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20.04.2018 12:56
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres knew they had a prime opportunity to bust out of their goal-scoring slump and did just that in a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.With the Flames playing their second game in two days, the Sabres reached three goals in a game for the first time in 11 chances, since a 3-1 win at Winnipeg on Oct. 30. Kyle Okposo, Johan Larsson, Matt Moulson and Marcus Foligno scored for Buffalo, which has won consecutive games for just the second time this season.I just think its huge getting four goals, Okposo said. Thats a team thats coming off a back-to-back and if we played well we thought that we could get those two points and we did that. We executed our gameplan and were able to get two big points. So hopefully we can take that confidence into Wednesday and roll with it.The Flames took a 1-0 lead into the second period, but the Sabres answered with three goals in a span of 101 seconds in the second.Penalties to Dougie Hamilton and Troy Brouwer at 10:02 gave the Sabres a 5-on-3 advantage, which they converted into a pair of goals. First, Okposo took a pass from Sam Reinhart and fired a wrist shot into the back of the net. On the Sabres next shot, Larsson redirected Evander Kanes wrist shot between the legs of Flames goalie Brian Elliott.Buffalo wasnt finished. Brouwer took another penalty with 7:04 remaining in the second, and Moulson cashed in with his sixth power-play goal of the season, giving him a share of the league lead in power-play goals.Its a lot of goals in a short amount of time for our team, Bylsma said.Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk scored 22 seconds into the third to cut the Sabres lead, but Buffalo answered two minutes later when Foligno slid an odd-angle backhand shot behind a sprawling Elliott.Tkachuk had a goal and an assist and Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary, which was coming off a 3-2 win at Detroit on Sunday night. Buffalo got two assists each from Reinhart and Taylor Fedun, who now has four assists in three games since being called up from the AHL.Robin Lehner had 29 saves for the Sabres, and Elliott turned away 28 shots. Elliott has now allowed 22 goals and is 0-6 in his last six starts for the Flames.Calgarys six penalties were its most in a game since it had eight penalties in a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Oct. 20.It was everything, Tkachuk said.?We did everything wrong tonight. We put ourselves in a bad position to kill too much tonight. Theres probably some wear and tear on some players that penalty kill a lot, so overall, just not a good game.?Buffalo had scored one goal or fewer in regulation seven times in its previous nine games, so the scoring output was overdue.Meanwhile, the Sabres are in line to finally get some reinforcements.Top-line center Ryan OReilly is scheduled to return by the end of the week. He missed his fifth straight game with an oblique injury.And Jack Eichel might not be far behind. Out since spraining his left ankle a day before the season opener, Eichel skated individually for a seventh consecutive day. The next step is for him to begin practicing with the team which, barring a setback,? could happen by the end of the week.Game notes The Sabres are now 17-3-2 in their last 22 home games against the Flames, with the last regulation home loss coming on March 15, 1996. ... The Sabres three goals in a span of 1:41 in the second period were the teams quickest three goals since Buffalo scored three in 1:08 against Boston in 1998, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Flames F Kris Versteeg (groin) missed his ninth straight game, but coach Greg Gulutzan said theres a good chance hell be ready to return on Wednesday, when Calgary plays at Columbus.NEXT UPFlames: Play at Columbus on Wednesday night.Sabres: Close a four-game homestand hosting Detroit on Wednesday night. Billy Hamilton Jersey . -- The Sacramento Kings are set to become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency for ticket and merchandise purchases. Scooter Gennett Jersey . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. . But now that hes in the NHL, the Calgary Flames centre showed big improvement in that department by scoring the winner in the eighth round of a 5-4 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. Reds Jerseys Outlet . -- Ty Montgomery had 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Stanford held on to beat No. Womens Reds Jerseys . After Gasquet beat fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, Tsonga followed up with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 win against sixth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin in an all-French match. Bernard Hopkins wasted no time when he came to the podium on Monday to formally announce the last fight of his legendary career.In a bout dubbed Final 1, Hopkins will face light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17 (HBO, 10 p.m. ET/PT) at The Forum in Inglewood, California.Final 1, get right to the chase, Hopkins said at the news conference at the arena, which has a rich boxing history. This is history. Weve been here many times, not in this arena, but we been places where history was made by me multiple times. This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the Final 1.Hopkins, who turned pro in 1988 -- when Ronald Reagan was in his second term as president -- has been one of the best boxers in the world for virtually all of the 28 years he has fought professionally. His legacy was cemented years ago: undisputed middleweight champion, including a division-record 20 title defenses (although not all were of the undisputed title), three-time light heavyweight world titleholder (including ownership of the lineal title and having unified two belts) and lock first-ballot Hall of Famer.The wins on his record read like a whos who: Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Roy Jones (to avenge a loss when, OK, Roy was way past his prime) and Jean Pascal, to name the biggest ones.But the 51-year-old Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who has boxed in four decades and turned pro before the 27-year-old Smith (22-1, 18 KOs) was born, was not in the mood for a whole lot of nostalgia on Monday.I dont reflect now because I still have a task at hand, Hopkins said sternly.Hopkins picked Smith, a union laborer by trade, because when he was offered his name as a possible opponent he studied up on him and came away impressed by his upset first-round knockout of contender Andrzej Fonfara in June.I am against an incredible opponent who I dont think looks at himself as an opponent, Hopkins said. Joe Smith Jr. is coming to try to make a name for himself and if I didnt have that challenge in front of me it [would] just be a fight. Well, I never took the easy way out. I dont want no one to say they gave me anything. Give me an opportunity or give me a door and Ill open it myself. I dont have to convince anyone no more.Smith did not have much to say. Besides, Hopkins can usually talk enough for four or five people. Maybe more. But Smith did show his appreciation for being picked for the opportunity to fight Hopkins and did not sound like there was one bit of attitude -- since he was hand-picked in the belief that he would send Hopkins into retirement with a victory.Im so glad I was chosen to fight Bernard Hopkins in his final fight, said Smith, who is from New Yorks Long Island. Im going to train very hard for this fight and take full advantage of it. Im looking forward to putting on a greatt show for everyone.ddddddddddddIm a hard puncher, Im a hard worker and Im gonna train super hard for this fight. I will take full advantage of it.Joe DeGuardia, Smiths promoter who also has a friendly relationship with Hopkins, gave Hopkins credit for his willingness to tangle with a much younger fighter and a big puncher.This fight was really easy to make, and that is a testament to Bernard Hopkins, because most fighters would shy away from a puncher like Joe Smith Jr., he said.Then DeGuardia gently ribbed Hopkins.Bernard has really picked a true, true challenge here, DeGuardia said before turning to Hopkins. I love ya. Youve been historic for boxing, but this time youre biting off a little more than you can chew.Sure, Smith will be the underdog, but he should not be written off. He is getting a near-elderly Hopkins, who has more knockouts than Smith has fights -- and more title fights than Smith has fights -- but has boxed an astronomical number of rounds, 506 to Smiths 73.Hopkins is also returning to the ring after a 25-month layoff and one-sided beating in a decision loss to Sergey Kovalev in a world title unification fight. Hopkins reason was simple: Because he wants to go out on his own terms.It will be the last hurrah, as a champion goes out in his terms, in his way, said De La Hoya, who is CEO of Golden Boy Promotions and Hopkins promoter, business partner, friend and onetime ring rival.Only legends can do that and superstars who transcend the sport. What excited me about this fight is that Bernard is not fighting someone who is a walk in the park. He is fighting a difficult fight, and this gentleman [Smith] has every opportunity in the book to win.It wasnt my first choice. Its gonna be a tough fight, a difficult fight, but this is who Hopkins is. Hopkins transcends the sport. Hopkins is a fighter who will be talked about for many decades to come.But boxing is young mans game. Hopkins knows that. Its one of the reasons he said he will not dwell on his past achievements as he prepares for his final bout. There will be time after the fight to reflect on his great career. He said he will do everything in his power to stay focused on the present, not the past.This is not emotional and it wont be emotional because I got a task at hand, he said. I dont have to act like a buffoon here on stage or push and shove. Ive done that already. But what I am gonna do is show you why Ive been called three different titles in boxing -- from The Executioner to B-Hop to The Alien. They all exist in me, but Dec. 17 you will see The Executioner. Full circle.Then for emphasis, Hopkins said it again, Full circle, as he drew an imaginary circle with his finger.Win, lose or draw, he said. There is no excuse. Final 1. 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