OTTAWA — Marcus Hogberg isn’t sure he belongs in the NHL, but he might be the only one uncertain of his status.
The Senators (17-23-8) were outshot 42-21 and if not for Hogberg’s performance, they would have likely seen a different outcome. This marked the 25-year-old’s second NHL win in 13 career starts.
Hogberg has a 1-2-5 record this season, but his record is hardly indicative of his play.
“He’s got points in four straight (games),” said Senators coach D.J. Smith. “He gave us every chance to win those other three games and he was really good again tonight. It’s good for our team and our organization to have a young guy that’s playing at this level.”
Hogberg has seen substantial playing time as Anders Nilsson remains sidelined with a concussion. The Senators have played the 25-year-old in favour of veteran Craig Anderson, who many believe could be moved at the trade deadline.
“I just try to work hard and show my best for the guys and the coaches and we will see what happens,” said Hogberg.
While many of his teammates plan to head to southern beaches Hogberg said he will likely return to Belleville and hang out at home as he’s spent plenty of time in a hotel in Ottawa.
The victory also allowed Ottawa to snap its nine-game winless streak. The win comes at the perfect time as the Senators are headed into an eight-day break.
“We’ve played for stretches the way we want to play, but tonight without Hogberg we’re not winning that game, it’s that simple, he was excellent,” said Dylan DeMelo. “We got some timely goals, the power play scored which was huge for us and it kind of seemed like we didn’t have many shots, but when we did they went in.”
With nearly 40 family members on hand for the fourth installment of the Tkachuk’s clash of the brothers, it was Brady who shone bright picking up a goal and assist. It also marked the first time his Senators beat older brother Matthew’s Flames.
The game started with referee Wes McCauley throwing out Artem Anisimov and Elias Lindholm out of the faceoff circle to allow the brothers to take the opening draw.
“We got that out of the way last year and we had talked about it,” said Matthew Tkachuk. “This year we didn’t talk about it and weren’t going to do it. Wes was great — he said, `if I’m reffing you guys have got to do the opening draw — your mom will love it.’ [Brady] snapped that back on me pretty good and seemed to destroy the rest of our team tonight too.”
Brady admitted getting the win was a little more special considering who it was against, but in the end the two points were the most important.
“It’s two teams who need those points and definitely happy we got those two points,” said Brady. “It was all because of (Hogberg). He stood in there and had a phenomenal performance. Wish we could have lessened the load in the first period, but it showed everybody how good of a goalie he is.”
Calgary (26-19-5) saw its six-game winning streak come to an end as they played their final game before going into a nine-day break.
“We felt great about ourselves after the Toronto one — as we should have — I thought we played really well there,” said Matthew, who had scored the shootout winner in a 2-1 victory. “If we get this one tonight we go into the break feeling really good about ourselves and try to gather some momentum for the last 32 games but this didn’t allow us to feel that way (Saturday).”
David Rittich turned aside just 16-of-20 shots.
Despite outshooting the Senators, the Flames felt they made far too many mistakes which cost them in the end.
“We had a few breakdowns and they took advantage of it,” said Flames coach Geoff Ward. “At the end of the day it’s not enough when you need to catch up.”
Colin White gave Ottawa a 4-0 lead with his third-period goal by scoring on a Mikkel Boedker rebound and Vladislav Namestnikov added an empty net goal.
Mark Jankowski snapped Hogberg’s shutout bid with just under six minutes remaining in the third with his first of the season and Noah Hanifin scored late in the period.
The Senators were able to take a 2-0 lead in the second as Chris Tierney picked up a loose puck in front and backhanded it past Rittich. Connor Brown then scored on the powerplay as he dug at a puck under Rittich and was able to push it over the goal line.
Hogberg made a huge stick save on Sam Bennett midway through the second to keep the Flames off the board.
Despite getting outshot 15-3 in the first period — it was the Senators who held a 1-0 lead.
Brady Tkachuk scored his 15th of the season when he looked to pass to Anthony Duclair, but instead saw the puck deflect off Travis Harmonic’s stick before it went into the net.
This was the Senators’ final home game before their eight-day break.
Notes: Jean-Gabriel Pageau missed his second straight game with a sore neck… Rudolfs Balcers was a healthy scratch.
Celtics top Heat, cut East finals deficit to 2-1 – TSN
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Getting big leads has been relatively easy for the Boston Celtics in these Eastern Conference finals.
This time, they also found a way to finish the job.
And just like that, the East title series got a whole lot closer.
Jaylen Brown scored 26 points, Jayson Tatum added 25 and the Celtics got right back into the East finals with a 117-106 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 3 on Saturday night. Kemba Walker added 21 to help Boston pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Marcus Smart scored 20 points for Boston, going 9 for 9 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. The Celtics — who also got 14 rebounds and eight assists from Tatum — outscored Miami 60-36 inside the paint, led by as many as 20 and never trailed.
The Celtics held Miami to 39% shooting.
Bam Adebayo had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who fell for just the second time in 12 games in these playoffs. Tyler Herro scored 22 points, Jimmy Butler had 17 and Duncan Robinson 13.
The Heat rallied from 14 points down to win Game 1 in overtime, 17 points down to win Game 2, but never caught up Saturday — though they put together a late run to make matters interesting.
They got within eight on a 3-pointer by Robinson with 1:12 left, setting the tone for the Celtics to scramble at the end. Brown committed a flagrant foul nine seconds later, and Robinson made one of two free throws to cut Boston’s lead to 109-102.
Adebayo scored on the ensuing possession to get Miami within five and cap a 24-9 run, but the Heat got no closer.
Herro had 16 points in the second quarter alone to keep Miami close, the last of those 16 coming on a 3-pointer with 3:22 left before halftime to cut Boston’s lead to 51-48.
That’s when the Celtics started to run away.
Boston got three consecutive fast-break scores in a span of 48 seconds to push its lead back to 10, and after a late 3-pointer by Walker it was 63-50 at the break.
And when Miami tried another comeback in the third, Boston again had a late-in-the-quarter answer.
The Heat went on an 11-1 run to get to 82-73 on a layup by Herro with 1:08 left in the third, and Boston answered with the next seven points — needing just 32.9 seconds to get them.
Goran Dragic had 11 for Miami and Jae Crowder finished with 10. The Heat were 12 for 44 from 3-point range.
Celtics: This is the 124th series in Boston playoff history, and the Celtics have trailed 3-0 in only seven of them. … Brown and Tatum now have eight games each of at least 20 points so far in these playoffs. … Gordon Hayward made his return after missing a month with a sprained right ankle, scoring six points in 31 minutes.
Heat: Even with the loss, Miami matched the best 12-game start to any postseason in team history — now 10-2. The Heat also started postseasons that way in 2005, 2012 and 2013. … Miami never led, marking the first time that happened in the team’s last 70 games. The only other instance of that this season for the Heat was Nov. 23 against Philadelphia.
ROAD, SWEET ROAD
Games in the bubble still count toward “home” and “road” records. The road-designated team has won the last 12 games in which Boston has played — and in the playoffs, road teams are now 39-31. That ties the NBA record for road wins in any postseason; teams were 39-50 on the road in the 2014 playoffs. The road winning percentage this postseason (.557 right now) would also be an NBA record; the current mark is .519, set in 1966 when road teams went 14-13.
Partly to allow the Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets to catch up, the Heat and Celtics won’t play Game 4 until Wednesday. Game 2 of Lakers-Nuggets is Sunday, followed by Game 3 on Tuesday. From there, both series will have an every-other-day format.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Matthew Wolff, 21, set to make golfing history as he seizes the lead at the US Open – CNN International
Wolff takes lead into final round at U.S. Open – pgatour.com
The final tee time will feature two of the most iconoclastic talents in the game. DeChambeau is trying to win his first major and his second title (Rocket Mortgage Classic) since bulking up to add driving distance.
“The past two majors I’ve played in I’ve been right in contention,” he said, noting his T4 finish at the PGA Championship last month. “It’s definitely validating, albeit there’s a lot more to go. I’ve got to figure out a lot more. I am excited to be in this position for sure. There’s no better place to be.”
Should Wolff hang on, he would be the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923, and the first 21-year-old U.S. Open winner since Jordan Spieth in 2015. Wolff would also be the first player to win the tournament in his debut since Francis Ouimet in 1913.
He would also stamp an exclamation point on an up and down 2020.
Wolff, who edged Morikawa and DeChambeau for his first PGA TOUR victory at the 3M Open just over a year ago, finished 35th in the recently concluded FedExCup. That wasn’t great, but he began playing better over the summer. The 54-hole leader at the Rocket Mortgage, he shot 71 to finish second to DeChambeau (65), and they each tied for fourth at the PGA.
His mistake in Detroit, Wolff said, was looking ahead and getting “antsy” to start the final round, a gaffe he is hoping to avoid Sunday. He said he has played this week while thinking about his agent, who was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer, putting the golf into perspective.
Those behind Wolff and DeChambeau include Louis Oosthuizen (68, 1 under, four back), plus the threesome of Harris English (72), Hideki Matsuyama (70) and Xander Schauffele (70).
“You know, it doesn’t take much around here,” said Rory McIlroy, whose 68 got him to 1 over for the tournament, six back. “Someone gets off to a decent start, maybe 1- or 2-under through 5 and then the leader goes the other way, 1- or 2-over through 5, and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things.”
The weather for Sunday’s final round is expected to be more of the same, which is to say cold in the morning, followed by crisp sunshine in the afternoon. Autumn in New York.
“It feels like I should be tailgating right now,” said Zach Johnson (68, 2 over total).
Much like Morikawa in San Francisco last month, Wolff will play the final round not in front of boisterous New York galleries, or any type of galleries, but amid the quiet of his own thoughts.
That’s not insignificant.
Said McIlroy, “Just makes it a touch easier for the guys at the top.”
Wolff, sometimes described as fearless, admits he will almost certainly be nervous for the final round but doesn’t argue with that adjective. Sunday might be his greatest test yet.
“I go out there and I play my game,” he said. “There’s a lot of holes out there that maybe people would try to hit it in the fairway or maybe take the safe play because it is a U.S. Open and they know that pars are a good score, but I don’t really like to think of it that way.
“I like to go out there and do what I feel comfortable with,” he added, “rip dog and see how it goes from there. I feel comfortable with every part of my game so I don’t like to shy away from things when I’m feeling confident, and I’m probably going to do the same tomorrow.”
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