(SportsNetwork. .com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins hope to avoid their first three- game slide of the season. The clubs recent success against the Washington Capitals could work in its favor. After suffering consecutive losses prior to the Christmas break, the Penguins are hoping to bounce back Saturday at home when they aim for a ninth consecutive victory against the Capitals. Pittsburghs two recent setbacks both came in the Sunshine State. The Pens dropped the back end of a home-and-home against Florida on Monday, losing 4-3 in a shootout before falling in regulation by the same score the next night in Tampa. The Pens havent lost three in a row since an 0-3 stretch from March 23-27 of last season. Mike Johnstons club made a valiant effort to earn a point from Tuesdays contest, but came up short in the end. Tyler Johnson completed a hat trick at the 2:37 mark of the second period to give the Lightning a 4-0 lead, but Tampa would have to hold on for the win as Pittsburgh scored once in the second and twice more in the third. The Penguins third goal made it a 4-3 game with 1:31 left in regulation, but Pittsburgh was unable to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy for the equalizer. Patric Hornqvist, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins. We just made some big mistakes, said Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Sometimes you make mistakes in games and you get away with them and it felt like every one we made (tonight) ended up in the net. Jeff Zatkoff took the loss in relief, having allowed the game-deciding goal on 17 shots. Marc-Andre Fleury got the start but was yanked after yielding three goals on 10 shots in nearly 21 minutes of action. Fleury is expected to start again tonight. He owns a career mark of 16-7-2 and a 2.41 goals against average in 26 games against the Caps. Pittsburgh continues to be short-handed due to injury and illness. Forwards Beau Bennett, Blake Comeau, Pascal Dupuis and Zach Sill, and defensemen Robert Bortuzzo, Christian Ehrhoff, Paul Martin and Olli Maatta are all out with injury. Also, the Penguins sent forwards Brandon Sutter and Steve Downie along with backup goaltender Thomas Greiss back to Pittsburgh to be tested for the mumps. Washington lost its final test before the Christmas break, dropping a 4-2 decision to the New York Rangers at the start of a three-game road trip. The Capitals are 10-6-2 as the visiting team this season, but have lost in their last five trips to the Steel City, where Washington hasnt tasted victory since Oct. 13, 2011. The Caps last win of any kind against the Penguins was a 1-0 home win on Jan. 11, 2012. Washington had a three-game winning streak halted on Tuesday after allowing New Yorks Rick Nash to post a hat trick. The Capitals, however, would make a game of it late before falling in regulation. Nashs second goal of the game made put New York ahead 3-0 at 5:12 of the third period, but Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied 41 seconds later for Washington. Alex Ovechkins power-play goal cut the deficit to 3-2 with 9:02 left in the third. The score would stay that way until Nash completed the hat trick with a power-play tally of his own with 3:48 remaining. Braden Holtby turned aside 23 shots in the loss, the Capitals first loss in regulation since Dec. 2 against Vancouver. Washington entered Tuesdays matchup with a 7-0-2 mark in its previous nine games. Holtby is expected to start tonight for the Caps despite posting an 0-4-0 record and 4.38 GAA in four career outings against the Pens. Washington will complete its road trip Monday against the New York Islanders. The Pens, who play five of their next six at home, are 13-4-1 at Consol Energy Center this season. .Murray has played 20 matches in five weeks, winning three titles to climb to fifth in the ATP Race.The two-time Grand Slam champion also seeks to qualify for next months ATP World Tour Finals.Murray said: I always wanted to qualify for it, but also I want to get back into the top 8 players in the world and it makes a huge difference for seedings in the major events. .com) - Thursday marks the official debut of a new dirt racing surface at Meydan Racecourse.NEW YORK -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he has "no expectation" that players will opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, potentially leading to another lockout. The 10-year deal the league and players agreed to that ended the 2011 lockout gave either side the right to opt out after six years. With the league projecting financial growth, there has been speculation that players will take that option in three years, especially since a new national TV contract will be in place by then. But Silver told a gathering of Associated Press Sports Editors that it was too soon to consider that. "Well always be prepared, but I have no expectation that theyre going to opt out. I mean, we havent had any discussions whatsoever about that possibility," Silver said. "I think its premature, frankly, for either side to be making determinations about how well this deal has or hasnt worked, and I think especially given that their leader hasnt even been installed yet, which is something that they of course are freely acknowledging. So I dont really buy into sort of that speculation that theyre already planning to opt out or that were thinking about it." The 2011 deal cut the players guarantee of basketball revenues from 57 per cent to 50, saving owners hundreds of millions in salary costs. They have seen the benefiit, with sales of franchises soaring, though Silver said there are still eight teams that arent profitable. . . The league sought a 10-year deal, much longer than players wanted, so the compromise was reached to allow either side to terminate it early. "Our leagues recently reported economic successes come as no surprise to the players," NBPA acting executive director Ron Klempner said in an email. "That being said, we negotiated for the right to opt out of the CBA, and just as the owners will do, the players will consider our options at the appropriate time. Its way too early to commit to any decision one way or the other." The players are still seeking a replacement for former executive director Billy Hunter, who was ousted last February. They said recently they expect to hire one by the start of next season. Meanwhile, owners met in New York last week and got an update on the CBA through what could be its midway point. "We presented sort of the facts as we know them so far under this agreement," Silver said. "Is it working in ways we predicted, here are things that we would not have predicted under the agreement, heres the amount of free agency movement were seeing, heres how its working economically for the league. And I would assume the union at some point will do
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16 août 2019
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