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Canada's Einarson falls to Switzerland's Tirinzoni at women's curling worlds – TSN

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CALGARY — Canada’s Kerri Einarson had a perfect shooting percentage entering the mid-game break against Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni on Saturday at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship.

Her numbers slipped significantly in the second half with a poor ninth end, proving to be her undoing in an 8-5 loss to the defending champions.

Einarson’s final rock in the ninth rolled out to give Switzerland a back-breaking steal of two and Canada was run out of rocks in the 10th.

“I just lost maybe a little bit of focus in that ninth end,” Einarson said. “I just kind of babied my first one and it just grabbed. I had perfect draw weight all game. It happens and we’ve just got to move forward.”

Tirinzoni moved into a first-place tie with Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg, Russia’s Alina Kovaleva and Scotland’s Eve Muirhead at 3-0.

Einarson, from Camp Morton, Man., took a 1-2 record into her evening game against Russia.

“It’s OK to lose a couple against some really good teams,” said Canada lead Briane Meilleur. “We just know we have to capitalize on those games coming up and we can still put ourselves in a really good spot.”

Einarson opened round-robin play with a loss to Sweden before rebounding with a victory over the Czech Republic’s Anna Kubeskova.

Swiss fourth Alina Paetz made a few uncharacteristic errors in the early going Saturday at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre.

She gifted Canada a steal in the opening end by ticking a stone on a blank attempt. Paetz had a chance for three in the second but her stone rolled the wrong way on a double takeout and Switzerland settled for a deuce.

Einarson regained the lead by drawing the 12-foot ring for a pair in the third. The teams exchanged singles until a blank in the seventh end. Paetz made two great shots in the eighth end, including a draw for three that gave Switzerland a 6-5 advantage.

Meilleur and Canada second Shannon Birchard threw in the 90s but third Val Sweeting was 74 per cent and Einarson slipped to 84 per cent.

Tirinzoni, who throws third stones, was at 80 per cent and Paetz threw at 79 per cent.

In other afternoon games, Russia defeated Italy’s Stefania Constantini 8-5, the Czech Republic edged Estonia’s Marie Turmann 8-7 and Sweden dumped Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont 9-3.

The Czechs were alone in fifth place at 2-1 entering the evening draw. China’s Yu Han and Japan’s Sayaka Yoshimura were next at 1-1.

Canada was in a four-way tie for eighth place at 1-2.

“We just have to play a full 10 ends and that’s all it comes down to really,” Meilleur said. “There’s teams that are going to make really good shots against us and we have to bounce back and play better the next game. If we lose a couple, we lose a couple.

“But there are great teams and they’re making great shots just like we’re making great shots.”

This competition is the seventh and final event in the curling bubble at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre.

The top six teams will qualify for the playoffs next weekend and secure berths for their respective countries at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Einarson would have represented Canada at last year’s world championship but the event was cancelled at the 11th hour due to the pandemic.

She beat Rachel Homan in the national final for the second straight year to earn the right to wear the Maple Leaf at this 10-day event.

Brendan Bottcher’s Alberta-based team made the top-six cut at the world men’s playdowns last month but was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2021.

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Clippers look to clean up the little things vs. Knicks

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Taking care of the little things has become a point of emphasis for Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue as his club enters the final week of the regular season.

 

And it will certainly be watched closely during Sunday’s home contest against the New York Knicks.

 

“We’ve been messing around too much,” Lue said. “We have to be a more disciplined, solid team, which we have been all season. But lately we’ve been messing around, playing around with the game a little too much for me right now.”

 

Over the last five games, the Clippers have averaged 16 turnovers a contest, tied for third worst in the NBA. Los Angeles is 3-2 in those contests.

 

The Clippers (45-22) are currently the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with five games left in the regular season. After the Clippers finish a four-game homestand against the Knicks, they will finish the regular season with four games on the road.

 

Los Angeles is 2-1 so far during the homestand. The Clippers defeated the Knicks earlier this season on the road in New York, 129-115 on Jan. 31.

 

The Clippers recently completed a three-game season sweep over their crosstown rivals, rolling the Los Angeles Lakers 118-94 on Thursday.

 

“We’re working on ourselves every day,” Clipper big man DeMarcus Cousins said. “We’re preparing for the long haul, with the playoffs right around the corner. We’re just trying to tune up everything, fix the small mistakes we make on a nightly basis and try to get as close to perfect as we can before this playoff run happens.”

 

New York (37-30) is currently the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are 2-2 on a six-game road trip that finishes with games against the Clippers on Sunday and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

 

“These games are just testing us,” Knicks forward Taj Gibson said. “Every game is a test. You can’t just sneak into the playoffs. We’re playing some really good teams right now, and it’s only going to make us better.”

 

The Knicks are only a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks (37-31), the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. New York is looking to hold them off, along with the Miami Heat (36-31) and Boston Celtics (35-32) to maintain home-court advantage in the postseason.

 

All five of New York’s remaining games are against teams headed to the playoffs. With the Knicks in the postseason for the first time in eight years, it’s up to head coach Tom Thibodeau to get his team mentally prepared for the playoffs.

 

“I like these games for our team,” Thibodeau said. “I think it shows us where we are, and what we need to work on. That old saying, ‘Iron sharpens iron.’ And so hopefully we can improve and it will help us down the road.”

 

Thibodeau will continue to be a little shorthanded on the bench, with injured guards Immanuel Quickley (ankle) and Alec Burks (knee) sidelined, along with center Mitchell Robinson (foot).

 

Quickley suffered a sprained ankle earlier this week against the Denver Nuggets. Burks missed eight games earlier due to the league’s health and safety protocols and then suffered a minor knee injury on his return to the floor on Monday that leaves his availability in question. Robinson is out indefinitely after having surgery on his right foot in late March.

 

–Field Level Media

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NHL roundup: Predators clinch playoff berth

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Luke Kunin scored two goals and the host Nashville Predators sealed a playoff spot with a 3-1 win over the Central Division champion Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

 

Predators goaltender Juuse Saros made 21 saves and held a shutout into the third period in what was a preview of a first-round postseason series. The teams conclude the regular season with a rematch Monday night in Nashville.

 

Kunin scored in the second and third periods for a 2-0 Predators lead. Mikael Granlund assisted on both goals.

 

Carolina’s goal came from Morgan Geekie less than 1 1/2 minutes after Kunin’s second goal, but Erik Haula sealed the outcome with an empty-net tally. Carolina goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 27 saves while taking a loss in regulation for the first time in his past nine outings.

 

Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 2

 

Toronto overcame a 2-0 deficit with three straight second-period goals to defeat visiting Montreal and clinch the North Division title.

 

The Maple Leafs won the final two regular-season games between the teams to take the season series 7-2-1. Jack Campbell made 21 saves for the victory.

 

Pierre Engvall, William Nylander and Mitchell Marner scored for the Maple Leafs. Brett Kulak and Nick Suzuki scored for the Canadiens, who got 23 saves from Jake Allen.

 

Penguins 1, Sabres 0

 

Jeff Carter scored and goaltender Maxime Lagace stopped all 29 shots he faced to lead Pittsburgh past visiting Buffalo as both teams concluded the regular season.

 

Several hours later, Pittsburgh clinched the East Division and home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The Penguins secured first place after they won and the Washington Capitals failed to record a regulation-time victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

 

The Sabres finished last not only in the East but also overall in the NHL. Buffalo rookie goalie Michael Houser, pressed into the No. 1 role because of a series of injuries, made 22 saves in his fourth career start.

 

Panthers 5, Lightning 1

 

Alex Wennberg scored three goals to lead Florida past Tampa Bay in Sunrise, Fla., and into a two-point lead on the Lightning in the race for home-ice advantage in their Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series.

 

The two teams conclude the regular season on Monday. Florida needs one point to clinch home ice; Tampa Bay needs a regulation win. Sam Bennett and Jonathan Huberdeau also scored for Florida, and each added an assist. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots.

 

The teams amassed a combined 156 minutes of penalty time and nine misconduct penalties. Luke Schenn scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy took the loss with 30 saves.

 

Capitals 2, Flyers 1 (OT)

 

Conor Sheary scored with 59.4 seconds left in overtime as Washington defeated visiting Philadelphia.

 

Lars Eller scored with 40 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. On the game-winner, Sheary took a quick pass from Nic Dowd and fired a shot that trickled between goalie Alex Lyon’s pads.

 

The injury-depleted Capitals were even more short-handed in this contest. T.J. Oshie appeared to hurt his knee late in the second period and was ruled out with a lower-body injury, leaving Washington with only 10 forwards during the third period and overtime.

 

Rangers 5, Bruins 4

 

Mika Zibanejad, Alexis Lafreniere and Vitali Kravtsov scored in a span of less than five minutes during a four-goal third period, and New York completed its season with a victory at Boston.

 

Zibanejad scored again late, K’Andre Miller also had a goal and Pavel Buchnevich had three assists as the Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak. Keith Kinkaid had 28 saves before exiting during the third with an injury. Igor Shesterkin stopped seven shots the rest of the way for New York.

 

Nick Ritchie, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, whose six-game points streak came to an end. Charlie McAvoy had two assists and Tuukka Rask stopped 18 shots.

 

Islanders 5, Devils 1

 

Brock Nelson scored twice in a span of 3:40 in the second period as New York scored four unanswered goals in a rout of visiting New Jersey in the final regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

 

Jordan Eberle scored late in the first period, and Nelson struck twice by swatting in a pair of rebounds after New Jersey’s Andreas Johnsson tied the game less than five minutes into the second. Former Devil Kyle Palmieri and Mathew Barzal scored in a span of 37 seconds early in the third as the Islanders halted a three-game losing streak.

 

The Islanders moved within two points of the third-place Bruins. The Islanders visit Boston on Monday night for their final regular-season game, but the Bruins also visit the Capitals on Tuesday night.

 

Senators 4, Jets 2

 

Tim Stutzle posted his first career hat trick to pace visiting Ottawa to a victory over Winnipeg, handing the Jets their sixth consecutive home defeat.

 

Connor Brown also scored and added two assists, Shane Pinto collected two assists and Filip Gustavsson made 27 saves for the Senators. Ottawa, which has long been eliminated from playoff contention, is on an 8-1-1 run.

 

Mason Appleton and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets, who have lost eight of nine games but remain in third place in the North Division. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 19 shots.

 

Blue Jackets 5, Red Wings 4 (OT)

 

Max Domi scored with 20.4 seconds remaining in overtime and Columbus won its season finale over visiting Detroit.

 

Domi scored from the slot off a feed from Oliver Bjorkstrand. Cam Atkinson, Bjorkstrand, Eric Robinson and Jack Roslovic scored in regulation for Columbus.

 

Jakub Vrana, Danny DeKeyser, Sam Gagner and Valtteri Filppula scored for Detroit.

 

Wild 4, Ducks 3 (OT)

 

Victor Rask scored with 2:14 left in the extra session to lift Minnesota past Anaheim in St. Paul, Minn.

 

Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Hartman and Nick Bonino also scored, and Cam Talbot made 19 saves for the Wild, who finished 7-1-0 against the Ducks this season. Kirill Kaprizov had two assists for his 13th multi-point game, adding to his franchise rookie records.

 

Rickard Rakell and Max Comtois each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks. Ryan Miller made 21 saves in the final game of his 18-year NHL career.

 

–Field Level Media

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Canada to skip Olympic qualifier due to COVID-19

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Gymnastics Canada said on Friday they have decided not to enter teams in the Pan American Championships being held in Brazil due to health and safety concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The June 4-13 event in Rio de Janeiro was Canada‘s last chance qualifier event for the Tokyo Olympics in men’s artistic, women’s artistic, and rhythmic gymnastics.

“We realize the impact these decisions have on our athletes, especially those senior athletes that have dedicated so many years to their ambition of competing at the Olympic Games,” Gymnastics Canada Chief Executive Ian Moss said in a statement.

“We will do everything we can not only to support all athletes and coaches impacted by this decision through this difficult period, but to also provide hope and opportunity moving forward towards their international goals in the future.”

Canada had the opportunity to qualify one more athlete in men’s and women’s artistic, respectively, and one individual and one group in rhythmic gymnastics at the competition.

The event was also a qualifier for trampoline gymnastics, but there is one more chance to qualify for that discipline at a World Cup competition to be held in Italy in the coming weeks.

Athletes and coaches had the opportunity to appeal the decision and Gymnastics Canada said it went through the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada arbitration process with these individuals to show transparency around the decision.

The result of the appeal, which ruled in Gymnastics Canada‘s favour, was delivered to all parties on Thursday.

 

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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