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Kallgren earns second NHL start, finds his way with Maple Leafs – NHL.com

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TORONTO — Erik Kallgren did not know how to enter Scotiabank Arena when he was called up to the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 10. 

Once the 25-year-old goalie was in, he had no trouble getting around the crease.

Kallgren will make his second straight start for the Maple Leafs, against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNO, BSSO, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), after making 35 saves in a 4-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. He is the fourth Maple Leafs goalie and 38th in NHL history to earn a shutout in his first start. 

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Getting into the home arena last week required some assistance. The Maple Leafs announced March 10 that goalie Jack Campbell was expected to be out at least two weeks with a rib injury, prompting Kallgen’s recall from Toronto of the American Hockey League. 

Luckily, Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin, who skated with Kallgren in Sweden last offseason, knew where to go.

“He texted me for the day’s schedule and asked me how to get into the rink, so that was the first text I got,” Sandin said. “That was kind of how I figured out he was called up. I’m super happy for him.”

Video: DAL@TOR: Kallgren earns shutout in first career start

The shutout came at a good time for the Maple Leafs. They allowed at least four goals in six consecutive games and at least three in eight straight. Coach Sheldon Keefe said Wednesday there wasn’t much of a question that Kallgren would start against the Hurricanes.

“Not a lot of thought goes into it; it’s as simple as that,” Keefe said. “He obviously earned it last night. The way the guys played in front of him, it was an easy decision.

“He was great, just continued where he left off. He wasn’t trying to do too much in the net. He was solid, pucks came to him, and for the most part they stuck to him.”

Kallgren made his NHL debut March 10 against the Arizona Coyotes in relief of Petr Mrazek, who allowed four goals on 12 shots and left with the Maple Leafs trailing 4-1. Kallgren entered 11:57 into the second period and made 10 saves, helping Toronto tie the game before losing 5-4 in overtime. 

The Stockholm native, who grew up idolizing Sweden-born goalie Henrik Lundqvist, was 15-8-1 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in the AHL.

“There was a lot of emotions, a lot of things to kind of digest,” Kallgren said. “But I had a good meal and tried to go to bed as soon as I could. I got to bed about 12:30 a.m., something like that. I was a little more amped up than usual, to be honest.

“A lot of people reached out. I talked to my family and a lot of friends reached out. So I’ve got a lot of texts to respond to today. … I don’t know how many, it’s a lot. I haven’t counted. It was a lot of people who kind of helped get me where I am today.”

Mrazek, who allowed four goals on 37 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic on March 13, said his confidence is still strong despite his recent struggles.

“I think it’s where it was before,” Mrazek said. “I don’t change many things if the game was good or bad. I trust in the process.

“Just being positive and move on. Do the right things on the ice and look forward. I don’t change anything, just keep working hard in practice, feel good about yourself in net, feel the puck and build your confidence.”

Keefe said he feels Mrazek has handled the layoff well.

“He’s a confident guy and he’s been through this kind of stuff through his career,” Keefe said. “… My talk with him has really just been to use this time to your benefit. Erik certainly has earned another start … clear your head, do your work, and be ready when your next start comes.

“Let’s the paint dry on this one a little bit. No matter who is in goal for us, we have the ability and the responsibility to do the job in front of him. I don’t know what the scoring chances or the expected goals look like tonight (numberswise), but that’s as good as it has been in a real long time for us defensively.”

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Novak Djokovic shares message to Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina – Tennis World USA

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Novak Djokovic congratulated Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina on “an amazing tournament.” On Saturday, 23-year-old Rybakina fell just short of landing her second Grand Slam title. In the Australian Open final, Rybakina was up by a set before 24-year-old Aryna Sabalenka stormed back to win 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Six months ago, Djokovic and Rybakina lifted titles at Wimbledon. “@lenarybakina, amazing tournament,” Djokovic captioned his Instagram Story.

Djokovic congratulates Rybakina

Rybakina has now made Grand Slam finals in two of the last three Major tournaments.

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After winning Wimbledon and finishing as runner-up at the Australian Open, Rybakina admits her confidence levels have increased and she now believes even more that she can win Grand Slams. “For sure, that’s the goal, to be in the second week of all the Grand Slam, to play finals.

I mean, now I have more confidence of course even after this final. I just need to work hard, same as I did during pre-season and actually throughout the years, be healthy, and for sure the results are going to come. I would say I’m trying to not think about expectations and everything.

Still after a great pre-season like this I was thinking I should show it on the court. Then, of course, the results are going to be there. First few weeks was not that great…but I think in the end it’s just confidence to go forward, to keep on working.

I feel now good physically also. I know if I’m going to keep on working, the results are going to be (good),” Rybakina said after the match, per Tennis Majors. Rybakina has proved over the last six months that she has what it takes to be a legitimate Grand Slam contender.

En route to reaching the Australian Open final, Rybakina defeated world No 1 Iga Swiatek. It will be interesting to see how will Rybakina do after a strong Australian Open run.

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Maple Leafs’ Murray dealing with ankle injury, Samsonov to start vs. Capitals – Sportsnet.ca

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Bo Horvat puts up four assists as Canucks top Blue Jackets – Sportsnet.ca

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