Calgary Flames rout Winnipeg Jets for sixth straight win

Now we’re a really confident group.“We’re not relying on a couple guys,” Tkachuk added. “We know every night something different is probably going to happen and it seems like we’re getting basically everybody involved. “We were behind the game the entire night.”“We didn’t play the game,” Ehlers said. “We didn’t play hard enough. We didn’t have that belief we could win. Two good plays by him, for sure,” said Hamilton, who’s scored four goals in the last four games. “At the beginning of the year, everybody knows it, we were finding ways to not win. After starting the season with just five wins in their first 16 games, Calgary has won 11 of its last 15 outings and is riding its longest winning streak in a calendar year.“Right now we’re playing to win and we’re finding ways to win,” Tkachuk said. As the scoreless clash neared the midway point, Hamilton received a drop pass from Matthew Tkachuk, gave his teammate time to set the screen and promptly zipped a shot through the legs of both Tkachuk and the defender and past Winnipeg goalie Michael Hutchinson for his first of two goals on the night.It set off a four-goal outburst in the middle frame.“I yelled at (Tkachuk) pretty loud and he laid it in there perfectly for me and set a good screen. It’s been really fun the last little while when you’re having success.”Chad Johnson, who’s been paramount in the Flames’ turnaround, stopped 26 shots. “I saw their ‘D’ and him and just kind of waited until I could see some white space in there. We didn’t play smart.”Hutchinson, who started consecutive games for just the second time this season, turned aside 25-of-29 shots in 40 minutes before giving way to Connor Hellebuyck, who made six saves. The opening existed for just a split second, but Dougie Hamilton hit it perfectly.Hamilton’s thread-the-needle second-period goal sparked the Calgary Flames to a 6-2 thumping of the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night for a sixth consecutive win that’s vaulted them into top spot in the Pacific Division. We’ve just got to keep this rolling. As soon as it opened up, I tried to put it through.“I couldn’t see the goalie so I was just trying to put it through their legs and upstairs.”Hamilton’s tally opened the floodgates, with Sam Bennett and Mikael Backlund also scoring for Calgary (16-13-2) before the second intermission.Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan had the other Flames goals on a night Hamilton, Backlund and Tkachuk each had three points.The three points marked a career best for Tkachuk, the rookie who celebrates his 19th birthday on Sunday.But he isn’t he only one on the Flames with reason to celebrate. His shutout bid was snapped late in the third period when Nikolaj Ehlers collected a power-play goal and Jacob Trouba rounded out the scoring with one-tenth of a second remaining on the clock.While the Flames are riding high, the Jets (13-15-3) are going in the other direction, having lost three in a row with four wins in their last 13 games.“Be real careful about the effort word here,” head coach Paul Maurice said.

Kelly: Toronto FC lost the MLS Cup in the most painful way possible

That the usual soccer tradition didn’t happen was a measure of how hard the
players had taken it.So Toronto FC’s season
ended with Seattle friends and family gamboling around the Toronto FC pitch
taking selfies. Toronto FC was not just the better team in the Major League Soccer Cup final. They can sense better
than most when the tide has begun to turn.“[The game] didn’t have the greatest flow,” Vanney said.Not until then. You don’t often hear
that an hour after a man has raised a trophy.Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin didn’t make his first save of the game until
penalty kicks.That’s where it went totally wrong. By the time they’d set up the trophy
presentation, BMO Field was nearly empty.The only Toronto fans remaining were the die-hards in the southeast corner. Altidore’s was the finest, but Tosaint Ricketts scuffed a shot inches wide in the final
moments as well. Toronto quite literally lost a championship by an inch.“I’m sure it will hit me at some point and I’ll break down,” Toronto coach
Greg Vanney said
dully afterward. Every time the Italian got the ball in
space, one or two Seattle players was there to cut him down or tug him to the
ground. What they
remembered was it turning out well in ’92 and ’93.They’d forgotten that it also goes wrong just as often. It is hard not to imagine what might have been if he’d
been one of the penalty takers.That said, Toronto had their chances and missed them. Toronto dimly remembered what winning it all felt like. And, in the moment at
least, that can feel worse that never getting there at all. There were others in regulation that missed by the slimmest
margins.But after those two late misses, something drained out of the crowd. Seattle sealed it
with the next shot. This time,
they were reminded how crushing it can be when it goes the other way. Kelly called it occasionally, but seemed to lose interest as the game
stretched on. For long stretches, it felt as if they were the only team out there.Their opponents, the Seattle Sounders, could not manage a single shot on goal
through 120 minutes of regulation and added extra time. “Right now, I’m numb.”He looked it. Not even close.“I really wish we’d played better,” Seattle’s own coach Brian Schmetzer said afterward. The ball caromed back on him. They were
waiting for the team to come back out and end the season with a proper farewell. Then it had flow – most of it downhill.Morrow is the goat, Kelly is the villain, Bradley is the thwarted hero and
the real loser on the evening is the city writ large.Toronto wanted to feel what it’s like again on the biggest stages. Michael Bradley, easily the best player
on the pitch over most of the night, scuffed his shot. As soon as it ended, they followed Bradley
off the field at a quick march. It had been 23 years since Toronto had experienced that championship-game
feeling in a major North American league.On Saturday, the city was reminded there is more than one variety of
sensation. In the closing minutes, he made one of the
great saves in MLS history off a looping, point-blank Jozy Altidore
header.A close second in the voting was 41-year-old Irish referee Alan Kelly.Kelly allowed the final to become a game of remarkable permissiveness and
occasional brutality. Seattle also missed one,
sending it to the sixth man.For Toronto, that was poor Justin Morrow, a serviceable player who will now
only be remembered for one thing. A
few kids were picking confetti off the grass and tossing it in the air. Staffers
were carrying away a banner that read “One Game to Glory.”It wasn’t much of an end to a remarkable run.The Sounders most valuable player was probably goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The emblematic tackle in the early going was Seattle’s
Nelson Valdez sticking his foot into Drew Moor’s sensitive parts at high-speed. After nearly two hours of abuse, Giovinco left the game in the 103rd minute,
limping with a cramp. He beat the Seattle ‘keeper. It went uncarded.Since Toronto was the only team minded to go forward, that laissez-faire attitude tended to penalize
them.The key victim was Toronto’s best player, Sebastian Giovinco. He could not beat
the underside of the crossbar. They
were largely Torontonians, after all. So did his charges.

Matthews, Hyman help Maple Leafs beat Bruins 4-1

The NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick last summer took a pass from William Nylander and fired a wrist shot over Rask’s left shoulder.Hyman redirected defenceman Jake Gardner’s shot from the slot, and the puck dipped and fluttered by Rask to make it 2-0 with 4:46 remaining in the period.Marchand took advantage of a turnover behind Toronto’s net, slicing it to 2-1 with 1:21 left in the second. Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.James van Riemsdyk scored in the third for Toronto, which was 0-2-1 in its last three games. … The first game between the two clubs was just over 92 years ago: Dec. … He had a second chance to clear or cover it, but Marchand beat him to it, circled and put in his own rebound.The Bruins had the best chance in the first period when David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the left point caromed off the left post early into the game.Tyler Bozak’s shot was tipped in by van Riemsdyk midway into the third.NOTES: The Bruins recalled forwards Noel Acciari and Danton Heinen from Providence of the AHL before the game and assigned F Anton Blidh to the AHL. 3, 1924, when the Toronto St. Brad Marchand had the Bruins’ goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots.Former Bruins defenceman Matt Hunwick had two assists.Boston lost to Colorado, then-the NHL’s worst team, on Thursday night at TD Garden and followed that by losing to the team that entered as the Eastern Conference’s last-place club.Boston had earned points in 12 of the last 13 meetings against Toronto (9-1-3).After getting just two shots on goal in the opening period, Toronto moved ahead on Matthews’ goal 1:44 into the second. Toronto won the only other meeting so far this season, 4-1 at home on October 15.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: Host Colorado on Sunday in the opener of five straight at home – four against teams from the Western Conference.Bruins: At Montreal on Monday night. Andersen misplayed a clearing attempt, firing the puck off a player where it dropped next to the rear boards. Pats beat the Bruins, 5-3. Connor Brown added an empty-netter and Andersen improved to 6-0-0 in his career against Boston.

Ekblad, Barkov lead Panthers to 4-2 win over Canucks

Troy Stecher shot from the point, and the puck hit Sedin’s stick and was redirected into the net at 11:45 of the third.The Panthers had stretched their lead to 3-0 at 1:05 of the third. Jagr took a shot from above the right circle that was blocked by Markstrom. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck and Derek MacKenzie also scored for Florida. Seth Griffith passed from behind the net to Barkov in front, who poked the puck past Markstrom. Roberto Luongo made 37 saves, and Jaromir Jagr recorded an assist and now has 1,883 points, four behind Mark Messier for second on the NHL career list.Daniel Sedin and Jack Skille scored in the third period for the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom stopped 38 shots.With the Panthers clinging to a 3-2 lead, Trocheck scored an empty-net goal with 47.1 seconds left.Trailing 3-0, the Canucks scored twice in the third.Skille took a shot from low in the right circle that got past Luongo on the glove side at 8:06 of the third. 19, a span of 11 games. … Jim Craig, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that won a gold medal, attended the game.UP NEXT:Canucks: Visit the Washington Capitals on Sunday.Panthers: Visit the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. … Barkov has points in 11 of his past 12 games.The Panthers went ahead 2-0 on MacKenzie’s goal. … Aaron Ekblad gave Florida a three-goal lead early in the third period and the Panthers held on for a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.The Panthers won their first home game under interim coach Tom Rowe. C Jayson Megna was born in nearby Fort Lauderdale. Paul Thompson recorded his first NHL point with the first assist on the goal.NOTES: Canucks D Erik Gudbranson, who was the first-round pick by the Panthers in 2010 and played for the Panthers for five years, received a video tribute and an ovation from the crowd in his first return since being traded to Vancouver last June. Ekblad backhanded the rebound and beat Markstrom on the stick side.Barkov gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 2:22 in. The win was the Panthers’ first in regulation since a victory over Ottawa on Nov. Skille has three goals in two games.A power-play goal by Sedin made the score 3-2. Panthers D Keith Yandle played his 580th consecutive game, tying Johnny Wilson for the ninth longest stretch in the NHL. G Thatcher Demko was called up from Utica of the AHL because of a lower-body injury to Ryan Miller. … MacKenzie corralled a bouncing puck and pushed it into the net at 9:35 of the second.

Max Pacioretty scores four goals as Canadiens rout Avalanche 10-1

Pacioretty, Paul Byron and Flynn scored on the first four shots against Semyon Varlamov. Lehkonen roofed a backhand from the edge of the crease at 7:12.Varlamov, who allowed six goals on 16 shots, was greeted by Pacioretty’s second of the night on a deflection of Andrei Markov’s point shot at 8:13. Pacioretty completed his hat trick in the second period and added another in the third to give the Canadiens captain seven goals in his last four games.Alexander Radulov and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal (19-6-3), which has shown no drop-off on attack without injured scoring leader and first line centre Alex Galchenyuk after Thursday’s 5-2 win over New Jersey. Only 28 seconds later, Byron scored on a breakaway. While the 39-year-old didn’t figure into the scoring, he took two minor penalties for throwing punches at Alexei Emelin after the Canadiens defenceman clipped Joe Colborne with a low check with less than four minutes to play.Flynn got Montreal’s biggest offensive output since the Bell Centre opened in 1996 started when he scored on a Daniel Carr rebound at 2:56 and Pacioretty wired a wrist shot past Pickard at 5:13. John’s on Friday night, but neither dressed. Flynn’s pass intended for Carr went in off Colborne’s stick at 13:37.Comeau got one by Carey Price when he deflected Nikita Zadorov’s shot in with 17 seconds left in the first period.Radulov scored on a one-timer 11:35 into the second period and Pacioretty put one in from the left circle at 18:33. The Avs end a four-game road trip Sunday night in Toronto.Avalanche winger Jarome Iginla played his 1,500th NHL game. Montreal was on a power play when Petry’s weak shot from the point eluded Varlamov’s glove with 0.10 seconds left in the period.Pickard was back in goal to start the third and was beaten at 7:28 when Pacioretty jammed in a Torrey Mitchell rebound.Tomas Plekanec had four assists. After getting seven points in the Canadiens’ first 25 games, he has six in the last three.Montreal’s six goals in 13:47 to start a game was not a team record, which is six in 10:35 set on March 10, 1951 against Chicago.Colorado forward Rene Bourque, who celebrated his 35th birthday, was out for the opening faceoff along with Iginla.The Canadiens recalled centre Michael McCarron and defenceman Mark Barberio from St. Montreal outshot the Avs 36-16.Blake Comeau got one late in the first frame for Colorado (10-15-1), which was coming off a win Thursday night in Boston that ended a six-game winless run. Max Pacioretty scored four goals while Brian Flynn tallied twice in a six-goal first period as the Montreal Canadiens routed the Colorado Avalanche 10-1 on Saturday night.Flynn, Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen scored as Montreal put three goals past starter Calvin Pickard on 10 shots in the opening 7:12.

Trevor Lewis leads LA Kings’ surge to 4-1 win over Ottawa Senators

Mike Condon stopped 15 shots, and Zack Smith scored for Ottawa, which has lost four of six. Smith’s goal was initially credited to Jean-Gabriel Pageau and wasn’t changed until the following period. The Slovak wing missed the final two months of last season and the first six weeks of this season with injuries.NOTES: Kings coach Darryl Sutter got his 200th victory with the franchise. Devin Setoguchi also returned to the lineup, and the Kings scratched Kyle Clifford and Nic Dowd, who had played in 24 straight games. Carter scored his 12th goal early in the power play on a quick wrist shot, and Martinez scored in the final seconds with a long shot that ricocheted off Condon.Budaj, the veteran goalie who rose from the AHL to take over for injured Jonathan Quick, got an assist on Carter’s goal for his first point since April 4, 2012.Smith trimmed the lead early in the second period by ending his 13-game goal drought, but Lewis connected with 0.5 seconds left in the period, getting his fifth goal of the season.Gaborik then scored on an exceptional shot for his first goal in 10 months. Ottawa F Bobby Ryan missed part of the second period, but returned for the third.UP NEXTSenators: At Ducks on Sunday.Kings: At Sabres on Tuesday. Toffoli returned to the ice late in the first period. Borowiecki fought Matt Greene shortly after getting out of the penalty box. … Andy Andreoff returned to the Kings’ lineup after missing 17 games following an upper-body injury in late October. The Senators struggled to beat Budaj, the long-time Montreal goalie, in the second stop of their swing through California.Veteran forward Chris Neil played his 1,000th game for Ottawa, joining Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Phillips as the only Senators to reach the mark.The Kings seized an early lead after Mark Borowiecki received a five-minute major for boarding Tyler Toffoli, who went to the dressing room after getting his face driven into the glass. … … Trevor Lewis had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Carter and Alec Martinez scored on the same power play early in the first period of the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.Peter Budaj made 19 saves and earned an assist, and Marian Gaborik scored his first goal since Feb. … Only Andy Murray (215) has more. 12 to cap the Kings’ final home game before a three-week, nine-game stint on the road until New Year’s Eve.

Hockey icon Bill Dineen dies at 84

He helped the Aeros win Avco Cup titles in 1974 and 1975 with teams featuring Howe, and Howe’s sons Mark and Marty.Dineen was named the WHA’s coach of the year in 1977 and 1978. He spent a final WHA season as coach of the New England Whalers but was fired after 71 games with the Whalers in fourth place.Dineen later coached the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers for the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, giving him a chance to coach his son Kevin.He also spent six years as coach of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings, leading them to league titles in 1986 and 1989.Dineen was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2014.“During his time as a player and coach, and in the values he instilled in his family, Bill Dineen created a legacy of greatness in the American Hockey League that still resonates today,” David Andrews, AHL president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.Dineen’s sons Shawn, Peter, Gord, Kevin and Jerry all have careers in professional hockey.Kevin Dineen, a veteran of 1,188 NHL games, is a former head coach of the Florida Panthers and is currently an associate coach with the Blackhawks.Gord Dineen played 529 games in the NHL and is an associate coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He made more of an impact as a player in the AHL, where he was a four-time 20-goal scorer over six seasons with Buffalo, Cleveland, Rochester and Quebec.He went into coaching after retiring as a player, taking the reins of the WHA’s Houston Aeros for six years starting in the 1972-73 season. Bill Dineen, a hockey icon who played with and later coached the legendary Gordie Howe, has died at 84.The American Hockey League confirmed in a statement that Dineen died Saturday at his home in Lake George, N.Y.Dineen, born in Arvida, Que., played 324 games in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, winning two Stanley Cup championships in Detroit alongside Howe.