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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- David Backes scored 22 seconds into overtime on a breakaway and the St. Louis Blues rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 Saturday night.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice and Chris Stewart tied it with 6:27 remaining in regulation for St. Louis, which entered tied for the fewest regulation losses in the league with six and have now won three straight and four of five. Brenden Morrow added two assists and Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves for the Blues.

On the winner, Columbus lost the puck at its blue line. Backes took it, fended off Fedor Tyutin on a delayed penalty call then deked Mike McKenna and calmly scored with a high shot.

Tyutin, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Johansen scored for Columbus, which came out flying to take a 3-1 lead after the first period. It was a tough loss for the Blue Jackets, who had won four of five, jelling around their backup goalies with last season's Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovksy on the shelf.

Third stringer and St. Louis native McKenna was back in net for the second straight game, making his first start since 2010 while playing for New Jersey, which was also against the Blues. On Thursday, in a 4-2 win at the New York Rangers, he stopped 17 of 18 shots in relief of an injured Curtis McElhinney.

But in this one, the Blue Jackets and McKenna couldn't hold down the fort.

Trailing 3-2 to start the third period, St. Louis pulled even after Nick Foligno and Mark Letestu couldn't convert on breakaway chances. Seconds after Letestu fired high into the glass, a puck bouncing through traffic found Stewart down low and he wasted no time converting his seventh at 13:33.

Tarasenko staked St. Louis to the early lead. Catching a fortuitous carom off Blue Jackets' Dalton Prout and with McKenna leaning toward the initial play, he scored from the slot at 4:10 of the first on the Blues' second shot.

Columbus answered with three goals in just under five minutes.

Blake Comeau powered his way around Kevin Shattenkirk and slid a short pass to near the crease where Anisimov chipped home his ninth at 8:49. Tyutin followed two minutes later with a blast from the point for his third after a hard Blue Jackets' forecheck led to a St. Louis turnover.

Then things heated up after the whistle with Columbus on the power play. Matt Calvert fought Ian Cole near the Blues goal while Barret Jackman and Folingo squared off. Cole took an extra roughing penalty giving the Blue Jackets a two-man advantage. Johansen cashed in 8 seconds later at the left dot, taking Brandon Dubinsky's feed across the circles, and firing the puck past Halak for his team-leading 12th goal.

St. Louis pressed the issue early in the second period but McKenna made several nice saves, including one with his leg pad on Vladimir Sobotka.

Tarasenko finally broke through for St. Louis, notching his second and 11th of the season, snapping a screened shot from the left circle on the power play at 8:33.

The teams had a combined eight minor penalties in the period with St. Louis whistled for five of them. Halak stoned Foligno from point-blank range late in the period with the Blue Jackets on another two-man advantage.

NOTES: Columbus coach Todd Richards said injured F Marian Gaborik (sprained knee) and D James Wisniewski (upper body) may return next week. RW Nathan Horton continues to progress in his rehab after having shoulder surgery in July. ... The Blue Jackets added Jeremy Smith to their roster on emergency recall from their AHL affiliate to be McKenna's back up. ... McKenna, who played for St. Louis' AHL affiliate last season, has played in 19 games in the NHL with New Jersey, Tampa Bay and Columbus, going 5-9-2. His father is an off-ice official and scorer for the Blues. ... Johansen extended his career-high points streak to eight games, totaling four goals and six assists. ... St. Louis improved to 11-3 versus the Eastern Conference this season. ... The Blue Jackets had won four in a row at home.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Monday, 16 December 2013 05:46
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After scoring 80 points in wins against West Virginia and UCLA, No. 24 Missouri struggled to maintain any momentum Sunday after an eight-day break for final exams.
 
"When you win ballgames at a high level, you can't be turning the ball over, trying to get the ball inbounds," coach Frank Haith said. "And that's an area where we had some mishaps."
 
Indeed, the Tigers looked rusty at times in their 66-60 win against Western Michigan. They were clinging to a 47-45 lead with 10:46 remaining before Tony Criswell's jumper two minutes later capped a 9-0 run as Missouri (10-0) pulled away.
 
Jabari Brown led the team with 15 points, while Jordan Clarkson and Earnest Ross both added 12, but the Tigers registered their lowest scoring output of the season.
 
The Tigers made 50 percent of their shots (23 of 46), but only scored two points during a seven-minute stretch in the first half before Clarkson, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer (20.2 points per game), hit one of two free throws with 3:47 before the break.
 
Missouri also committed nine turnovers and yielded five offensive rebounds in the first half to Western Michigan, which trailed 31-22 after 20 minutes despite shooting 9 of 34.
 
"I don't feel like we needed as much a lift offensively as we did energy," said Criswell, who finished with 10 points off the bench.
 
St. Louis native David Brown led Western Michigan (5-4) with 18 points and Shayne Whittington added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Brown leads the Mid-American Conference with 20.1 points per game, but has only totaled 44 points in his last three games on 28 percent shooting.
 
Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said his team got away from its identity in a 51-35 loss at Northwestern on Dec. 7, but was more comfortable with the Broncos' effort at Missouri.
 
"The Northwestern game we just weren't aggressive," he said. "We were just completely out of sync. In this game, I felt like the kids were ready and we were aggressive but we just missed shots."
 
Western Michigan made 24.4 percent of its shots in its last game after a combined 55.5 percent performance against Cornell and Oakland in their previous two contests. The team finished at 30 percent (21 of 70) overall Sunday after only making 2 of 16 from 3-point range in the first half.
 
The Broncos started the second half on an 11-4 run to pull within 35-33, but couldn't quite catch Missouri. They fell to 3-2 all-time against teams currently in the SEC, but haven't defeated an SEC opponent since beating Auburn on Dec. 17, 2002.
 
"It would have been beneficial for everybody if we would have hit shots in the first half so we wouldn't have so much pressure on us in the second half," said Whittington, who recorded his fifth double-double of the season and leads the MAC with 11 rebounds per game.
 
Missouri's defense continued its strong start to the season. The team has yet to allow an opponent to shoot better than 44.3 percent from the field this season, and only Hawaii has topped 71 points.
 
"It's good for us to have those type of games where we have to scrap it out to get it done," Haith said.
 
Missouri stretched its NCAA-best homecourt winning streak to 25 games and has won 80 straight games against nonconference opponents at Mizzou Arena dating to the 2005-06 opener.
 
Missouri now waits another six days to play its next game, the annual Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis against Illinois.
Monday, 16 December 2013 07:49
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Monday, 16 December 2013 08:36
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Just like two years ago, a St. Louis Rams team going nowhere jumped on the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints early and never let them up.

Drew Brees threw interceptions that led to touchdowns on the Saints' first two possessions and the Rams got big days from Zac Stacy, Robert Quinn and on special teams in a 27-16 victory Sunday.

"When you looked at their sideline, they realized, `Oh gosh, like, here we go again,'" Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "We hit `em early, and they were reeling."

The Rams were 0-6 and double-digit underdogs before upsetting the Saints in 2011. St. Louis was 2-14 that year and New Orleans went 13-3.

Everything went sour fast for the 10-win Saints. Brees was intercepted on the first snap, and again in the second series, and the Saints played catch-up all day.

"You want to talk about waking the whole place up," Brees said. "That did it."

Quinn had two sacks, giving him an NFC-leading 15, for a pass rush that took the heat off a young secondary. His quarterback hit on the Saints' first snap of the game altered the flight of the ball on T.J. McDonald's interception, and he had a sack, strip and fumble recovery to keep the Saints down in the third quarter.

Coach Sean Payton benched left tackle Charlie Brown after that play and shifted left tackle Zack Strief to the right side in an attempt to neutralize Quinn.

"I saw enough. Period. I mean, enough," Payton said.

The Saints (10-4) missed their first chance to clinch a playoff berth, trailing 24-3 at the half, but made it look respectable with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. They're unbeaten at home, but just 3-4 on the road and play at Carolina with the NFC South lead on the line next week.

The Saints are averaging 32.9 points at home, with five of the wins by double-digits including playoff hopefuls Dallas and Arizona. They're averaging just 18.4 points on the road with the three wins by eight, four and two points.

Kellen Clemens threw for two TDs in the first quarter, matching his best performance in seven games as the fill-in starter for Sam Bradford. The Rams (6-8) recovered an onside kick to set up a field goal in the first quarter, and Michael Brockers blocked a field-goal attempt at the end of the half.

Brees was 39 for 56 for 393 yards, but with just one touchdown, and threw two interceptions in the first quarter for the first time in a decade.

The Rams played one of their strongest games of the year a week after getting eliminated, and the franchise is assured of a 10th consecutive season without a winning record.

St. Louis' offense had a nice day against Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who had an extended interview with the Rams in January before joining New Orleans.

"When people change their mind, they change their mind, and I was fine with that," coach Jeff Fisher said. "He's a good coach."

Stacy shook off an early hip injury scare and set a franchise rookie record with 106 yards by halftime, bettering the likes of Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, Steven Jackson and Jerome Bettis. Stacy finished with 132 yards on 27 carries.

"Questionable? Nah, I was never questionable," Stacy said. "I was always going back. I'm a competitor."

Brees scored on a 1-yard sneak and threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston with 3:07 to go. The Saints recovered an onside kick, but their comeback ended when Garrett Hartley was wide left on a 26-yard field-goal attempt.

Last week, Brees became the fastest in NFL history to 50,000 yards passing while throwing for four TDs in a 31-13 victory over Carolina at home.

Cory Harkey broke three tackles on a 31-yard touchdown catch the first play - just his seventh reception of the year after Brees' first interception.

Brees floated a rollout aimed at Jimmy Graham, who was in triple-coverage, and Trumaine Johnson snared another underthrown pass at the goal line. The Rams drove 93 yards, helped by a pair of personal penalties, and made it 14-0 on Clemens' 4-yard pass to a wide-open Lance Kendricks.

The Rams followed up with perfect execution on an onside kick by kicker Greg Zuerlein recovered in the air by a leaping Stedman Bailey, setting up a field goal for a 17-0 cushion early in the second quarter.

Clemens got a chance to use the victory formation the Rams practice after Brockers blocked Hartley's 36-yard field-goal attempt with 2 seconds left.

Notes: Former Rams two-time Pro Bowl QB Marc Bulger, holding his daughter, was introduced during the break while Stacy was helped off the field. ... According to STATS, the first seven games, the Saints forced 15 turnovers and scored 48 points. They had no turnovers or sacks against the Rams, and over the last seven games they have just two takeaways.

---

AP NFL website: WWW.PRO32.AP.ORG

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Monday, 16 December 2013 07:07
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Between 2015 and 2018, St. Louis will play host to eight NCAA Championships.

The Gateway City will have championships in: Bowling, Women's Gymnastics, Women's Ice Hockey, and wrestling for division one and two.

This is a breakdown of what the NCAA just announced:

Bowling Championships to be held at Tropicana Lanes in St. Louis MO on April 9-11, 2015 and April 12-14, 2018

Women’s gymnastics championships to be held at Chaifetz Arena on April 14-16, 2017 and April 20-22, 2018

Women’s Ice Hockey “Frozen Four” finals to be held at Family Arena in St Charles Mo on March 17-19, 2017.

Men’s Wrestling championship to be held at Scottrade Center in St Louis on March 19-21, 2015 and March 16-18, 2017.

Division II Wrestling championships at the Chaifetz Arena on March 13-14, 2015.

In addition, for the area soccer fanatics, the NCAA Division 1 Championships will come to Sporting Park in Kansas City on December 11-13, 2015.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 17:36
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- Kevin Shattenkirk scored a power-play goal at 16:58 of the third period to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

Bryan Little scored early in the third for the Jets, who outshot the Blues by an 8-2 margin in the first period.

Four of those came during the Jets' one power play late in the period. Great saves by Brian Elliott kept the puck out of the St. Louis net.

Alex Steen turned things around in the second with the Blues' first goal.

He was behind the Winnipeg goal line midway between the net and the boards at 4:44 when he slid a puck behind Ondrej Pavelec that banked off the Winnipeg goalie to put the Blues ahead 1-0.

Pavelec was focusing on those in front of the net rather than the Blues' leading scorer to his right. It was Steen's 21st goal of the season.

Steen's goal helped give the Blues energy and they outshot the Jets 8-5 in the second, although Winnipeg also had to kill a Blake Wheeler interference penalty.

But Little evened things up just three minutes into the third as he won a faceoff and then snapped a pass from linemate Andrew Ladd past Elliott on a power play.

Winnipeg failed to get a shot off on a second power play in the third and killed another Wheeler minor for slashing. The Jets also failed to score on another power play about 13 minutes in.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was sent off with just over three minutes left for hooking, which gave Shattenkirk his chance to score his third goal of the season.

St. Louis was coming off a 5-2 home-ice loss to Anaheim and had lost three of its past four coming to Winnipeg. The Jets hadn't played at home since Nov. 23, but were 4-2 on an Eastern road swing.

Notes: Jets' Mark Stuart left in the third bleeding from the mouth after a goalmouth scramble. ... Wheeler had been on a three-game point streak going into the game. ... The Jets are still the only team in the Central that has managed to beat the Blues this season, 4-3 in a shootout Oct. 18. ... St. Louis went into Tuesday's game with an impressive 9-0-1 record against division opponents.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 22:36
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   When the new members are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame next summer, former Cardinal's manager Tony La Russa will be among them.  The third winningest manager in the major leagues was voted in Monday at Baseball's winter meetings in Orlando.

   Mangers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox were also voted in unanimously.  

   La Russa skippered the Cardinals from 1996 to 2011, retiring after the Cards won the World Series.  Before coming to St. Louis, he steered the Oakland A's and Chicago White Sox.

   The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be July 27, 2014 in Cooperstown.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 02:28
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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri football team (11-2 overall and Southeastern Conference East Division champions) has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, set for January 3rd in Arlington, Texas at the world-renowned AT&T Stadium.  Kickoff for the game, which will pit the Tigers against former conference foe Oklahoma State (10-2, 2nd place in Big 12), is set for 7pm.

The Cotton Bowl appearance will mark Mizzou's 11th New Year's Day (or later) bowl game in program history, and its first since playing in the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.  The invitation is a reward for an outstanding season which saw the Tigers post one of the top turnaround years in the nation, going from 5-7 in 2012 to 11-2 - a 6 1/2 game improvement.  This is MU's 30th alltime bowl appearance.

"We are honored and excited to accept a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel, who will be making his ninth bowl game appearance in 13 seasons at Mizzou.  "We know first-hand just how great of a trip this is, and how first-class of an operation the Cotton Bowl runs.  We have a chance to play an outstanding team in Oklahoma State, and this is an opportunity to finish up a special season in front of a great Mizzou crowd," Pinkel said.

This will mark the 78th Cotton Bowl Classic, and the Tigers will be making their third appearance in the tradition-rich game.  Mizzou rolled to a 38-7 win over Arkansas in the 2008 game, as TB Tony Temple rushed for a Cotton Bowl-record 281 yards and four touchdowns against the 25th-ranked Razorbacks.  That win closed a stellar season for Mizzou, who finished with a 12-2 record and a school-best final ranking of 4th in the final polls.  Mizzou's other appearance in the Cotton Bowl was back in 1946, when Texas claimed a 40-27 victory.

"Mizzou is very pleased to be part of the 78th annual Cotton Bowl Classic," said Director of Athletics Mike Alden.  "The Cotton Bowl is one of the iconic bowl games in all of college football, and it will be a great reward to our team to have the opportunity to play in AT&T Stadium.  We have an outstanding alumni base in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and I know our fans will be excited to see the Tigers come their way once again," he said.

The chairman of the Cotton Bowl is Tommy Bain. Bain said, "We just landed two of the preeminent teams in the country, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Missouri and Oklahoma State are capable of lighting up the scoreboard in a hurry, and defensively, each team is strong. Something is going to have to give come January 3rd. OSU beat three ranked teams in November and one of the nation’s longest winning streaks going into the Oklahoma game. Missouri was absolutely sensational in just its second season in the SEC. The Tigers won the SEC’s Eastern Division and gave Auburn all it wanted in the conference championship game. We can’t wait to get these two teams to Arlington, pamper them with some Texas hospitality, and then prepare for another exciting Classic.”

Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:14
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Carson Palmer didn't throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday.

So much for that sore right elbow.

Palmer completed 27 of 32, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes by beating the St. Louis Rams 30-10.

It was the second-highest completion percentage (84.4) in franchise history. Only Kurt Warner's NFL record of 92.3 percent (24 of 26) against Jacksonville in 2009 was better.

Palmer said he had no idea what his statistics were, just that things were working at a nice clip.

"When the plays were coming in I knew exactly where to go with the ball," he said.

Palmer hurt his throwing elbow in last week's loss at Philadelphia. From Monday on, trainer Tom Reed decided there would be no passing in practice.

"I didn't throw one ball, and I was definitely worried about that," Palmer said, "but that was the plan."

It worked to near perfection.

Palmer threw for 269 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games. He was sacked once.

"I can't say enough about where he is right now," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "The level he's playing is extremely high."

Arizona's Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.

Tavon Austin's 56-yard run set up the only touchdown for the Rams (5-8), a 1-yard run by Zac Stacy. Austin injured his left ankle on the play and didn't return. The loss mathematically eliminated the Rams from postseason contention.

The Cardinals lost rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu in the third quarter. Arians said it "appears to be an ACL" injury to his left knee.

Arizona had not beaten an NFC West opponent since downing Seattle in the 2012 opener. The Cardinals lost three in a row this season, including 27-24 at St. Louis in the opener. Arians hammered that home last week.

"I can't use the words he used," Dansby said. "My mom would get at me if I do that, but he let it be known that we were at the bottom of the totem pole and we've got to climb our way out."

Fitzgerald's 12 catches went for 96 yards, including a 7-yarder for a touchdown. It was his most receptions since he matched his career high with 13 against Seattle on Oct. 18, 2009.

Dansby had his second touchdown return of an interception in three games. He returned one 22 yards in Arizona's 40-11 rout of Indianapolis.

Mathieu, the "Honey Badger" having a terrific rookie season, was hurt after returning the free kick that followed the safety in the third quarter. He jogged toward the Arizona bench but his knee buckled and he collapsed, then he was carted off the field.

The Arizona safety came after a Cardinals punt was downed at the Rams 1. On third down from the 5, Clemens retreated to the end zone and was hit by Abraham, who had three sacks to give him 11 this season.

Other than Austin's big run, St. Louis managed just 44 yards on the ground in 18 attempts. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he was well aware how strong Arizona's defensive front was.

"I thought we would do a better job than we did, but we couldn't run the football today," he said.

In the first half, Palmer completed 16 of 17 for 169 yards and a touchdown. He would have had another TD had Jim Dray not fumbled at the half-yard line. Palmer completed his first 10 passes.

Arizona took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in eight plays, Rashard Mendenhall scoring on a 3-yard run. The Rams responded with Greg Zuerlein's 44-yard field goal.

On St. Louis' second play from scrimmage in the third period, Calais Campbell pressured Clemens. Dansby stepped in front of intended receiver Jared Cook, picked off the pass and ran untouched 23 yards to make it 21-3.

Notes: Abraham moved past Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal into ninth on the NFL career sacks list with 133. ... Dansby has four interception returns for scores for the Cardinals in two stints with the team. Only Aeneas Williams (six) and Larry Wilson (five) have more in franchise history. ... Arizona has outscored its last two opponents at home 70-21 and is 6-1 at home. ... The Rams were penalized 11 times for 90 yards. ... With his 10th TD catch of the season, Fitzgerald became the ninth player with double-digit touchdown receptions in five seasons.

Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:06
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Corey Perry scored his team-high 18th goal and rookie Frederik Andersen made 26 saves to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Anaheim won its second in a row, after beating defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago 3-2 in a shootout Friday. St. Louis lost for the third time in four games and fell to 12-2-2 at home.

Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Cogliano, Nick Bonino and Mark Fistric also scored for the Ducks, who had not won in regulation in their previous eight trips to St. Louis.

Getzlaf, who also added an assist, has a point in his last 13 games. He has 10 goals and 10 assists during that span. Getzlaf missed three games in November with an injury and has a point in his team's past 11 games, the longest current run in the NHL.

Andersen, who won his first six starts, improved to 8-1 with his second successive victory. He leads all rookie goalies in wins.

Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund scored third-period goals for St. Louis, which had won five straight home games.

Anaheim scored three times in the opening 7:29 to chase Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, who faced eight shots.

Bonino converted at 17:16 of the second period to push the lead to 4-0.

Andersen stopped the first 20 shots he faced and helped kill off 4-minute power plays in each of the first two periods.

NOTES: Anaheim RW Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch after playing Friday in Chicago. The 43-year-old has played on back-to-back nights only once this season. ... St. Louis C Derek Roy is one assist shy of 300 for his career. ... The Blues are an NHL-best 57-16-8 at home since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. ... Anaheim G Jonas Hiller was given the night off after facing 76 shots and 12 shootout attempts in the previous two games. ... St. Louis has scored at least two goals in all 16 home games this season.

Saturday, 07 December 2013 23:52
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