Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Phoenix ends Detroit's mastery

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes needed a boost after an exhausting first half of the season.

Beating San Jose was a big step. Following that with a win over Detroit, another nemesis, could send them into a sprint toward the playoffs again.

Former Lightning goaltender Mike Smith stopped 30 shots, Martin Hanzal scored twice and the Coyotes ended a seven-game losing streak to the Red Wings with a 3-1 victory Monday night.

"They're two good teams in the upper echelon of the conference and when you're taking points away from them, you're getting points that other teams aren't going to get," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "You look at those as very valuable points."

Phoenix opened the season's second half with a loss to Anaheim, thanks in part to shaky goaltending by Smith.

Needing to make up ground fast, the Coyotes beat the Pacific Division-leading Sharks 5-3 on Saturday. They backed it up with a solid performance against Detroit, getting a short-handed goal from Boyd Gordon in the first period and one on a power play by Hanzal in the second.

Detroit's Johan Franzen scored his 20th goal late in the second and the Red Wings picked up the pressure in the third. But Smith had 11 saves in the period, and Hanzal closed it out by scoring into an empty net.

The Coyotes needed a second-half surge to get into the playoffs last season, and beating two of the Western Conference's best teams could get them jump-started this season.

"We've been playing against some good hockey teams and getting some points," Gordon said.

The good news for the Red Wings is that after a five-game road trip, the next six are at home, where Detroit has won 17 straight.

"I think we started a little slow," said Detroit goalie Joey MacDonald, who stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced in his first start of the season. "It's been a long road trip for the guys and I think as the game went on, we got our wheels underneath us."

The Red Wings and Coyotes met in the playoffs the two previous seasons. Detroit won both including a sweep last year.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Phil Kessel scored twice and Mikhail Grabovski assisted on Toronto's first two goals to lead the surging Maple Leafs past the visiting Oilers 6-3. Edmonton played without coach Tom Renney, who stayed at the team hotel after taking a puck in the head during the morning skate. The cut required stitches and left Renney experiencing headaches. Associate coach Ralph Krueger took over. Toronto has climbed back into playoff position in the East by going 5-0-1 in its past six.

CROSBY UPDATE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby practiced Monday but said he is no closer to returning from a concussion and neck injury that have sidelined him for most of the season.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: The league fined Avalanche forward Chuck Kobasew for tripping Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis on Saturday. … The Wild signed defenseman Nate Prosser to a two-year contract extension.

at Coyotes1113
Red Wings0101

First Period1, Phoenix, Gordon 6, 7:22 (sh). PenaltiesWhite, Det (hooking), 4:58; Hanzal, Pho (tripping), 5:36; Lidstrom, Det (hooking), 18:29.

Second Period2, Phoenix, Hanzal 7 (Whitney, Vrbata), 6:55 (pp). 3, Detroit, Franzen 20 (Zetterberg, Datsyuk), 17:24 (pp). PenaltiesWhite, Det (tripping), 4:28; Datsyuk, Det (hooking), 6:16; Rozsival, Pho (hooking), 15:04; Klesla, Pho (delay of game), 17:14.

Third Period4, Phoenix, Hanzal 8 (Whitney), 19:31 (en). PenaltiesDoan, Pho (tripping), 14:03. Shots on GoalDetroit 6-14-11—31. Phoenix 6-8-9—23. Power-play opportunitiesDetroit 1 of 4; Phoenix 1 of 4. GoaliesDetroit, MacDonald 0-1-1 (22 shots-20 saves). Phoenix, M.Smith 20-14-7 (31-30). A12,687 (17,135). T2:17.

at Maple Leafs2316
Oilers2103

First Period1, Edmonton, Eberle 23 (Hall, Gagner), :21. 2, Toronto, MacArthur 17 (Grabovski, Kessel), 8:21. 3, Toronto, Gardiner 2 (Grabovski), 13:45. 4, Edmonton, Eberle 24 (Petry, Hall), 17:30. PenaltiesNone.

Second Period5, Toronto, Kessel 28 (Lombardi, Connolly), 1:45. 6, Toronto, Bozak 10, 4:15. 7, Edmonton, Petry 2, 13:24. 8, Toronto, Lupul 21 (Phaneuf), 16:54. PenaltiesNone.

Third Period9, Toronto, Kessel 29 (Phaneuf, MacArthur), 18:55 (en). PenaltiesNone. Shots on GoalEdmonton 16-7-7—30. Toronto 11-11-9—31. Power-play opportunitiesEdmonton 0 of 0; Toronto 0 of 0. GoaliesEdmonton, Dubnyk 10-12-1 (30 shots-25 saves). Toronto, Reimer 10-5-4 (30-27). A19,581 (18,819). T2:28.

Comments
Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

Rays bring Jonny Venters back to majors

UPDATE, 5:34: Venters, understandably, was humbled and happy to make it back. "It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling," he said. "It's been an emotional day."Venters was in uniform in the Durham clubhouse during rain delay when he got called in ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

Report: Former ‘Bama starting QB to visit USF

USF's quarterback derby could have a prominent 11th-hour entrant.Former Alabama QB Blake Barnett, the Crimson Tide's opening day starter in 2016 who transferred to Arizona State shortly thereafter, is leaving Tempe as a grad transfer, several media o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

Art of the block: Get in the way of the puck. Expect pain.

BRANDON — The welts and the bruises and — yes, even the broken bones — they are the badges given this time of year to the hearty souls who, in hockey vernacular, sacrifice the body.They are awarded to the guys who knock aside wrist ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

For starters: Rays at Orioles, weather permitting (again)

The Rays and Orioles are going to try again to play tonight, though the tarp was on the field this afternoon and a light rain falling with heavier precipitation expected later.The Rays, who called up veteran reliever Jonny Venters this afternoon, are...
Updated: 5 hours ago
NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

TAMPA — From the department of the weird, also known as Bucs marketing genius — also known as if it bombs, we can blame Ed Glazer — the Bucs will use a … parrot to announce their fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, which kicks...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith has a big season ahead, going into a contract year as part of a reshuffled offensive line. Still only 24, he has started all 48 games in his three NFL seasons, and has made it a priority in the offseason to be more active in...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Springstead baseball isn’t easing into districts

Springstead baseball isn’t easing into districts

SPRING HILL — With the high school baseball regular season ending this week, some teams like to dial down their schedule in preparation for district play.Springstead is more than happy to be doing the opposite. With two games against HomeTeam t...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 8 hours ago
A bittersweet farewell for Rams baseball

A bittersweet farewell for Rams baseball

NEW PORT RICHEY — This week alone, Larry Beets has bid farewell to two longtime homes.He and wife Donna, who are transitioning to a villa at Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, are completing the sale of the Hudson house they shared for nearly a hal...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 9 hours ago