GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Six straight losses sent the Minnesota Wild into a downward spiral, the weight of the previous game carrying over into the next. Once the Wild learned how to put games behind them, good or bad, the wins started piling up. Justin Fontaine scored three goals, Niklas Backstrom stopped 39 shots and the Wild won their fourth straight game by beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 on Thursday night. "When we were losing games, we were carrying that baggage into the next game with us," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Success can do some damage to you, too, like winning can.
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Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Darrun Hilliard had 21 points and four steals and No. 8 Villanova dismantled DePaul 81-64, handing the Blue Demons their first conference loss of the season. Ryan Arcidiacono scored 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, in Villanovas second straight convincing win following its first loss of the season, an overtime setback against Seton Hall on Jan. 3. It started with our defense and we really shared the ball well, Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. I thought the first half was the key to the game.
VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Lions released third-string quarterback Joey Elliott on Thursday. Elliott had not seen any action with the Lions in 2013 after joining the club following three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Elliott passed for 2,101 yards to go along with five touchdowns and 12 interceptions with Winnipeg last season. He was third on B.C.s depth chart behind starter Travis Lulay and Thomas DeMarco. With Elliotts release, rookie quarterback Chris Hart moves up to No. 3.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Paul Goldschmidt realizes his good fortunes against Tim Lincecum could turn at any moment, so hes the last one who will be caught celebrating a remarkable streak of home runs against the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner. Goldschmidt did it again Wednesday night, showing he has some freak in him, too. The slugger hit a three-run homer and sacrifice fly to pound Lincecum early, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 7-3 for a nice lift after a slow start.
TORONTO – October was a productive month for Phil Kessel. The 26-year-old signed an eight-year extension worth $64 million on the eve of the regular season before posting a bountiful nine goals and 18 points in 14 games. But just as the weather has chilled outside, so too has the Leafs best player. Now tied for 31st in league scoring, Kessel went pointless for the ninth time in the past 11 games in an embarrassing 6-0 loss to the Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Durham, NH (SportsNetwork.com) - New Hampshire has the nations top ranking and No. 1 playoff seed to motivate opponents, but the Wildcats announced they feel ready for the challenge by dispatching Fordham, 44-19, in the second round of the FCS postseason Saturday. UNH (11-1) extended its school-record winning streak to 11 games as its began its 11th straight appearance in the playoffs. The Wildcats will host eighth- seeded Chattanooga (10-3) in the national quarterfinals next weekend. The CAA Football champions had terrific offensive balance with 274 passing yards and 270 rushing yards.
DALLAS -- Houston centre Dwight Howard has been fined $25,000 for throwing the ball into the stands late in the Rockets loss in Dallas. Howard tossed the ball into the seats while turning toward the court, drawing a technical foul with 2:54 remaining in the game Wednesday night. The NBA announced the fine Thursday. The Rockets were ahead 116-111 at the time, and Dirk Nowitzki made the free throw to get Dallas within four. The Mavericks, who trailed by 18 in the third quarter, later went on a 9-1 run to end the game and earn a 123-120 come-from-behind win.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have made the playoffs for eight years running, but losing in Game Seven of the second round this year caused them to clean house, firing GM Ray Shero and head coach Dan Bylsma. Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Penguins team that has a new general manager, Jim Rutherford, and is still looking for a coach, but will surely expect to ice Cup contender next season. Its a little difficult to forecast what next years Penguins club will look like, not knowing yet who will be coaching, but its safe to expect some significant turnover on the roster.
DALLAS - Tyler Seguin kept up his scoring surge for the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. This time, his teammates gave him more help.Seguin had two goals and an assist to help Dallas beat the slumping Montreal Canadiens 4-1 Saturday night, ending the Stars four-game losing streak (0-3-1).Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt also scored for the Stars, who had goals during a 5-on-4 power play, a 5-on-3 advantage, while skating 4-on-4 and into an empty net. Kari Lehtonen finished with 16 saves to earn his first victory since Nov.
WASHINGTON -- Andrew Dykstra earned a shutout in his first MLS start in nearly four years and D.C. United snapped a 15-match winless streak with a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night. Substitute Chris Rolfe scored in second-half stoppage time to ensure the victory after United (1-2-1) went ahead late in the first half on an own goal by New England defender Jose Goncalves. It was Uniteds first win of the season and Rolfe scored his first goal of 2014 after being traded from the Chicago Fire this week. Uniteds winless streak dated to last August.