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 n, would they want him to leave?”E

NEW YORK (AP) — After a rough stretch Custom Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys , the New York Rangers are playing their best hockey in nearly two months.Chris Kreider had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist moved into a tie for sixth place on the NHL’s career wins list and the Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 Thursday night for their third victory in four games.The Rangers won nine of 11 to move to 12-8-2 heading into Thanksgiving, but then followed that with just five wins in 21 games (5-11-5). Now, coming off a 6-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday night, New York has consecutive wins for only the second time since a three-game streak Nov. 17-21.“I think guys are just sick of losing,” coach David Quinn said. “Sometimes you employ your will in those situations and just make sure you do everything you can under your control to make sure that you get your job done and do your part. … I think we’ve done a better job of that over the last few games.”Mats Zuccarello, Filip Chytil and Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York. The line of Zibanejad, Zuccarello and Kreider has totaled nine goals and 10 assists over the last four games.“We’re skating with confidence,” Zibanejad said, “just demanding the puck, all three of us. Just holding onto pucks and making the right plays, not overthinking things.”Lundqvist stopped 24 shots to tie Terry Sawchuk with 445 wins, nine behind Curtis Joseph for fifth place.“It’s an honor to be up there, getting closer and closer to and already passing names that meant a lot to me growing up,” Lundqvist said. “It’s a very cool feeling.”Brandon Saad, Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun scored for Chicago www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com , which has lost five straight (0-3-2) and seven of eight. Collin Delia, making his eighth start of the season, finished with 29 saves.“We just have to stop giving them chances off our mistakes,” DeBrincat said. “Teams capitalize on that and we’ve just got to play, battle a full 60 minutes and not give up those Grade-A chances.”DeBrincat pulled the Blackhawks to 3-2 with his 24th goal on a one-timer off a pass from Eric Gustafsson at 1:40 of the third period. It was Chicago’s second power-play goal of the night and ninth during a seven-game streak with at least one.Delia, 0-2-3 in his last five starts, made a stellar save on Jimmy Vesey in front about six minutes later, and corralled an attempt by Zuccarello from the left circle with 7:40 left to keep Chicago within one.New York went on its first power play of the game less than 30 seconds later and managed six shots on goal during the advantage, but Delia stopped them all.Zibanejad scored an empty-netter with 18 seconds remaining to give the Rangers a two-goal lead. Kahun beat Lundqvist from between the circles with 1.5 seconds left for the final margin.With the Rangers leading 2-1 after one period, Zibanejad appeared to push the lead to two a little more than seven minutes into the second, but his goal was overturned after a coach’s challenge for offside.Kreider put New York up 3-1 on his 22nd with 6:51 left in the middle period after Zuccarello’s centering pass for Brady Skjei was deflected by Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith.Saad got the Blackhawks on the scoreboard first with a power-play goal 5:41 into the game, putting in a rebound of Artem Anisimov’s deflection off a post for his 14th.Chytil tied it with 6:40 left in the first as he picked up a loose puck in the defensive zone, skated up the right side, sped around fellow 19-year-old Henri Jokiharju, skated in on Delia and fired the puck into the top right corner for his eighth.The Rangers went ahead a little more than four minutes later when Zuccarello knocked in a deflection off a post by Kreider with 2:22 left in the period. It was Zuccarello’s eighth goal of the season, and fourth in the last four games.“We had a couple of letdowns Toronto Maple Leafs T-Shirts Authentic , mental errors,” Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said. “I thought we played really well at the beginning of the game, scored the first goal and things are going well. And then we end up down 2-1. Again, we’re playing uphill after that.”NOTES: Patrick Kane had an assist on DeBrincat’s goal, extending his point streak to seven games (10 assists, 15 points). It was his 554th career assist, tying Doug Wilson for third place in franchise history. Stan Mikita leads with 926 and Denis Savard is second with 719. … Rangers forward Kevin Hayes missed his eighth straight game due to an upper-body injury. … Zuccarello, who had a career-high three assists in New York’s 6-2 win against Carolina on Tuesday night, extended his point streak to four games.UP NEXTBlackhawks: Host the Washington Capitals on Sunday to open a two-game homestand before the All-Star Game.Rangers: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday night in their final game before the All-Star break. BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jeff Skinner knows how much the Sabres and their playoff-starved fans want him to stay in Buffalo beyond this season.“Ha, ha, I’ve heard,” the forward memorably said with a laugh in December. “I’m having a lot of fun, too.”And yet, two months later, Skinner is nowhere closer to providing anything resembling a definitive answer regarding where he’ll be playing once his contract expires after this season.“The present is still where we are Toronto Maple Leafs Hoodies Authentic , and that sort of thing will play itself out,” he said Thursday. “I think there’s no point in really talking about it now because there’s nothing really to talk about from me on my end.”Skinner, however, can’t hide his emotions when asked how much he enjoys Buffalo.His eyes brighten and he breaks into wide, toothy smile in saying: “I like it here. Yeah, I like it.”Cast off by Carolina as part of the Hurricanes‘ latest rebuilding plan, the three-time 30-goal-scorer and 2011 NHL rookie of the year is approaching career-best numbers since being traded to the Sabres in August.H has a team-leading 34 goals —e three short of matching a career high — and is second in the NHL behind Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (38). His seven game-winning goals are second in the NHL and most in Buffalo since Derek Roy had nine in 2008-09. Skinner has been so consistent, his longest goals drought was four games to start the season.And he and captain Jack Eichel have been inseparable on a top line that’s played a significant role in keeping Buffalo in playoff contention in a bid to end a seven-year postseason drought, and on a team that finished last in the overall standings in three of the previous five years.Despite going 11-15-5 since a 10-game win streak in November, the Sabres (28-21-7) already have 63 points — one more than they had last season — and sit 10th in the Eastern Conference, four points behind eighth-place Pittsburgh.The topic of Skinner’s future is once again rising to the forefront with the NHL’s trade deadline looming on Feb. 25, and after Skinner was spotted having a lengthy conversation with his agent, Don Meehan, following a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.“To me it was just checking in,” Skinner said, referring to the meeting. “No details to discuss. Nothing really to report.”As for the approaching trade deadline Toronto Maple Leafs Hats Authentic , Skinner shrugged and said: “I don’t think about it at all.”It remains unlikely the Sabres will consider trading Skinner by Feb. 25.General manger Jason Botterill told The Associated Press in December he didn’t consider that date as being a deadline for contract talks. And there has been no indication — publicly or privately — that Botterill’s stance has changed since.Botterill has maintained regular contact with Meehan, and has said he wants Skinner to focus on playing and familiarizing himself with his new surroundings. What bolsters Botterill’s hopes is noting how Skinner chose to play in Buffalo by waiving his no-trade clause in a deal the Hurricanes acquired prospect forward Cliff Pu and three draft picks.Eichel laughed when asked if he’s aware of Sabres fans campaigning for Skinner to stay.“He has how many goals, 34?” Eichel said as Buffalo prepares to close a seven-game homestand against the New York Rangers on Friday. “I’m sure Sabres fans want him to stay. I mean, would they want him to leave?”Eichel’s certainly on board, too.“I’m not Skins’ agent. I’m not our GM, but he’s been a big part of our team this year,” he said. “You could probably say we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.”It will ultimately be up to Skinner to decide.One positive is how much the Toronto-born player has enjoyed playing closer to home, and having his family attend games in Buffalo (essentially a two-hour drive) as opposed to Raleigh, North Carolina (roughly a two-hour flight).Coach Phil Housley noted Skinner’s proximity to home and family has provided incentive. And it helps playing alongside Eichel.“Jeff finds that open area, he’s a positional player, and Jack seems to find him in those areas,” Housley said. “They just seem to have a great chemistry together.”Skinner must also weigh what offers he might command in free agency at a time more teams are spending less in free agency and committing more salary cap-space to re-signing their own players.All that can wait.“As a player, you can only sort of control a small number of things,” Skinner said. “For us right now, that’s moving on to tomorrow’s game and getting ready for that.”



elaine95, 19.04.2019 08:38
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