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Archive for April 4th, 2017

NHL Morning Skate for Monday, April 3, 2017: Predators clinch; All 8 Western Conference playoff spots set

SUNDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
Boston 3, CHICAGO 2
NY Islanders 4, BUFFALO 2
ST. LOUIS 4, Nashville 1
PITTSBURGH 3, Carolina 2
MINNESOTA 5, Colorado 2
TAMPA BAY 6, Dallas 3
Washington 3, COLUMBUS 2
San Jose 3, VANCOUVER 1
NY RANGERS 4, Philadelphia 3
Anaheim 4, CALGARY 3
Arizona 2, LOS ANGELES 1

ALL EIGHT WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF TEAMS SET
By virtue of a Coyotes victory, the Predators became the eighth and final Western Conference team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* Nashville clinched its third consecutive postseason appearance and 10th in franchise history. The Predators join the Blackhawks, Wild, Ducks, Oilers, Sharks, Blues and Flames as the eight Western Conference teams competing in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

CAPITALS, PENGUINS KEEP PACE IN PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY RACE
The Capitals (52-18-8, 112 points) and Penguins (48-19-11, 107 points) each earned wins to keep pace in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy:

* The League-leading Capitals built a 3-0 lead and held off a Blue Jackets rally to move to 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Braden Holtby (35 saves) improved to 41-12-6 in 2016-17 (2.11 GAA, .924 SV%, 8 SO) and tied Sergei Bobrovsky for the League lead in wins among goaltenders this season.

Matt Murray made 33 saves as the Penguins registered their 30th home win of the season and leapfrogged the Blue Jackets (49-21-8, 106 points) for sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division. Murray improved to 30-10-4 in 2016-17 (2.40 GAA, .923 SV%, 4 SO) and became the first rookie goaltender in franchise history to reach the 30-win mark in a season.

OTHER PLAYOFF-BOUND CLUBS SECURE VICTORIES
The playoff-bound Rangers (47-26-6, 100 points), Wild (46-25-8, 100 points), Ducks (43-23-13, 99 points), Sharks (44-28-7, 95 points) and Blues (43-28-7, 93 points) each secured victories on Sunday:

Mats Zuccarello collected three assists to help the Rangers snap an eight-game home losing streak (0-5-3). The Rangers occupy the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference and reached the 100-point mark for the third consecutive season.

* Five different skaters scored to help the Wild reach the 100-point plateau for the third time in franchise history (also 2006-07 and 2014-15) and maintain their hold of second place in the Central Division. Devan Dubnyk (30 saves) earned his 38th win of 2016-17 to establish a franchise record for most in a season by a goaltender, eclipsing the mark of 37 set by Niklas Backstrom in 2008-09.

Logan Shaw scored the go-ahead goal with 3:06 remaining in regulation as the Ducks extended their point streak to 11 games (8-0-3) and moved past the idle Oilers (44-25-9, 97 points) for sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Jonathan Bernier (18 saves) improved to 10-0-2 in his last 12 appearances dating to March 7 (1.88 GAA, .937 SV%, 1 SO).

* Tomas Hertl scored twice to help the Sharks snap a six-game road losing streak (0-6-0) and strengthen their grip on third place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks have won 11 consecutive regular-season road games against the Canucks dating to March 5, 2013 (VAN: 0-9-2).

* Four different skaters scored to help the Blues defeat the Predators and extend their point streak to nine games (7-0-2). St. Louis moved two points ahead of Nashville (40-28-11, 91 points) for sole possession of third place in the Central Division. Vladimir Tarasenko (37-33—70) opened the scoring to reach the 70-point mark for the third consecutive season.

EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS PICK UP VALUABLE WINS
Three Eastern Conference teams in the hunt for playoff berths picked up wins:

Anton Khudobin made a season-high 41 saves to backstop the Bruins (43-30-6, 92 points) to their fifth consecutive win. The Bruins leapfrogged the idle Maple Leafs (38-24-15, 91 points) and Senators (41-27-9, 91 points) for sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division. Khudobin improved to 6-0-0 in his last six decisions (1.98 GAA, .928 SV%) after beginning the season with a record of 1-5-1.

* Ondrej Palat (1-2—3) factored on three of six goals as the Lightning (39-29-10, 88 points) extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1) and inched closer to the Senators, who occupy the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Palat has collected 3-8—11 in his last six outings.

Anders Lee (31-17—48) scored twice in the third period to eclipse the 30-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career and guide the Islanders (37-29-12, 86 points) to victory.

LOOSE PUCKS
Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner (0-2—2) eclipsed the 400-point milestone (142-259—401) and Wild forward Jason Pominville (0-1—1) reached the 400-assist plateau . . . Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau (3-9—12 in 8 GP), Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (1-6—7 in 5 GP) and Flyers forward Brayden Schenn (3-3—6 in 5 GP) extended their point streaks . . . Kings forward Jarome Iginla skated in his 1,550th career NHL game and passed Alex Delvecchio (1,549) for 12th place all-time . . . Islanders forward Connor Jones and Sabres forward C.J. Smith (0-1—1) made their NHL debuts . . . Devils defenseman Dalton Prout will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday afternoon for interference on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas . . . The Canucks honored Sharks forward Jannik Hansen (0-1—1) in his return to Rogers Arena.

 

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PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE PUBLICATION

Washington Capitals 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 2 Postgame Notes

 

Goal Scorers
Columbus: J. Johnson (5), K. Quincey (6)
Washington: T. Oshie (33), A. Burakovsky (12), M. Niskanen (5)

Goalies
Columbus: S. Bobrovsky (27 Saves, L)
Washington: B. Holtby (35 Saves, W)

The Blue Jackets fell to the Washington Capitals 3-2 at Nationwide Arena on Sunday night.

Blue Jackets:
Coach John Tortorella | Josh Anderson | Sergei Bobrovsky | Nick Foligno | Jack Johnson

Capitals:
Coach Barry Trotz | Andre Burakovsky | Braden Holtby | T.J. Oshie

 

The Blue Jackets return to action on Tuesday, April 4 (7 p.m. ET) as they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

 

POSTGAME RECAP WRITTEN, PRODUCED BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS

Indians sign Roberto Pérez to a long-term deal

Roberto Pérez in gear 2015 By Erik Drost on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Cleveland Indians have signed C ROBERTO PÉREZ to a four-year contract with club options for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Pérez, 28, has spent his entire professional career in the Indians organization following his 33rd round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He owns a career Major League batting average of .220 (93/422) with 20 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 160 games (.318/.355/.674) since debuting with the club in July 2014. The Mayaguez, Puerto Rico native spent the 2016 season between the active Major League roster and the disabled list (right thumb surgery), appearing in 61 games and starting all 15 games behind the plate in the 2016 Postseason. He hit 3 home runs with 7 RBI in the Postseason while recording an OPS of .719, becoming the first Puerto Rican-born player to homer twice in a World Series game (Game 1) on October 25.

Roberto batted .304 (7/23) this spring with 2 2B and 2 RBI in 10 games and was a member of Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic (2 games).

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY INDIANS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

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