with an ankle injury. He had eight carri

10 Sierpień, 2018 - 05:47

DENVER -- Patrick Roy was quite calm and even cracked a few jokes as his team went through a light workout. No signs of stress at all. Of course, the first-year Colorado Avalanche coach has been in a few pressure-packed Game 7 situations as a Hall of Fame goaltender -- 13 to be exact. His players? Not as much experience. A dozen had never been to the post-season before this year. And yet Roys hardly fretting over his teams emotional state heading into a decisive final game Wednesday night against the Minnesota Wild, with the winner moving on to face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. On the contrary, Roys reminding his youthful team of one simple thing: Enjoy the moment. "How good is this?" Roy said. "Theyre excited about it and they should be. ... Were playing Game 7 in our building, in front of our fans." In this series, home ice is a pretty big deal. All six games in this tightly contested matchup have been decided during the waning moments, with the home team capturing each one. Wild coach Mike Yeo has a stirring pregame speech all prepared for just the occasion, a few well-chosen words to put into his players ears before they hit the ice and hear the clamour of the crowd. Care to share the highlights? "Then it wouldnt be very inspirational," Yeo joked. Minnesota will try to neutralize the noise with another sizzling start. The Wild have scored the first goal in four of the games. "(Game 7s) are the best and also the worst," Yeo said. "You have so much on the line -- the players laying it all out there, the passion and the energy of the building and the fans. Theres just so much at stake." Avs forward Maxime Talbot stressed "having fun" to rookie Nathan MacKinnon, whos tied with Zach Parise for most points (10) in the NHL playoffs so far. Talbot knows the butterflies will be present for players such as MacKinnon -- and its something to embrace. "Thats why we play the game," said Talbot, who scored twice in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup final to lift Pittsburgh to a 2-1 win over Detroit. "Thats the coolest thing about hockey. As much experience as you have, you have to take these butterflies and turn them into excitement and energy, and thats definitely the feeling I have right now." Roy believes that Game 7 will hinge on, what else, the goalies. Semyon Varlamov won a team-record 41 games in the regular season, breaking the mark held by Roy. The goalie nicknamed "Varly" has faced a barrage of shots in this series, coming up big in several games. "Varlys always the brick out there," Talbot said. "We know hes going to make the big saves." The same can be said of Darcy Kuemper, who has a 1.53 goals- against average since stepping in for Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2. Although Kuemper cant ever remember playing in a Game 7, he said that Mondays game -- a 5-2 win in which the Wild sealed it and extended the series by scoring two empty-net goals -- was good practice. "Now, both teams are in the situation," Kuemper said. "So theyre going to be a little bit more desperate than they were last game. Weve been through it before, so we should be pretty calm and confident with it." The intensity level is something the Wild are embracing. They know its going to be a hostile environment, but its not as if the Wild have been blown out inside the Pepsi Center. No, the Avalanche have needed to rely on some late magic, pulling Varlamov for an extra skater in Games 1 and 5, get big late goals and to send it into OT, where they found a way to win. "We feel good about the way weve been playing," Parise said. "Hopefully, we can get a win here." Colorado received a boost last game with the return of Matt Duchene from a knee injury. The teams leading scorer in the regular season is still rounding into shape, but with every shift hes getting back his quickness. "This is just another game," Duchene said. "Thats how you have to treat Game 7s." The previous time the Avs were in a Game 7 was 2003, when they were eliminated by the Wild in Roys last game. "Thats not going to have a big effect on our team," Roy said, smiling. "Because there are not that many players from then that are still with us." Troy Niklas Jersey. First-half goals by Will Bruin and Oscar Boniek Garcia sucked the life out of the Impact as the Houston Dynamo bounced them from Major League Soccers post-season with a 3-0 victory on Thursday. 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The Flyers scored once on the power play and again with the extra attacker with 65 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Saints offence is potent enough with Drew Brees.But if they continue to get big games on the ground from Mark Ingram, they may just leave the rest of the weak NFC South in the dust.Brees threw for 297 yards and a touchdown and also ran for another score, and Ingram turned in another strong performance carrying 30 times for 100 yards and two TDs and New Orleans defeated the Carolina Panthers 28-10 Thursday night to take over first place in the NFC South.Brees praised Ingram, who was coming off 172 yards rushing last week against Green Bay, for carrying the load and being the catalyst for the Saints recent turnaround the past two weeks.Man, its when our offence is at its best, Brees said of the Saints running game.The Saints (4-4) piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November.Brees said too much is made of the teams road woes, but he knows it wasnt going away until the Saints could find a way to win a big game on the road.Brees finished 24 of 34 and tight end Jimmy Graham had seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.But it was Ingram who kept the Panthers off balance by picking up key first downs.The offensive line and tight end did a great job of hitting them, hitting them and hitting them, Ingram said. I think they started to wear down and we were able to get some leaky yards and some big gains.The struggling defending NFC South champion Panthers (3-5-1) have only won once in their past seven games after opening the season with back-to-back wins. They have 10 days before their next game to figure out how to turn things around.We know we are better — simple as that, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said. Its nothing that someone has to say that hasnt already been said. Its a lot that hasnt been done yet.Brees said he didnt let the teams road struggles creep into his mind, even after he threw an interception and fumbled in the first quarter.He settled down late in the second, leading touchdown drives on four of the next five possessions.The Saints defence did its part, sacking Newton four times and forcing two turnovers. Newton, who spent much of the night under heavy duress playing behind an offensive line without three of its regular starters, was limited to 151 yards passing.Carolina had opportunities to seize momentum after New Orleans first two turnovers, but couldnt capitalize.Thats nothing new. The Panthers had three trips in the red zone last week against Seattle, but came away with only six points.Its hard when you dont take advantage of those opportunities, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.ddddddddddddThe Saints didnt have the same problem converting turnovers into points.With the Panthers pinned back in their own end in a scoreless game, Junior Galette sacked Newton from behind and stripped the ball, allowing linebacker Curtis Lofton to recover at the Carolina 3. Ingram took advantage two plays later with a 3-yard run to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.After forcing a three-and-out, Brees directed an 85-yard drive that ended when he slipped a 1-yard pass just past Melvin White to Graham on the right side with 3 seconds left in the half and the Saints were off and running while the Panthers headed to the locker room serenaded by a chorus of boos.Brees scored on a quarterback sneak when he dove over the pile in the third quarter and Ingram sealed the win with his second TD run in the fourth quarter.Brees said he had the option of calling a timeout before his fourth-and-goal run at the Carolina 1, but decided to take a shot and leaped over the pile with the ball extended to score.Drew felt with their linebackers depth, hed be able to get the half yard — and he did, Saints coach Sean Payton said.One of the few highlights for the Panthers came from Newton.He turned in one of the most athletic plays of the season when he scrambled out of the pocket, raced around the left end and took off from the 5-yard line and soared toward the goal line with the ball outstretched in his right hand for a touchdown, cutting the Saints lead to 14-7.While Newton struggled, his receivers didnt give him much help.Jerricho Cotchery couldnt haul in a catchable deep ball inside the 10 in the first quarter and Newtons on-target throw hit Brenton Bersin in the hands and popped straight to Corey White for an interception on the next drive. Rookie Kelvin Benjamin also dropped a pass in the end zone for the second straight week.We knew we had a chance to take control of the division, Ingram said. We lost to them here at the end of last year so we felt like we left something here. We had to come back and take care of business.NOTES: The Panthers got running back DeAngelo Williams back after missing four straight games with an ankle injury. He had eight carries for 20 yards. ... Carolina was without three starting offensive linemen — left tackle Byron Bell and guards Amini Silatolu and Trai Turner — due to injuries. ... The Saints had 27 first downs to Carolinas 15.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '