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27.04.2018 08:17
ay lifted the Blueshirts to the 2-1 decision over the Sabres. Nash one-timed a Martin St. Louis feed past Buffalo goaltender Mat Antworten

LOS ANGELES - With sluggish starts costing his team two of their last three games, Dwane Casey has considered making a change to the lineup ahead of Friday nights contest against the Clippers. Ed Dickson Jersey . The Raptors have been outscored 88-66 in the opening quarter over a three-game span to begin the month of February. Their most recent loss, 109-101 in Sacramento on Wednesday, was eerily similar to Saturdays defeat at the hands of the Trail Blazers. After digging themselves an early hole on both nights, the Raptors were unable to close out late-game comeback bids, forcing Casey to question his first units disposition. "Every team has their cross to bear and ours is starting games," he said after practice Thursday afternoon. "Whether weve got to change the lineup to start the game or whatever, I dont know we have to see." "Thats been our problem and it just didnt start [in Sacramento Wednesday], its been going on for a while. Weve been able to dig out of it but you cant get hit like that and expect to bounce back that way every game, it just takes too much of a toll on your body." In many ways the Raptors have been defeating themselves. Over that three-game stretch they held opponents to 43 per cent shooting in the first quarter, an impressive mark, but the hustle stats tell a different story. Toronto was out-rebounded in the opening 12 minutes of each game and put both Portland and Sacramento on the line 12 times. "We addressed it, we talked about it," Casey said, citing his teams focus, toughness and attention to detail. If Casey does opt to shake up his starting lineup in Los Angles, even temporarily, the most likely casualty would be slumping California-native Amir Johnson. Johnson has been hampered by a sore right ankle after turning it late in last weeks win over Orlando. He has logged fewer than 20 minutes in just six games this season, yet three of those have come in the last four contests. The forward has been Torontos most reliable and valuable player over the last three years but its clear he hasnt been himself, even before his most recent injury. After averaging 13.8 points and 8.3 rebounds on 63 per cent shooting in December, Johnsons production dropped last month, scoring 9.5 points and grabbing 6.0 rebounds a night. His 47 per cent field goal shooting in January was his lowest in a full month since March of 2011. As a team the Raptors surrendered 11 points more than they scored with Johnson on the floor in the month. Johnson, who routinely tops the team in the plus/minus stat, was the only Raptor (minimum 50 minutes) that was a net-minus in January, per NBA.com/stats. Mired in a similar slump, and with the team struggling late in November, Johnson was pulled from the starting lineup in favour of Tyler Hansbrough (Johnson told the Toronto Sun that he had requested a move to the bench). Johnson would go on to play his best basketball of the season over the following nine games, averaging 18.0 points and 9.6 rebounds on 68 per cent shooting, and getting his starting job back after three games when Hansbrough went down with an ankle injury. Poised to make a run at the playoffs, the Raptors need Johnson, a nine-year veteran, healthy and focused late in the season. Another temporary demotion could be in the best interest of both the Raptors and their best defensive player. Although Hansbrough could be a candidate to replace him should a change be made, without disrupting the chemistry of the second unit, he has fallen out of Caseys regular rotation since returning from injury. Patrick Patterson would seem to be the most logical choice. Often the first player of Torontos bench, Patterson has been consistently effective since coming over in the trade from Sacramento in December. The forward has scored in double figures in 12 of his last 20 games, averaging 11.1 points and 5.5 rebounds, shooting 52 per cent from the field and connecting on 17 of his 35 attempts from three-point range over that stretch. The Raptors have outscored opponents by 132 points when hes been on the floor during that span. Scott Simonson Jersey . Mladenovics quick hands at the net made the difference while Bencics inexperience in doubles showed. "We took a lot of pleasure," Mladenovic told Sport Plus television. "Its extremely difficult to play in such conditions, but our doubles team showed a lot of quality. Daryl Williams Jersey . Three days after falling to Hamilton, Abbotsford scored three goals in 53 seconds en route to a convincing 5-1 win over the Bulldogs Saturday in American Hockey League play. http://www.footballpantherspro.com/panthers-star-lotulelei-blue-jersey/ .J. -- The Houston Astros had the No.(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of playoff teams meet Saturday night at the Bell Centre, as the Montreal Canadiens host the New York Rangers in the regular- season finale for both clubs. While the Rangers are locked into the Metropolitan Divisions second spot, the Canadiens are still fighting for home-ice advantage in their upcoming first- round series against Tampa Bay. However, they fell a point back of the Lightning, who defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night, with one game left for both teams. Tampa Bay is idle on Saturday before visiting the Washington Capitals on Sunday. New York, meanwhile, knows it will open the first round at home, but isnt certain if it will be against the Columbus Blue Jackets or Philadelphia Flyers, who are still battling for third place in the Metro. The Habs are aiming to bounce back on Saturday after suffering a second straight loss in Thursdays home test against the New York Islanders. Montreal had won seven of eight before going 0-1-1 over its last two games against Chicago and the Islanders. After losing a 3-2 overtime decision Wednesday in Chicago, Montreal was shut out the following night by the visiting Isles. The Canadiens only fired 19 shots on net in the 2-0 loss and Evgeni Nabokov stopped every one for his fourth shutout of the season. Carey Price turned aside 28-of-30 shots for the Canadiens, who were blanked for the first time since a 4-0 loss in San Jose on March 8. "It was a bad performance from our team. We didnt play a good game," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. Thursdays setback was just the second in six home games for Montreal, which is 22-13-5 at the Bell Centre. Montreal announced Friday that forward Alex&nbbsp;Galchenyuk will miss the first round of the playoffs due to a lower-body injury suffered in Wednesdays game against the Blackhawks. Wes Horton Jersey. . The 20-year-old has 13 goals and 31 points in 65 games this season. Habs forward Lars Eller has missed the last two games due to illness and is questionable for Saturdays regular-season finale. The Rangers have won two straight and clinched second place in the Metro with Thursdays home win over the Buffalo Sabres. The victory gave New York a 9-2-1 record over its last 12 games. Rick Nashs goal with 1:42 left to play lifted the Blueshirts to the 2-1 decision over the Sabres. Nash one-timed a Martin St. Louis feed past Buffalo goaltender Matt Hackett for the win. Henrik Lundqvist did his part by stopping 23-of-24 shots and Benoit Pouliot also scored to help the Rangers overcome a 1-0 deficit late in the second period. After a scoreless first period, both teams tallied once in the second stanza despite New York holding a lopsided 18-1 edge in shots during the middle period. "We showed some patience, its not an easy game," Lundqvist remarked. "It felt like they came out pretty good, but after that they were just waiting for something good to happen to them and we took over the game." The win gave New York a 20-17-4 regular-season record at Madison Square Garden. The club is 25-14-1 as the road team in 2013-14. The Canadiens and Rangers have split two meetings so far this season, with each club posting a regulation victory on the road. New York halted a four- game overall skid in the series with a 1-0 win at Montreal on Nov. 16 and also snapped an eight-game slide at the Bell Centre. 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