A couple of Russians with hat tricks, a rookie goaltender with a shutout on the road, an embarrassing effort from the Buffalo Sabres, a pile of injuries, lineup news and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking. HEROES Vladimir Tarasenko – The sturdy and skilled Blues winger notched three goals, including the overtime winner, to go with an assist in a 4-3 overtime win at Dallas. He and C Jori Lehtera, who had a goal and two assists, carried the day for the Blues. The third-year forward has had a major spike in shots on goal, from 2.13 per game last season to 4.50 per game this year. According to Puckalytics, among players with at least 75 minutes of 5-on-5 play, Tarasenko ranks second in shots per 60 minutes. SHOOTERS PLAYER TEAM POS. EV SHOTS/60 Nick Bjugstad Florida C 14.90 Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis RW 14.78 Marcus Kruger Chicago C 14.12 Rick Nash N.Y. Rangers LW 13.56 Brendan Gallagher Montreal RW 13.50 Zach Parise Minnesota LW 13.26 James Neal Nashville RW 13.01 Mike Cammalleri New Jersey LW 12.58 Jason Pominville Minnesota RW 12.41 Max Pacioretty Montreal LW 12.38 Lightning Sophs – Nikita Kucherov registered his first career hat trick, giving him seven points in the past three games, and C Tyler Johnson put up four assists, leaving him with 12 points in the first 10 games of the season. Between them, they also sent 15 shots towards the Arizona goal and were Tampa Bays top two possession forwards in the game. As little as Kucherov has played (12:25 per game), his recent run has thrust him among the top point-per-minute scorers in the league: EFFICIENT POINT PRODUCERS PLAYER TEAM POS. EV PTS/60 Rick Nash N.Y. Rangers LW 6.22 Tyler Toffoli Los Angeles RW 4.90 Jeff Carter Los Angeles C 4.82 Tanner Pearson Los Angeles LW 4.80 Jakub Voracek Philadelphia RW 4.76 Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay RW 4.64 Brock Nelson N.Y. Islanders LW 4.37 Ryan Strome N.Y. Islanders RW 4.36 Jamie Benn Dallas LW 4.29 Tyler Johnson Tampa Bay C 4.20 John Gibson – The Ducks rookie goaltender posted a 38-save shutout in Chicago. Whether the Blackhawks have been going through some offensive troubles or not – and they have – a 38-save shutout at the United Centre is an accomplishment. ZEROES Buffalo Sabres – There will be many nights over the course of the season that the Sabres could qualify for this dubious honour, but 10 shots on goal against a Maple Leafs team that was allowing 33.9 shots per game previously is an extra special level of mailing it in. Mike Smith – The Coyotes goaltender surrendered six goals on 33 shots, in 49 minutes, against his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Its early, of course, but Smiths .858 save percentage in six games could start opening the door for backup Devan Dubnyk to earn more playing time. Cory Schneider – Gave up five goals on 23 shots and was pulled after the second period in an 8-3 loss to Pittsburgh. Over the previous four seasons, Schneider has the best save percentage (.928) among goaltenders to play in at least 100 games. This season, hes sitting at .901. SHORT SHIFTS Bruins rookie RW Seth Griffith scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-3 loss to Minnesota…Jets LW Andrew Ladd scored a pair of goals and C Bryan Little added three assists at the Islanders…Islanders LW Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist and D Johnny Boychuk had a pair of assists against the Jets…Senators LW Clarke MacArthur scored two goals and added an assist in a 5-2 win at Columbus, while D Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist and C Kyle Turris chipped in two assists…Penguins C Sidney Crosby had a couple of goals and nine shot attempts (6 SOG) against New Jersey, while wingers Blake Comeau, Pascal Dupuis, Patric Hornqvist and Steve Downie each contributed a goal and an assist…The line of Crosby, Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz was on for better than 82% of the even-strength shot attempts. Maple Leafs C Tyler Bozak and RW Phil Kessel both had a goal and an assist against Buffalo…Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov stopped 49 of 51 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose…Canucks C Brad Richardson scored a pair of goals in a 4-1 win over Carolina…Canadiens G Carey Price turned aside 37 of 38 shots in a 2-1 shootout win at Calgary…Bruins D Zach Trotman led the team with eight shot attempts (3 SOG) in 11:16 of ice time vs. Minnesota…Kings RW Justin Williams was up to his old possession tricks (29 shot attempts for, 12 against, 70.7%) at Philadelphia…Blue Jackets enforcer Jared Boll had nice possession stats (14 shot attempts for, 2 against, 87.5%)in the 5-2 loss to Ottawa…Senators enforcer Chris Neil was on the other end (2 for, 12 against, 14.3%)…Stars RW Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist, with a dozen shot attempts (6 SOG) in a 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis. Seguin now leads the league with 15 points in nine games…Sharks D Brent Burns had a goal on 11 shot attempts (5 SOG), with dominant possession stats (27 for, 5 against, 84.4%) and RW Joe Pavelski recorded 10 shots on goal at Colorado…Colorados fourth line – Cody McLeod, Daniel Briere and Marc-Andre Cliche – started two-thirds of their shifts in the offensive zone, yet had fewer than 10% of the shot attempts at even strength…Flames rookie LW Johnny Gaudreau had an assist and a career-high six shots on goal, with the Flames best possession stats (18 for, 6 against, 75.0%) against Montreal. LINEUP NEED TO KNOW Blues C David Backes left Tuesdays game against Dallas with an upper-body injury. Its a good thing the Blues have such depth down the middle if theyre going to be missing both Backes and Paul Stastny. Jets D Zach Bogosian missed Tuesdays game at the Islanders with an upper-body injury. With Bogosian out, Paul Postma played a season-high 19:23 and scored a goal. Wild D Jonas Brodin sat out against the Bruins, one night after being sent into the boards hard by Rangers LW Chris Kreider, so Mathew Dumba ended up playing a career-high 16:43 for Minnesota. Islanders LW Nikolay Kulemin was ejected after hitting Jets D Mark Stuart from behind. Blue Jackets C Artem Anisimov is going through concussion protocol, and likely out at least a week, after getting flattened by Senators D Eric Gryba. Blue Jackets D James Wisniewski joins the growing Columbus injured list, out one-to-two weeks with a broken finger. With Wisniewski out, David Savard should be the likely candidate to move up to Columbus first power play unit. G Curtis McElhinney started for the Blue Jackets, with Sergei Bobrovsky out for the next one-to-two weeks with his own broken finger. Thats a notable downgrade, as McElhinney has a career .901 save percentage. A little bit of good news for Columbus. Blue Jackets RW Cam Atkinson returned to the lineup, joining C Ryan Johansen and LW Scott Hartnell on the top line. With Kings C Anze Kopitar out, Mike Richards moved up the depth chart to play between Dwight King and Dustin Brown at Philadelphia. Richards played 17:51 and scored his first goal of the year. Lightning LW Alex Killorn returned to the lineup, recording an assist in 18:13 of ice time. As a result, LW Jonathan Drouin ended up playing 11:50, second-lowest among Tampa Bay skaters. With Corey Crawford out, Scott Darling made another start for the Chicago Blackhawks, and stopped 24 of 25 shots in a 1-0 loss. Canadiens C Lars Eller was benched, playing just 5:46 for Montreal at Calgary, not taking another shift after a roughing penalty at 16:01 of the second period. Flames centres Joe Colborne and Matt Stajan were hurt against Montreal. Colborne left with an upper-body injury and Stajan took a knee-on-knee hit from Canadiens D Jarred Tinordi. Senators D Mark Borowiecki had an excellent possession game (15 for, 3 against, 83.3%) against Columbus before leaving with an upper-body injury. D Carl Gunnarsson played in his first game for the Blues, logging a modest 12:53 of ice time, at Dallas. Hurricanes C Eric Staal returned to the lineup after missing two-and-a-half weeks. He played 19:50 against Vancouver, picking up an assist and five shots on goal. FANTASY FOCUS A couple of players to have an eye on in a light night on the NHL schedule: With Washington at Detroit, keep tabs on the Red Wings Darren Helm, who has recently been skating on the left side with very skilled linemates, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar. Nashville is in Edmonton and Predators D Ryan Ellis has been playing a much bigger role. More minutes leads to more points for a puck-mover like Ellis. Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com
Scott Cullen can be reached at email@example.com Will Barton Jersey
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. DETROIT LIONS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1:00 PM (ET) Detroit - G Rodney Austin, WR Ryan Broyles, DT Nick Fairley, QB Kellen Moore, DT Caraun Reid, CB Mohammed Seisay, DE Larry Webster Chicago - S Chris Conte, DT Brandon Dunn, QB David Fales, K Robbie Gould, CB Terrance Mitchell, OT Michael Ola, DE Trevor Scott GREEN BAY PACKERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1:00 PM (ET) Green Bay - LB Carl Bradford, DT Bruce Gaston, C Garth Gerhart, CB Davon House, WR Jeff Janis, TE Justin Perillo, QB Scott Tolzien Tampa Bay - OT Anthony Collins, CB Isaiah Frey, WR Robert Herron, RB Mike James, WR Solomon Patton, FB/TE Evan Rodriguez, LB Lawrence Sidbury KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1:00 PM (ET) Kansas City - WR Donnie Avery, CB Marcus Cooper, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, OL Eric Kush, QB Aaron Murray, RB Charcandrick West, DT Nick Williams Pittsburgh - WR Justin Brown, DE Clifton Geathers, G Chris Hubbard, QB Landry Jones, S Troy Polamalu, TE Matt Spaeth, CB Ike Taylor MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1:00 PM (ET) Minnesota - LB Anthony Barr, OT Carter Bykowski, DB Ahmad Dixon, OT Charlie Johnson, FB Zach Line, CB Shaun Prater, TE Kyle Rudolph Miami - G Nate Garner, WR Matt Hazel, S Don Jones, WR Rishard Matthews, LB Chris McCain, G Dallas Thomas, RB Daniel Thomas NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1:00 PM (ET) New England - CB Kyle Arrington, RB LeGarrette Blount, OL Dan Connolly, CB Alfonzo Dennard, OT Jordan Devey, WR Julian Edelman, RB James White NY Jets - DT T. http://www.authenticnuggetsproshop.com/ ... ap-Jersey/
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. - Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II says the NFL has told the team it will not be docked a pick in this years draft for coach Mike Tomlins foray onto the field against Baltimore last November.TORONTO -- J.A. Happ has been saying the word "frustrating" a lot more often than hed like. Over his last three starts, the Blue Jays left-hander has lasted just 14 innings, giving up 14 total runs to shoulder the loss in each of those games, including Sundays 5-0 defeat against the Kansas City Royals. "You guys are probably sick of me saying this, its frustrating," Happ said. "Its frustrating for everybody." Happ (3-5) pitched only four innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk. He also struck out three. Kansas City (70-66) inflicted most of its damage on Happ and the Blue Jays (62-75) in the third inning, when the team sent nine men to the plate and capitalized on a costly error that ultimately led to four runs. Jose Reyes was called for obstruction when he bumped into Jarrod Dyson, who was caught in a rundown between second and third base. Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., appeared to have tagged the runner but the obstruction call put Dyson at third. He would score on a single from the next batter, Alex Gordon. And then the floodgates opened. The Royals added another run with an RBI from former Blue Jay Emilio Bonifacio, and Eric Hosmer drove in two more to make it 5-0 before Happ could record a single out. "I dont know what to say about that (obstruction call) because I dont know the exact ruling on it." Happ said. "I do know he wasnt even looking at Jose and he actually took a step back into Jose. I know he has a right to create his own baseline but he had no clue Jose was even there. "It changes that inning, definitely, but at the same time, Im trying to minimize damage and I felt like I wasnt making good pitches to lead off that inning." Blue Jays manager John Gibbons raced onto the field to argue the obstruction call to no avail, and after the game, Reyes took ownership of the costly play. "I just tried to get the ball from Lawrie and in that situation, we got contact and Im not allowed to do that," the Blue Jays shortstop said. "After that, thats when they scored the runs. Its a tough day. I didnt mean to do that, but I guess everything happened so quickly in the game. Hopefully that doesnt happen again." Gibbons said he wasnt sure if the obstruction call affected Happ mentally, but he couldnt downplay the impact it had on the inning. "I dont know, I mean it just opened everything up -- youre first and third with no outs," the Toronto manager said. "When they get those guys on, I mean (Happ) is slow to the plate, hes a big lumbering guy. Its tough to stop, so if you get guys on there they can run you out of the ball park." While Happ struggled, his Kansas City counterpart shined. James Shields (10-8) dominated through seven scooreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out nine.dddddddddddd. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before giving up a hit to Edwin Encarnacion. Shields, who was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to Kansas City in December, is now 12-6 against his former division rival. "Shields is good," said Gibbons. "They get a lead like that, youre probably not going to get to him too often. I think hes proven that against this ball club for years." Kansas City manager Ned Yost was happy his starter could salvage the finale of the three-game series after two close losses, including a late comeback victory for the Blue Jays on Saturday. "We had James Shields on the mound, which couldnt have been a better answer to what happened yesterday," Yost said. "It just seems like hes getting stronger and stronger as the year goes on ... its what he does everyday. He gets ahead with his fastball and then uses an outstanding change-up to put hitters away." Toronto had its three-game winning streak come to an end. The Blue Jays best chance to score came in the fifth inning when Rajai Davis hit a one-out triple. But Shields struck out Anthony Gose on three pitches, and got Kevin Pillar swinging to end the threat. Toronto relievers Chad Jenkins and Neil Wagner combined for four scoreless frames and Dustin McGowan -- who was activated earlier in the day after rehabbing a strained oblique for the past month -- worked the ninth. Hosmer had two hits and drove in three runs and Dyson also racked up a pair of singles. Bonifacio had two hits and scored twice, and stole two bases to bring his tally to a perfect 11 for 11 in steals with Kansas City. The Royals opened the scoring with a Hosmer RBI groundout that scored Bonifacio, who was walked by Happ, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher J.P. Arencibia. Blue Jays rookie Ryan Goins eight-game hitting streak was snapped. He tied Jesse Barfields team record for the longest hitting streak to begin a career on Saturday. Though Torontos three-game set with the Royals ended with a bitter loss, Reyes was able to find a positive. "Were happy to come up with the series," he said, flashing a half-smile. "Every time we win a series, we take that." NOTES: Reliever Steve Delabar was also activated prior to the game after spending nearly a month on the disabled list with right-shoulder inflammation. ... The Blue Jays won the season series over the Royals 4-2. ... Attendance was 22,961 ... The Blue Jays travel to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks for a three-game set beginning Monday afternoon. Esmil Rogers (3-7, 5.03 earned-run average) is scheduled to start against Arizona right-hander Brandon McCarthy (3-8, 3.67 ERA). 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