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against very good goaltending

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MessagePosté le: Ven 9 Nov - 09:04 (2018)    Sujet du message: against very good goaltending Répondre en citant

BUFFALO Adidas Scott Mayfield Jersey , N.Y. (AP) Upon handing the puck to Canadiens goalie Antti Niemi in honor of his 35-save performance, defenseman Karl Alzner had a hard time believing how long it has been since his teammate’s last shutout.It’s been more than two years.”It’s hard to believe as good of a goalie as he is for that to be the case,” Alzner said, Friday night, following a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres in a game between two teams out of playoff contention. ”It’s nice to be part of it and nice to be there for him to get it.”Niemi’s 36th career shutout was also significant given how the 34-year-old finally landed in Montreal – his fourth team in less than a calendar year. He went from being released by Dallas in June to signing with Pittsburgh in July and then being claimed off waivers twice in three weeks – first by Florida in October, and then by the Canadiens in November.”What he’s persevered through and also his work ethic is unbelievable,” coach Claude Julien said. ”There’s no doubt he’s been a real positive for our hockey club.”Niemi improved to 6-4-4 with Montreal, and the shutout was his first since a 20-save performance in Dallas’ 4-0 win over Chicago on Dec. 22, 2015.”I knew it’s been a long time,” said Niemi, who won a Stanley Cup with Chicago as a rookie in 2010. ”I wouldn’t have cared too much if they would’ve scored one in the end and we still won. I like the way I played.”Artturi Lehkonen scored the go-ahead goal by converting a puck that bounced off the end boards 4:56 into the second period. Former Sabres forward Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher then scored empty-net goals 22 seconds apart in the final 1:15 to seal the win.Montreal had lost its past four overall, and gone 0-5-2 on the road since a 6-3 win at the New York Islanders on March 2.Nothing is going right for the NHL’s last-place Sabres, who closed their six-game homestand at 1-4-1. The Sabres’ league-worst home record dropped to 11-22-5 Adidas Dustin Tokarski Jersey , and they must win their final two home games to avoid setting a franchise low for fewest wins in an 82-game season (13-21-7, in 2012-13).Buffalo’s league-worst offense was blanked for the second time in three games – following a 4-0 shutout loss to Nashville on Monday – and seventh time this season. The Sabres also lost to a Canadiens opponent now tied with Arizona with the NHL’s fewest road wins (10) and has scored a league-low 85 goals on the road.The poster-boy for frustration was forward Ryan O’Reilly, who muffed Kyle Okposo’s pass while facing an open net during a two-man advantage eight minutes into the third period.”I’ve got to be better. It’s my fault,” O’Reilly said. ”I should just get behind it and take my time. It was a stupid play by me.”O’Reilly also had Niemi beat on a rush up the right wing with 2:55 left in the second period. With room between the post and Niemi’s pad, O’Reilly missed stuffing the puck in and instead had it slide through the crease.”I’ve done that move in practice hundreds of times,” he said. ”When it matters, I don’t do it. Just letting the guys down.”O’Reilly wasn’t the only one off the mark. Scott Wilson hit the crossbar from the left circle in the first period. And Sam Reinhart was set up alone atop the crease only to be robbed by Niemi in the second period.Sabres rookie Linus Ullmark allowed one goal on the 22 shots he faced.Lehkonen scored when teammate Alex Galchenyuk’s shot from the left circle was blocked in front. The puck dribbled to Jacob de la Rose, who snapped a shot just wide of the net from the slot. The puck struck the boards and to Lehkonen, who flipped it in above Ullmark’s out-stretched right leg.NOTES: Sabres C Zemgus Girgensons returned after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. … After opening the season with a 3-2 shootout win at Buffalo, the Canadiens proceeded to go 0-6-1 in their next seven. … Before the game, the Sabres honored Luke McDermott and Adam Page, two local members the United States gold-medal-winning Paralympic hockey team.UP NEXTCanadiens: Host Washington Capitals on Saturday.Sabres: At New York Rangers on Saturday.— ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) The smiling side of a handshake line at the end of the second round was a brand-new experience for Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz.Ovechkin received a message of good luck and a pat on the chest from Sidney Crosby Adidas Robin Lehner Jersey , while Trotz got to enjoy a happy moment with longtime coaching friend Jacques Martin. Ovechkin acknowledged he’d been in that position a lot of times – though never as the one moving on to the third round.Until now.The Washington Capitals reaching the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 1998 is perhaps most special to the superstar captain and his coach who had never made it out of the second round before. No coach in NHL history had been behind the bench for more games than Trotz and no active player had been in as many playoff games as Ovechkin without reaching the conference finals.”There is a kinship there, there’s no question,” Trotz said. ”I’ve been at this for a while and it’s so hard to move forward sometimes. It’s always thrown in your face everywhere your turn. I know it’s thrown in Ovi’s face everywhere he turns, and he’s a great player in this league. … I knew the frustration because you’re so close and you just can’t get it, and you just got to stay with it.”After 51 playoff games together, Ovechkin and Trotz will take part in their first East final starting Friday night in Tampa Bay against the Lightning. Now that they’ve gotten over a hump that defined their respective careers, Ovechkin, Trotz and the Capitals are in unfamiliar territory.”It’s something new for us and cool,” Ovechkin said Wednesday, less than 48 hours after Washington eliminated the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. ”Right now it’s just satisfaction we beat the Stanley Cup champions finally and we move forward and now we’re going to play against a very good team, against very good goaltending and solid players over there.”The Atlantic Division-champion Lightning present a formidable challenge, but the Capitals had to overcome something altogether different after losing in the first or second round in all nine playoff appearances that have come during the Ovechkin era dating to 2008. Beating the rival Penguins in overtime in a Game 6 on the road made the breakthrough even more emotional.”We should be proud of that,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”It’s a big achievement. But I think we’ve got to be greedy. We’ve got to want more because this is a heck of a run. I don’t know if there is a group out there that knows how hard it is to get to this point.”The Capitals are at this point with Ovechkin on top of his game with eight goals and seven assists Adidas Leo Komarov Jersey , his best playoff output since 2009. And they’re here in large part because of Trotz, a well-respected, 19-year NHL coach who does not have a contract for next season.”I had a summer which was very enlightening to me, and I just look at everything way differently than I ever have,” Trotz said. ”I just recognized that I can only control what I can control, and the other stuff I can’t.”Trotz can’t control upper-body injuries to Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky or a three-game suspension handed out to winger Tom Wilson, only the decisions he makes in replacing them. So far, Trotz has pushed the right buttons, like putting Braden Holtby back in net in Game 2 of the first round and promoting Jakub Vrana to the top line in Game 5 against Pittsburgh.His players know Trotz is in control as he and the Capitals advance further into the spring than they have in 20 years.”He wants to win a Cup,” forward Chandler Stephenson said. ”He doesn’t want to make it past the second round. It’s obviously a little accomplishment, a little confidence-boost. But we’re not done yet. We’re only halfway.”—AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed.—

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