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08.11.2018 03:57
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CHICAGO (AP) Scott Foster thought it was going to be just another night. Then the 36-year-old accountant signed a contract http://www.pittsburghpenguinsteamshops.com/authentic-justin-schultz-jersey , put on his goaltender gear and waited in Chicago’s locker room. Then he got into the game.Then it was his night.Foster was pressed into action when Chicago lost Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia to injuries, and the former college goalie stopped all seven shots he faced over the final 14 minutes of the Blackhawks‘ 6-2 victory over the playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.”This is something that no one can ever take away from me,” Foster said. ”It’s something that I can go home and tell my kids and they can tell their friends. … Just a ton of fun.”Foster is part of a crew of recreational goaltenders who staff Chicago’s home games in case of emergencies for either team. But it usually just means a nice dinner and a night in the press box watching the world’s best players compete at hockey’s highest level.Nothing at all like this.”What a moment,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said with a chuckle.Forsberg was expected to start, but he got hurt during a ”pregame ritual,” according to Quenneville. Delia, who was just recalled from the minors Wednesday, then stopped 25 of 27 shots in his NHL debut before he was helped off the ice with 14:01 left after he cramped up.Enter Foster, a married father of two who lives in nearby Oak Park and plays in two rec leagues. After a short warmup, the game resumed and Foster got a big cheer from the crowd of 21,839 when he denied Tyler Myers for his first save about a minute after he came in.”The initial shock happened when I had to dress. I think you just kind of black out after that,” Foster said.Backed by chants of ”Foster! Foster!” and more loud ovations, he made another stop on Myers and turned away Paul Stastny and Dustin Byfuglien in the final minutes. When it was over, the Blackhawks poured onto the ice and mobbed Foster in the net.”He was great,” defenseman Brent Seabrook said. ”I think the boys were doing whatever they could to help him out. He made some big saves. Fun night.”The Jets had won six in a row and were trying to clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. But even they were moved by what happened.”It’s tough for anybody to come in 50 minutes into a hockey game, let alone a guy who hasn’t played in the (NHL),” coach Paul Maurice said. ”A great moment for him.”Carolina Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves became the first emergency goalie to play in a game in the modern era last season. He closed out the final 7.6 seconds of a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay.The NHL adjusted its rules last summer to mandate that teams have an emergency goalie present for all home games ready to fill in for either team – setting the stage for Foster’s most competitive action since 20 minutes in relief with Western Michigan University in the 2005-06 season.”A few hours ago I was sitting on the computer typing on a 10-key, and now I’m standing in front of you guys having just finished 14 1/2 minutes of NHL hockey,” he cracked.It was a wild finish to one of Chicago’s best performances in a lousy season.Tomas Jurco scored a career-high two goals in Seabrook’s 1,000th regular-season game, and touted prospect Dylan Sikura had two assists in his NHL debut. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Erik Gustafsson each had a goal and an assist, and Brandon Saad also scored.The 32-year-old Seabrook got the start alongside fellow alternate captain and frequent defensive partner Duncan Keith. He became the fifth player in franchise history to skate in 1,000 or more games for the team, joining Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Eric Nesterenko and Bob Murray.Bryan Little scored his 200th NHL goal for Winnipeg in the opener of a four-game trip. Mark Scheifele also scored for the Jets, and Eric Comrie made 36 saves while subbing for starter Connor Hellebuyck.”It wasn’t a good night,” Little said. ”It wasn’t good from the start. It’s one of those games you want to forget and put behind you and look to the next one.”Kane got Chicago off to a fast start when he shot it between Comrie’s legs for his 27th goal 3:44 into the first, and the Blackhawks just poured it on from there. Saad made it 2-0 with a nifty move to his backhand in front at 17:17.Jurco added two goals in the second before Little got Winnipeg on the board with his 16th of the season at 14:24. But Gustafsson responded for the Blackhawks, scoring on a nice rush to the net at 17:27.NOTES: Quenneville said Delia was going to travel with the team to Colorado and should be fine for Friday night’s game against the Avalanche. With four games left in the season, he said Forsberg (lower body) is likely done for the year. Jean-Francois Berube was recalled from Rockford of the AHL on an emergency basis.UP NEXTJets: Visit Toronto on Saturday night.Blackhawks: Visit Colorado on Friday night.—Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap— ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) Like tourists flocking to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, the Pittsburgh Penguins making a trip to Washington in the playoffs has become a rite of spring.The Penguins and Capitals will face off in the second round for the third consecutive year with the core groups changed only slightly from past battles. Back-to-back Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh still has playoff MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and Washington still has stars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom trying to make the Eastern Conference final for the first time.”We faced each other for a lot of games, and we should know each other right now inside out Womens Kris Letang Jersey ,” Backstrom said. ”That’s just how it is. It’s usually tight series and one-goal games. We’re excited about this one.”It’s hard not to get the ”Groundhog Day” feeling about these teams meeting for the fourth time in the past 10 years. The Penguins won the previous three series despite not having home-ice advantage, twice winning Game 7 in Washington on the way to capturing the Stanley Cup.But this year is different in many ways, most notably on the Pittsburgh injury front. Malkin and winger Carl Hagelin will miss Game 1 on Thursday night in Washington. Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin will travel, making him a possibility to play in Game 2 this weekend after missing the end of the Philadelphia series with an apparent lower-body injury.”I think guys have to step up in different roles maybe,” Crosby said. ”I don’t think anybody has to put too much pressure on themselves. Collectively we can find ways and those are guys who aren’t easy to replace, but that’s what we’re faced with.”A year after the last series between these two division rivals, gone from the Penguins are forwards Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen, defensemen Trevor Daley, Ian Cole and Ron Hainsey and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Gone from the Capitals are forwards Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik and defensemen Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk.”They have different personnel, we have different personnel,” said Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who’s back after missing the 2017 playoffs because of neck surgery. ”The series is going to play out differently. The game is going to be won differently. You don’t know how it is going to go.”Pittsburgh, trying for a rare championship threepeat, has won nine of 10 all-time series against Washington, many of which predate current players and coaches. But Capitals coach Barry Trotz said it’s ”fitting” his team must again go through its nemesis to advance.Asked why this year the outcome will be different, Ovechkin said: ”I don’t know. One day, it have to happen. If we want to get success, we have to beat Pittsburgh and move forward.”SID VS. OVICrosby has won 44 of the 70 previous games against Ovechkin in the NHL regular season and playoffs, world junior championships, world championships, World Cup and Olympics. There may not be another dueling hat tricks game like the one in the 2009 playoffs, but Crosby and Ovechkin are red hot going into their latest showdown. Crosby is tied at 13 points with linemate Jake Guentzel for the scoring lead in the playoffs, and Ovechkin’s five power-play goals helped Washington beat Columbus in six.”This year I think he’s playing his best, but it’s good to see,” Backstrom said of Ovechkin. ”Hopefully everyone can raise our level here in the second round.”POWER PLAYERSThe Penguins relied heavily on their top-ranked power play unit to land a 12th straight playoff berth – the longest active streak in the NHL – but their title bid will rely heavily on a penalty kill that’s been uneven at best. Pittsburgh was a middling 17th during the regular season (80 percent) but killed 90.5 percent of Philadelphia’s power plays in the opening round. Washington scored just once with the man advantage in four regular season meetings with the Penguins, who kept Ovechkin in check.”You have to reduce his time,” Letang said. ”You don’t want him to have all kinds of time to really use that puck.”MURRAY’S METTLEPenguins goaltender Matt Murray won the Cup twice as a ”rookie” by NHL standards after backstopping the Penguins to titles in 2016 and 2017. He missed all of Pittsburgh’s playoff series against Washington, however, while recovering from a lower-body injury. The 23-year-old has been up and down against Washington in his brief career and is coming off a Philadelphia series in which he flip-flopped between great (two shutouts) and not-so great (allowing four-or-more goals twice). Still, Murray has never lost a playoff series he’s played in, and even after giving up four quick goals in the first 21 minutes of Game 6 against Philadelphia, he limited the Flyers to just one the rest of the way to give his teammates time to rally.HOLTBY DIALED INCapitals goaltender Braden Holtby allowed six goals on 35 shots through the first two games of the Penguins series last year before getting his game back together. He has only allowed 10 on 137 shots in four-plus games since replacing Philipp Grubauer this time around and looks like a goalie who can match Murray save for save.—AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed.—

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