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Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

Friday, 18 April 2014 00:34 Published in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.
 
Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history.
 
"It's big. We want to start this series off on a good note," Steen said. "Especially at home in front of our fans."
 
Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation.
 
Both teams face a short turnaround with Game 2 Saturday afternoon.
 
The Blues' previous longest overtime game was a 4-3 loss at Detroit in 1984 that extended 37 minutes, 7 seven seconds. The home record for a playoff overtime game was 33:49 extra time in a 5-4 win over Chicago on April 20, 1989.
 
St. Louis had to kill off delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck into the stands in the first two overtimes. The Blackhawks killed a holding penalty in the second overtime.
 
Jonathan Toews, like Kane back from a lengthy injury absence, had two assists for Chicago.

 
Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Adam Cracknell all scored their first playoff goal for the Blues.
 
The Blackhawks kept the Blues penned in their own zone for 2:10 during the first overtime, and Maxim Lapierre made the save of the session getting his body on a drive by Kris Versteeg with less than two minutes remaining.
 
Tarasenko was among the best players coming off a 15-game absence because of a broken thumb.
 
Cracknell tapped in a rebound early in the first to end a scoring drought of 148 minutes and 39 seconds for a team that got shut out the last two games of the regular season.
 
Kane scored his 30th career playoff goal after catching the defense napping at the end of a St. Louis power play, beating Miller off a long lead pass from Toews for a 3-2 lead at 18:24 of the first.
 
Miller allowed three goals on just seven shots in the first with defensemen Johnny Oduya and Brent Seabrook also scoring for Chicago.
 
St. Louis' top line of David Backes, Steen and Ott was a combined minus-5 in the first. Ott was a bit of surprise, considering he was minus-7 during the Blues' six-game losing streak to end the regular season.
 
Crawford faced just three shots in the second, but needed big saves to thwart Tarasenko and Ott. He made glove saves on drives by Steen and Tarasenko not long before Schwartz got the equalizer.
 
NOTES: Oduya and Seabrook combined for 10 goals in the regular season. Oduya's goal was first credited to Kris Versteeg on a deflection. ... St. Louis got most of its injured players back but key forward T.J. Oshie (head) and Patrik Burglund (shoulder) were scratches. ... Kane had two goals and four assists against St. Louis in the regular season and Toews had a goal and three assists.

Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job

Thursday, 17 April 2014 22:45 Published in Sports
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.
 
A person with knowledge of the situation at Tulsa says Haith is the front-runner for the job, and he traveled to the school on Thursday afternoon to discuss a possible deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized.
 
Haith coached at Miami (Fla.) before taking over at Missouri. He led Missouri to a 30-5 record in 2011-12 and was The Associated Press Coach of the Year. The Tigers went 23-12 this season.
 
Manning left Tulsa after two seasons to take over at Wake Forest. He coached the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tournament this season.
 
Haith would be leaving an uncertain situation. Missouri's top scorer last season, Jabari Brown, was a senior. Brown, who had transferred to Missouri from Auburn, led the Southeastern Conference with 19.9 points per game last season. Missouri went 7-8 after the start of February, missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years and lost to Southern Mississippi in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
 
While Missouri plays in the high-profile Big 12, Tulsa might be a more stable situation for Haith.
 
The Golden Hurricane went 17-16 and played in the CBI tournament two years ago. This past season, Tulsa improved to 21-13, won the Conference USA tournament and reached the NCAA tournament with a young team. Sophomore guard James Woodard was a second-team all-conference pick, and forwards Rashad Smith, Lew Evans and D'Andre Wright and guards Shaquille Harrison and Rashad Ray were sophomores who played significant roles.
 
The Golden Hurricane will be moving to the American Athletic Conference next season, which includes national champion Connecticut.

Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0

Thursday, 17 April 2014 22:41 Published in Sports
 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory.
 
Wainwright (3-1) allowed Ian Desmond's infield single in the second inning and Adam LaRoche's single to right in the ninth. He struck out eight and walked three. During one dominant stretch, the runner-up for the 2013 NL Cy Young award retired 18 consecutive batters.
 
This was the right-hander's 17th complete game and his fourth two-hitter.
 
Desmond, Washington's shortstop, made a pair of errors, raising his season total to seven. The Nationals have 20 through 16 games, an average of 1.25.
 
Wainwright threw 110 pitches and finished the game by striking out Desmond.
 
Taylor Jordan (0-1) gave up seven runs, five earned, in 5 1-3 innings.
 
Matt Adams drove in three runs, Matt Holliday two, and the Cardinals finished with 14 hits. Everyone got in on the act: All nine members of the starting lineup had at least one hit.
 
St. Louis has won eight in a row against Washington, dating to Game 5 of the 2012 NL division series.
 
So far this season, the Nationals have beaten weaker opponents, going a combined 8-1 against the Mets and Marlins, and really struggled against better teams, going 1-6 against the Braves and Cardinals.
 
Remnants of last season, when the Nationals went 6-13 against the Braves, 0-6 against the Cardinals. It is as if Washington sees those clubs and forgets the basics of baseball.
 
"If you don't play well against these guys, you're probably going to get beat," Nationals manager Matt Williams said before Thursday's game. "We understand that we have to play the game right and play it well to have a chance to win."
 
It was as if his players set out to prove him right.
 
The game's first batter, Matt Carpenter, sent a seemingly routine grounder to Desmond, who failed to field the ball cleanly. Then Kolten Wong's swinging bunt was grabbed by Jordan, but the pitcher could not manage to get the ball out of his glove. That, at least, was ruled a hit.
 
Up came Holliday, who bounced a double past diving third baseman Anthony Rendon to drive in a run. An RBI groundout scored another, and Yadier Molina's single through a drawn-in infield made it 3-0.
 
There was more sloppiness in the fourth, when Desmond's throwing error was compounded by an error on second baseman Danny Espinosa, who dropped the ball making the transfer on a potential double play, resulting in an RBI for Wainwright that gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead.
 
The Cardinals kept tacking on runs, including one off rookie reliever Blake Treinen. Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth dropped a flyball in the eighth, but St. Louis didn't score that inning.
 
NOTES: In Friday's second game of the four-game series, Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (2-0, 1.89 ERA) will face Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 3.50). ... The Cardinals put RHP Joe Kelly on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, a day after he got hurt while trying to beat out a bunt attempt in a 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. St. Louis also optioned RHP Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie RHPs Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon from Memphis. ... Nationals CF Denard Span (7-day DL, concussion) began a minor league injury rehab stint at Class A Hagerstown on Thursday, going 1 for 2 and playing five innings on defense. ... Nationals RHP Doug Fister (15-day DL, back muscle) threw two innings at extended spring training in Florida.

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