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Forum Index > first goal of the postseason. Hes still getting chances -- his 3.14 sh

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 The Rangers earn an overtime win and Patrick Kane comes alive in the third period to give Chicago a victory in Game One. Scott Cullen has notes on Brassard, Pouliot, Crosby, Kane, Bickell, Hossa and more. RANGERS TAKE OT WIN Derick Brassard scored at 3:06 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One. The Rangers third line made the most of their opportunities for the night, as Benoit Pouliot scored the Rangers first goal as well as assisting on the game-winner. Brassard and Pouliot also had the Rangers best possession stats for the game, on the ice for 60% of the shot attempts at 5-on-5. The most notable story for the Penguins is that Sidney Crosby was held off the scoresheet, but also was on for all three Rangers goals. Its been a rough start to the postseason for Crosby. Even though he has six assists in seven games and his puck possession numbers are strong, Crosby is minus-5 and still seeking his first goal of the postseason. Hes still getting chances -- his 3.14 shots on goal per game is barely below his regular-season average of 3.24 per game -- but until he gets that first goal, hes going to be under more scrutiny than usual. Penguins wingers Jussi Jokinen and James Neal were on the ice for more than 70% of 5-on-5 shot attempts and Neal scored Pittsburghs second goal, but the ice was tilted favourably in their direction -- they started more than 75% of their shifts in the offensive zone. Rangers D Dan Girardi chipped in a couple of assists. Only once in 81 games during the regular season did Girardi record two assists in a game. The bad news for the Penguins is that they won the puck possession battle, which doesnt fit the profile of these teams entering the postseason, but that still wasnt enough to get away with the win. Getting beat by the Rangers third line is all the more troubling because the Penguins depth and goaltending are areas in which they would expect to have a deficit when compared to the Rangers and thats exactly how Game One played out. KANE PUTS ON A SHOW Blackhawks wingers Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell each scored a pair of goals and Chicago knocked off the Minnesota Wild, 5-2, in Game One. Kane broke a 2-2 tie with 11:38 remaining in the third period, on a highlight-reel goal, then added another with 3:13 remaining to settle the matter before Bickell added an empty-netter. Kane now has five goals and eight points in seven games this postseason, while Bickell has four goals and five points in seven games. Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa had three points (1 G, 2 A), giving him more points already in this series than he managed in six first-round games against St. Louis. No matter, no one in this years playoffs has more than Hossas 118 career playoff points. LW Patrick Sharp, who had one point in Round One, added two assists in Game One against Minnesota, while D Brent Seabrook contributed two more assists, giving him eight points (2 G, 6 A) in four games. To their credit, the Wild didnt wilt after falling behind 2-0. They outshot the Blackhawks 17-3 in the second period, then scored twice in the first seven minutes of the third to even things up; not for long it turned out. Wild D Jonas Brodin had the best possession numbers for Minnesota at 5-on-5, 73.7% of shot attempts, but it was a rough night for him, as he had six minutes in penalties and was in the box for Chicagos first two goals. D Clayton Stoner also had an eventful game for the Wild, getting credited with a goal (knocked in by Johnny Oduyas skate) and delivering a game-high six hits, including one that knocked Blackhawks RW Andrew Shaw out of the game in the first period. This game showed just how difficult the task at hand is for the Wild. They fought hard to come back, outshot the Blackhawks 32-21 (48-37 in 5-on-5 shot attempts), but they couldnt contain the Blackhawks power play or prevent Kane from getting loose. On top of that, the Wild were fortunate enough to have a Blackhawks goal disallowed in the first period, so there is some work to be done if they are going to make a series out of this. On the plus side, the Wild did show that they can take the play to the Blackhawks at times, so they will have to continue doing so because its difficult to expect Ilya Bryzgalov to get the better of Corey Crawford in the goaltending matchup.   Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. I always enjoy going over the baseball transactions every day just to follow the career paths of players or coaches, or even managers, I may have dealt with in the past. The other day, one name in particular caught my eye: Roy Howell signed on to be the manager of the Seattle Mariners Triple-A farm club in Tacoma. Of course, I had to make sure, it was the Roy Howell I was thinking of and it turns out it was. Roy Lee Howell came to the Blue Jays in their very first season in 1977. He had the fiery red hair and, later, the beard to go along with his gamer personality. Howell, a third baseman by trade, was the fourth-overall pick of the Texas Rangers in the 1972 draft. In the spring of 1977, he lost the Rangers third base job to longtime Rangers star Toby Harrah. Pat Gillick quickly pounced and pulled off his first significant in-season trade in franchise history on May 7 of that year, getting Howell in return for pitcher Steve Hargan, infielder Steve Mason and $200,000. Howell never had great numbers, in fact, his batting average peaked at .316 in 1977 and his best production year was 1979, when he 15 homers and knocked in 72 runs. But that first year with the Jays, he had a game for the ages at Yankee Stadium, no less. Howell slugged a pair of home runs, two doubles and a single, driving in nine runs as the Blue Jays came up with, by far, their biggest victory of their inaugural season pummeling the Yankees, 19-3. Those nine runs batted-in in a game is still a franchise record. Remember that 1977 was the year the Yankees won their first of back-to-back World Series. Howell spent four years with the Jays, then moved on as a free agent to the Milwaukee Brewers and finally to the San Francisco Giants. He came into managing late. Only three years ago in 2011, he became the skipper of the independent Pennsylvania Road Warriors of the Atlantic League. After that, he worked his way up in the Mariners organization as a hitting instructor. He wasnt actually supposed to be the skipper at Tacoma this year, but then fate stepped in. John Stearns, who was coaching on the Ms big league staff had to step down for health reasons. Rich Donnelly, a long time Major League coach, who had just been hired at Tacoma was promoted to Seattle to replace Stearns and, just like, that Howell, at age 60, was the new manager of the Rainiers. I looked back at that 1977 Blue Jays roster and its interesting, if not amazing, how many got involved in coaching or managing after their playing days were done. The most  prominent include Alan Ashby, who went on to become an even better broadcaster, Phil Roof, Ernie Whitt, whos managed the Canadian mens team among others, Canadian Dave McKay, who worked for many years in Oakland and St. Louis with Tony LaRussa. I counted nine in total, including  Doug "tthe Red Rooster" Rader, who had big league managerial stints with  Texas, the White Sox and the Angels.dddddddddddd Rader was also a coach on LaRussas staff in 1992, when they lost to the Blue Jays in the ALCS. Who knows? Maybe in the next couple of years Roy Howell will get his Major League shot. - Drew Hutchison will be starting for the Blue Jays Friday afternoon at Dunedin against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox. If Hutchison continues to pitch the way he has this spring and holds his own against the BoSox, you can pretty much guarantee he will make the opening day roster as the number-four or five starter. Ricky Romeros big test is Tuesday at Lakeland against Detroit. Though Ricky has pitched well in two extended relief outings this spring, this will be his first start where he should face predominantly Major League hitters. If he gets through the outing unscathed, he will definately be in the conversation for the fourth or fifth starters slot. - The other day, a Tampa Bay Rays prospect by the name of Jeremy Moore crashed a monster home run off Marcus Stroman over the "batters eye" in dead centre field at Dunedin and drew the praise of skipper Joe Maddon. I wanted to learn a little bit more about Moore, so I did a little digging. He was a sixth-round pick of the Angels in 2005, a speedy outfielder who could handle all three positions well. Though he seemed to be progressing well through the minors, he was bothered by a bone spur and other issues in his hip. That seemed unusual for somebody so young, but doctors felt the beatings he took as a four-sport star in growing up in Louisiana, including football, had done the damage. Moore ultimately had to undergo hip surgery at age 24, though, thankfully, not hip replacement surgery like Bo Jackson. Moore missed the entire 2012 season before signing a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. After batting .211 with  seven homers and 31 runs batted in last season in his comeback year, the Rays saw enough in him to sign Moore in January. Though he may be a long shot  to make the Tampa Bay opening day roster, he has hit four homers this spring and has the versatility the Rays covet. Impressing Joe Maddon doesnt hurt either. Jeremy Moore is the kind of player you really pull for. - Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York pointed out that the Blue Jays could be on hand in New York for "Derek Jeter Day." Sunday, September 21, the Blue Jays are in New York and that is the Yankees final Sunday home game of the regular season. Nothing is official yet, but the Yanks did hold "Mariano Rivera Day" on the final Sunday of last season. So there is a chance, the Blue Jays will be part of the grand farewell of one of the Yankees all-time greats. ' ' '

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