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14.03.2019 03:36
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DALLAS (AP) — John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs are just getting used to each other.So far [url=]Martin Jones Jersey[/url] , so good.Tavares and Auston Matthews each had two goals, and the high-scoring Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars 7-4 on Tuesday night.Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly had a career-high four assists after he scored the winning goal in Sunday night’s 7-6 overtime win at Chicago. Mitchell Marner had a goal and three assists as the Maple Leafs improved to 2-0 on a four-game trip.Led by Matthews and Tavares, Toronto has won three of its first four games, averaging five goals per contest. Matthews has seven goals and three assists already. Tavares, who signed a blockbuster deal with his hometown Maple Leafs this summer, has scored five of his six goals in the past two games.“When it’s always going in, it’s always a really good feeling,” Matthews said. “You want to continue to generate chances because it’s going to get harder and harder as the season goes along.”Tyler Seguin had a goal and three assists for Dallas, and Alexander Radulov finished with a goal and two assists.Ben Bishop, who had stopped 62 of 63 shots to help the Stars to a 2-0 start, made 23 saves.Frederik Andersen had 30 stops for the Maple Leafs.The Leafs grabbed control by scoring three times in the last 8:01 of the second period for a 5-2 lead. Matthews and Tavares scored on the power play, and Ron Hainsey put in a shot from the blue line at even strength for his first goal this season.“What I like about the power play is we’re not trying to make any highlight-reel plays,” Tavares said. “I think we’re just kind of sticking with our structure and what we believe is going to work for us.”Toronto was 2 for 3 on the power play.“We have to do a better job killing penalties than we did tonight [url=]Womens Melker Karlsson Jersey[/url] ,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “We made it too easy. They make it hard on you. Those were some really nice goals they scored.”Dallas’ top line continued to provide most of the Stars’ scoring. Seguin posted his second straight four-point game. Radulov scored for the third straight game, and Jamie Benn scored his third power-play goal.The Stars had 17 giveaways by 12 different players.“Their speed and their creativity forced those mistakes,” Montgomery said. “Our execution wasn’t where it needed to be against a real good hockey club.”Marner scored unassisted at 9:40 of the first period, putting the Stars behind for the first time this season.Dallas tied it at 17:23. Seguin passed ahead to Radulov inside the right faceoff circle, and he sent a low wrist shot past Andersen into the left corner of the net.Matthews broke the tie with a slap shot at 18:58 for a 2-1 lead after one period.The Stars tied it again at 9:04 of the second. Esa Lindell sent a long pass to Seguin in the neutral zone. He outmaneuvered Hainsey and skated in alone on Andersen for a wrist shot inside the right goalpost.Matthews put Toronto in the lead to stay 39 seconds into the game’s first power play, at 11:39.Stars defenseman John Klingberg scored 2:39 into the third, but Tavares converted a wraparound at 4:55 to restore the two-goal margin. Connor Brown added an empty-net goal at 16:40.NOTES: Matthews has scored two goals in three games this season. The power-play goal was his second. … RW Valeri Nichushkin (lower-body injury) made his season debut. He was playing for the Stars for the first time since 2015-16 after playing the last two years in Russia. … Toronto C Frederik Gauthier played in his first game this season.UP NEXTMaple Leafs: Visit Detroit on Thursday.Stars: Conclude their season-opening four-game homestand against Anaheim on Saturday. LAS VEGAS (AP) Gerard Gallant took time out from preparing for the Stanley Cup finals to watch a Little League game this week, something that might be surprising to those who think there is little in Las Vegas besides showgirls, craps tables and nightclubs.There is a real city beyond the Las Vegas Strip, though, and that isn’t a surprise to the Vegas Golden Knights coach or the rest of a team that has embraced a city that has eagerly embraced them back.They play here, and they also live here. Turns out hockey works in the desert – even for real hockey guys.”It’s been, for all of us [url=]Adidas John Moore Jersey[/url] , one of the neatest experiences of our lifetime,” general manager George McPhee said. ”Maybe the neatest, most unique experience. Las Vegas has been a wonderful place to live and work.”The love affair between a city and its new team wasn’t totally unexpected. Las Vegas was, after all, a town starved for major league sports.But no one could have expected a hockey team would also help a city deal with its grief after a gunman killed 58 people on the Las Vegas strip just days before the team’s home opener.They’ve done that and more, thrilling a town that’s hard to impress on a remarkable run to the finals in their first year of existence.”We knew we couldn’t heal everyone,” goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”But we wanted to give (the city) something to cheer for, to be proud of their team.”They call themselves the ”Golden Misfits” because they all ended up in Las Vegas after being discarded by other teams. Even Gallant was unceremoniously dumped from his last job, kicked off the team bus after being fired by the Florida Panthers.They came to this gambling city wanting to be wanted again. And a city that waited 112 years for a major sports franchise to call its own responded with open arms.The games are all sellouts, of course. But the practices have also become events to see and be seen, with hundreds of fans crowding the team’s practice rink in the planned community of Summerlin where most players live.And everywhere people wear Golden Knights hats and shirts and talk about strange things like icing and forechecking.”I see it every day of practice when you got 800 people watching our practices,” Gallant said. ”It’s definitely not one on one with people, but you see the fan support that we get is unbelievable. They love our players [url=]Tim Heed Jersey[/url] , they love our team, and they love what’s going on, and I know our players appreciate the things they do for us.”One of those players showed that Thursday night at another Little League game. Alex Tuch was watching the son of an assistant coach play, but a lot of other people at the ballpark were watching him.As word spread that a Golden Knights player was in the stands, kids of all ages surrounded Tuch, who graciously obliged one picture request after another.For some, the bond between city and team started developing when billionaire Bill Foley plunked down $500 million and Las Vegas was awarded an expansion franchise. For others, it began when Foley announced the team would be called the Golden Knights and started selling season tickets.For many, though, it came when Deryk Engelland – a Las Vegas resident for more than a decade – stood on the ice before the first home game with hardly a dry eye in the crowd. It was nine days after the massacre of fans at a country music concert just down the street from the T-Mobile Arena where the Knights play, and emotions were raw.England’s speech was short, his message poignant.”I know how special this city is,” he told the crowd. ”To the families and friends of the victims [url=]Womens Tomas Hertl Jersey[/url] , know we will do everything we can to help you and our city heal.”We are Vegas Strong.”Engelland, a defenseman, had scored only 22 goals in eight years in the NHL prior to that game. But he scored one that night and, for a brief moment at least, gave a grieving city something to cheer about.And it was Engelland who was chosen on a team with no captains to accept the trophy for winning the Western Conference finals from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.”After Oct. 1, those first games … you want to play for the city, the people that were affected by it,” Engelland said. ”To make this run, it’s awesome for us, but it all comes back to the city and the people affected by that.”In a city that values winners, it helps that the team McPhee put together is a big winner. That was unexpected by most in hockey, who figured the Knights would finish last in their division like most expansion teams do, even though the NHL made sure they had a lot of good players to choose from.Now they’re playing for one of the great trophies in sports: the Stanley Cup.”It’s been fun to watch [url=]Adidas Jaroslav Halak Jersey[/url] ,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. ”Nobody could’ve anticipated it. Our goal was that they be playing meaningful games in March and April, and if they were lucky, they might make the playoffs. Whoever could have predicted that they’d be on this run?”Not many, and that includes the bookies on the Las Vegas Strip. They made the Knights as much as a 500-1 underdog to win the Stanley Cup, and will likely lose several million dollars if it actually happens.It just might, and they don’t seem to care.The bookies live here, too. And they want to see the Stanley Cup paraded down the Las Vegas Strip.—-AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno and AP stringer W.G. Ramirez contributed to this report.—-Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at) or

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