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Pastrnak inches closer to 50 goals for Bruins in win against Senators



BOSTON — Imagine the Boston Bruins without David Pastrnak.

The horror.

Since 2014-15, Pastrnak has been a key cog in the Bruins machine, an ever-evolving and ever-maturing goal-scorer, a star who has come into his own athletically and sartorially, growing up in front of the Boston faithful. And, with 26 games remaining in what has been a historic season for the Bruins, Pastrnak has yet more in his grasp.

Like, say, 50 goals.

Pastrnak scored Nos. 40 and 41 in a 3-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden on Monday, the Bruins’ fourth straight win and 43rd in 56 games this season. The goals put him within reach of 50, a marker he has yet to reach in his nine seasons in the NHL, with an NHL career high of 48 coming in 2019-20.

“You always want to get better every year,” Pastrnak said. “I obviously haven’t scored 50 yet. It would obviously be nice. To me, at the same time, I’m here to score goals. It’s nice that it’s going in and I have unbelievable linemates that are looking for me. It’s a big reason why I’m doing so well.”

But hanging over the Bruins is the idea that this could be Pastrnak’s final season in Boston. He is unsigned for next season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career with the six-year, $40 million contract he signed ($6.67 million average annual value) on Sept. 14, 2017, about to expire.

Pastrnak said at the 2023 Discover NHL All-Star Game that he feels fine about the situation and is unconcerned that he remains unsigned, adding that his agent, J.P. Barry, and Sweeney are in discussions every day about the contract.

Pastrnak is a near-perfect player for the market, a goal-scorer with flair and personality, ready to possibly someday inherit the mantle of face of the franchise from captain Patrice Bergeron. He has scored 281 goals in his Bruins career, along with 300 assists, in 566 games — and he’s just 26 years old.

“I think it’s the way that he can do everything,” goalie Linus Ullmark said. “He’s not just a [one-dimensional] kind of guy. He’s got the dangles, he’s got the moves. He’s very poised, very calm when he has the opportunity. You see the first goal he had today — a lot of time and then he just picks his corner to rip it.”

His first goal came at 17:06 of the second period, with the score 1-1. David Krejci won the face-off back to Pastrnak, who sent it cross-ice to defenseman Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy faked a shot, whirled in a circle, and dished it to Pastrnak on the left face-off dot for the goal. The second came on a pass from McAvoy while on his knees in the defensive zone, springing Pastrnak for the breakaway at 12:10 of the third period.

“Unbelievable plays on both goals of mine,” Pastrnak said.

But as much notice as was taken of those two goals, perhaps that much was given to the fact that he didn’t attempt to score a third. On a day of celebration for the 1,000th NHL game for Krejci, his fellow Czech Republic native and close friend, Pastrnak passed up a chance at an empty-net goal to give Krejci a shot at scoring.

“For sure, that was my only goal,” Pastrnak said, of creating an opportunity for Krejci, who hit the milestone on Jan. 16. “I was looking for him all game.”

Had Pastrnak scored, he not only would have netted a hat trick, but would have tied Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid for the NHL lead. To him, that wasn’t the important thing.

“It speaks volumes about their friendship and also about the unselfishness on our team,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “It’s been like that all year where someone’s always trying to help someone else out, not worrying about themselves.”

Pastrnak is making a bid for his second Maurice Richard Trophy in the past four seasons, the award given to the top goal-scorer in the NHL. He tied for the lead with those 48 goals in the COVID-19-shortened 2019-20 season with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin. After Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews won it the past two seasons, it’s a race between McDavid, with 42, and Pastrnak with 41. Trailing them are Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson and Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, each with 36 goals.

McDavid has one goal in his past seven games. Until Monday, Pastrnak was also in a dip, with one goal in his past six games. Monday, though, he was on.

“He was hanging onto pucks a lot,” Montgomery said. “His speed was very noticeable. When he’s really on, like he was tonight, it jumps out at you. When he has his B game, it still jumps out at you. That’s how good he is. He was just ultra-creative. I thought he and Charlie McAvoy were special tonight.”

It’s exactly the kind of special that the Bruins — and their fans — are hoping stays in Boston long beyond this season.


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LeBron Saves Team USA in Thrilling Exhibition Against South Sudan at O2 Arena



LONDON — In what could have been one of the most monumental upsets in international basketball history, Team USA narrowly escaped with a 101-100 victory over a spirited South Sudan team at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night. This exhibition match, serving as a tune-up for the 2024 Olympics, showcased the rapid rise of South Sudanese basketball and the indomitable spirit of the American team led by LeBron James.

The atmosphere at the O2 Arena was electric, with fans witnessing a game that turned out to be far more competitive than expected. South Sudan, a team composed largely of refugees and players from the diaspora, pushed the heavily favored Americans to their limits.

First Half Highlights:

  • South Sudan came out firing on all cylinders, building a surprising 16-point lead in the second quarter.
  • Team USA struggled with their three-point shooting, missing 12 of their first 13 attempts from beyond the arc.

Despite the odds, South Sudan’s players, many of whom have overcome significant personal and professional challenges, played with remarkable cohesion and determination. Their performance was a testament to the rapid progress the team has made under the guidance of former NBA star Luol Deng.

With the game hanging in the balance, LeBron James demonstrated why he remains one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Benched at the start of the third quarter, James returned to the floor with a determination that was palpable.

Key Moments:

  • Third Quarter: Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess helped shrink the deficit. LeBron’s return brought stability and focus back to Team USA.
  • Final Minute: With just 20 seconds left, JT Thor of South Sudan scored over LeBron, giving his team a one-point lead.
  • Game-Winning Shot: LeBron drove to the basket, scoring the decisive layup with eight seconds remaining.

South Sudan’s journey to this point has been nothing short of inspirational. The country gained independence from Sudan in 2011, and the basketball program, still in its infancy, has quickly become a source of national pride.

Notable Contributions:

  • Carlik Jones: Delivered a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • Wenyen Gabriel: LeBron’s former teammate with the Lakers, contributed 11 points.
  • Marial Shayok: Led South Sudan with 24 points.

The team’s formation and rise have been spearheaded by Luol Deng, who played a pivotal role in recruiting and funding the program. His efforts have culminated in South Sudan qualifying for the Olympics, marking a historic achievement for the young nation.

Stephen Curry: “Wild game. They played really intense. It was nice to see how we responded. LeBron with a great finish down the stretch.”

Steve Kerr: “The whole team was embarrassed at halftime. We were challenged today, and it was good for us to feel that now. This was a reminder that we need to bring our best every game.”

Luol Deng: Expressed immense pride in his team’s performance, emphasizing the significance of their journey and the obstacles they have overcome.

This exhibition game was more than just a pre-Olympic warm-up. It highlighted the potential for underdog stories in sports and underscored the global reach and impact of basketball. Team USA, despite the narrow escape, was reminded of the importance of every game and the challenges that lie ahead.

South Sudan, on the other hand, has cemented its place on the international stage, showcasing that with determination and the right support, even the newest teams can compete with the best in the world.

As both teams prepare for the Olympics, this game at the O2 Arena will be remembered not only for its thrilling finish but also for the remarkable stories of resilience and ambition that played out on the court.

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UFC Vegas 94: Amanda Lemos vs. Virna Jandiroba – Main Event Recap



In a thrilling main event at UFC Vegas 94, strawweights Amanda Lemos and Virna Jandiroba faced off on Saturday night. After an evenly matched first round, Jandiroba secured a dramatic submission victory in the second round, just moments before the bell.

Fight Summary:

  • First Round: The opening round was highly competitive, with both fighters showcasing their skills and maintaining a close contest.
  • Second Round: In the final seconds of the second round, Jandiroba managed to secure a submission, forcing Lemos to tap out. The win marks an impressive fourth consecutive victory for Jandiroba.

Post-Fight Remarks:

  • In her post-fight interview inside the Octagon, Jandiroba confidently called out UFC President Dana White, declaring, “Dana, I’m the next one. Dana, I’m your next champion.”

Future Implications:

  • With this victory, Jandiroba has positioned herself as a strong contender for the strawweight title. Tatiana Suarez, who was the rightful next contender for Weili Zhang, has been sidelined due to an injury. Jandiroba’s current four-fight win streak and her dominant performance at UFC Vegas 94 make a compelling case for her title shot.

Stay tuned for more updates as the UFC strawweight division continues to evolve, and see if Virna Jandiroba will indeed become the next challenger for the championship belt.

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Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry: Fight Night Updates



Jake Paul is back in the ring, and he’s promising fireworks as he takes on former UFC star Mike Perry at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The fight will be broadcast live on DAZN. Originally, Paul was set to fight Mike Tyson, but Perry stepped in after Tyson suffered an injury.

Fight Details:

Jake Paul (9-1, 6 KOs)

  • Paul is coming off a first-round TKO of Ryan Bourland in March.
  • He has promised that Perry won’t survive the second round.
  • Paul is more experienced in boxing but still relatively new to the sport.

Mike Perry (0-1)

  • Perry, known as “Platinum,” brings over a decade of fighting experience, mainly in MMA and bare-knuckle fighting.
  • He believes Paul is still green in the fight business and intends to use his experience to pull off an upset.

Main Event:
Jake Paul vs. Mike Perry

Live Updates: Follow DAZN for all the live updates, results, and highlights from the Paul vs. Perry pay-per-view main card.

Main Card Results:

Amanda Serrano def. Stevie Morgan via TKO

  • Round 2, 0:38
    • Watch the finish

Lucas Bahdi def. H20 Sylve via knockout

  • Round 6, 2:27
    • Watch the finish

Corey Marksman def. Tony Aguilar via majority decision

  • Scores: 76-76, 77-75, 78-74

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision

  • Scores: 59-55, 59-55, 58-56
    • Recap

Stay tuned for the main event updates and see if Jake Paul can deliver on his promise of another highlight reel knockout or if Mike Perry will teach him a lesson and pull off a major upset.

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