top and it hit his glove and then the guy whacked it and I got back in time," Emery said, leaning to re-enact the play in the locker room. "It hit my glove and hit the crossbar and kind of fluttered down and hit him. I knew it was close."
The Ducks are accustomed to close calls—and to coming out on the triumphant side. Emery has been a big part of that. Carlyle called him "a godsend," a point reinforced when All-Star goalie Jonas Hiller said he is again experiencing symptoms related to his bout with vertigo. "I've got to take it day by day and do my best to feel right," Hiller said, "and hopefully it's going to be more good days than bad days, and at some point hopefully just good days."
Emery had a good day Wednesday. So did the Ducks.
"He was the best guy for us. He saved lots of good chances," Visnovsky said. "That changed the game."
NEW YORK -- Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal of the shootout in the fifth round and the Ottawa Senators snapped the New York Rangers' season-best five-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.
Craig Anderson and Rangers counterpart Henrik Lundqvist both made 29 saves through overtime and both denied the first four shooters in the tiebreaker. Anderson got some help in the fifth round when Ryan Callahan got off a weak shot because his stick broke on the attempt.
Karlsson then solved Lundqvist to win it.
The game mattered much more to the Rangers, the seventh-place team in the Eastern Conference. New York closed within two points of sixth-place Montreal, which lost at Boston, with seven games left. The Senators are last in the East.
Ryan Shannon had given Ottawa a 1-0 lead in the second, but Brandon Prust tied it early in the third.
A big scrum in the Senators' crease with 1:40 left in regulation led to two minor penalties for each team that didn't affect on-ice manpower. However, Ottawa forward Chris Neil was whistled for holding with 25.7 seconds left to give the Rangers a power play for much of the first 2 minutes of overtime.
Anderson kicked out Marc Staal's shot just as Neil's penalty expired, and a lead pass sent Neil in alone on Lundqvist, who poke-checked the rolling puck off his stick.
Prust got the Rangers even at 1 at 2:45 of the second period during a delayed-penalty call. Staal, who missed the previous two games because of an undisclosed injury, raced the puck up the middle but was cut down at center ice by a sliding tackle from defenseman Chris Phillips. Staal got a pass off while on the ice to Prust, who glided into the right circle and snapped in his 12th goal.
The Rangers showed more life throughout the third period and generated chances that Anderson handled. New York killed Ryan McDonagh's holding penalty just past the midpoint of the period.
Shannon broke the scoreless deadlock with 4:39 left in the second when he converted off a circle-to-circle pass from Bobby Butler and beat Lundqvist from the right for his 10th goal this season and fourth in five games. It came just 21 seconds after Ottawa's first power play ended.
That marked the first time the Rangers were short-handed in two games after they earned a penalty-free, 1-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. New York had only one power play in that game and was given only one through 40 minutes against Ottawa.
Shannon had scored only two goals in 34 games before this recent spurt. ... Senators D Sergei Gonchar missed his second game because of a concussion. ... Rangers D Matt Gilroy sat out to make room for Staal. LW Sean Avery was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game and for the fifth time in six. ... The Rangers agreed to terms with free agent Jason Missiaen, a 20-year-old goalie who is 6-foot-8. He went 10-33-8 this season with a 3.33 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 53 games with Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
NEW YORK—Toney Douglas tied a franchise record by making nine of the New York Knicks' franchise-record 20 3-pointers, scoring 29 points in a 120-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points and Chauncey Billups added 18 for the Knicks, who were 20 of 36 (55.6 percent) from behind the arc and moved back ahead of Philadelphia into sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Wearing green uniforms for St. Patrick's Day, the Knicks looked much better than they did during their slide. Douglas' sneakers were the wrong shade of green -- sort of like the Hulk -- but everything else was perfect. His ninth 3-pointer, with 17 seconds left, gave the team a record total and allowed him to match Latrell Sprewell and John Starks on the individual game list.
Mike Conley scored 16 points for the Grizzlies, whose lead was sliced to one game over Utah for the final playoff spot in the West.
Amare Stoudemire scored 16 for the Knicks, who shot 52 percent overall and were 18 of 21 at the free-throw line.
New York had dropped three straight since Anthony's jumper with 0.5 seconds left in a 110-108 victory at Memphis on March 9, allowing an alarming 117.3 points per game during the skid, which included a home-and-home sweep by a sub.-500 Indiana team.
The defense was better, but the story was the record-breaking perimeter game.
The Knicks turned an eight-point halftime lead into a blowout by hitting seven 3-pointers in the third quarter. Billups hit two early in the period and scored 12 points, while Douglas closed the quarter with two in the final 34 seconds as New York build a 92-74 lead.
Their previous record of 19 3s also came against the Grizzlies on Nov. 12, 2008.
It was a sorely needed win for a Knicks team that has been inconsistent while Denver has rolled since their blockbuster trade involving Anthony last month. The Knicks are now only 7-6 since, even though the struggles ultimately have meant nothing to their playoff hopes.
The Knicks are still in sixth, just as they were when the deal went down, and haven't been lower than that since they were seventh through games of Dec. 2, according to STATS, LLC.
Yet that's done nothing to relax a fan base with bulked-up expectations since acquiring a second star to pair with Stoudemire. Coach Mike D'Antoni joked the fans that are panicking should "take some Prozac or something."
"Hang in there, we're hanging in there, we're pedaling as fast as we can pedal," he said before the game.
"The biggest thing, and I'll just keep repeating," he added, "is that we're not going to get caught up in the hysteria and we're going to be who we are, we're going to play as well as we can and get it together and hang in as a group and try to make the playoffs and then try to do as good as we can."
No worries this time from the fans, who were too busy chanting Douglas' name in the final minute.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first quarter, which ended in a 29-all tie. Douglas, who makes the Knicks so much more dangerous when his outside shot is falling, was 5 for 6 from behind the arc for 15 points in the second period as New York took a 59-51 halftime lead.
NOTES: The Knicks are 2-0 this season in their green uniforms, which they wore while beating Chicago on Christmas. ... Memphis G Jason Williams had an MRI on his back that revealed no structural damage. He continues to be listed as out with lower back soreness. ... Stoudemire, Anthony and Billups will be featured on a segment of NBA TV's "True NBA" news magazine program next Monday night. The trio sat down with former Georgetown coach John Thompson for the interview.
Ron Santo’s family and Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams helped the Chicago Cubs pay tribute to their beloved former broadcaster before a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
The team unveiled a plaque dedicated to Santo during the pregame ceremony. It sits right below his spot in the press box and says: “From this booth, Cubs legend Ron Santo signed thousands of autographs for Cubs fans from around the world.”
Santo died on Dec. 3 at the age of 70 from complications of bladder cancer.
The pregame ceremony before 7,186 fans at HoHoKam Stadium also included members of team chairman Tom Ricketts’ family, Mesa mayor Scott Smith and Santo’s son, Jeff.
WHITE SOX: Dayan Viciedo of the Chicago White Sox has a broken right thumb after being hit by a pitch.
Viciedo is expected to be out for two to four weeks,
“It’s a sad day,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He’d done everything we asked him to do. Hopefully he can be cured before we break camp.”
CARDINALS: Kyle McClellan got a confidence boost in his bid to make the Cardinals’ rotation on Thursday.
Despite not having his best stuff, McClellan allowed three hits and a run in four innings in a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
AROUND THE HORN: Documents released by the Florida state attorney’s office accuse Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera of threatening a manager at a restaurant shortly before the slugger’s arrest Feb. 16 in Fort Pierce on suspicion of drunken driving. ... Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar was scheduled for more facial surgery a day after being hit by Brian McCann’s foul liner while standing in the dugout during an exhibition game. A spokesman said it may be another day or two before all details are clear. ... The Phillies rewarded manager Charlie Manuel with a two-year contract extension through 2013, his prize for four straight NL East titles, a World Series championship. He will reportedly be paid between $7 and $8 million total for 2012 and 2013. ... Dodgers pitcher Jon Garland is expected to miss at least a month after straining his left side during a spring training game. Garland hurt himself throwing a pitch Wednesday and an MRI exam revealed a strained oblique muscle. ... Yogi Berra, 85, was taken by ambulance from the Yankees’ spring training game after tripping in the clubhouse. The Hall of Famer was in “good spirits,” and the hospital visit was strictly a precaution.
We all get a little down in life now and then. Some people respond by running distance races, or making pickles, or drinking whiskey. Other people watch replays of Stephen Strasburg's first home start. Like Mark Lerner, for example.
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/strasburgtherapy0211.jpg<img src="http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-02/59659231.jpg" >
"It shows all 14 strikeouts!" Lerner told NBC Washington's Lindsay Czarniak recently, while showing off the highlights on his iPad. "It's great. So if I need a quick fix, this is what I'll do. I'll put on the highlights of Stephen's June 8th game. I've watched it probably 50 times if I've watched it once. For two bucks I put it on the iPad. I took the link off MLB.com. I listen to the play-by-play call or whatever, [and] I'm very happy....
"When I'm sitting at my desk at home or on a plane or whatever, I'm down about something or I'm nervous about signing a free agent, we're going back and forth about whether we'ree gonna get him or not, you konw, I'll just put this on. It gets me all pumped up. And it's fun."
"Strasburg Therapy," Czarniak suggested.
"Absolutely," Lerner agreed. "There is hope. And hopefully I'll have some Harrper Therapy too this year or maybe next year, and we'll see what happens."
Finishing is starting to become a problem for No. 5 Texas.
For the second time in three games, the Longhorns frittered away a big first-half lead and lost a Big 12 road game, this time 91-89 at Colorado on Saturday.
The Buffaloes stormed back from a 22-point first-half deficit and overcame a 48-33 halftime hole behind Alec Burks' 33 points and Levi Knutson's 21.
''The second half we didn't execute and I think they played harder than us and they wanted it more, it seemed like,'' Longhorns forward Jordan Hamilton said. ''We didn't run plays, we didn't screen. We went away from what we were doing in the first half.''
For the Longhorns, it was eerily reminiscent of a 70-67 loss at Nebraska a week earlier that prevented Texas (24-5, 12-2 Big 12) from ascending to the top of the college basketball rankings.
This latest loss dropped Texas into a tie for first place in the Big 12 with No. 3 Kansas, which beat Oklahoma 82-70.
''It's not like we lost a ton-load of games. We've only lost two games,'' Hamilton said. ''... But I think it's good for us. We've just got to get back to the drawing board. We're not as good as we thought.''
In beating their third Top 25 opponent this season, the Buffaloes (18-11, 7-7) regrouped at halftime and put on a second-half show in pushing the pace and giving first-year coach Tad Boyle his biggest win yet.
''I didn't yell and scream. I probably should have,'' Boyle said of his halftime message. ''I didn't know what to expect coming out at halftime. But our guys, they delivered.''
''A sense of urgency kicked in,'' Buffaloes senior Cory Higgins said.
And everything starting going Colorado's way.
''It seemed like they had more freedom in the second half. Transition 3s, just driving, like playing open gym, really,'' lamented Longhorns forward Gary Johnson. ''That seemed like the kind of team they turned into in the second half.''
The Horns? They suddenly looked like the kids who entertained the crowd during a timeout by donning oversized uniforms and shoes and trying to score a basket.
''I really think it's very simple: the team that played for 40 minutes won the game,'' Texas coach Rick Barnes said. ''I didn't feel like we had a real sense of urgency from the get-go.
''We didn't play with purpose, that was the problem. We got a lead early in the game and I've seen them evaporate quickly, but you can certainly help the cause by not making them defend and simply not executing. We didn't. We simply didn't execute.''
While the Buffs were storming back behind Burks, who scored 24 after halftime, including 11 during a 14-0 spurt, the Longhorns were going 1 for 17 from the field during a brutal 25-possession stretch.
When it was over, the Buffs had built an 81-70 lead on Austin Dufault's tip-in with less than 3 minutes left.
But Texas, led by 21 points each from Hamilton and J'Covan Brown, didn't go down quietly.
Brown hit three free throws with 38 seconds left to make it 85-80. After Knutson's two free throws, Hamilton's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left pulled Texas to 87-83.
Higgins stepped on the baseline on the inbounds, turning the ball over with 29 seconds left, but Hamilton was long on a 3-pointer and Burks corralled his 10th rebound.
He missed his eighth free throw, however, before making one for an 88-83 cushion.
Hamilton's long 3-pointer made it a two-point game with 18 seconds left. Burks was fouled again with 14 seconds remaining and this time he made both for a 90-86 lead.
Hamilton misfired a 3-pointer and Higgins hit one of two foul shots, and Cory Joseph hit an uncontested 3 at the buzzer as the student section at the record fourth sellout at the Coors Events Center this season stormed the court.
The Buffs tied their school record with their 14th win at home and ended a six-game skid against Texas, which led 43-21.
Colorado outrebounded Texas 43-39 and outshot the 'Horns 53 percent to 42 percent.
''Mentality,'' Boyle said. ''We don't have better athletes. We don't have more size. We just battled them. And that's the competing I was talking about at halftime. ... Shows you what we're capable of.
''It's a marquee win, goes to the top of our resume.''
And to the bottom of the Longhorns', right alongside that loss at Nebraska.
''I think it's human nature when a team gets up and thinks it's going to be easy,'' Barnes said. ''If I were coaching against us, I would tell them that if they could get a lead there is always a chance to come back because we haven't proven yet that we can sustain it.''
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