Friday, October 21, 2016

Karlsson gets shootout winner as Senators edge Canadiens 4-3

Guy Boucher trusted his instincts when selecting skaters for the shootout and it paid off for the Ottawa Senators.
The Senators' head coach opted to go with defenseman Erik Karlsson and the captain scored the game winner to give Ottawa a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night to open the season with back-to-back wins.
"Sometimes it's just small things and you follow a gut feeling," Boucher said. "Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you look like a genius and sometimes you look like an idiot, this time I look like a genius."
Despite some struggles through its first two games Ottawa is finding ways to win. The Senators had a great start on Saturday, struggled midway, but came back strong and feel they can build off the effort.
"I think it was a well-played game by both teams," Karlsson said. "We did what we had to do even though they scored two in the third. It didn't set us back. We kept going and stuck to our game plan and we didn't let ourselves stray away from what we felt we had to do to have a chance to win this game."
Tom Pyatt, Ryan Dzingel and Zack Smith scored for the Senators (2-0-0) in regulation and Craig Anderson had 21 saves.
Jeff Petry scored twice and Artturi Lehkonen got his first NHL goal for the Canadiens. Al Montoya stopped 35 shots.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was pleased with the overall effort, but falling behind early made things difficult.
"Our execution wasn't there at the start of the game," said Therrien. "We made some adjustments in the second and it seemed to pay off."
Pyatt tied the score 3-3 off a great pass from Dzingel to beat Montoya stick side with 2:33 remaining in the third period.
Dzingel was impressive all night and was rewarded for his efforts, getting ice time in the overtime session.
"I think I'm getting a little bit more confident and coach is playing me in bigger situations so just trying to grow my confidence and keep playing the way I do," Dzingel said. "I'm bringing pace and speed and that's all I'm worrying about."
Dzingel and Smith scored in the first period to put the Senators up 2-0 as they outshot the Canadiens 13-6 and had some solid work on the penalty kill.
Dzingel opened the scoring at the 6-minute mark with a great personal effort as he picked up his own rebound and beat Montoya short side. Dennis Wideman's point shot deflected in off Smith's skate with 4:10 left in the period.
Petry's power-play goal with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the second got the Canadiens on the scoreboard. Lehkonen tied it at 2:50 of the third, grabbing a loose puck and sliding it through Anderson's legs.
Ottawa couldn't capitalize on a two-man advantage for 1:49 as they failed to create any real scoring chances and the game stayed tied.
"That 5-on-3 kill gave us a lot of strength," Lehkonen said. "We found a way in the third period to bounce back and really fight for the win."
Petry's second then put Montreal at the 9-minute mark as his shot from inside the blue line beat a screened Anderson.
NOTES: D Thomas Chabot and LW Matt Puempel were healthy scratches for the Senators for the second straight game. ... Montreal D Zach Redmond, D Mikhail Sergachev and C Brian Flynn were all a healthy scratch.
UP NEXT
Canadiens: Host defending champion Pittsburh in their home opener Tuesday night.
Senators: At Detroit on Monday night.

Marner, Brown score to help Leafs beat Bruins 4-1

 The last time Mitch Marner remembers attending a Maple Leafs game as a fan, Mats Sundin returned to Air Canada Centre as a Vancouver Canuck.
Over seven years later, Sundin was back to see his No. 13 raised to the rafters, and Marner was there, too, scoring his first NHL goal to help Toronto roll over the Boston Bruins 4-1 for its first win of the season on Saturday night.
Marner got his first goal in only his second game, joined on the scoresheet by fellow rookie and Toronto native Connor Brown. Their efforts came on the heels of Auston Matthews' historic debut, when he became the first player in the modern NHL to score four goals in his first game.
"It's a lot of excitement and obviously there's going to be (a) learning curve and growing pains throughout the way, but they've been playing great so far," teammate James van Riemsdyk said of the youth movement.
Brown and Marner opened the scoring about 10 minutes apart, landing the Leafs in the record books once more. Toronto became the first team since expansion in 1967-68 to have rookies combine for the first six goals to start a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Brown had the game's first goal after barely two minutes, joined shortly after by the 19-year-old Marner and then van Riemsdyk a few minutes after that.
The fourth overall pick of the 2015 draft, Marner took a pass from Tyler Bozak just outside the Boston blue line, gained the offensive zone with space and fired a shot far-side past goaltender Anton Khudobin.
A native of nearby Thornhill, Ontario, Marner followed with an exuberant celebration.
"To finally be playing in front of these fans for real, it's pretty crazy," Marner said. "And for the first one to go in in front of them, it's kind of sweet."
Outside of Matthews, Marner was perhaps Toronto's most dangerous player in a season-opening overtime loss to Ottawa on Wednesday. He had six shots in the 5-4 overtime defeat, following that up with a goal and four more shots in 15-plus minutes against the Bruins on Saturday.
He's shown a knack for getting behind the opposition's defense, finding a seam and some space for his first goal on Saturday.
"That's just good anticipation and good smarts where he can pick his spots to use his speed to get himself in those situations," van Riemsdyk said.
Marner said he'd give the puck from his first goal to his parents.
Anton Khudobin allowed four goals on 20 shots for Boston. David Pastrnak scored his third goal in two games this season.
"Overall, not a good enough effort on our part," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "And at the end of the night, you don't deserve the win."
The worst team in the NHL last season, the Leafs have quickly shown themselves to be a much faster and highly skilled entity in the early days of this season, led by Marner, Matthews and 20-year-old William Nylander. Often that youth shows itself in less effective ways though, including a messy second period in which Toronto's sloppiness with the puck led to chances and sustained offensive zone time for Boston.
"I'd like us to obviously take better care of the puck and so we'll learn how to do that," Leafs coach Mike Babcock said afterward.
Frederik Andersen gave up only one goal on 25 shots following his wobbly five-goal outing in Wednesday's season opener.
Matthews was quiet on Saturday after his unparalleled showing earlier in the week. He was held point-less and finished with only two shots in nearly 17 minutes.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs retired 17 sweaters in a pre-game ceremony, altering a long-standing team policy where jersey numbers were honored but not retired.
UP NEXT
Bruins: Conclude their season-opening three-game trip Monday night at Winnipeg.
Maple Leafs: Begin a three-game trip Wednesday night at Winnipeg.

Newcomers Staal, Stewart lead Wild to 4-3 win against Jets

 Chris Stewart brought his usual energy in his return to the Wild's home ice, and new recruit Eric Staal finished Minnesota's comeback in its home opener.
Stewart had a goal, an assist and finished his second period with a fight, while Staal got his first goal with his new team to help the Wild overcome a two-goal deficit and beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Saturday night.
Stewart scored to start the comeback and assisted on Matt Dumba's power-play goal that tied it, then Staal capped the three-goal second period to lead 3-2.
"I have high praise for Stew and what he does," Dumba said. "Tonight, he showed why he's so valuable. He contributed lots and really got this ball rolling."
Stewart was known for his exuberance when he arrived in Minnesota via trade in 2015 and helped the Wild to the Western Conference semifinals. Stewart played 56 games for new Wild coach Bruce Boudreau in Anaheim last season, scoring eight goals with 12 assists.
The big forward's shot from left of the crease deflected off Ehlers' skate and crossed the line before goalieMichael Hutchinson swiped the puck away. After a quick review, the officials' call stood as a good goal.
Stewart also fought Chris Thorburn in the final minutes of the second period.
"That's one of the main reasons I was brought in here and I'm just doing my job," Stewart said of providing a spark.
Devan Dubnyk made 14 saves for Minnesota, which is now 14-0-2 in its home openers at the Xcel Energy Center. Jonas Brodin added a goal for the Wild.
Nikolaj EhlersBlake Wheeler and Mark Schiefele scored for Winnipeg. Hutchinson stopped 27 shots.
"Maybe subconsciously," Wheeler said of letting up after scoring twice in the final 71 seconds of the first period. "It didn't feel that way in the room and it didn't feel that way on the bench, but maybe we were a little bit casual, feeling good about ourselves. But from what we were talking about in here and on the bench, it didn't seem that way."
Minnesota dropped its opener under Boudreau at St. Louis on Thursday and was booed off the home ice following the first period Saturday after Wheeler tipped home a shot from Dustin Byfuglien with 2.6 seconds left.
The Wild came out stronger in the second and outshot Winnipeg 12-2 in the period.
"Mistakes were made, it was obvious," Staal said. "But there was choice words by Bruce, I guess you could say, but they were the right things said. I think everybody knew that if we got to our game and got on our toes a little bit more that we would feel the momentum shift, and it did."
Schiefele's goal with 18.7 seconds left stood after a video review determined Mathieu Perrault didn't cause goaltender interference after crashing into Dubnyk.
"All things open up after chaos gets created and we didn't create enough chaos in the offensive zone to create some of the plays we were looking for," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
NOTES: Jets F Bryan Little missed the game with a lower body injury sustained in the season opener. Coach Paul Maurice told reporters the injury doesn't require surgery, but Little is out indefinitely. ... With Little out, Maurice shuffled his lines and No. 2 overall draft pick Patrik Laine was on the first line after scoring in his NHL debut. Laine played with Schiefele and captain Blake WheelerAlexander Burmistrov took Little's spot in the lineup and centered the third line. ... The Wild will honor Jacob Wetterling, the 11-year-old boy abducted from nearby St. Joseph in 1989, and the Wetterling family during their first three home games. The Wild players will wear Wetterling's No. 11 on their helmets during the first three home games. Zach Parise and his wife, Alicia, also announced an $11,000 donation to the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.
UP NEXT:
Jets: Winnipeg returns home on Monday against Boston.
Wild: Minnesota continues its three-game homestand Tuesday against Los Angeles.

Cornelius' late TD run lifts Arkansas past Ole Miss 34-30

Bret Bielema did his best to remind anyone who was listening throughout the week that Arkansas' only losses this season were to No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M.
That included the No. 22 Razorbacks, who clearly took their coach's message to heart in a 34-30 win over No. 12 Mississippi on Saturday night.
The win didn't have quite the suspense of Arkansas' (5-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) thrilling overtime win over the Rebels (3-3, 1-2) a year ago, but it was every bit as important - especially following a deflating 49-30 loss at home to the Crimson Tide a week ago.
"I told the guys, `Let's do whatever we have to do to protect this house,'" Bielema said. "They never wavered and needed help from the crowd, and they delivered."
Austin Allen was at his usual best on Saturday night, completing 19 of 32 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. The junior now has an SEC-best 18 touchdown passes for the season, and he had plenty of help in the form of Rawleigh William's career-best 180 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Despite the dynamic run-pass combination, the Razorbacks didn't secure the win until Jared Cornelius' 6-yard touchdown scamper on second-and-goal late in the fourth quarter.
"The offensive line kind of stretched, the defense jumped to the outside, I stuck my foot in the ground and the hole opened up like the Red Sea," Cornelius said.
The win was the third in a row for the Razorbacks over Ole Miss, which has now lost three of its first six games a season after winning the Sugar Bowl.
Chad Kelly accounted for 342 yards of total offense for the Rebels, throwing for 253 yards and rushing for 89 more. The senior also threw for a touchdown and ran for two more, but he fumbled while scrambling on a fourth-and-16 to put an end to Ole Miss' two-game winning streak.
Evan Engram led the Rebels with seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
The two teams entered Saturday with the two most efficient quarterbacks in the SEC, and neither Kelly nor Allen disappointed. The duo combined for 571 yards of total offense.
It was Cornelius, however, who had the final say with his 6-yard touchdown run with 2:20 remaining.
"We're in the games and competing," Rebels coach Hugh Freeze said. "We've got to see the big picture, even though it's hard to right now, sitting here."
THE TAKEAWAY
Ole Miss: The Rebels entered the game 102nd in the country in total defense, allowing 449.4 yards per game. They once again struggled on Saturday by allowing 429 total yards to Arkansas, a number that was more than 450 before the Razorbacks purposely took several large losses while running out the clock on the game's final drive.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks still have offensive line concerns after allowing three more sacks of Allen, but they moved the ball consistently through the air and on the ground. That gives them renewed hope with only SEC games left on the schedule this season.
POLL IMPLICATIONS
Arkansas was in danger of falling out of the rankings, but now it's likely to once again push its way into the top 20 , perhaps even surpassing the Rebels. The Razorbacks' only losses this season are to No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M.
UP NEXT
Ole Miss: The Rebels are on the road for the second straight week, traveling to Baton Rouge to face LSU.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks play for the eighth straight week to open the season, traveling to No. 23 Auburn next week.

Buechele's TD passes send Texas over Iowa State 27-6

 After a month of losing on the road, Texas desperately needed something good to happen at home. For the players, and for head coach Charlie Strong.
They got it in a rough-around-the-edges 27-6 win over Iowa State on Saturday night behind a big third quarter and a defense that finally showed some life.
Shane Buechele passed for 296 yards and two touchdowns as the Longhorns snapped a three-game losing streak. Buechele threw scoring strikes of 37 yards to Jerrod Heardand 75 yards and Devin Duvernay in the third after the Longhorns' high-powered offense managed just a single field goal in the first half and trailed 6-3.
Three straight road losses and a defense that ranks among the worst in the country had fueled intense speculation that Strong's job is on the line in his third season. He has two years left on a guaranteed five-year contract that pays him more than $5 million per season.
The win snapped a 14-game losing streak when Texas (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) trailed at halftime.
"Coach Strong would tell you right now don't go play for him, but we do," Heard said.
Texas played its best defensive game of the season. Strong took over defensive play-calling two weeks ago and the Longhorns responded with eight sacks against Iowa State, containing a Cyclones offense that was averaging 39 points over the previous three games.
"The difference was we believed in ourselves and made plays. Had fun," defensive end Breckyn Hager said.
D'Onta Foreman rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown for Texas, his seventh game in a row with at least 100 yards.
Joel Lanning passed for 140 yards for Iowa State (1-6, 0-4).
TAKEAWAYS
Iowa State: The Cyclones' collapse came early this week. Iowa State lost upset bids with fourth-quarter meltdowns the previous two weeks, but were undone this week by the Longhorns big-strike touchdowns in the third.
"They wore us out," Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. "We did a really good job against the run in the first half. Their adjustment was to go to the passing game."
Texas: A big sigh of relief for Strong. It's arguably his biggest win because he simply couldn't afford to lose. Now he has to string together some more. Texas has yet to win more than three straight games under Strong and the Longhorns go back on the road for two of their next three games.
`We want to be undefeated at home. Now we have to play better on the road," Strong said. "Our defense, they finally stepped up. The whole team. I said, `Challenge yourself. If you think you are a good football team, go perform.'"
FOREMAN ROLLING
The Texas running back is pounding his way through the Longhorns record book. His seven consecutive 100 yard games ranks second in school history, trailing only former Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell's 11.
DEEP STRIKE
Buechele, a freshman, has eight touchdown passes for 29 yards or longer this season.
"I was nervous myself when it was being 6-3," Strong said. "But I know this our offense is so explosive we're going to go score ... It takes a little time and we'll hit a home run, then boom, we'll hit another one."
UP NEXT
Iowa State: The Cyclones are off next week, then host Kansas State on Oct. 29.
Texas: The Longhorns play at Kansas State next Saturday.

Flowers accounts for 5 TDs, South Florida beats UConn 42-27

 Quinton Flowers passed for two touchdowns and ran for three more and South Florida had 316 yards rushing in its 42-27 win over UConn on Saturday night.
Flowers had 213 yards passing and 157 yards rushing as USF (6-1, 3-0 American Athletic Conference) scored at least 35 points for the 11th consecutive game, extending the program record. Marlon Mack added 107 yards rushing and a score on 16 carries and had six receptions for 75 yards.
Flowers scored on touchdown runs of 54 and 8 yards to help the Bulls take a 14-3 lead into halftime, but Arkeel Newsomescored on a 70-yard catch and run and a 4-yard carry just 63 seconds apart to give UConn (3-4, 1-3) a 17-14 advantage with 12:38 left in the third quarter.
But Flowers added an 8-yard touchdown run about seven minutes later and USF led the rest of the way.
Bryant Sherriffs passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns, and Noel Thomas had 12 receptions for 127 yards, to lead the Huskies.

Texas-San Antonio holds on to beat Rice 14-13

 Dalton Sturm threw two touchdown passes in the first half and Texas-San Antonio held on to beat Rice 14-13 on Saturday night.
UTSA (3-3, 2-1 Conference USA) has won two straight since snapping a three-game skid. Rice (0-6, 0-4) is off to its worst start since losing its first nine games and finishing 2-10 in 2009.
Sturm threw a 75-yard TD pass and a 28-yard score, both toJosh Stewart between the first and second quarters.
Tyler Stehling ran for a 13-yard touchdown, capping a 13-play, 75-yard opening drive for the Owls, but Hayden Tobola missed the extra point. Stehling threw a 13-yard TD pass to Samuel Stewart in the third quarter.
Tobola missed a 50-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 42-yarder with 1:27 remaining. Rice forced a three-and-out with 29 seconds left on the Roadrunners' next series. Stehling completed 2 of 3 passes and drove to the UTSA 27 before time expired.

Marshall overtakes Florida Atlantic in 27-21 win

 Keion Davis ran in two touchdowns, including the winning score late in the fourth quarter, to lift Marshall past Florida Atlantic in a 27-21 win Saturday night.
Trailing 21-19 late in the fourth quarter, Marshall (2-4, 1-1 Conference USA) drove 80 yards in 14 plays to set up Davis' go-ahead touchdown run from the 1, and Chase Littonconnected with Josh Knight for the 2-point conversion. Florida Atlantic then drove to Marshall's 10 before Jason Driskell's pass to Kalib Woods fell incomplete on fourth-and-3 with 1:11 left, and the Thundering Herd took over on downs to seal the win.
Litton finished 27 of 39 for 330 yards passing, including a 65-yard touchdown throw to Knight in the second quarter. Knight had 128 yards on nine catches. Amoreto Curraj had two field goals.
Florida Atlantic (1-6, 0-3) got 111 yards rushing and a touchdown from Devin Singletary and 109 yards rushing from Greg Howell, who also had a touchdown.

Louisiana-Monroe builds early lead, beats Texas State 40-34

 Will Collins threw two touchdowns passes, Ben Luckett ran for two more scores and Louisiana-Monroe held on to beat Texas State 40-34 on Saturday night.
Luckett had 100 yards rushing, and Duke Carter ran for 104 yards and a third-quarter touchdown for Louisiana-Monroe (2-4, 1-2 Sun Belt).
Tyler Jones ran for two touchdowns and Stedman Mayberryhad a scoring run for Texas State (2-4, 0-2).
Jones ran for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Bobcats up 14-10 late in the first quarter. Collins threw touchdown passes on consecutive drives, Luckett ran for his second score, and Craig Ford's 40-yard field goal stretched the Warhawks' lead to 33-14 at halftime.
The Bobcats' Stan Kanu had a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown. Damani Alexcee recovered Luckett's fumble and ran the ball 50 yards into the end zone, and Jones' 16-yard scoring run with about three minutes left capped the scoring.
Jones led the Bobcats to the Warhawks 32 before throwing an incomplete pass as time expired.

In wild finish, No. 13 Houston holds off Tulsa 38-31

No. 13 Houston was coming off of its first loss and the Cougars were close to making it two in a row with Tulsa driving in a tie game late in the fourth quarter on Saturday night.
It was then that Houston's defense responded with two huge plays to give the Cougars a 38-31 victory .
The game was tied at 31-31 when Emeke Egbule returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown with 1:21 remaining. Garrett Davis knocked the ball out of the hands of quarterback Dane Evans. Egbule scooped it up and dashed into the end zone for the score.
"I just knew I had to do something with it to keep us in the game," Egbule said.
Tulsa (4-2, 1-1 American) had a chance to tie it, but Jesse Brubaker was stopped just short of the goal line after a reception on the last play of the game to seal Houston's victory. The play was reviewed and upheld.
"He was really close ... I don't think you can get any closer than what it was," Tulsa coach Philip Montgomery said.
It was a close call for the Cougars (6-1, 3-1) a week after Navy beat them 46-40 after a 5-0 start.
"We got the taste out of our mouth," Houston coach Tom Herman said.
Tulsa never led, but had twice rallied from 14-point deficits to tie the game. The second time came whenJames Flanders scored on a 3-yard run with 3:31 left.
"This is one of those games that's tough to swallow," Montgomery said. "It really didn't feel like we lost the football game, it felt like we just ran out of time."
The Golden Hurricane forced a punt after that, but the fumble by Evans came two plays later.
Houston's Dillon Birden ran for 82 yards and three touchdowns playing in place of starter Duke Catalon, who missed his third straight game with a concussion.
Herman thought this game was another good reminder for his players that they can't take any team lightly.
"You're going to get their best shot. You've earned that," he said. "Everybody on your schedule is going to play you with their `A' game. We've got to understand that and understand that even when we're up 17-3 we can't take our foot off the gas."
THE TAKEAWAY
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane ran out of late-game magic after overcoming a 31-point deficit, which was the largest in school history, to beat Fresno State 48-41 in double overtime two weeks ago before getting a 43-40 win over SMU in overtime last week.
HOUSTON: The Cougars need to start playing more like the team that beat Oklahoma instead of the mistake-prone team that lost to Navy last week and struggled this week to get into the conference title game.
POLL IMPLICATIONS
HOUSTON: The Cougars could move up a couple of spots after No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Tennessee and 12th-ranked Mississippi all lost on Saturday. However, some poll voters might penalize Houston for struggling against an unranked team.
ED'S EFFORT: Freshman defensive tackle Ed Oliver had another big game for the Cougars, piling up a season-high 12 tackles after finishing with 11 last week. He also batted down two passes to give him five for the season, had two tackles for losses and a quarterback hit.
UP NEXT
TULSA: The Golden Hurricane host Tulane next Saturday.
HOUSTON: The Cougars visit SMU next Saturday.

Defensive swarm helps Arkansas St. top South Alabama 17-7

Chris Humes returned a fumble 60 yards for a touchdown, and Arkansas State held South Alabama to 255 total yards in a 17-7 win on Saturday night.
After a scoreless first quarter, South Alabama moved the ball to Arkansas State's 41-yard line. Kevin Kutchera caught a pass from Cole Garvin, but the Red Wolves defense swarmed Kutchera, with Humes forcing the fumble and returning it for the touchdown with 12:50 left in the half.
Arkansas State (2-4, 2-0 Sun Belt) forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Jaguars possession, and Johnston Whitecapped an 11-play drive with a 14-yard TD run to make it 14-0.
White rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries. Warren Wand added 88 yards rushing as Arkansas State finished with 204 yards on 54 attempts.
After J.D. Houston's 25-yard field goal in the third quarter made it 17-0, Xavier Johnson's 2-yard scoring run late in the fourth put South Alabama (3-2, 0-3) on the board.

Linehan accounts for 5 TDs, Idaho beats New Mexico St. 55-23

 Matt Linehan threw for 476 yards and accounted for five touchdowns - both career highs - to help Idaho beat New Mexico State 55-23 on Saturday.
Linehan, who came in with four touchdown passes this season, threw for a career-best four scores and added a 10-yard TD run that made it 55-16 in the fourth quarter. The junior moved past his dad (and current offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys), Scott Linehan, into sixth on the school's career passing yards list with 7,101.
Tight end Deon Watson had six catches for a career-high 129 yards and a score, Alfonso Onunwor had nine receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown, and Jordan Frysinger added four catches for 102 yards and a TD for Idaho (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt). It was the first time since Oct. 16, 2010 that three Vandals had at least 100 yards receiving in the same game.
New Mexico State (2-4, 1-2) led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, but Idaho scored 20 in the second - including field goals of 33 and 37 yards by Austin Rehkow - and took a 27-16 lead into halftime. Rehkow has made a school-record 62 career field goals.