Rasmus Sandin eases some concern of Maple Leafs’ blue line in NHL return – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO — When Rasmus Sandin was sent back to the American Hockey League in mid-October, he wasn’t sure if he’d see another shift with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season.
The 19-year-old defenceman made his presence felt in his return to the NHL, earning two primary assists during Tuesday’s 7-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
For one night, at least, that helped ease some concerns around Toronto’s battered blue line.
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Sandin stepped right into Morgan Rielly’s spot on the second power-play unit and fired a shot through traffic that Zach Hyman tipped home just before the first intermission. That followed a play where he danced across the blue line and set up a John Tavares tip-in.
Call it a nice capper to a whirlwind stretch that saw the Swede take top defenceman honours at the recent world junior tournament before returning to Toronto for a day and setting off on a road trip to Texas with the AHL Marlies. That’s where he got the call back to the Leafs on Sunday night after Rielly fractured the inside of his foot blocking a shot.
“I was hoping for it,” he said of his second stint with the Leafs. “What I can control is just how I play, so I just wanted to play as good as I could down there [in the AHL] and also at the world juniors, and see where that lead me.”
The Leafs had a strong bounce-back effort following an 8-4 drubbing by the Panthers on Sunday night.
Auston Matthews scored a hat trick — bringing his goal total to 34, second only to David Pastrnak’s 36 league-wide — while Tavares finished with a goal and two assists. William Nylander hit the 20-goal mark for the third time in his career and Frederik Gauthier had the other for Toronto.
Blake Coleman, with three goals of his own, and P.K. Subban replied for the Devils.
Blue Jays beat Twins on Berrios' pitching, Kirk's hitting, Varsho's fielding – TSN
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — José Berríos made another solid start. Alejandro Kirk delivered a timely hit. Daulton Varsho did a little bit of everything.
The Toronto Blue Jays took another step toward a turnaround at the end of a rough month, posting their first series win in four ties in well-rounded fashion.
Berríos pitched around a season-high five walks and into the sixth inning for Toronto to beat his old team, and the Blue Jays blanked the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Sunday.
“Hopefully, this kind of springboards us forward,” manager John Schneider said after the Blue Jays played their 17th game in 17 days.
Kirk hit a two-run single in the second inning that held up for Berríos (5-4), who has allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his last nine turns after a rough start.
Daulton Varsho scored all the way from first base on Kirk’s hit. Handling center field for Kevin Kiermaier — the day after he twice had a leaping catch attempt turn into a Twins home run when those balls bounced off his glove and into the grass berm — Varsho was superb. He assisted on the third out of the fourth inning when he fielded a single and threw out Alex Kirilloff at third.
Then in the eighth, Varsho jumped above the center-field wall to take a homer away from Carlos Correa.
“For as magnified as he was yesterday, I’m thrilled that he gets to be celebrated today,” Schneider said.
Jordan Romano recorded his 12th save with a scoreless ninth, allowing a two-out single to rookie Matt Wallner. He was 2 for 2 with two walks and has reached base in eight straight plate appearances.
The Blue Jays (28-26), who are in last place in the AL East, are just 10-17 in their last 27 games.
“You’re going to go through a rough stretch at some point during the year, and for us it’s like right now,” Varsho said. “Hopefully we can get hot here and finish off the year strong.”
With Alek Manoah struggling at the top of the rotation, the Blue Jays need several more starts like this from Berríos, who was traded by the Twins at the deadline two years ago. The right-hander, who is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in his last five starts, helped lead a players-only meeting on Thursday after the Blue Jays lost three out of four to division leader Tampa Bay.
“It’s just on us to stay back, get relaxed and try to be ourselves,” Berríos said.
Bailey Ober (3-2) finished five innings for Minnesota for the fourth time in five May starts, with seven strikeouts in a bad-luck loss.
The Twins (27-26) had their lead in the AL Central cut to one game over Detroit (25-26). They’ve led the division for 58 of 60 days this season.
“Every time the opportunities were in front of us, every time there was something we could have done, it felt like we went in the wrong direction,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Twins rookie Edouard Julien, a native of Quebec City, Canada, whose favorite boyhood team was the Blue Jays, had a rough afternoon. He made a diving stop of Varsho’s two-out single in the second, but he dropped the ball before he could make the throw to first. The play was ruled a hit.
In the bottom of the inning, the Twins had the bases loaded with none out — for a few seconds. Julien rounded second base too far, ignoring the runner in front of him, and was thrown out by the catcher Kirk.
“Those are mental cramps right there,” Baldelli said.
Blue Jays: Kiermaier was on the bench after being removed from the game on Saturday with discomfort in his right lower back. “All things are trending in the right direction,” Schneider said.
Twins: RHP Emilio Pagán was pulled with a strained left hip flexor after seven pitches in the seventh.
Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (5-2, 4.56 ERA) starts on Tuesday night against Milwaukee after a return home and a day off. RHP Adrian Houser (1-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound for the Brewers.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.82 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series at Houston on Monday afternoon. RHP J.P France (1-1, 3.43 ERA) starts for the Astros.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Pressure mounts on both sides as Stars and Golden Knights prepare for Game 6 – Sportsnet.ca
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) stands with his team during open net at the end of the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals against the Dallas Stars, Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Ronda Churchill/AP)
IIHF Hockey: Canada downs Germany 5-2 – CTV News
TAMPERE, Finland –
Samuel Blais scored two goals to rally Canada to a 5-2 victory over Germany in the final of the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.
It’s a record 28th world title for Canada, and its second in three years. Russia has 27 while Germany has never won the trophy.
Blais netted with a backhand 4:51 into the final period for a 3-2 lead for Canada, which was playing in its fourth straight final.
Lawson Crouse, Tylor Toffoli and Scott Laughton also scored for Canada, Peyton Krebs had two assists and goaltender Samuel Montembeault stopped 21 shots.
Toffoli stretched the lead to 4-2 from the left circle with 8:09 remaining and Laughton made it 5-2 with an empty net goal.
Canada had to come back twice in the final.
John Peterka wristed a shot past Montembeault from the left circle 7:44 into the game. It was the sixth goal for the Buffalo Sabres forward at the tournament.
Blais was fed by Krebs to beat goaltender Mathias Niederberger and tie it 1-1 at 10:47.
Daniel Fischbuch put the Germans ahead again with a one-timer with 6:13 to go in the middle period.
Crouse equalized on a power play with 2:32 remaining in the frame.
It was the first medal for Germany since 1953 when it was second behind Sweden.
The two previously met just once in the final with Canada winning 6-1 in 1930.
LATVIA GETS BRONZE
Defenseman Kristian Rubins scored his second goal 1:22 into overtime to lead Latvia to a 4-3 victory over the United States and earn a bronze medal earlier Sunday.
It’s the first top-three finish for Latvia at the tournament. Its previous best was a seventh place it managed three times.
The U.S. lost in the bronze medal game for the second straight year. The U.S. team was cruising through the tournament with eight straight wins until it was defeated by Germany in the semifinal 4-3 in overtime.
Rubins rallied Latvia with his first with 5:39 to go in the final period to tie the game at 3 to force overtime.
Roberts Bukarts and Janis Jaks also scored for Latvia.
Rocco Grimaldi scored twice for the U.S. in the opening period to negate Latvia’s 1-0 and 2-1 leads.
Matt Coronato had put the U.S. 3-2 ahead 6:19 into the final period.
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