Perreault scores shootout winner, Jets get past Panthers

Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in net.Aleksander Barkov, Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck scored a trio of power-play goals in the second period for Florida (13-13-5). Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist with Adam Lowry and Bryan Little also chipping in during regulation for Winnipeg (14-16-3). Jaromir Jagr picked up his 1,129th career assist and 1,884th point on the goal. Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom was in the penalty box for each one. Mathieu Perreault scored the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.Perreault did some slow stick-handling with the puck before flipping a forehand shot past Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, a goal that ended Winnipeg’s four-game losing streak. Winnipeg has given up a power-play goal in each of its past four games.Winnipeg had three shots on goal in overtime, while Florida had two. Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba watched as his shot banged off the post.The Panthers finish a three-game road trip Friday against Colorado, while Winnipeg hosts the Avalanche Sunday. Smith added an assist.Luongo made 29 stops for the Panthers.Florida had a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, but with the teams on a four-on-four, Little took a cross-ice pass from Blake Wheeler and shot it into the net at 2:36 as Luongo was sliding over from the other side.Florida outshot the Jets 42-29 after three periods.The Jets were being outshot 19-7 in the first when Byfuglien took a pass from rookie Patrik Laine and put a high shot from the bottom of the circle over Luongo’s glove with 11 seconds left in the period.An earlier review in the period decided the puck hadn’t crossed the goal-line and Florida was denied a goal.The Panthers scored the trio of power-play goals as Enstrom was sitting in the penalty box for interference, then holding, then interference again.Barkov evened the game 1-1 at 4:51 of the second. Jagr is now three points away from tying Mark Messier (1,887) for second on the NHL’s all-time points list.Smith followed up with his fifth goal of the season at 8:36 to give the Panthers the 2-1 lead, but Lowry put the Jets back in a tie at 10:11 when he banged in a loose puck.Less than two minutes later, Trocheck made it 3-2 with a shot that went past a screened Hellebuyck at 11:58.The Panthers were 3 for 3 on the power play after the second and the Jets 0 for 2.

Ex-Leaf Holland scores shootout winner to lift Coyotes over Toronto

for hockey practice, just like Canadian kids, but never had to worry about snowstorms.“But it was 65 degrees and sunny,” he said. Lots of nights the Corsi numbers may look good, but you never really got on the inside at all.”A few minutes before Matthews scored, the Leafs were lucky to avoid giving up a shorthanded goal. Marner took one from defenceman Roman Polak and scored his eighth goal of the season with a great wrist shot on a breakaway. Thanks to a late penalty to Coyotes defenceman Michael Stone, the Leafs closed out the first period with a power play, and Matthews scored with eight seconds to play. “I was going outside in shorts and flip-flops. You were always rooting for the Coyotes, but secretly you wanted to see some fun happen from those special players. It was the first time this season that the Leafs were tied after two periods of play.But Matthews did manage to score on the Coyotes. Two minutes later, with the Coyotes on a five-on-three power play, defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson put them ahead 2-1 with his sixth goal of the season.But Marner broke an 11-game scoreless streak when he finished a play the Leafs had been trying all night to tie the score. He fired a long shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that caught the far corner of the net and gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead.There was no doubt his 14th goal of the season was his favourite so far, as he was keenly anticipating his first game against his childhood favourites.“I was so young and it was always loud in there,” Matthews said on Wednesday of watching the Coyotes, first at America West Arena in downtownPhoenix and later in suburban Glendale. Then once I got older,I remember Alex Ovechkincoming to town, Sidney Crosby and those guys.“They were fun games to watch, where Ovechkin scored on his back and when Crosby was falling down on his backhand and was able to roof it. Matthews had two great chances in close but was stopped each time.The Leafs tied their season high for shots in one period with 21 in the first, but an indifferent second period left them with little to show for it as the score was tied 2-2 headed into the third. While Holland had a quiet night other than the shootout winner, Matthews was one of the best players on the ice, scoring a goal and twice nearly winning the game in overtime for the Leafs.The second overtime in as many games for the Leafs was another roller coaster of thrills, as Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen matched counterpart Mike Smith in several big saves. “I was always fascinated by the Zamboni for some reason. “They don’t mind going back inside and they say, ‘Hey, you’re going to stop 40 tonight.’“In saying that, they don’t let you get to their net easy. On a night of first games against significant teams, it was the fringe player who hit the jackpot.Peter Holland, who was deemed excess baggage by the Toronto Maple Leafs and traded to the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional draft pick last week, beat his hometown team in the first meeting since the deal by scoring the lone goal in the shootout Thursday night. Jordan Martinook scored at 1:10. They’re on the inside, they’re above you, they make you work to get there. Rieder gladly swooped in and scooped up the puck but was stopped by Andersen.The Leafs sagged badly in the second period, handing the Coyotes the lead before Mitch Marner tied the score at 13:56. Toronto dominated the Coyotes for the whole period but could not solve Smith, who went into the game with a save percentage of .929, an impressive stat considering his team is at the bottom of the Pacific Division.“They count on their goaltender,” Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said. With defenceman Luke Schenn off for tripping, Coyotes winger Tobias Rieder was handed a breakaway thanks to a brain cramp suffered by Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner.He was carrying the puck up the left side, and as he reached centre ice inexplicably left a drop pass for … no one. The 3-2 loss extended the Leafs’

winless streak at Air Canada Centre to three games.This spoiled Leafs rookie star Auston Matthews’ first NHL game against the Coyotes, the team he grew up watching in Scottsdale, Ariz. Matthews noted he used to get up as early as 6 a.m. To me, it was normal.”The goal was more than a lasting memory for Matthews, as the Coyotes goalie was frustrating the Leafs at every turn. They were good memories.”The Coyotes hit Toronto just in time for the first major storm of the winter, which saw a lot of empty seats for the first period as the snow made a mess of traffic. Thanks to something the coaching staff noticed about the Coyotes, the Leafs were firing long passes up the boards to players stationed alone at the Phoenix blue line.

Even without big names, hopes are high for Team Canada in world junior hockey

We’ll see different combinations but, on every line, I think we can see some speed, scoring and responsible play. We talked about being special and I think those guys showed they can be special.”Strome, who started the season with the Arizona Coyotes, is a natural fit with his Erie Otters linemate Raddysh, and he played at the team’s summer development camp with gritty Tyson Jost of the University of North Dakota.Mathieu Joseph, who has 25 goals in 29 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs, New York Islanders first-round pick Mathew Barzal and Saginaw Spirit forward Mitchell Stephens are among the others who can add offensive spark.Strome, Stephens, Gauthier, Anthony Cirelli and rushing defenceman Thomas Chabot played at last year’s world juniors and will be counted on for leadership.A question mark is Pierre-Luc Dubois, the 2016 third-overall pick by Columbus who has been off his usual scoring pace with Cape Breton and did not have a good camp. We’re good at putting pressure on the other team. We have four lines plus one [player], that can be producing offensively, playing responsibly, playing with speed. 26 in Toronto.“Now we prepare,” he said. We have hockey players. “We have skating, we’ve got some of the physical aspect, we have good puck movement. 5.Ducharme and his staff will begin work on forming lines and defence pairs among the 13 forwards, seven rearguards and two goalies on the roster ahead of the tournament opener Jan. And this year the stakes may be higher in Montreal and Toronto, where Canada won gold in two years ago.Canada could have had an awesome lineup, but six players eligible for the under-20 tournament are already in the NHL, including McDavid, Mitch Marner, Travis Konecny, Lawson Crouse, Jacob Chychrun and Anthony Beauvillier. “If every guy is moving in the same direction, that’s how you win games, and I think that’s what we’re going to do this year.”After routing the Czech Republic 8-0 in an exhibition game, the team made its final cuts and headed Thursday to Mont-Tremblant, Que., for some team-building ahead of a pre-tournament game Monday night against Finland at the Bell Centre, where the final will be played on Jan. But other teams will also be missing stars. “We wanted to evaluate players, but we already started talking about our style of play, our philosophy and our mindset.“Now we’ll move away, practise, get ready and become a stronger group. We can defend. The big centre/left-winger hopes to find his form at the world juniors.Chabot, Noah Juulsen and 6-foot-4 Philippe Myers are expected to lead the defence.“With the group of seven [defencemen] we have now we’re complete,” Ducharme said. “We want to be a complete team,” said coach Dominique Ducharme, the Drummondville Voltigeurs coach and general manager who led the Halifax Mooseheads to the 2013 Memorial Cup.“We’ve got speed, skill,” Ducharme says. “We’re reliable. The Americans will be without Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel, Matthew Tkachuk, Zach Werenski and Noah Hanifin and the Finns won’t have Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho and Jesse Puljujarvi.“It doesn’t matter if you have a big superstar or not,” said Val d’Or Foreurs forward Julien Gauthier. It’s a question of balance.”Carter Hart, a smooth 18-year-old who has put up impressive numbers in the Western Hockey League this season, is expected to be the starting goalie, with Connor Ingram as backup.Dark horses who could make a mark in the tournament include Boston University defenceman Dante Fabbro, big centre Nicolas Roy of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, energetic forward Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets or right winger Blake Speers, who has returned from a wrist injury after starting the season with the New Jersey Devils.There are four sets of club teammates on the squad – Hart and Juulsen with the Everett Silvertips, Strome and Raddysh with Erie, Chabot and Joseph with Saint John and a pair of defencemen in Myers and Jeremy Lauzon from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.Others on the squad include speedy forward Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads and defencemen Jake Bean of the Calgary Hitmen and Kale Clague of the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Canadian Press We want to put all that together.”The heat will be on Canada after being eliminated last year by tournament host Finland in the quarter-finals. Without an obvious star player to carry the pressure and expectations, Canada’s team for the world junior hockey championship will be all about teamwork, speed and desire.The final 22-man roster that emerged from this week’s four-day selection camp in Boisbriand, Que., is deep in very good players, such as 2015 third-overall NHL draft pick Dylan Strome and Ontario Hockey League scoring leader Taylor Raddysh, but it doesn’t have a Connor McDavid or a John Tavares to claim the spotlight.

Potomak sisters herald a new wave of B.C. talent for national women’s hockey team

“We’ve always been really good at holding each other accountable and training together and practising the right things.“I think she’s helped me probably more so than I’ve helped her because she’s older and she went through it first and always lent me a hand.”The Potomaks will wear the Canadian jersey multiple times over the next month.Sarah was also named to the Canadian women’s under-22 squad competing Jan. series and with the under-22 squad.Saskatoon forward Sophie Shirley, who makes her national team debut in the U.S. Two are from the same family.Sarah and Amy Potomak of Aldergrove, B.C., will wear the Maple Leaf in Canada’s two-game series against the United States starting Saturday in Plymouth, Mich. The Potomak forwards and defenceman Micah Hart of Saanichton represent a veritable explosion of players from British Columbia, which has been under-represented on the Canadian women’s team for years.Goaltender Daniele Dube is the only B.C. player to appear in a women’s world championship, more than two decades ago.Sarah Potomak, who turns 19 on Monday, and 17-year-old Amy will be the first sisters to play on the national team together.“There’s no words to describe how awesome this feeling is,” Amy said.Added Sarah: “It’s kind of surreal. 7-15 in the Czech Republic.Hart, Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont., Halli Krzyzaniak of Neepawa, Man., Jillian Saulnier of Halifax and Saskatoon’s Emily Clark join Sarah doing double duty for Canada in the U.S. The Canadian Press The second game is Monday in Sarnia, Ont. We’ve played together since we were little and stuff and always dreamed about being on the national team together, but we never really thought that would happen.“The fact that will actually happen, playing against the U.S. 4-7 in the Nations Cup in Fussen, Germany, and Telfs, Austria.Amy will play for Canada in the world under-18 championship Jan. They’ll congregate in Calgary in late summer and spend half a year preparing to defend the gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Canada is 1-7 versus the United States since beating them 3-2 in overtime in the 2014 Olympic final.There’s nothing like facing the Americans in front of a crowd either wildly for or against you to expose a player’s strengths and weaknesses. A wave of players from Canada’s most westerly province has hit the national women’s hockey team. series, will also join Amy on the under-18 team.This cross-pollination of rosters helps Davidson determine who is ready to play in the 2017 women’s world championship and also who gets invited to try out for the Olympic team next year.“This will be the last chance to see all three programs in best-on-best kind of thing before we have to make world championship decisions and then leading into centralization,” Davidson said.The women invited to try out for the Olympic team will be announced shortly after the world championship April 1-8 in Plymouth. So the Potomak sisters’ first game as Canadian teammates will be a test.“This series is kind of like a tryout, so it’s big for me and Amy to perform well and help Canada beat the U.S.,” Sarah said.The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver were a turning point for girls’ hockey in B.C., in both inspiring kids to play the game and BC Hockey getting serious about putting them on the national team.BC Hockey used $330,000 in Legacies Now funding from the provincial government to overhaul its female high-performance program between 2006 and 2010.It was a changed system by the time the Potomaks and Hart entered it.“There’s not a lot of depth in B.C., but I definitely think it’s improving all over,” Sarah said. together is pretty special.”Sarah is a shifty, abrasive forward with a sense of occasion. She has already scored five game winners for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers this season.Three inches taller and almost 10 pounds heavier than her older sister, Amy proved at Canada’s fall camp she can think and skate at national team speed, according to Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada’s general manager of national women’s teams programs.Sarah signalled B.C.’s drought on the national squad was ending when she was named to Canada’s roster for the 2015 Four Nations Cup.“We’ve definitely helped each other a lot,” Amy said.

Barcelona soccer club extends contract of Luis Suarez to 2021

Barcelona said that Suarez’s new contract – which has a buyout clause of €200-million ($278 million) – will be signed on Friday. His previous deal was due to expire in 2019.“I’m incredibly happy for being where I want to be,” Suarez said. We have a good relationship.”Since transferring from Liverpool in 2014, Suarez has scored 97 goals in 116 matches, helping the Spanish club win eight titles, including the 2015 Champions League. Suarez’s hat trick in the 3-0 win at Granada in the final round of the league last season secured Barcelona the title.Suarez had a troubled start.His debut with Barcelona was delayed because of a suspension for biting an opponent at the 2014 World Cup, keeping him from officially starting his career with the Spanish club until October, 2014.Two months ago, Barcelona signed a three-year extension with Neymar, whose contract was to expire in 2018. The Associated Press “It was a decision that I wanted and that the club wanted. Barcelona has reached a deal to extend the contract of Uruguay striker Luis Suarez to June, 2021, securing another piece of its powerful attack for four more seasons.The club recently also extended Neymar’s contract until 2021, and now it will try to seal a deal with Lionel Messi to keep together its formidable trio. Messi’s current deal also ends in 2018, and negotiations are reportedly under way to try to keep the five-time world player of the year as a member of the trio that broke scoring records in each of the last two seasons.Neymar’s buyout clause is fixed at €200-million for the first year of the new contract, €222-million for the second and €250-million for the final three years.Another priority for the club in the coming months will be to renew the contract of midfielder Andres Iniesta, whose current deal also ends in 2018.Barcelona this year extended the contract of defender Javier Mascherano until 2019. He also won two Spanish leagues, two Copas del Rey, a Spanish Super Cup, a European Super Cup and FIFA’s Club World Cup.Suarez was last season’s leading scorer in the Spanish league with 40 goals, five more than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.The 29-year-old Suarez has 13 goals in 20 games this season.Key goals for Barcelona include one in the Champions League final against Juventus, and two in the 4-0 rout of Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last season.

First-place Montreal Canadiens happy, but also wary

I think everyone’s happy with the way we’re playing for the most part, but we can’t get complacent by any means,” Petry said.The key, he continued, is putting in work. It wouldn’t be the last time.Has last year’s dolorous December made them suspicious of everything-is-awesome vibes?“I don’t know if ‘suspicious’ is the right word. They ultimately lost, heroically. But this is a club that refuses to bask in the fact it is the best team in hockey.The Habs’ record of 19-6-4 is exemplary, particularly given the recent injury to first-line centre Alex Galchenyuk – a lower-body issue likely involving more of those dreaded leg ligaments.It’s easy to forget, as they prepare to face the San Jose Sharks at the Bell Centre in a mid-December weekday game, that a year ago they were in an almost identical situation: 20-8-3, just three points off the overall lead.Except the bus was already sliding inexorably toward the ditch, where it would eventually tumble most of the way to the bottom and burst into flames.True, Price had gone out with a week-to-week injury by then, but they largely dominated the Sharks. But it’s still really early,” said Gallagher.All professional athletes will tell you complacency is the enemy. In addition to facing Stanley Cup finalist San Jose on Friday, the Habs will play league powers Washington, Anaheim, Minnesota and Columbus between now and Christmas.The good news is that this year’s Habs are armed with secondary offensive weapons such as Alex Radulov, who looks like the club’s best-ever free agent signing, and the speedy Paul Byron, who at 10 goals is already within one of his career high. We have an understanding – we can’t feel too good about ourselves,” said winger Brendan Gallagher.Since Waite came over from Chicago four years ago, he has hammered away at Price with one mantra: Prepare only for the task at hand, dedicate yourself entirely to the game ahead, worry only about the next shot.And Price has adhered to it scrupulously – “that consistency may be the most impressive thing about him,” said Waite.Price is the team’s emotional leader – not even captain Max Pacioretty would quibble with that assertion – so perhaps it’s no accident that his mindset is rubbing off on the rest of the team.“I think so far this year we’ve done a good job of having that mentality. Given the prevailing attitude in the room, Therrien probably doesn’t need to remind his charges to get to work. We need to change that,” Therrien said.There is still much to tinker with. Goalie guru Stéphane Waite was talking about his protege, Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price, but the thought applies more generally: Success is fragile, so it’s best to focus on the now.The Habs’ fortunes feel less shaky than a year ago, precisely because Price’s various ligaments are firmly attached to the right places and in the correct number of pieces. The Ottawa native is in the conversation for best waiver-wire pickup of the past decade.But you can’t win without goals, and if the Habs are to offset their shortcomings down the middle, they need to sort out their power play.Montreal has scored just one five-on-four goal since Galchenyuk went down in Los Angeles on Dec. The Habs have expended considerable energy to make sure it doesn’t take up residence in their room.Defenceman Jeff Petry said the key is to remember there is a difference between being pleased and being satisfied.“We have to keep the vibe in here the way it is. It’s what has allowed the Habs to generally avoid slow starts.“There are going to be times when things aren’t going well … what we’ve done lately is use our speed,” he said.The Habs have lost more games than they’ve won in the past month (6-6-2) but, paradoxically, have mostly played better hockey – not as contingent on Hall of Fame-level goaltending – than they did in the early season; their underlying statistics have improved, with possession indicators suggesting they may actually be an elite team.Though Price is the player the Habs can least afford to lose, Galchenyuk and fellow centre David Desharnais could test that premise over the next six to eight weeks. The second wave featured Byron taking charge of zone entries, and centre Phillip Danault with Gallagher.“Our pace at five on five has been good, but it goes down on the power play. I think we’ve learned from [last year]. 4.In fairness, the man-advantage had been wobbly before then, limping along at a mediocre 14 per cent (7-for-48) in the past 15 games.Teams have figured out that maybe it’s a good idea to cover Shea Weber, he of the vicious slapper from the point – “the best shot in the NHL,” according to Habs coach Michel Therrien.Irony of ironies: Associate coach Kirk Muller was brought in to help fix a power play that previously hinged on P.K. Subban, who was swapped for Weber in the off-season.Some problems are tougher to crack than others, it seems.On Thursday, Therrien had Weber paired with fellow righty Petry on the first power-play unit.