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CHICAGO (AP) — Daniel Paille scored in overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 Saturday to tie the Stanley Cup finals at one game apiece.

The Blackhawks failed to clear the puck along the boards. Tyler Seguin picked it up and delivered a cross-ice pass to Paille, who beat Corey Crawford on his glove side for the winner at 13:48 of the extra period.

Game 3 is Monday at Boston.

It's the second consecutive year that the first two games of the finals have gone to overtime, this one coming after the Blackhawks won a triple-OT thriller 4-3 in Game 1.

Crawford and Boston's Tuukka Rask were outstanding in goal again after coming up big in the opener, turning away shot after shot in the extra period until Paille scored.

Jaromir Jagr just missed scoring the game-winner in the opening minutes of OT when his shot from the right circle hit the right post, his second near miss in as many games. Chris Kelly, who scored in the second period for Boston, had a shot from the slot stopped by Crawford at 5:39 of overtime.

Rask also stood his ground down the stretch, just as he did in the opening period, when Chicago simply fired away at him.

The Blackhawks swarmed the Bruins in the early going, taking the lead in the first on Patrick Sharp's ninth goal of the postseason.

They continued to dictate the tempo until Kelly tied it with just over five minutes remaining in the second. Paille skated out from behind the net, beating Nick Leddy with a neat move for a wraparound shot. Crawford made the save, but Kelly crashed the net and knocked in the rebound to tie it at 1-all.

The Bruins nearly grabbed the lead with just over a minute remaining, after Paille picked off Duncan Keith's pass and flipped the puck to a breaking Brad Marchand. He got pulled down by Brent Seabrook as his shot hit the inside of the right post, preserving the tie.

Either way, the Bruins had to like the way the period ended after being dominated most of the way.

They ended up outshooting Chicago 8-4 in the second after getting outgunned 19-4 in that area in the first, with the Blackhawks holding a 28-19 edge through regulation.

Rask had 33 saves while Crawford had 26.

The Bruins nearly took the lead early in the third when Jagr made a cross-ice pass to Marchand for a one-timer. Crawford came across the crease to block it with his body. Boston also had some chances in the closing minutes, with a shot by Jagr getting deflected over the net by Keith and Johnny Boychuk's attempt from the blue line getting stopped by Crawford.

The Boston rally was in stark contrast to the early going, when the Blackhawks teed off and finally broke through with 8:38 left after Rask stopped a backhand and wrist shot by Patrick Kane.

The flurry continued with a slapshot by Michael Rozsival, and with the Bruins scrambling in the zone, Sharp wound up with the puck on the right side. He fired it past a screened Rask to give the Blackhawks the lead, with the Bruins' Kaspars Daugavins and Andrew Ference jammed in front trying to cover Dave Bolland.

Chicago continued the siege against Rask, who had 18 saves in the period, but couldn't add to the lead.

Then again, the Bruins couldn't get anything going on offense. Sharp alone had more shots than them in the opening period with six, and things didn't get much better for Boston in the second.

Crawford wasn't really tested in the early going, other than a nice glove save on a high shot by Jagr midway through the first period and point-blank stop on Rich Peverley with 1:35 remaining. Star wing Nathan Horton was in the lineup for the Bruins after leaving the series opener with an injured left shoulder, a huge boost for a team trying to tie the series.

Horton got tangled up with Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson in the first overtime, a pivotal moment for a key player to go down. But after watching Horton practice on Friday and skate on Saturday, coach Claude Julien declared him ready, saying he saw "absolutely no reason" not to play him.

For excitement alone, it would be hard to match what happened in Game 1, let alone top it.

From the late rally in regulation by the Blackhawks to the string of spectacular saves by Crawford to Jagr's near-miss off the post and, finally, Andrew Shaw's double-deflection goal to win it, that one was simply breathtaking. It added up to the fifth-longest Stanley Cup finals game in league history and a 1-0 series lead for Chicago.

Now the series is tied headed back to Boston.

Saturday, 15 June 2013 22:40
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CHICAGO (AP) — Daniel Paille scored in overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 Saturday to tie the Stanley Cup finals at one game apiece.

The Blackhawks failed to clear the puck along the boards. Tyler Seguin picked it up and delivered a cross-ice pass to Paille, who beat Corey Crawford on his glove side for the winner at 13:48 of the extra period.

Game 3 is Monday at Boston.

It's the second consecutive year that the first two games of the finals have gone to overtime, this one coming after the Blackhawks won a triple-OT thriller 4-3 in Game 1.

Crawford and Boston's Tuukka Rask were outstanding in goal again after coming up big in the opener, turning away shot after shot in the extra period until Paille scored.

Jaromir Jagr just missed scoring the game-winner in the opening minutes of OT when his shot from the right circle hit the right post, his second near miss in as many games. Chris Kelly, who scored in the second period for Boston, had a shot from the slot stopped by Crawford at 5:39 of overtime.

Rask also stood his ground down the stretch, just as he did in the opening period, when Chicago simply fired away at him.

The Blackhawks swarmed the Bruins in the early going, taking the lead in the first on Patrick Sharp's ninth goal of the postseason.

They continued to dictate the tempo until Kelly tied it with just over five minutes remaining in the second. Paille skated out from behind the net, beating Nick Leddy with a neat move for a wraparound shot. Crawford made the save, but Kelly crashed the net and knocked in the rebound to tie it at 1-all.

The Bruins nearly grabbed the lead with just over a minute remaining, after Paille picked off Duncan Keith's pass and flipped the puck to a breaking Brad Marchand. He got pulled down by Brent Seabrook as his shot hit the inside of the right post, preserving the tie.

Either way, the Bruins had to like the way the period ended after being dominated most of the way.

They ended up outshooting Chicago 8-4 in the second after getting outgunned 19-4 in that area in the first, with the Blackhawks holding a 28-19 edge through regulation.

Rask had 33 saves while Crawford had 26.

The Bruins nearly took the lead early in the third when Jagr made a cross-ice pass to Marchand for a one-timer. Crawford came across the crease to block it with his body. Boston also had some chances in the closing minutes, with a shot by Jagr getting deflected over the net by Keith and Johnny Boychuk's attempt from the blue line getting stopped by Crawford.

The Boston rally was in stark contrast to the early going, when the Blackhawks teed off and finally broke through with 8:38 left after Rask stopped a backhand and wrist shot by Patrick Kane.

The flurry continued with a slapshot by Michael Rozsival, and with the Bruins scrambling in the zone, Sharp wound up with the puck on the right side. He fired it past a screened Rask to give the Blackhawks the lead, with the Bruins' Kaspars Daugavins and Andrew Ference jammed in front trying to cover Dave Bolland.

Chicago continued the siege against Rask, who had 18 saves in the period, but couldn't add to the lead.

Then again, the Bruins couldn't get anything going on offense. Sharp alone had more shots than them in the opening period with six, and things didn't get much better for Boston in the second.

Crawford wasn't really tested in the early going, other than a nice glove save on a high shot by Jagr midway through the first period and point-blank stop on Rich Peverley with 1:35 remaining. Star wing Nathan Horton was in the lineup for the Bruins after leaving the series opener with an injured left shoulder, a huge boost for a team trying to tie the series.

Horton got tangled up with Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson in the first overtime, a pivotal moment for a key player to go down. But after watching Horton practice on Friday and skate on Saturday, coach Claude Julien declared him ready, saying he saw "absolutely no reason" not to play him.

For excitement alone, it would be hard to match what happened in Game 1, let alone top it.

From the late rally in regulation by the Blackhawks to the string of spectacular saves by Crawford to Jagr's near-miss off the post and, finally, Andrew Shaw's double-deflection goal to win it, that one was simply breathtaking. It added up to the fifth-longest Stanley Cup finals game in league history and a 1-0 series lead for Chicago.

Now the series is tied headed back to Boston.

Saturday, 15 June 2013 22:40
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MIAMI (AP) -- Carlos Beltran homered from each side of the plate and tripled Saturday, and Lance Lynn notched his ninth victory when the St. Louis Cardinals outslugged the Miami Marlins 13-7.

Swinging left-handed, Beltran hit his 15th home run in the second inning and tripled for the first time since May 2012 in the eighth. He hit another home run from the right side in the ninth - the 11th time he has homered from both sides in a game.

Beltran extended the longest active hitting streak in the NL to 14 games as the Cardinals pounded out 17 hits.

Yadier Molina singled home two runs in the Cardinals' five-run first inning, and David Freese's fourth homer in the third inning put them ahead to stay.

Lynn (9-1) allowed a career-high seven runs in five innings against the lowest-scoring team in the majors, but his two-run single hit in the fifth inning gave the Cardinals a three-run lead to help them pull away.

It's the fifth time this season the Cardinals have scored at least nine runs when Lynn has started. But while the outburst by the NL's best-hitting team was no surprise, Lynn's hit was a shocker.

A two-out single off Ryan Webb raised Lynn's lifetime average to .077. He came into the game with five hits and one RBI in 76 career at-bats.

Molina finished with three RBIs and two hits, hiking his NL-leading average to .352. Freese and Daniel Descalso had three hits each.

The Cardinals went 7 for 14 with runners in scoring position, hiking their season average in those situations to .342.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer for Miami, his fifth. Rob Brantly had two hits and three RBIs.

The Marlins, last in the majors in runs, scored four in the first and tied the game 6-all in the second. But they never took the lead.

Tom Koehler (0-5) allowed a career-high nine runs in 4 2-3 innings.

Lynn has received the best run support of any Cardinals starter this season, and they went to work for him right away, loading the bases with one out in the first before Molina singled home their first runs. Freese followed with an RBI single, Descalso doubled home a run, and Freese beat a throw home on a grounder to first.

After Juan Pierre led off Miami's first with a triple, Ed Lucas and Adeiny Hechavarria had RBI singles, and Brantly hit a two-run single.

Stanton's homer in the second inning made it 6-all, but Miami couldn't keep up after that.

Notes: Marlins 1B Logan Morrison said his stiff back felt better, but he was held out of the lineup for the second day in a row, and he might sit out Sunday, too. ... Molina's hit raised the Cardinals' average with the bases loaded to .379 (22 for 58). ... Miami rookie SS Hechavarria has committed just two errors to rank fourth in the majors in fielding at his position. ... RHP Ricky Nolasco, who faces the Cardinals on Sunday, hasn't allowed an earned run in his past 18 2-3 innings against them.

Saturday, 15 June 2013 22:35
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ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) -- For all those runner-up finishes, with so much heartache chasing the major he covets, Phil Mickelson has never had a better chance to win the U.S. Open.

It's the first time he has ever had the outright lead going into the final round. Of the nine players within five shots, only one has the experience of winning a major. And Tiger Woods went from contender to middle-of-the-pack by matching his worst U.S. Open score as a pro.

Despite a bogey on the final hole at Merion - the 18th was so tough it didn't yield a single birdie in the third round - Mickelson was the sole survivor to par Saturday with an even-par 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

Mickelson celebrates his 43rd birthday Sunday - on Father's Day, no less. He left Merion on Monday and didn't return until three hours before his tee time on Thursday so he could attend the eighth-grade graduation of his oldest daughter.

"It's got the makings to be something special," Mickelson said. "But I still have to go out and perform, and play some of my best golf."

He has been good enough to play 54 holes in 1-under 209.

And he was close to perfection when he stood on the par-3 17th hole with a 4-iron in his hand, 253 yards away from the orange wicker basket attached to the pin, the signature look at Merion. He was one shot behind Luke Donald until a pure swing and an 8-foot birdie putt gave him the lead.

"I just stood and admired it," Mickelson said. "It was one of the best shots I've ever hit. I mean, it just was right down the center of the green and I was hoping it would kind of get the right bounces. It left me a beautiful uphill putt that I could be aggressive with and I made it. That was fun to do that because that's just not a hole you expect to get one back."

Four others players who had been under par late in the round couldn't hang on.

Donald twice made poor swings with a 2-iron, and it cost him three shots. Mahan, Schwartzel and Justin Rose all finished bogey-bogey.

There was trouble everywhere at Merion, and it didn't take much to find it. One swing cost Ian Poulter, who drove out-of-bounds on the 15th. One decision cost Nicolas Colsaerts, who tried to hit a shot under a tree on the 18th and made triple bogey. That left Mickelson alone at the top for only the second time in a major - he won the 2006 Masters with the lead.

The U.S. Open, however, has been nothing but trouble for Lefty.

"I don't think I feel any more pressure than anybody else who wants to win ... the U.S. Open," Mickelson said. "This is a tournament for years I've had opportunities, I've come close to, and it would mean a lot tomorrow if I could play some of my best golf - certainly if I can play the way I have been."

Saturday was more about weeding out the pretenders for this U.S. Open - and one of them turned out to be Woods. He started out just four shots out of the lead, and made a bending, 12-foot birdie putt on the opening hole. It never got any better for the world's No. 1 player. He made seven bogeys the rest of the way and didn't add another birdie. It was the fourth time he shot 76 in the U.S. Open, but never when he started out so close to the lead. Now, he's 10 shots behind.

"It certainly is frustrating," said Woods, who has been stuck on 14 majors since winning the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. "I'm playing well enough to do it, and unfortunately just haven't gotten it done."

The final hour might have been a sneak preview for Sunday. At one point, there were five players under par, and suddenly there was only Mickelson.

Donald made double bogey on the 18th hole from the middle of the fairway, trying to swing too hard on a 2-iron to get up the hill and beyond the false front of the green. He wound up in ankle-deep rough, so gnarly that his third shot squirted across the green and into more thick grass.

"I should have done better," Donald said. "It was disappointing, but I'll take the positives out of today - a really solid 16 holes of golf, and I'm only two back."

Mahan let his spectacular back nine filled with four birdies go to waste with a bogey-bogey finish for a 69. He will be in the final group for the first time in a major with Mickelson, whom he considers a close friend.

"It's going to be a very, very exciting finish," Mahan said, "because I don't think any lead is safe."

Stricker made a 10-foot par putt on the 18th hole to complete a 70 and perhaps the steadiest round of the day. His only mistake in a round that lasted 5 1/2 hours under sunshine was a tee shot into the water on the par-3 ninth for a double bogey. At 46, Stricker can become the oldest U.S. Open champion.

"I've got to play smart golf ... not make any mistakes," he said. "I think that's the biggest thing. And it's a course where it's tough to come back."

Billy Horschel, tied with Mickelson at the start of the third round, kept his emotions in check and shot 72. He was two shots behind, along with Donald and Rose

The third round featured so much movement, and so many wild swings, that seven players had a share of the lead at some point. Even though USGA executive director Mike Davis said the course was set up to allow for good scores, this was more about hanging on for dear life.

There was no faking it Saturday afternoon.

Thirty players were separated by only five shots at the start of the third round. By the end of the day, there were just 10 players separated by five shots, including amateur Michael Kim. He was tied for third until losing four shots on the last three holes.

For all the talk about Merion being just a short course, the final two holes were beastly - 253 yards for a par 3 surrounded by deep bunkers and framed by the Scottish broom grass, and then a 530-yard closing hole up the hill, deep rough on both sides with bogeys or worse waiting for a single missed shot.

Stricker, remarkably, played bogey-free on the back nine. Horschel, striving for perfection at a championship that doesn't allow for it, dropped only one shot.

"Seventeen and 18, you've got to buckle up and hit good shots," Horschel said. "So I think tomorrow, with the pressure being on, those holes will stick out even more."

Mickelson chose not to carry a driver, and he had to be flawless again on the long closing hole. He swung the 3-wood with confidence throughout the back nine and drilled another. With some 250 yards left, another fairway metal took him just over the green. His chip came out some 10 feet short and he missed the par putt to end a streak of 12 holes without a bogey.

But he still had the lead. It was the first time only one player remained under par through 54 holes at the U.S. Open since 2007 at Oakmont, when there was none. Mickelson was tied for the 54-hole lead at Winged Foot in 2006, where he lost a one-shot lead on the final hole by making double bogey.

Of his five runner-up finishes, that one stung the most.

But he's back for another try to win his national championship. The challenge has never been more severe - not from any player, but from Merion.

Mickelson has one piece of history working against him. In the four previous U.S. Opens at this classic course, no one with the lead going into the final round has ever gone on to win.

"I love being in the thick of it," Mickelson said. "I've had opportunities in years past, and it has been so fun, even though it's been heart-breaking to come so close a number of times and let it slide. But I feel better equipped than I have ever felt heading into the final round of a U.S. Open."

Saturday, 15 June 2013 22:32
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