Character Art Exchange

China battling the Canadians for the top spots

UNIONDALE, N. [url=http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Eddie-Vanderdoes-Elite-Jersey/]Eddie Vanderdoes Raiders Jersey[/url] .Y. -- The New York Islanders were seeking a positive finish to a frustrating season on home ice. Ottawas Jason Spezza and Craig Anderson did their best to block that effort. Spezza scored twice and Anderson made 45 saves as the Senators topped the Islanders 4-1 on Tuesday night. The Senators (34-31-14) will still miss the post-season for the first time since 2011 and just the third time since 1996. They were making their first appearance this season at Nassau Coliseum, and the Islanders won the previous two meetings in Ottawa. "It feels good to put together a team effort and come away with the win," Anderson said. "We played well." Matt Kassian scored an empty-net goal at 19:48, his first this season. Spezza, the Senators captain, had the chance for a hat trick, but instead passed to Kassian. Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal for the Islanders with his career-best 25th in the teams home finale. Anders Nilsson made 28 saves for the Islanders (31-37-11), who wont reach the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. They finished 13-19-9 at home. "The effort has been there and will continue to be there," Islanders defenceman Travis Hamonic said. "Were going to keep pushing and playing hard until the end." Spezza opened the scoring on a tip-in at 12:45 of the second. Nielsen then tied it 22 seconds into the third. Rookie defenceman Kevin Czuczman and Josh Bailey had assists, giving Bailey points in six straight games. Spezzas go-ahead goal at 12:45 of the third came when his shot edged under crossbar behind Nilsson. Ales Hemsky, who assisted on both of Spezzas goals, added his 13th at 14:26 of the third to make it 3-1. The Islanders qualified for the post-season last year for the first time since 2007 and lost to the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins in a tough six-game opening-round series. But they never found firm footing this season after trading captain John Tavares longtime linemate Matt Moulson to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek on Oct. 27. They subsequently traded Vanek to Montreal at the March 5 deadline. The Islanders also had to contend with a litany of injuries to key players, particularly veteran defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky, who missed most of the season with a concussion and starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Then, Tavares suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Winter Olympics in February. The Islanders have dressed at least nine rookies in their last nine games in which theyve gone 5-2-2. They are 7-4-2 in their last 13 contests. There are 11 rookies on the current roster: Defencemen Calvin de Haan, Scott Mayfield, Matt Donovan and Czuczman in addition to forwards Brock Nelson, Brett Gallant, Mike Halmo, Anders Lee, John Persson and Ryan Strome plus Nilsson. All but an injured de Haan played against the Senators. "Im proud of the young guys, they are playing hard," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "When we get our team back next year and play the way we can play, I think we can make a push and get back to the dance." Gallant, 25, made his NHL debut. He had 245 penalty minutes in 56 games for Bridgeport of the AHL. The feisty forward levelled Kassian with a single punch midway through the first period. "He caught me with one," said Kassian, sporting a postgame bruise under his right eye. "Sometimes that happens in a fight, you get punched right in the face." The Islanders conclude their season with road games at Montreal, New Jersey and Buffalo. Ottawa hosts New Jersey and Toronto before finishing at Pittsburgh. NOTES: Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck left during the first period with an upper-body injury and didnt return. ... Ottawa was without defencemen Colin Greening and Jared Cowen with lower-body injuries, plus forward Bobby Ryan (sports hernia). ... Defenceman Thomas Hickey is the only Islander to play all 79 games this season. ... The Islanders are 25-10-4 when they score at least three goals and 6-27-7 when they do not. [url=http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-David-Sharpe-Elite-Jersey/]David Sharpe Raiders Jersey[/url] . LOUIS -- The Tampa Bay Rays have placed right-handed pitcher Joel Peralta on the 15-day disabled list with an undisclosed illness. [url=http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Obi-Melifonwu-Elite-Jersey/]Obi Melifonwu Jersey[/url] . -- Phil Hughes ended a personal losing streak that dated to last July, pitching into the seventh inning Sunday and helping the Twins top the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to avoid a three-game sweep. [url=http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Gareon-Conley-Elite-Jersey/]http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-Gareon-Conley-Elite-Jersey/[/url] . He was 90. The team announced Monday that Adams had died, saying he "passed away peacefully from natural causes." The son of a prominent oil executive, Adams built his own energy fortune and founded the Houston Oilers.The 2014 World Figure Skating Championships begin this week in Tokyo. With Olympic champions in three of the four disciplines on the sidelines for various reasons, it is as though the page has been turned to the next Olympic quadrennial. We will get a glimpse of the future of the sport and meet some of skatings up-and-coming talent like the new world junior champion, 15-year-old Nam Nguyen of Canada while at the same time celebrating some of the sports stars. The setting for this years Worlds is perfect in that Japan is a country that is passionate about its skaters and skating. It is the quintessential skating audience; enthusiastic, appreciative and massive. The Saitama Super Arena just outside of Tokyo holds 18,000 spectators and is predicting sell-out crowds and record-breaking attendances. The only Olympic champion from Sochi that is here is the one that matters most to these fans, hometown hero Yuzuru Hanyu. He, alongside the immensely popular Mao Asada, leads a strong Japanese contingent which could dominate in the mens and ladies competitions. While Yuzuru is the favorite in the mens, his competition is expected to come from his training mate, Javier Fernandez of Spain and his teammate Tatsuki Machida. Asada will face Olympic bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy, Russian teenager and the star of the team event in Sochi, Julia Lipnitskaya, and American Gracie Gold. While there is a lot to get excited about here in Tokyo, Canadian superstars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as well as Patrick Chan will sit this one out and be much missed. Even without Tessa, Scott and Patrick, Canada is still in the hunt for three medals. With the Canadian champions out of the dance and mens, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje along with Kevin Reynolds will get their turn to move from the shadows into the spotlight and, they hope, onto the podium. Kaitlyn and Andrew have a clear shot at a medal. In typical Weaver and Poje fashion, they have not let up after the Games and have continued to push themselves and refine their routines. I find their improvement since the Games impressive. With the top two dance teams from Olympics out, Kaitlyn and Andrew are squarely in the mix of five teams for the podium. The race is tight, but a podium finish is in their sights and well within their capabilities. Kevin Reynolds finished fifth at last years Worlds but with injuries and boot problems, he has struggled this year. He did not have hhis best skates in the individual event in Sochi and finished 15th. [url=http://www.footballraidersmall.com/Youth-David-Sharpe-Elite-Jersey/]David Sharpe Womens Jersey[/url]. We saw what he was capable of during the team competition where he laid down a stellar free skate, playing an integral role in Canadas silver medal win. He has had another month of training under his belt since the Games and he loves to skate in Japan where he has an adoring fan base. I expect that these circumstances will combine to give Kevin an outside shot at a medal. After a frustrating year, Kevin has a chance for redemption and he just may have timed it perfectly to finish on a high. Another Canadian team member who is looking for redemption after a frustrating season is Canadas ladies champion Kaetlyn Osmond, who was plagued by injuries this season. Her break-out year last season culminated in an eighth place finish at her first ever World Championships, a remarkable debut. Her lack of training time has unsettled her this season but I have watched her handle it well with the help of her coach, Ravi Walia. She has a sparkle and exuberance that needs to be strategically disciplined in order to give her the consistency she is looking for without losing the fire. This is something that can only come with time as well as trial and error. When Kaetlyn finds her groove, she can compete with the best of them. A medal may be out of her grasp in Tokyo but there is no doubt in my mind that Kaetlyn can establish herself as one of the contenders in this new Olympic cycle. Canada has two pairs going for the podium. Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moskvitch were fifth at the Games while Megan Duhammel and Eric Radford were eighth. They were third and fourth in the world last year and will look for similar results here. Kirsten and Dylan are known to charm their audiences and if they are to get the results they are looking for, they will have to deliver the technical details while winning over the fans. They can go clean and will need to if they are to medal. Meagan and Eric will try to bring home the hardware by capitalizing on their strengths as individuals, the ability to do difficult side-by-side triples, to give them the edge. They take big risks to maximize points and while it didnt pay off in the individual event in Sochi, it often does and you can expect it will here, too. The Olympic pairs champions are not here but competition will still be fierce with teams from Russia, Germany and China battling the Canadians for the top spots. 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