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theyve answered them by bringing in Prince Fielder
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Сообщение theyve answered them by bringing in Prince Fielder 
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues went the distance, and then some, to get the jump on the defending Stanley Cup champions. Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to cap the longest playoff game in franchise history and give the Blues a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night. Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to end the marathon. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock greeted reporters for the postgame news conference with a hearty "Good morning." "Its big. We want to start this series off on a good note," Steen said. "Especially at home in front of our fans." Ryan Miller made 39 saves and blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period. Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation to send the game into overtime. Alex Pietrangelo logged 44 minutes, 8 seconds of ice time. Two Blackhawks, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson, played more than 40 minutes. Hitchcock called Miller "a difference-maker." "From the second period on, I thought he was great," Hitchcock said. "Both goalies were outstanding." Crawford made 48 saves for Chicago. The Blackhawks werent panicking. "I think the big thing for us is we have to realize its only one game and weve got a quick turnaround coming back," Kane said. "Thats the best part about it, we get right back at it. Game 2 is Saturday afternoon. "Weve got to move ahead," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We knew it was going to be a tough series from the start. We almost got through it." The Blues previous longest overtime game was a 4-3 loss at Detroit in 1984 that extended 37 minutes, 7 seven seconds. The home record for a playoff overtime game was 33:49 of extra time in a 5-4 win over Chicago on April 20, 1989. St. Louis had to kill off delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck into the stands in the first two overtimes and Quenneville argued vehemently for a second delay of game that would have given Chicago a 5-on-3 advantage in the first OT. The Blackhawks killed off a holding penalty in the second overtime. Jonathan Toews, like Kane back from a lengthy injury absence, had two assists for Chicago. Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Adam Cracknell all scored their first playoff goal for the Blues. The Blackhawks kept the Blues pinned in their own zone for 2:10 during the first overtime, and Maxim Lapierre made the save of the session getting his body on a drive by Kris Versteeg with less than two minutes remaining. Tarasenko was among the best players coming off a 15-game absence because of a broken thumb. Cracknell tapped in a rebound early in the first to end a scoring drought of 148 minutes and 39 seconds for a team that got shut out the last two games of the regular season. Kane scored his 30th career playoff goal after catching the defence napping at the end of a St. Louis power play, beating Miller off a long lead pass from Toews for a 3-2 lead at 18:24 of the first. Miller allowed three goals on just seven shots in the first with defencemen Johnny Oduya and Brent Seabrook also scoring for Chicago. "They had a couple of nice shots in the first, but I had to come out and battle," Miller said. "Luckily I got ahold of a few of them." St. Louis top line of David Backes, Steen and Ott was a combined minus-5 in the first. Ott was a bit of surprise, considering he was minus-7 during the Blues six-game losing streak to end the regular season. Crawford faced just three shots in the second, but needed big saves to thwart Tarasenko and Ott. He made glove saves on drives by Steen and Tarasenko not long before Schwartz got the equalizer. NOTES: Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who has the longest consecutive game streak in major sports at 717 games, left in the first overtime and did not return. Hitchcock said Bouwmeester was dehydrated. ... Oduya and Seabrook combined for 10 goals in the regular season. Oduyas goal was first credited to Kris Versteeg on a deflection. ... St. Louis got most of its injured players back but key forward T.J. Oshie (head) and Patrik Burglund (shoulder) were scratches. ... Kane had two goals and four assists against St. Louis in the regular season and Toews had a goal and three assists. Swingman Jusuf Nurkic Jersey . NORRIS COLE (Heat): Its funny, you watch a guy play and now really produce and it just jumps off the page at you - why? You put a young player with potential in a winning environment where there is veteran leadership, outstanding coaching and management and a way that things are done and its a wonderful environment for growth, improvement in a climate of constant accountability and expectation of achievement/production. Kenneth Faried Nuggets Jersey . Nick Young scored 17 points for Los Angeles, which lost five of its last seven before trouncing the Pelicans, who beat them handily last week in New Orleans. Jodie Meeks and Xavier Henry scored 15 points apiece for the Lakers, who led by 20 points in the first half before coasting to their 12th win in their last 13 regular-season meetings with New Orleans. http://www.officialnuggetsstore.com/Emmanuel-Mudiay-Nuggets-Jersey/ . Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. Wilson Chandler Jersey . After losing a shutout bid in the dying seconds of Sundays win over the Colorado Avalanche, Luongo would not be denied against the punchless Oilers and is now just one back of Patrick Roy for 14th on the all-time list. Kenneth Faried Jersey . The Rangers announced after Thursdays 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees that they would purchase Williams contract from Triple-A Round Rock. The 32-year-old Williams was released by Houston earlier this month after going 1-4 with a 6. Baseball season is just around the corner and TSN.ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams. Check in every day this week for two new division previews, finishing up with Scott MacArthurs look at the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Heres what to expect out of the American League West in 2014. Houston Astros GM: Jeff Luhnow Manager: Bo Porter 2013: 54-111, fifth in AL West. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Astros American League debut last season wasnt exactly a sterling one. Coming over from the National League Central to the AL West, the Astros dropped a league-worst 111 games last season, the most by any team in 10 years and a franchise record, and hit the 100-loss mark for the the third-straight season. They closed the year on a 15-game losing streak. Welcome to the American League. Though the teams season was abysmal, catcher Jason Castros was not. The third-year catcher set team records for the position in home runs (1Cool, runs (63) and slugging percentage (.485). In recognition of his season, Castro was named the teams lone All-Star. Jose Altuve continued to emerge as one of the leagues finest young middle infielders and the team was able to lock him up to a modest, $12.5 million, four-year extension last summer that included two team options. The 23-year-old Venezuelan led the Majors with 41 hits in September and finished the season with career-highs in hits and RBI. To be charitable, the Astros entire pitching staff was battered last season. The teams ace, Bud Norris, and its closer, Jose Veras, were both trade at the trade deadline in July (Norris to the Baltimore Orioles and Veras to the Detroit Tigers) and the rest of the Astros arms struggled mightily. The Houston staff and bullpen finished with a league-worst 4.79 ERA and gave up 766 earned runs, 33 more than the second-worst Milwaukee Brewers. Third-year starter Jordan Lyles, now with the Colorado Rockies after a December trade, led the rotation with a modest seven victories. This is Now: Its pretty telling of a teams offseason when the biggest news will likely have little to no impact at all on the club on the field. After bringing aboard Reid Ryan a year ago as team president, the team brought back his father, Hall of Famer Nolan, as a special assistant to owner Jim Crane in February. Obviously, Astros fans will be thrilled to have the legendary Ryan back in the fold, especially at the expense of their cross-state rival Texas Rangers, but nostalgia will only take you so far and not nearly as far the Astros need it to in 2014. Despite the acquisitions of veteran help in Dexter Fowler, Chad Qualls and Canadian Jesse Crain and a new staff ace in Scott Feldman (the teams highest-paid player at $10 million), this season has the potential to look a lot like last season. Thats not to say that there isnt young talent to be excited about for the Astros in the likes of George Springer, Delino DeShields, Jr. and Mark Appel, all of whom will likely see some Majors experience this year, but their time has not come yet or, at least, it shouldnt be expected to come yet. While the team has made strides to correct its bullpen woes, outside of Fowler, little has been done to address 2013s .673 OPS (again, a league-worst), another 100-loss season shouldnt come as a surprise. One early storyline to follow: If the Astros start the season with six-straight losses (they open with a six-game homestand with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels), they will have lost 21-consecutive games that will tie the 1988 Baltimore Orioles record for the longest streak since the turn of the 20th Century. Fun times. Whos In?: OF Dexter Fowler (trade with COL), SP Scott Feldman (three-year deal), RP Jesse Crain (one-year deal), RP Chad Qualls (two-year deal + option), RP Matt Albers (one-year deal + option), OF Jesus Guzman (trade with SD) and SP Jerome Williams (one-year contract). Whos Out?: SP Erik Bedard (signed with TB), OF Brandon Barnes, SP Jordan Lyles (traded to COL) and 1B Brent Wallace (designated for assignment; later signed with BAL). Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim GM: Jerry Dipoto Manager: Mike Scoscia 2013: 78-84, third in AL West. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: Halos owner Arte Moreno has never been shy about spending money and made the biggest free agent splash last offseason in scooping up slugger Josh Hamilton from the rival Texas Rangers. But like the Albert Pujols signing the previous winter, Hamilton failed to pay the immediate dividends expected, hitting just .250 with only 21 homers and 79 RBI. Those are fine numbers for an average-to-above average outfielder, but not ones expected from a perennial All-Star and former MVP in the handsomely paid Hamilton. He wasnt the only disappointment for a team expected to contend for the division title and even more. Injuries forced the Angels to trot out 11 different starting pitchers in 2013 and, while Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson were dependable, the rest of that rotation was not. On the bright side, Mike Trout, once again, made his case for being the best all-around player on the planet with 27 home runs, 97 RBI, a .326 average and an OPS of .988. This is Now: The good news? The chances of Pujols and Hamilton bouncing back this year are exponentially greater than the pair having another off-year. Make no mistake, though, both sluggers are aging (34 and 32, respectively) and the team knows that its window with those two is closing. The team sacrificed some power and speed in the outfield to address concerns in the infield and on the mound. In dealing Peter Bourjos, arguably the fastest player in the American League, to the St. Louis Cardinals, the team acquired the dependable bat and infield arm of David Freese, who slots into third base. The team also traded Mark Trumbo and his 34 homers and 100 RBI as part of a three-team deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox that netted young arms Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. Skaggs has more upside of the pair, but both pitchers will be looked upon to shore up the back end of the rotation (along with Garrett Richards) that sorely needs the help. The team will also find out if outfielder Kole Calhoun is ready for prime time. Calhoun, who has looked good in a small sample size, will lead off for the club and is expected to be the everyday right fielder. Whether hes up to the task remains to be seen. Another thing: The team needs to be much better playing within the division. They were 32-44 against divisional opposition last season, including an abysmal 4-15 against the Rangers. A year after unquestionable failure, tempered hopes for 2014 belie the fact that much is still expected from this team. Whos In?: IF David Freese (trade with STL), DH Raul Ibanez (one-year deal), SP Tyler Skaggs (acquired from ARI), SP Hector Santiago (acquired from CWS) and RP Joe Smith (three-year deal) Whos Out?: OF Mark Trumbo (traded to ARI), OF Peter Bourjos (traded to STL), SP Jason Vargas (signed with KC) and SP Jerome Williams (signed with HOU) Oakland Athletics GM: Billy Beane Manager: Bob Melvin 2013: 96-66, first in AL West. Lost to Detroit in American League Divisional Series. That was Then: You would think that the Oakland As would get sick of defying the odds, but no, they went out again last season and won the AL West over the highly favoured Angels and Rangers for a second-straight year. The offence was led by Josh Donaldson, who finished fourth in AL MVP voting after an outstanding campaign that saw him hit 24 home runs and knock in 97 RBI while hitting .301 with an .883 OPS and an 8.0 WAR. Thats not to say that the team relied on Donaldson solely. The team produced the third-most runs in the AL through a balanced attack that featured major contributions from Josh Reddick, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes. On the mound, ace Jarrod Parker continued to eat innings (12-8, 3.97 ERA and 1.223 WHIP in 197.0 IP), while the seemingly ageless Bartolo Colon won 18 games and was named to the All-Star team eight years after his last appearance. A.J Griffin, Tommy Milone and Dan Straily rounded out what ended up being one of the best youngg staffs in all of baseball.dddddddddddd A bullpen anchored by closer Grant Balfour was arguably the best in the AL. This is Now: Injuries have ravaged the rotation and the As will have to overcome those if they have any designs on a threepeat. Parker is lost for the season, thanks to a second Tommy John surgery. Griffin has been shut down for most of spring training with elbow discomfort. New signing Scott Kazmir will be ready for Opening Day, but he, too, has been afflicted with triceps issues. With Colon moving on in free agency, the team hopes that Sonny Gray, impressive in his 10 Major League appearances, can slip seamlessly into the rotation and help shoulder the load. Milone and Straily will make up the back-end of the rotation with the likes of Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz able to spot-start if need be. Even with Balfour gone to the Rays, the bullpen remains a strength and is now anchored by All-Star Jim Johnson, the ALs reigning saves leader over the past two seasons. Luke Gregerson and Fernando Abad, the other new pen additions, will also be joined by Eric OFlaherty in the summer, once his rehab for Tommy John is completed. If the As offence, mostly unchanged from last season, plays to what its capable of and its staff depth can absorb the teams pitching injuries, Oakland will be competing for another division title and another trip to the post-season in 2014. Whos In?: RP Jim Johnson (trade with BAL), SP Scott Kazmir (two-year deal), OF Craig Gentry (trade with TEX), RP Luke Gregerson (acquired from SD), RP Fernando Abad (acquired from ARI) and Nick Punto (one-year deal with club option). Whos Out?: SP Bartolo Colon (signed with SF), RP Grant Balfour (signed with TB) and OF Seth Smith. Seattle Mariners GM: Jack Zduriencik Manager: Lloyd McClendon 2013: 71-91, fourth in AL West. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Mariners werent very good last year, finishing below .500 for the fourth straight-time and missing the playoffs for a 12th-consecutive season. Much was riding on the youth in Seattle last year and, while their were flashes of greatness, there was nothing consistent enough to make anybody think twice about the Mariners as anything but also-rans. Former first-round pick Justin Smoak again failed to live up to potential with a dreadful year at the plate, hitting .209 in the second-half of the season. Dustin Ackley struggled with consistency, while the less said about Jesus Monteros season, the better. Still, there were signs of life from youngsters with Kyle Seager, Canadian Michael Saunders and Nick Franklin all showing why the team values the trio so highly. Veteran acquisitions were a mixed bag. Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales contributed offensively with the seemingly 150-year-old former leading the team with 29 RBI and the latter knocking in 80 runs. On the flip side, Mike Morse disappointed and was jettisoned to the Baltimore Orioles at the deadline and Jason Bay simply had nothing left in the tank. The team got 200-plus innings from Hishashi Iwakuma and superstar Felix Hernandez, but pitching on the whole, was suspect. The Mariners had the fifth-worst team ERA at 4.25, the fifth-most hits allowed (1467) and the fourth-most earned runs conceded (702). This is Now: The Mariners spent that Nintendo money in the offseason...a whole lot of it. The team signed the most coveted player available in Robinson Cano to a massive 10-year, $240 million deal, but that wasnt all. Closer Fernando Rodney was brought in to anchor the bullpen and former All-Star Corey Hart, who missed all of last season, was signed to a one-year deal. Hes slotted in to play right field. The question remains, even with Cano and the other additions, is this Mariners team any better equipped to compete in what should be a good AL West? New manager Lloyd McClendon has spent the last several seasons as Jim Leylands right-hand man in Detroit, so theres hope that hes learned some of the codgers tricks after what was a pretty inauspicious managerial bow with the Pittsburgh Pirates. If the teams youth can step up (including highly rated starter Taijuan Walker, who starts the season on the DL and speedy shortstop Brad Miller) with a previously absent level of consistency, Hart can return to form and the likes of Smoak and newly acquired Logan Morrison tap into their potential, the Mariners will be in the mix, but it will be tough. Whos In?: 2B Robinson Cano (10-year deal), OF Corey Hart (one-year deal), OF Logan Morrison (trade with MIA), C John Buck (one-year contract) and IF Willie Bloomquist (two-year deal). Whos Out?: OF Jason Bay (retired), OF Kendrys Morales (unsigned), Raul Ibanez (signed with LAA), RP Carter Capps (traded to MIA), SP Aaron Harang (signed with ATL), RP Oliver Perez (signed with ARI) and SP Joe Saunders (unsigned) Texas Rangers GM: Jon Daniels Manager: Ron Washington 2013: 91-72, second in AL West. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: After a horrible collapse in 2012, the Rangers found a new way to end the season on a sour note, losing an AL Wild Card tie-breaker (the 163rd game of the season) to the Tampa Bay Rays to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009. September was once again cruel to the Rangers, as a 5-15 start to the month effectively ended their pursuit of the Athletics division lead and condemned them to the tie-breaker. Why did this happen again? While still respectable and despite the yeomans effort of Adrian Beltre, the offence suffered with the departures of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. The team led the league with 808 runs in 2012, but only scored 730 last season. Losing Nelson Cruz to a 50-game PED suspension certainly didnt help those matters any. On the other side of the ball, Yu Darvish was dominant, recording 278 strikeouts, the most by any pitcher since Randy Johnson in 2012. The bullpen, anchored by the 43 saves of Joe Nathan (now departed), was also solidly reliable, but the midseason acquisition of Matt Garza did not work out as planned. This is Now: If the Rangers had questions about making up for lost run production last season, they think theyve answered them by bringing in Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo. Though Fielder cost the hefty price of 2B Ian Kinsler, the Rangers hope that Fielder can take advantage of the short fence in right field. Choo, the new lead-off man, will be relied upon to help set the plate for the big first baseman and if the two combine the way that theyre capable of, the Rangers will have found a lethal combination at the top of the order. The team isnt sure with what theyll get offensively from the platoon behind the plate. With A.J. Pierzynski in Boston and Geovany Soto out for up to three months with a torn meniscus in his knee, J.P. Arencibia appears to be the man. Arencibia is coming off of one of the statistically worst seasons ever with the Toronto Blue Jays. With Kinsler gone, stud prospect Jurickson Profar gets an everyday role, but hes going to miss up to three months with a torn muscle in his shoulder. The Rangers wont start the year on the mound unscathed, either. Derek Holland is out until the summer, recovering from knee surgery. Matt Harrison is also not ready to go with a back injury. The teams impressive pitching depth allows for the likes of Matt Tepesch to step into the rotation, but questions remain. Despite the loss of Nathan, the Rangers bullpen remains formidable and, if he can regain his form prior to his injury, Neftali Perez could make for a fine closer. Whos In?: 1B Prince Fielder (trade with Detroit), OF Shin-Soo Choo (seven-year deal), C J.P. Arencibia (one-year deal), OF Michael Choice (acquired from OAK) and IF Donnie Murphy (acquired from CHC). Whos Out?: 2B Ian Kinsler (traded to DET), RP Joe Nathan (signed with DET), OF Nelson Cruz (signed with BAL), SP Matt Garza (signed with MIL), DH Lance Berkman (retired), OF Craig Gentry (traded to OAK), C A.J. Pierzynski (signed with BOS) and OF David Murphy (signed with CLE) Sorry, youll have to wait. Check back in on Friday for Scott MacArthurs exclusive 2014 Blue Jays preview. Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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