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The Florida Panthers are still alive for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re going to need some help [url=http://www.packerscheapshoponline.com]Packers Cheap Jerseys[/url] , though.
Jared McCann scored with 5:37 left and Roberto Luongo got the win in his 1,000th career game, helping the Panthers stay in contention with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
The Panthers trail the Philadelphia Flyers by four points for the final Eastern Conference wild card and have two games remaining, including a matchup Sunday night with Boston. Florida needs to win both games and have the Flyers lose to the New York Rangers in regulation Saturday.
”It would be nice to control our own fate, but we don’t have that luxury,” coach Bob Boughner said. ”Who knows what’s going to happen, but we know we have a job to do. Let’s just hope that we are in a situation Saturday when the puck drops we’ve got a chance to make the playoffs.”
The Panthers were also chasing the Devils and Blue Jackets, but both teams clinched playoff spots with victories Thursday.
The 39-year-old Luongo became the third goalie to reach the 1,000-game mark, joining Hall of Famers Martin Brodeur (1,266) and Patrick Roy (1,029). Luongo is the 322nd player to reach the milestone overall. He stopped 26 shots Thursday.
”It wasn’t easy. I was feeling a little bit sluggish today for some reason, but tell you what, the boys probably played their best game of the year,” Luongo said. ”That’s the best gift the boys could have given me.”
Aleksander Barkov scored his 100th career goal [url=http://www.authenticslosangelesrams.com/cheap-john-kelly-jersey]John Kelly Color Rush Jersey[/url] , and Florida’s Frank Vatrano scored a goal against his former team.
Barkov left the game with 6:51 left in the third period with an apparent upper-body injury after he was checked hard into the boards by Colby Cave. McCann took his spot on the top line and was able to make an impact.
”I was ready to go,” McCann said. ”I look for those opportunities every day. I was able to step up.”
There wasn’t an update on Barkov after the game.
”I know the doctors are back there checking him out, so I don’t have anything as of now. It didn’t look great when he was going off the ice, to be honest,” Boughner said.
Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots.
”Yeah, a tough start,” Rask said. ”They came to play, that’s not a surprise to anybody. They’re fighting for their lives and need every point they can get. You have to be ready for that and we weren’t.”
The Bruins have lost three straight, their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from November 8-15.
”You don’t want to go into the playoffs limping,” Rask said. ”You want to go in full stride and that’s something we have to fix the last two games.”
Boston remains tied with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Atlantic Division, but Tampa owns the tiebreaker. Each team has two games left.
”We’ve got one out of six points on this trip,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”That’s what happens in this league, I don’t care what teams you play. A bad formula to play from behind. Guys have to be ready to go when the puck drops. That’s something we have to look to correct.”
McCann tipped in the winner off Mike Matheson’s shot from the left side.
The Bruins tied it at 2 on Heinen’s goal 2:11 into the second period. After a defensive turnover, David Krejci passed across to Heinen, who beat Luongo on the stick side.
Trailing 2-0 [url=http://www.authenticsarizonacardinals.com/cheap-josh-rosen-jersey]Josh Rosen Color Rush Jersey[/url] , the Bruins closed to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Donato, who corralled a bouncing puck in front and swept it behind Luongo with 4:41 left in the first.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Barkov’s goal. Evgenii Dadonov made a nice pass from the right side to Barkov, who tucked the puck into the corner of the net at 7:42.
The Panthers went ahead 2-0 after Vatrano, acquired by the Panthers in a trade with Boston on Feb. 22, poked in a rebound at 9:34.
NOTES: Bruins F Brad Marchand played in his 600th NHL game. … Donato has eight points in his first 10 NHL games. … A video tribute to Luongo’s 1,000-game mark, midway through the first period, drew a standing ovation, including from Bruins players.
Bruins: Hosts Ottawa on Saturday night.
Panthers: Hosts Buffalo on Saturday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals eliminated the Houston Astros in the 2015 postseason while on their way to winning the World Series.
The two clubs have taken different paths since.
The Astros, who are the 2017 World Series champions, bring an eight-game winning streak Friday to Kansas City for the opener of a three-game series.
On the other hand, the Royals have lost nine of 10 and are in last place in the American League Central. Only the Baltimore Orioles have a worse record than the Royals (22-46). And nobody has a worse home record than the Royals, who have lost 23 of 33 at Kauffman Stadium.
“This losing is getting old,” Royals starting pitcher Jason Hammel said.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost is trying to keep the spirits of the players uplifted during trying times.
“It’s easier when you’ve got guys where winning and competitiveness is ingrained in their character [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-thomas-vanek-jersey]Thomas Vanek Jersey[/url] ,” Yost said. “You just don’t take a loser and make him a winner. Our scouting department, our player development people have drafted winners, and when things are going rough they continue to battle, they continue to fight, they continue to compete.”
There are a few leftovers from the 2015 championship club. That includes Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, Kelvin Herrera and Alcides Escobar.
“It’s been fun to watch our veteran guys to continue to push and support and compete their tail off every single day,” Yost said. “Dayton (Moore, general manager) says draft winners. Get the most talented kids, but draft winners. That’s number one.
“We want kids that compete, love to play. We want guys that long to get better and understand the process of getting better. That’s what we look for. These kids, 95 out of 100, have that ingrained character trait or else they probably wouldn’t be here.”
The Astros are built for repeating. They are in a dogfight with the Seattle Mariners for first place in the AL West. The Royals are looking to 2021-22 as when they could be legitimate contenders.
In a 3-2 loss on Sunday at Oakland, Brad Keller made his third big league start. Yost used Scott Barlow [url=http://www.miamidolphinsteamonline.com/durham-smythe-jersey]Authentic Durham Smythe Jersey[/url] , Tim Hill and Jason Adam in relief that afternoon. None of the four had ever thrown a pitch in the majors before this season.
“It’s what we have,” Yost said. “We like our young pitching.”
It is more about tomorrow than today.
“Part of this process every single day is we’re evaluating which guys are we going to move forward with,” Yost said. “We’re looking at which guys have that ability to continue to grow and get better and be part of a championship club.
“When it is all said and done, that’s what you’re looking for. You’re trying to build a championship club again. A lot of players that are going to be on the next championship club aren’t here. They’re working their way up the farm system right now.
“But we do have a pretty good little group of guys that are going to be here when that time comes. They need to continue to develop, seek consistency in their game and their command. We like what we see out of them so far.”
The Astros will start right-hander Charlie Morton, who is 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA, in the opener. He will try to become the fourth Houston starter with at least eight victories.
Morton is coming off one of the strangest no-decision lines. In his previous start against the Texas Rangers, Morton walked six and hit four batters in 3 2/3 innings but allowed only two runs (one earned).
Morton is 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in two starts against Kansas City.
Right-hander Jakob Junis will start for the Royals. He is 5-6 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 starts. No other Kansas City starter has more than three wins. Junis has lost his last three decisions. All five of his wins have come after a Royals loss.
This will be his second career start against Houston. He got a no-decision against the Astros on June 6, 2017, although he allowed seven runs (three unearned) in 3 2/3 innings.
He is 3-4 with a 4.19 ERA in seven home starts this season.
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