CHICAGO -- First, it was Jonathan Toews on a power play, and then Patrick Sharp got loose on a breakaway. Joe Torre Braves Jersey . Andrew Shaw tipped one home, and it was all over. One dazzling stretch for the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to their tight first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Duncan Keith had a goal and three assists, and the Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to finish off the Blues with a 5-1 victory in Game 6 on Sunday. "It feels good to contribute in a big game," Keith said, "and I think just the main thing for me is just being able to move on and get a couple days to relax and just regroup and focus on the next round." Chicago won four in a row after a slow start in St. Louis. The defending Stanley Cup champions will play the winner of the Minnesota-Colorado series in the Western Conference semifinals. The Avalanche lead the Wild 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Minnesota on Monday night. Toews, Sharp and Shaw scored in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the third and Keith closed out the scoring as the Blackhawks improved to 14-2 in home playoff games over the past two seasons. Bryan Bickell scored in the first and Corey Crawford made 35 saves, keeping Chicago in a tie game when St. Louis controlled the second period. "They were dominating the first 40 minutes here and we came back with maybe the best period of the year," coach Joel Quenneville said. T.J. Oshie scored for the Blues, who outshot the Blackhawks 36-27. Ryan Miller finished with 22 saves. St. Louis went 0 for 6 in 10 minutes of power-play time over the first two periods, wasting a chance to take the lead. The Blues went 2 for 29 with the man advantage for the series. "I think both the PK and (Crawford) won the game and the series ultimately," Quenneville said. "I think that was the big factor in us getting through." The Blackhawks also struggled on the power play, but they scored when it mattered most. With Jay Bouwmeester in the box for tripping, Keith made a nice stop to keep the puck in the St. Louis zone, and then sent a pass over to Toews. The captain beat Miller over his right shoulder for a 2-1 lead just 44 seconds into the third. It was Toews third game-winning goal of the series. He also scored on a breakaway in overtime of Friday nights 3-2 win. Toews 23rd career post-season goal seemed to take the air out of the Blues, and it got even worse for St. Louis. Sharp got loose for a breakaway, shook off a stick to the face by defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk and slid a shot past Miller. "The third goal was really a backbreaker for us," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That was really the one that hurt. We had been chasing them all series and able to catch up in games, but I thought the third goal really took the wind out of our sails." Sharps first point of the playoffs sent a charge through the towel-waving sellout crowd of 22,144, and there were mocking chants of "Mil-ler! Mil-ler!" as Shaw added his second goal of the series and helped set up Keith for his second. It was an eerily similar playoff exit for St. Louis to a year ago, when the Blues also were eliminated by the defending Stanley Cup champions in six games in the first round. In that 2013 playoff series, St. Louis won the first two games at home against Los Angeles, and then lost four in a row. This year was supposed to be different, especially after the Blues acquired Miller from Buffalo on March 1. But they lost their last six games of the regular season, putting them in a first-round series against rival Chicago. St. Louis rebounded for two 4-3 overtime victories, but the Blackhawks found their stride when the series shifted to Chicago. Crawford had a shutout in Game 3, Patrick Kane scored in overtime in Game 4, and Toews breakaway score in St. Louis put the Blackhawks in position to advance. "It was one play here, one play there," Blues captain David Backes said. "But it was on our stick and we needed to get the job done. We didnt get it done and were going home too early." Chicago defenceman Brent Seabrook returned from a three-game suspension. Seabrook was punished by the NHL for his hit on Backes in Game 2. "It was tough. I cant watch hockey," Seabrook said. "Youre hanging on every shot, every save, every play. You want to be out there helping the guys. It was obviously tough to watch it, but they did a great job." Backes exacted a measure of revenge when he delivered a hard hit on Seabrook into the end boards in the second period. But Seabrook added two more assists and had six points for the series. NOTES: Blackhawks F Kris Versteeg was scratched after he played in the first five games. ... Keith, a top candidate for the Norris Trophy awarded to the NHLs top defenceman, tied a playoff career high with four points. ... Miller, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency, on his immediate future: "I dont know. Ive just got to take things as they come right now. I guess Im free to go to my sister-in-laws wedding. Thats about it." Hank Aaron Jersey . - In about six minutes, the Memphis Grizzlies had allowed their 23-point lead to be cut to seven. Grant Dayton Jersey . With one week left in the regular season, Cornish - voted The Toughest Player To Bring Down - is a leading candidate for the CFLs Most Outstanding Player award. He has rushed for 1,799 yards and could break Willie Burdens club record for rushing yards in a single season with a 98-yard performance against the B.MONTREAL - With a Major League Soccer playoff berth out of reach, the Montreal Impact will now focus on moving from the bottom of the league standings.The Impact, last in the Eastern Conference with 24 points from 29 games, will look for a season-high third straight win Saturday when it visits the Columbus Crew.Were still going to put out the lineup that we think can get the best result, said Montreal forward Jack McInerney. Coming into this game, we dont want to be the last team in the league so getting a result against Columbus is big for us.A win Saturday would certainly help Montreals quest to move from last in the overall standings. The Impact (6-17-6) is tied for that dubious honour with the Western Conferences Chivas USA, which is in Seattle on Saturday.Montreal will also look to play the role of spoiler. Columbus (10-9-10, 40 points) is fifth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Philadelphia Union and three in front of Toronto FC, which has a game in hand.If we can make it difficult for some other teams, why not? said Montreal manager Frank Klopas, whose team has five games remaining. Theres still a lot to play for.McInerney agrees.Hopefully we can go there and spoil the party, he said. Im sure theyre looking at it as one of the biggest games of their season.They can either solidify a playoff spot or get in some trouble.Montreal resumes MLS play after reaching the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday night. The Impact cemented its first quarter-final berth in six years, finishing atop Group 3 after the New York Red Bulls and C.D. FAS battled to a 0-0 tie in El Salvador.Like many of his players, Klopas watched Wednesdays contest and was quite pleased with the result.Im very happy for the club and players, he said. Its been a difficult year.Its important, the way were playing now, to finish on a positive note. This goes a long way to building a lot of momentum for the team. Were a different team at this point in the season.Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Impact has turned its season around.Montreal managed just five wins over its first 25 games in all competitions but has gone 6-4-1 since Aug. 55, which includes three home MLS victories. Tony Larussa Braves Jersey. One was a 2-0 decision over Columbus on Aug. 30 as designated player Ignacio Piatti scored his first two goals for the club.It was the Crews lone loss in six games. Columbus is one of the leagues hottest teams, having gone 6-2-3 since mid July.Theyre organized, they look to play out of the back and theyre good in possession, said Klopas. Last time we were there we didnt do well in the midfield battle.We have to be good with the ball.Columbus earned a 2-1 home win over Montreal on July 19. Bernardo Anor had both goals as the Crew effectively controlled play in the midfield.Montreal is a dismal 0-11-3 on the road in MLS action this season. To break into the win column, the Impact backline must contain Argentine forward Federico Higuain, the Crews leader in goals (10), assists (six), shots (63) and shots on goal (24).Columbus is a dangerous team with Higuain, said Klopas. When hes able to dictate the rhythm and tempo of the game and get balls in the final third, hes a guy that you always have to be aware of.Midfielder Ignacio Piatti (knee) isnt expected to play for Montreal so Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, 19, will likely make his fourth consecutive start. And with Marco Di Vaio likely to retire next month, the expectation is Klopas will give McInerney more playing time in the remaining games.Midfielder Justin Mapp, who hasnt played since Aug. 16 against the Chicago Fire, could also see action Saturday. Mapp has been bothered by a groin injury all season but practised Wednesday.Its good to be back, he said. Ive been out for a little while now, but its good to be out there with the guys.It feels good to touch the ball, and to play a little bit as opposed to just running around the field.Captain Patrice Bernier (foot) and goalkeeper Troy Perkins (back) are both doubtful.NOTES: Columbus is looking for its fifth straight home win . . . Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark is fifth overall with 91 saves. a€| Defender Krzysztof Krol returns to Montreals lineup after serving a one-game red card suspension. a€| Columbus has signed Emanuel Pogatetz, the former Middlesbrough defender and Austrian national team captain. ' ' '
15 nov. 2019
KANSAS CITY, Mo. Joe Crede Jersey . -- The Royals shook up their coaching staff Thursday in an attempt to jumpstart their failing offence, making Dale Sveum the hitting coach and Mike Jirschele their third base coach. Pedro Grifol, who took over as hitting coach last season, will now instruct catchers. The moves were announced after the Royals finished off a disastrous homestand that included a sweep at the hands of Houston, and before they opened a four-game series in Toronto. Sveum said the Royals havent done a good enough job this season of hitting pitches in the upper half of the strike zone. "The bottom line is weve struggled with elevation and weve swung at pitches down in the zone probably way too much," he said. "From thigh high to the top of the strike zone, were not doing enough damage." The Royals began the day last in the majors with 21 homers, putting them on pace to match the 1976 club for the fewest in franchise history for a non-strike-shortened season. Theyre also last in the American League in runs and slugging percentage. "There is not one man in the lineup thats hitting the ball well," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said Wednesday. "Were just cold." Yost said "a different voice can make a difference," to struggling batters, but the Royals have heard plenty of voices about hitting: Sveum is Kansas Citys fifth hitting coach in less than three seasons. The Royals let go of Kevin Seitzer two years ago in the hope that somebody else would help the club generate more power. Seitzer was eventually hired by the Blue Jays, who currently lead the majors with 76 homers -- more than Kansas City is on pace for all season. Jack Maloof and Andre David were hired before last season, but they only made it a couple of months before they were reassigned within the franchise. It was at that point that the Royals hired Grifol and Hall of Famer George Brett on an interim basis. The Royals showed signs of life once that duo was in charge, slowly climbing into playoff contention. Grifol was given the job on a full-time basis after Brett stepped down in July, but lasted less than a year in the role. "Hes the one that pulled us out of our trouble last year," Yost said of Grifol Thursday. "A year later, we find ourselves in the exact same spot." Sveum, a former Brewers and Cubs manager, had been serving as the Royals third base coach. But he also has plenty of experience as a hitting coach, helping Milwaukee finish in the top three of the National League in homers in each of his three seasons. "Hes got experience, he studies hitting," Yost said. "Hes got a lot of knowledge. He helped Prince Fielder get, in my opinion, to the next level as an offensive performer." Ross Detwiler White Sox Jersey . The goals took Liverpools tally in the Premier League this season to 70, overtaking Manchester City as the top scorers, and left the fourth-place team just four points behind league leader Chelsea. Hugh Duffy Jersey . The thinking at the time was Clowney could have already been promised he would be selected first overall by the Houston Texans, therefore negating any need to meet with any other teams. The plot took another twist this week.Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar is going back to the minors. The righty was sent back down to Triple-A Buffalo for the second time this week in order to make room for Liam Hendriks who will get the start Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds. Delabar waas sent down Tuesday but was called back up for Thursdays game against the New York Yankees when Brett Cecil went to the disabled list. Jack Mcdowell White Sox Jersey . The 30-year-old has appeared in 30 games this season, recording a 4.91 earned run average and a 3-0 record. ' ' '