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Nylander, Marner each net two as Leafs double up Rangers – TSN

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Nylander, Marner each net two as Leafs double up Rangers – TSN


NEW YORK — The Toronto Maple Leafs are beginning to show that they can be an elite team in the Eastern Conference.

William Nylander and Mitchell Marner each scored their second goal of the game early in the third period to help the Maple Leafs beat the New York Rangers 6-3 on Friday night.

Pierre Engvall and Ilya Mikheyev also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 19 saves as Toronto won its third straight.

“There were a lot of really good signs for our team in terms of how we retain the puck, which I thought was a real key to this game in particular,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said after Toronto improved to 9-4-0 with him behind the bench. “When their team has the puck, they are a tough team to deal with. I thought we handled that well.”

Brady Skjei, Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich scored for New York. Alexandar Georgiev made 34 saves as the Rangers’ losing streak reached three games.

Nylander scored a third-period, go-ahead goal when he sent a wrist shot past Georgiev at 2:10 of the final period, giving Toronto a 4-3 lead.

“They are a good team, we didn’t do what we talked about in the third,” Rangers alternate captain Jesper Fast said. “We want to play better at home, it’s disappointing.”

Less than a minute later, Strome had a dreadful turnover that Marner capitalized on. The 22-year-old forward pushed the Leafs’ lead to two with his eighth goal of the season at 2:57.

Buchnevich snapped a nine-game goal drought when his wrist shot went through the legs of Andersen at 5:27 of the second period, tying the game at 3-all. Tony DeAngelo picked up his 17th assist of the season on the play. He leads Rangers defencemen in points with 24.

Marner gave Toronto a 3-2 lead at 2:50 of the second period when he scored a power-play goal on a two-man advantage. Skjei attempted to break up a pass intended for John Tavares, but redirected the puck past Georgiev.

“We want to score on our opportunities,” Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said. “We want to continue to put the pressure on, play our type of game, keep the puck, create the chances when we can get them and capitalize when we get our opportunities. Obviously, we want to create as many as we can.”

New York recovered from a sluggish start with two goals in the second half of the first period to knot the score at 2-2.

Skjei inadvertently notched his fifth of the season when a failed deke from the top of the crease trickled past Andersen. Mika Zibanejad recorded his 100th assist as a member of the Rangers on the play and Chris Kreider received credit for the other assist.

Strome evened the score with an easy tap-in 3:47 after the Skjei goal. Artemi Panarin picked up the primary assist as he extended his individual point streak to six games. He has found his way onto the score sheet in 23 of the previous 27 games. Buchnevich also assisted the Strome goal.

The Maple Leafs jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first 12 minutes of the opening period.

Justin Holl completed a give-and-go with Mikheyev at the top of the left circle to set up the scoring opportunity. Then, Holl slid a pass through Jacob Trouba and found Engvall alone in the slot. It was Engvall’s second goal since making his NHL debut on Nov. 19 against Vegas.

Toronto doubled its first-period advantage when Nylander recorded his 12th of the season at 11:52. Trouba was caught watching the puck as Nylander cleaned up a rebound in front uncontested. Kasperi Kapanen assisted on the play.

Mikheyev scored his seventh of the season at 16:23 of the third period when Georgiev couldn’t snag the puck with his glove.

NOTES: The Rangers have scored three or more goals in 16 of the last 22 games. … The Rangers are the only NHL team that has had eight players 21 years old or younger appear in at least one game in 2019-20. … Brett Howden skated in his 100th NHL game Friday. … New York scratched defenceman Libor Hajek and forward Micheal Haley. … Toronto scratched forward Adam Brooks and defenceman Martin Marincin.

UP NEXT:

Maple Leafs: Host Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Rangers: Host Anaheim Ducks on Sunday afternoon.

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

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Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

Andy Murray‘s grasscourt return was cut short in brutal fashion at Queen’s Club as Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini dished out a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the former world number one on Thursday.

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.

Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.

Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.

Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.

He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.

Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.

“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.

“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.

(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

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Be Like the King of the North Division and Develop Skills

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North Division

It’s been a year unlike no other for Canadian hockey teams, with COVID-19 travel restrictions forcing the creation of a new NHL division made up entirely of Canadian teams. The previous generation of NHL hockey was known as the “Dead Puck Era” because referees tolerated slowing down the game with clutching and grabbing.

The leading scorers today score in jaw-dropping fashion and routinely pull off stickhandling dangles that were unimaginable until only recently. The Canadian team that will win the North Division will be the one with the most skill.

Here are the training aids that will help you develop your skills all year long.

Passers

Innovators like HockeyShot Canada make “passers” so that players can develop pinpoint accuracy and the soft hands necessary to cradle and control a pass when it lands on your stick. The high-quality rubber bands return the puck with the same force which passed it, so you can give yourself one-timers or work on accuracy.

Whether you’re on a two-on-one, sending a breakout pass from the defensive zone, or holding down the blue line on the power play, every positional player needs to pass accurately.

Shooting

A player is lucky to get a few shots on net each game, and they can’t let them go to waste. Until recently, players needed to rent ice in the off-season to practice their shots in realistic game-like conditions.

Now, players can use shooting pads at their home that let pucks glide as they do on real ice. Shooting is perhaps the one skill that requires the most repetition because one inch can be the difference between going bar-down and clanking one wide off the post.

Practice your quick release and accuracy and develop an arsenal of shots, including wrist shots, slapshots, one-timers, and more. The more tools in your tool kit, the deadlier a sniper you’ll be.

Stick Handling

Having the puck on your stick is a responsibility, and you don’t want to cough it up to the other team and waste a scoring chance or lose possession. The ability to stickhandle helps you bide time until a teammate is open, so you can pass them the puck and continue attacking.

If you’re on a breakaway, you may want to deke the goalie rather than shoot if your hands are silky enough. Develop stickhandling skills, and you’ll keep goalies and opponents guessing – being unpredictable helps make a sniper’s job easier.

Of course, you also need to handle the puck in your own zone without causing a turnover. Stickhandling is a crucial skill in all areas of the ice.

When the coach sends you over the board, you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way. Maybe you’ll get the puck in the slot or somewhere else, but when it’s playoffs, you always need to be ready. The Kings of the North Division have all of the above skills and more, and you can too if you practice all year.

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Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards

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Australia swim trials calendar shift to reap Tokyo rewards

Australia broke with tradition to hold its swimming trials just six weeks before the start of the 2020 Olympics and former world champion Giaan Rooney said the move could reap rich rewards in Tokyo after disappointments at London and Rio.

Australia has typically held its trials up to six months before an Olympics but that gap has been drastically cut this year with swimmers vying for Tokyo spots this week in Adelaide.

Rooney, who won individual world titles at Fukuoka and Montreal and a relay gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, said Australia is gearing up for a much improved Games after its swimmers flopped at Rio and London.

“I think we needed to make it work,” she told Reuters. “The shift started about a year ago to bring the trials into line with the rest of the world and qualify five or six weeks before.

“In sport and swimming, six months is a long time,” Rooney added. “From a coaching perspective, it’s much better to know you have chosen the team in form.”

After winning five gold medals at Sydney 2000 and seven in Athens, the Australian team was rocked by accusations of disruptive behaviour by some of its top sprinters at the 2012 Olympics.

Australia won just one gold medal in the London pool and three in Rio five years ago.

Australia knew something had to be done if it was to close the gap on the powerful Americans and moving the trials is part of the strategy.

“I think it’s to make your swimmers more resilient to change,” Rooney said.

“In the USA they get to race every week regardless of illness or breakups and under all circumstances. Nothing rattles them.

“Australia doesn’t have that racing continuity. This is about making sure you are prepared for anything. I think our swimmers are more resilient than they have been in the past decade, COVID is part of this.”

Rooney said there might even be an “upside” for Australia with the Olympics postponed by a year due to the global health crisis, with the emergence of swimmers like teenager Kaylee McKeown, who broke the women’s 100m backstroke world record on Sunday.

“We are now talking about athletes who are not only going to make the Olympics but are medal chances,” Rooney said.

“We wouldn’t have been talking about her this time last year. She might not have been ready for a position on the team. She is now a legitimate gold medal chance in Tokyo once she gets there.”

For all her confidence about Australia’s performance in Tokyo, Rooney was wary of making predictions about a gold rush for her compatriots.

“I think this will be a more successful Olympics for us than Rio in the pool but individual goal medals will still be difficult to come by,” said the 38-year-old.

“The biggest challenge is to make the jump from minor medals to gold.”

 

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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