Ilya Kovalchuk nets OT winner, Canadiens top Senators to snap skid – Sportsnet.ca
OTTAWA — Ilya Kovalchuk’s winner in overtime helped the Montreal Canadiens snap an eight-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Coming into the game neither team had won since Dec. 23.
Montreal (19-20-7) improved to 1-7-1 in its last nine, while the Senators are 0-4-3 through their last seven.
Nick Suzuki scored in regulation for the Canadiens (19-20-7), while Carey Price stopped 41 shots.
The Senators (16-22-7) were coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Red Wings in Detroit the night before. Marcus Hogberg, who got his second start in as many nights, kept Ottawa in the game making 23 saves.
Trailing 1-0, the Senators were finally able to beat Price at 13:32 of the third period on a broken play. Anthony Duclair came into the slot and was unable to get a shot off, before a loose puck was inadvertently redirected into the net by Montreal’s Matthew Peca, who made his return to the lineup after missing the last 14 games. Drake Batherson, who was the last Senator to touch the puck, was credited with the goal.
The Canadiens had a great opportunity to regain the lead minutes later, but Nate Thompson missed a wide-open net.
Both goalies were at their finest in the second making a number of big stops.
Hogberg made a great save on Artturi Lehkonen midway through the period, while Price made a big save on Chris Tierney as he broke in alone with Ottawa shorthanded. The Senators were swarming in the final minute of the period, but could not find a way to beat Price.
Shots were 8-8 in the opening period, but the Canadiens had the better chances and were finally able to beat Hogberg as Suzuki, with his ninth, opened the scoring on the power play midway through the opening period.
Notes: Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki missed his second straight game due to the flu. The Canadiens were without Brendan Gallagher as he was dealing with headaches following Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Edmonton. Prior to Thursday’s loss, Gallagher had missed four straight games due to a concussion. Ben Chiarot missed his second straight game due to a lower body injury.
Novak Djokovic progresses to a record 17th French Open quarterfinal as he beats Juan Pablo Varillas – CNN
On a sun kissed but windy Parisian afternoon Novak Djokovic broke one of Rafael Nadal’s French Open records as he progressed to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
A straightforward 6-3 6-2 6-2 win over Peru’s Juan Pablo Varillas on Sunday ensured Djokovic progressed to the last eight at the French Open for a record 17th time, surpassing the absent Rafael Nadal on 16.
The win also inched the Serb closer to a men’s record 23rd career grand slam. Djokovic is currently level with Nadal, who announced Saturday that he would be out of action for at least five months after undergoing hip surgery, on 22 grand slams.
Varillas is ranked 94th in the world but at Roland Garros became the first Peruvian in 29 years to reach the fourth round of a grand slam.
He was no match for world No.3 Djokovic, however, who will next play Russian Karen Khachanov, the 11th seed.
It has been a controversial week for the Serb who made headlines after sending a political message about Kosovo earlier in the tournament, something which he later said he stood by.
After his first round victory on Monday, Djokovic wrote “Kosovo is the [heart symbol] of Serbia. Stop the violence” on a TV camera lens in response to violent clashes in Kosovo. Tensions have been rising in the past week in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
“Of course, I’m aware that a lot of people would disagree, but it is what it is,” Djokovic said on Wednesday after his second-round victory against Hungary’s Márton Fucsovics. “It’s something that I stand for. So that’s all.”
“A drama-free grand slam, I don’t think it can happen for me,” he added on Wednesday. “You know, I guess that drives me as well.”
Blue Jays' Chris Bassitt announces birth of child to cap 'perfect weekend' – Yahoo Canada Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays had a memorable few days in New York, thanks to a three-game sweep of the Mets, but that’s not the biggest reason starting pitcher Chris Bassitt is all smiles these days.
Bassitt and his wife, Jessica, welcomed their second child over the weekend, with the veteran right-hander reporting that both mother and baby are doing well.
“Perfect weekend complete,” Bassitt wrote on Twitter. “Momma and Colson are doing great.”
Jessica went into labour Friday, while her husband took his normal turn in the Blue Jays’ rotation. Bassitt channelled all of his “dad strength” in that outing against the Mets, firing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts in a 3-0 Toronto win. In a cruel twist from the universe, the start of the game was delayed more than 90 minutes due to inclement weather.
Once his outing was over, Bassitt rushed back to Toronto via private plane to be with Jessica for Colson’s birth. He made it in plenty of time, tweeting Saturday morning that the baby hadn’t arrived yet.
The 34-year-old will now be able to enjoy a few days with his family, as the Blue Jays placed him on the paternity list Saturday. Reliever Jay Jackson took his place on the 26-man roster.
Bassitt’s Blue Jays teammates gave him even more reason to cheer by eking out a 2-1 victory Saturday before getting the brooms out with a 6-4 win in the series finale.
Brandon Belt was the hero Sunday, connecting for a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning after Toronto squandered an early 4-0 advantage. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, while Whit Merrifield delivered a two-run double in the second inning.
Next up, Toronto welcomes the Houston Astros to Rogers Centre for a four-game series that begins Monday. Bassitt is listed as the probable starter for Wednesday’s contest.
Rory McIlroy (T-1) falls back on short game, stays positive with chance at Memorial
DUBLIN, Ohio – Rory McIlroy will set out Sunday afternoon at Jack’s Place looking to secure the second leg of the “Legends Slam” with a swing that’s well short of perfect and no shortage of would-be spoilers lurking.
He couldn’t be happier.
For the third consecutive day at the Memorial, McIlroy leaned on luck and grit to keep pace with the co-leaders – Si Woo Kim and David Lipsky – at 6 under par with 10 other players within two shots of the lead. Betting lines will undoubtedly favor the world No. 3 against the other contenders, but the truth is he has no idea what to expect when he sets out in the week’s final group.
Full-field scores from the Memorial Tournament
“I don’t think I hit a green from the eighth hole through the 14th hole, and I played those holes in even par,” McIlroy shrugged following his third-round 70. “Chip in on 12 [for birdie] and got it up-and-down from some tricky spots. I was really happy with how I scored out there and how I just sort of hung in there for most of the day.”
If McIlroy’s happy-to-be-here take doesn’t match with his world-beater persona, it’s the honest byproduct of a swing that he’s repeatedly said is a work in progress. Saturday’s round on a hard-and-fast course was the most-recent example of his very real struggle.
There was the chip-in for birdie at No. 12 from 25 feet and scrambling pars at Nos. 8, 11, 13 and 14. The major champion, whose career has been written with an overwhelming driver and sublime iron play, has now fully embraced the scrappy life.
“Embracing it,” he smiled. “There was a couple of shots out there when I missed the greens that I was sort of looking forward to hit. I think it’s embracing that challenge and embracing the fact that you’re probably not going to hit more than 12 or 13 greens out there. I think with how my short game’s been this week it’s something I’ve been able to fall back on, which has been great.”
To be fair, Rory is still Rory off the tee. He’s eighth this week in strokes gained: off the tee and second in driving distance, which at Muirfield Village is an accomplishment considering host Jack Nicklaus’ mission is to take driver out of the hands of the game’s top players.
Where the challenge has come is from the fairway and, despite his lofty status among the leaders, Saturday’s effort was his statistically worst of the week with just 7 of 18 greens in regulation and a loss to the field (1.71 shots) in strokes gained: approach the green.
Still, he’s the easy favorite with 18 holes remaining and for good reason. Other than Kim, who has four PGA Tour victories including the 2017 Players Championship, the next six players on the board have a combined four Tour victories.
“It’s a big tournament and I’ve got quite a bit of experience in that and you would like to think that gives you a little bit of an advantage,” McIlroy said. “Everyone’s going to go out there tomorrow and, regardless of where you are in the tournament, this golf course makes you a little uncomfortable anyway. So, everyone’s going to be feeling like that. With the way the leaderboard is and how bunched it is, it’s just going to come down to who can sort of hold their head the most coming down the stretch.”
Considering his own assessment of his swing, keeping a positive outlook doesn’t seem to be a problem for McIlroy this week. It might have something to do with what has admittedly been a rough couple of weeks, which stretch back to his missed cut at the Masters. Or it might just be the opportunity.
When he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2018, it was two years after that tournament’s host and legend had died. For a player who grew up idolizing The King, it was a bittersweet accomplishment and a part of why Sunday at Muirfield Village is likely to mean more than the sum of its parts.
“To be able to walk up that hill from 18 and get that handshake from Jack would be pretty nice,” he said. “I won Arnold’s tournament a few years ago, but he had already passed by that time. So it would be so nice to be able to do it and have Jack be there.”
It’s been an interesting year for McIlroy both on and off the course, which at least partially explains a lightness in his step that had been missing. There was also a message from his sports psychologist, Bob Rotella, last week that appeared to resonate with the 23-time Tour winner: “You are going to win your fare share of golf tournaments. You tee it up to see what your fare share is.”
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