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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:55 am Post subject: No icon better than we were." Reply with quote

Scott Cullen looks inside the numbers to break down all the NHL deals. Big moves will get the full Numbers Game columns, but all other trades will get covered here: Numbers Game: St. Louis to Rangers; Callahan to Lightning Numbers Game: Canadiens make splash, add Vanek Numbers Game: Kings Bring in Gaborik Numbers Game: Oilers Send Hemsky to Senators Numbers Game: Wild Acquire Moulson from Sabres Numbers Game: Luongo returning to the Panthers Numbers Game: Blues get Miller, Ott from Sabres WEAVER to CANADIENS for a fifth-round pick in 2015 Montreal gets a veteran defenceman to shore up their blueline, most likely to take minutes away from Douglas Murray, who has been getting chewed up in possession terms. Mike Weaver is an undersized, 35-year-old right-shooting blueliner who generally plays hard minutes, with defensive zone starts against high quality of competition, and has averaged more than 20 minutes per game for Florida over the past four seasons. Weaver, an unrestricted free agent in the summer, is not flashy, with seven goals in 585 career games, but hes active in a defensive role -- one of 26 defencemen to have at least 90 hits and 90 blocked shots so far this season. Joining the Canadiens, Weaver wont have to play such difficult minutes, but he is an upgrade to fill a defensive and penalty killing role. The fifth-round pick doesnt offer huge value, about a 12% chance of yielding an NHLer, so Weavers departure from Florida is more about providing opportunity for younger defencemen to play. Weaver has most recently been partnered with Dmitry Kulikov, but Erik Gudbranson and Dylan Olsen should take on more minutes as the Panthers play for next season. PENNER to CAPITALS for a fourth-round pick Dustin Penner is a 31-year-old winger who has great size (6-foot-4, 242 pounds) and good hands. Hes a five-time 20-goal scorer whose play had declined over the past couple seasons, but was resurrected to some degree in Anaheim this year, spending much of his time skating on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Thats important because unless Penner is going to play with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (and he could), hes not likely to have linemates that lead to the same kind of offensive production he had with Getzlaf and Perry. Penner has been an effective possession player throughout his career and, at his best, can be a real beast to handle down low in the offensive zone. Penner comes relatively cheaply, at a $2-million cap hit, and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. He can give the Capitals some secondary scoring and his presence certainly makes it easier for the Capitals to move out Martin Erat, if that long-rumoured transaction might actually take place. The Ducks decision to move out Penner leaves room for lots of speculation, as someone like Thomas Vanek might be a pretty sweet upgrade to play with Getzlaf and Perry. Thats the real value of the move -- the next domino to fall -- as opposed to the fourth-round pick, which offers about a one-in-six chance of netting an NHL player. FASTH to OILERS for a fifth-round and 2015 third-round pick Viktor Fasth, 31, had a wonderful first season in the NHL last year, posting a .921 save percentage for the Ducks in 25 games, and looked like he would have a chance to win the starting job this season, but he only played five games before getting hurt. He hasnt played since November 18, battling lower-body injuries since. Going to the Oilers, Fasth brings a $2.9-million cap hit and sets up a competition between Fasth and the just-signed Ben Scrivens for next season. While the Fasth-Scrivens duo has combined for a total of 88 NHL games, they are also two of 24 goaltenders with a combined save percentage of .915 or better since the start of last season (minimum 30 games). Given the poor goaltending the Oilers have had this season, they have a decent shot at getting solid play out of their new tandem going forward. Anaheim was dealing from a position of strength. Jonas Hiller, while an unrestricted free agent at seasons end, is a decent veteran, but rookie Frederik Andersen has been great (.929 SV%) and John Gibson, who has a .923 save percentage in his first AHL season, may be the top goaltending prospect in hockey. Between a third and fifth-round pick, the Ducks have better than a one-in-three chance of getting an NHL player but, like the Penner deal, the value to the Ducks is clearing Fasths salary for a bigger move. BRYZGALOV to WILD for a fourth-round pick It said something about the desperation the Edmonton Oilers were feeling about their goaltending this season that they resorted to signing Ilya Bryzgalov, the flighty 33-year-old whose game had fallen off so dramatically in Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Bryzgalov played 20 games for the Oilers, posting a .908 save percentage, which is below average (.913) as NHL goaltenders go, but his even-strength save percentage, which has more sustainability has been a respectable .924 over the past three seasons, good enough to take a chance on as a backup to rookie Darcy Kuemper, who has a .922 save percentage in 24 career games. The Oilers planned for Bryzgalovs departure by acquiring Fasth from Anaheim, but Minnesotas goaltending situation is murkier. Josh Harding, who had been so great this year, has been sidelined while he tries to regulate his MS medication, and 36-year-old Niklas Backstrom is having the worst season of his career. The more interesting matter for the Wild, long-term, is that Backstrom is under contract for two more seasons. ROBIDAS to DUCKS for a conditional fourth-round pick Stephane Robidas, 37, has been out of the Stars lineup since suffering a broken leg November 29, but hes played big minutes against tough opposition for much of his time in Dallas. Hes still a couple of weeks away from returning to action but, when he does, Robidas should step in to play more than 20 minutes per game in a shutdown defensive role, which could knock Ben Lovejoy a peg down the depth chart on the right side (and leave Bryan Allen, Luca Sbisa and Mark Fistric fighting for playing time). Robidas, who comes with a $3.3-million cap hit, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but hes nice upgrade for a Ducks defence that could use his experience and toughness in the postseason. Since Robidas has been out for more than three months, the Stars have already adjusted their lineup to accomodate for his absence. Most recently, their top four on defence consists of Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Brenden Dillon and Jordie Benn. The pick going to Dallas is the fourth-rounder that Anaheim acquired from Washington in the Penner trade, though it is conditional and can move up to a third-round pick if the Ducks reach the Western Conference Final with Robidas playing at least half of their playoff games. MacDONALD to FLYERS for MANGENE, a third-round pick and 2015 second-round pick A long-time member of the unheralded and underpaid club, for making $550,000 while playing more than 23 minutes a night for the Islanders, Andrew MacDonald has been crushed under the workload that the Isles have given him this year, a career-high 25:25 per game while taking on the oppositions best forwards night after night. His with-or-without-you numbers show that virtually every Islander has fared better in possession terms when playing without MacDonald. Thats obviously a problem. So, if the Flyers are going to get a positive contribution out of MacDonald, they need to use him differently. Play him less and not against top competition on a regular basis, and maybe then the results wont be tilted so negatively. Adding MacDonald, who barely costs anything with one-quarter of a $550,000 cap hit due to him, does give the Flyers some depth on the blueline, enough that they might consider moving out Andrej Meszaros or someone else. Mangene is an undrafted prospect out of the University of Maine who has 17 points in 92 career AHL games. Not much reason to think that the 24-year-old is going to crack an NHL lineup, but the Flyers are pushing up against the 50 contract reserve limit, so including Mangene leaves room to make another move. For the Islanders, the second and third-round picks, cumulatively, there is a better than 50% chance those picks will yield an NHL player. With MacDonald gone, there will be more opportunity for young defencemen to take on more minutes. Calvin De Haan is already taking a prominent role, but maybe Matt Donovan gets another look too. RUNDBLAD and BRISEBOIS to BLACKHAWKS for a second-round pick David Rundblad, 23, was a first-round pick (17th overall) by St. Louis in 2009, but hasnt been able to secure a full-time NHL job, playing a total of 50 games, during which he has nine points and a minus-20 rating. The positive side is that Rundblad is a skilled offensive defenceman, who has 59 points in 86 AHL games, and while that plus-minus is ugly, hes been a victim of both poor goaltending and low on-ice shooting percentage in his limited NHL duty, so there is reason to believe his numbers will get better. Certainly, considering the Blackhawks gave up a second-round pick to acquire him, Rundblad should get an opportunity to find his game in Chicago. Maybe not immediately, but he gives the Blackhawks a right-handed puck-moving option and is signed through next season, with a favourable cap hit of $785,000. Mathieu Brisebois is a 21-year-old rookie pro who was undrafted out of the QMJHL. Hes an undersized defenceman who has some offensive ability, but has a long way to go before he can consider challenging for an NHL job. ERAT and MITCHELL to COYOTES for KLESLA, BROWN and a 2015 third-round pick Martin Erat, 32, had requested a trade out of Washington and the process might have been made easier if he had more than one goal in 53 games this season, but hes finally found a new home in Phoenix. Erat had been a steady, consistent offensive performer until the past couple seasons, during which he has goals and 48 points in 98 games. Hes also gone from playing 19 minutes a night in Nashville to 15 minutes per game for Washington, so its not shocking that his numbers have decreased. While his goal production has slipped, Erat remains a solid enough possession player in relative terms, so its reasonable to expect him to be a contributor in an offensive role for the Coyotes, potentially slotted on the wing with former Capital Mike Ribeiro or with fellow Czechs Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata. Erat is under contract for another year, at a $4.5-million cap hit, so there is some investment here, to upgrade their skill, by the Coyotes. The John Mitchell included in this deal is not the Avalanche checking forward, rather this John Mitchell is a big minor-league forward, a 27-year-old who has 57 points in 191 career AHL games. Going to Washington, 31-year-old defenceman Rostislav Klesla has fallen out of favour in Phoenix, playing a career-low 16:31 per game this season, in addition to playing the first AHL games of his career (3 G, 6 A, plus-8 in 21 AHL GP). In a position of limited responsibility this year, Klesla has actually fared okay, so its conceivable that he could get an opportunity with the Capitals, who have had a revolving door on the lower portion of their blueline depth chart this season. Klesla, who makes $2.975-million, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Chris Brown is a 23-year-old physical winger who has good size and has shown decent offensive ability in a couple of AHL seasons, putting up 43 goals and 82 points in 119 games since leaving the University of Michigan. Brown had no points and 19 penalty minutes in 11 games with the Coyotes over the past two seasons, so he hasnt made his mark in the NHL yet, but is knocking on the door and could get a look with Washington soon enough. CONACHER to SABRES (via waivers) Cory Conacher is a 24-year-old winger who the Senators acquired, with a fourth-round pick, last season in exchange for Ben Bishop. Considering Bishops season in Tampa Bay, Conacher had virtually no hope to offer similar value to Ottawa. Furthermore, Conacher started his career with 12 points in seven games, playing with Steven Stamkos, but his production has dipped decidedly since, with 37 points in 100 games since, including four goals and 20 points in 60 games this season. Conacher played at nearby Canisius College, scoring 130 points in 109 games over his last three seasons, before tallying 114 points in 118 AHL games on his climb up the ranks. Those numbers show the kind of offensive skills that Conacher has, but the big question is whether the 5-foot-8 winger can generate offence consistently in the NHL. He had adequate possession stats in Ottawa and should get a decent opportunity to play in Buffalo, where they are busy auditioning players for next season. Conacher will be a restricted free agent in the summer, and comes with a cap hit of $871,250 this season. It probably doesnt hurt Conachers case that hes being acquired by Tim Murray, who had been with the Senators organization previously. POTTER to BRUINS (via waivers) Corey Potter, 30, is a right-handed defenceman with good size (6-foot-3) who has been something of a late bloomer, playing 111 of his 120 career NHL games over the past three seasons. Potter has been stomped in possession terms this season, though some of that is a function of a small sample while playing for a terrible team because hes been adequate in the previous two seasons. Potter offers cheap depth ($775,000 cap hit, UFA in summer) for the Bruins, given the state of their blueline, with Matt Bartkowki and Kevan Miller playing regular minutes, maybe Potter will have a chance to play at some point. The Oilers only played Potter 16 games this season to begin with, so there shouldnt be too much adjustment required to filling out the lineup for the rest of the season without him. MCNABB, PARKER and two second-round picks to KINGS for FASCHING and DESLAURIERS Brayden McNabb is a 23-year-old, 6-foot-4 defenceman who is really due for a longer look in the NHL. He has 95 points and a plus-23 rating in 145 career AHL games and has eight points and an even rating in 37 games with the Sabres. His relative possession stats are okay and its reasonable to at least give him a chance on the third pair or as a seventh defenceman at the very least. Whether McNabb gets a regular shot with the Kings down the stretch or not, he has top-four upside and is a viable insurance option for the offseason as the Kings have veteran physical defencemen Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene heading for unrestricted free agency. Jonathan Parker is a 22-year-old SoCal native who played in the Western Hockey League, topping out with 86 points in 71 games for Prince Albert in 2010-2011. He has 12 points in 76 career AHL games and 35 points in 46 career ECHL games. The Sabres have accumulated quite a stockpile of second-round picks recently, so its not a surprise that they are willing to include some in order to get assets that they would like to have in the system. A pair of second-round picks, cumulatively, offer better than a 50% chance of netting an NHL player. Hudson Fasching is a right-winger that the Kings drafted in the fourth-round last summer, but the 18-year-old, 6-foot-3 power forward is having a tremendous freshman season at the University of Minnesota, scoring 12 goals and 27 points in 31 games while contributing four points in five games for Team USA at the World Juniors. The Sabres are taking a swing on Faschings upside, looking to land a big forward who can score, even if hes going to take a few years to develop. Nicolas Deslauriers is a 23-year-old who came up as a defenceman before shifting to forward this season and hes put up 18 goals and 39 points in 60 AHL games, not enough to expect that hes a sure thing to take the next step to the NHL, but enough to think that Deslauriers may get a chance at some point, particularly if he continues to improve in his new position. DUBNYK to CANADIENS for future considerations G Devan Dubnyk was an above-average NHL goaltender in the previous three seasons, posting a .917 save percentage in 120 games, before his numbers collapsed (.891 SV%) in Edmonton and Nashville this year. He was brought in as insurance in Nashville, but only played two games, leaving Carter Hutton to handle the bulk of the starts in Pekka Rinnes absence. With Rinne returning to action this week, and with the Canadiens currently missing injured starter Carey Price, Dubnyk offers some measure of roster insurance in case Prices absence goes longer than expected and Peter Budaj needs a break. For the time being, though, Dubnyk is joining Hamilton in the AHL. He comes with a $3.5-million cap hit and will be a restricted free agent in the summer. Considering how this season has turned out, theres a strong chance that Dubnyk doesnt get a qualifying offer. GOC to PENGUINS to for a fifth-round pick and a 2015 third-round pick 30-year-old Marcel Goc is a highly-underrated two-way pivot who has consistently played hard minutes, against tough competition, in Florida. Hes been reliable enough that he could even knock Brandon Sutter down to a fourth-line role in Pittsburgh. Goc, who earns $1.7-million per season, will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so hes a rental and an inexpensive one at that, with the value of a third and fifth-round pick offering little more than a one-third chance of yielding an NHL player. From the Panthers perspective, they get to use the rest of the season to test their young centres, including new acquisition Brandon Pirri and call-up Vincent Trocheck, both of whom have a chance to offer future value to the franchise. RUUTU to DEVILS for LOKTIONOV and a conditional third-round pick in 2017. Ruutu, 31, is a veteran forward that can play both ends of the rink, but has been particularly unlucky this season, managing just 16 points with a minus-19 rating in 57 games. The offensive decline is one thing, since Ruutu is playing a career-low 14:15 per game and generating 1.39 shots per game, his lowest since 2007-2008. Thats not the entire story, as Ruutus on-ice shooting percentage is a career-low 6.85%. Where Ruutu gets undermined is in terms of on-ice save percentage (.891), which plays a notable part in his negative plus-minus number. In New Jersey, Ruutu can play a top nine role and while hes not likely to be a huge scorer, hes also scored more than 50 points a couple of times in his career, so hes not altogether unfamiliar with the objectives in the offensive zone. The big issue with Ruutu is his contract, which brings a $4.75-million cap hit for two years beyond the current season. If Ruutu cant produce offensively, then theres no way that hell provide value for that contract but the expectation is that the Hurricanes will be retaining some of that salary which will help mitigate the cost. If he produces like a 15-to-20-goal-scorer (which was his standard through 2011-2012), then Ruutu could be enough of an addition to improve the Devils shot at the postseason. Loktionov, a 23-year-old centre, has only played 12:19 per game, but hes managed decent puck possession stats with a heavy slant (64.0%) of his starts towards the offensive zone. While Loktionov has only 38 points in 135 career games, he has some skill and a little as yet unrealized offensive potential. If hes ever going to realize that potential, though, Loktionov needs to get stronger. Loktionov will be a restricted free agent at seasons end, so the final quarter of this season could go a long way towards determining his future with his new team. THOMAS to STARS for ELLIS Tim Thomas, 39, has had an up-and-down return to the NHL after a season on hiatus. His overall save percentage is .909, which is below average, but his even-strength save percentage (.911) is among the lowest in the league this season. Theres probably something to Thomas not being completely ready to handle a starters workload, particularly on a shaky Panthers team. Going to Dallas, Thomas does offer some insurance as Kari Lehtonens backup. The Stars are playoff contenders and if Lehtonen gets hurt, the Stars may feel more confident with Thomas instead of Dan Ellis, whose even-strength save percentage is only .902 this season. Thomas will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and comes with a $2.5-million cap hit. Once the Panthers acquired Roberto Luongo, it was understandable that the Panthers didnt want any kind of controversy between their veteran goaltenders. 33-year-old Ellis is a mediocre backup option, with a .904 save percentage in 33 games over the past two seasons, and hes under contract for next season as well, at a cap hit of $900,000, so he can get used to being buddies with Luongo. N. SCHULTZ to BLUE JACKETS for a fifth-round pick There was a time when 31-year-old Nick Schultz was a shutdown defensive defenceman, but those days are in the rearview, it appears, because his possession stats have been abysmal this season. But, with the Blue Jackets missing a couple of defencemen -- Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray -- at the moment, Schultz offers some experience and the Blue Jackets can hope that a new situation will work more in Schultzs favour. When the Blue Jackets defence is healthy, Schultz could be relegated to seventh defenceman status, so hes not supposed to be a major impact player and the price that Columbus paid reflects that. Fifth-round picks have about a 13% chance of turning into NHLers, so the Oilers take that roll of the dice and get to give some of their young defencemen more opportunities late in the year. MESZAROS to BRUINS for a third-round pick Meszaros, 28, has battled injuries and is playing far less than he did in previous seasons -- a career-low 17:22 per game this year -- and he wasnt really doing much for the first half of this season following an injury-plagued 2013 season, but hes been a little fortunate with percentages on his way to contributing 14 points in the past 19 games. The Bruins have been looking for a veteran to take the place of Dennis Seidenberg since Seidenberg suffered a season-ending knee injury, and Meszaros is familiar to GM Peter Chiarelli from their time in Ottawa, but it will be interesting to see if Meszaros can get back to playing 20-plus minutes per night (as he did from 2006-2007 through 2011-2012), or whether hes going to be a third pair option. When the Flyers added Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders Tuesday, that gave them some options on the blueline. Even after moving out Meszaros, they still have Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson as their sixth and seventh defencemen. DIAZ to RANGERS for a 2015 fifth-round pick Diaz is a 28-year-old defenceman who barely played (a total of 12:54) in the past couple games with Vancouver, a far cry from the 25:46 he played in his first game with the Canucks, a month ago, when Vancouvers defence was depleted by injuries. A right-handed defenceman who can move the puck, Diaz has decent possesion numbers and could very easily slide into a regular spot on the Blueshirts blueline, possibly ahead of Kevin Klein on the right side. With Diaz moving on and the Canucks defence healthy, rookie Ryan Stanton is likely the beneficiary, set to handle regular third pair minutes for Vancouver. LEGWAND to RED WINGS for EAVES, JARNKROK and a conditional third-round pick After 956 regular season games with the Nashville Predators, 33-year-old David Legwand is on his way to the Red Wings, a team desperate for help down the middle since Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are both hurt (not to mention Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss). Legwand has been a strong two-way player, who has decent possession numbers while playing tough minutes. His ice time (17:13 ATOI) is down a bit this year, his lowest since 2001-2002, but Legwand is primed to take on a significant role for the Red Wings down the stretch. While Legwand, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, may not be a long-term solution for Detroit, hes a reliable two-way player that should help immediately and give the Wings a better chance to make the playoffs. Eaves, 29, has been a spare part winger for Detroit, scoring four goals and 14 points in 69 games over the past three seasons. He doesnt play a lot and, when he does, its with fourth-liners, so the on-ice shooting percentage has been low, though probably expectedly so. Eaves will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but can handle depth minutes for the Predators down the stretch. The much more interesting acquisition for Nashville is Calle Jarnkrok, a second-round pick in 2010 who was a hot commodity in Sweden but has taken some time to adjust to the North American game, putting up 39 points in 66 AHL games going back to late last season. However, recent production is much more favourable for Jarnkrok, as he has three goals and 16 assists, with a plus-4 rating, in the past 16 games. Jarnkrok is expected to be a solid two-way centre in the NHL and could combine with Filip Forsberg to add offence in the not-too-distant future for the Predators. The draft pick is set to be a third-round pick, though it bumps up to a second-round pick if the Red Wings make the playoffs. All in all, its a pretty nice return for the Predators, who get some long-term value while surrendering a player who had been with the franchise since he was drafted second overall in 1998. BERRA to AVALANCHE for a second-round pick Berra, 27, has struggled (posting an .897 SV%) in his first NHL season, so it seems that the Avalanche paid a relatively steep price for a backup goaltender. If the Avs only need Berra as insurance in case Jean-Sebastien Gigueres back causes him problems, thats fine, maybe he wont play much at all. But, if thats the premise under which he was acquired, why would it cost a second-round pick for a rental that will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer? With Berra moving on, there ought to be more opportunity then for rookie Joni Ortio, who had a .926 save percentage in the AHL and may be the de facto starter now that Karri Ramo is hurt. STEMPNIAK to PENGUINS for a third-round pick Stempniak, 31, is a solid enough winger who has been asked to play tough minutes for the struggling Flames. He plays against tough opposition and, in relative terms, has strong possession numbers and, playing more than 19 minutes per game, hes genrating a career-high 2.77 shots on goal per game. Hes finishing on a career-low rate (5.6%), but thats the kind of rate that is due to improve. In Pittsburgh, Stempniak may be in a really nice spot to see a bump in his numbers. While he might not seem the ideal player to skate on a line with Sidney Crosby, the same could have been said about Pascal Dupuis, the injured winger who the Penguins have been trying to replace. Beau Bennett may still get a chance on Crosbys wing at some point, but look for Stempniak to get his shot too. In the Flames case, they somehow ended up with Mike Cammalleri still on their roster after the deadline but, by moving pending free agent Stempniak, that opens up more room for the clubs prospects to audition late in the year. Markus Granlund, Corban Knight and Max Reinhart should all be among those Flames forwards to get decent looks late in the year. HALAK and a third-round pick to CAPITALS for NEUVIRTH and KLESLA Halak is a 28-year-old who was bumped out of St. Louis by Ryan Miller who, statistically, is about equal with Halak over recent seasons, so Halak is plenty of capable of handling a starters workload if thats what the Capitals need, depending on Braden Holtbys play. Halak will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, so he may not be in D.C. long, but if the Capitals are going to push for a playoff spot this year. From the Sabres perspective, they sacrifice one of their many draft picks and take on Rostislav Klesla for the rest of the season in order to add Michal Neuvirth, a 25-year-old goaltender who might have what it takes to be an NHL starter. He has a .910 save percentage in 134 career games (.912 in 26 games over the past two seasons), so its possible that Neuvirth is more suited to a backup role, but this is an opportunity for him to compete with Jhonas Enroth for playing time. Under contract for another year, at a $2.5-million cap hit, Neuvirth has a chance to take his game to a new level and, playing for the Sabres, he wont lack for shots against when he does play. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen [at] bellmedia [dot] ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Mark Andrews Ravens Jersey . Vinci also beat Dulgheru last week in Bucharest en route to her first WTA final in a year. Vinci next faces sixth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan, who beat Czech qualifier Katerina Siniakova 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-2. No. Michael Crabtree Ravens Jersey . -- Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and won his fourth straight decision, leading Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 9-4 Sunday and extending the Tigers winning streak to a season-high five games. http://www.ravensrookiestore.com/Ravens-Orlando-Brown-Jr-Jersey/ . 3 seed Phillip Kohlschreiber from Germany. Defending champion Marin Cilic also reached the semifinals -- his fourth in Zagreb -- defeating fellow Croat Ivan Dodig. German qualifier Bjorn Phau beat Dudi Sela of Israel to reach his first semifinals in nearly five years. Custom Baltimore Ravens Jerseys . The Padres made the moves before Fridays game at Washington. They promoted infielder Jace Peterson from Double-A San Antonio and right-hander Kevin Quackenbush from Triple-A El Paso. Baltimore Ravens Jerseys . But last years runner-up Jarkko Nieminen crashed out despite winning the first set against Denis Istomin. Istomin fired 10 aces and won 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2 to even his career record against Nieminen at 3-3.LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings are a mountain to climb, and the size of the challenge comes home the closer you get. The New York Rangers finally had a first-hand look in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, mounting an early assault before Los Angeles knocked them back to win 3-2 in overtime. Asked to compare the physicality of the well-drilled Kings to the three teams the Rangers have beaten in the playoffs to date, New York coach Alain Vigneault neatly summed up the challenge before the Blueshirts. "Philly was a physical team and they played on the edge," he said. "Pittsburgh played more of a skill game, but they also had quite a few players that played on the edge. Montreal was a real structured team. So they were three different opponents. "This one here is structured. Theyve got skill. Theyre physical. So makes it a pretty big challenge." You can add battle-hardened to that list. In the dog-eat-dog Western Conference, the Kings have come to the final the long way. They have had to run the gauntlet of San Jose, Anaheim and Chicago -- teams that finished 15, 20 and 11 points, respectively, ahead of New York in the regular season. And they did it without home-ice advantage. "Were a team thats just never going to go away," said Los Angeles forward Kyle Clifford. "Doesnt matter what the score is, were going to play our hardest and do what we do best." The Kings, who clawed their way back to dominate the second half of Wednesdays game, have already given the Rangers plenty to chew on. The New Yorkers, nestled in a five-star cubbyhole on the beach, had the day off Thursday to ponder the challenge. "To be able to be away from the game is a good thing, but at the same time I think if you ask every guy on our team, where were at mentally right now is were at the rink still," said forward Derek Stepan. "Guys are evaluating their own games, getting ready to make adjustments and get ourselves ready for Game 2." That comes Saturday, and Vigneault wasted little time challenging his players to up their game this time. "One thing is real evident to me, and it should be to our whole group, is were not going to beat this team if we do not all bring our A game," Vigneault said. "It is that strong of an opponent that were playing against. "We had Hank (goalie Henrik Lundqvist) that brought his A game last night. We had a couple guys. I dont want to name who, I think brought their A game. But our B game wont do it. Were not goingg to win if we bring our B game to the table.dddddddddddd "Theyre one of the best teams Ive seen in a long time. Areas to exploit, they dont jump out at you. Were going to have to be better than we were." Unlike in the Eastern Conference final series against Montreal, where Vigneault and Habs coach Michel Therrien poked and prodded each other verbally, Vigneault has been all business so far in the final. He seems to be staring at the Kings, like a career bank robber pondering how to take down a state-of-the-art safe. The Rangers coach says his team knew going into the series what was needed to win. "Its something that we discussed -- how good the opponent was. And thats a challenge. At this time of the year to win, you got to bring your A game. Thats each and every player. When we played Game 6 against Montreal, each and every player brought his A game. Its not an easy thing to do. But against this opponent, I do believe our expectations are to win, (weve) got to find a way to do it." Vigneault is no strangers to the challenge, having crossed paths with the Kings many times during his years as coach of the Canucks. "They were a good team in the years past," he said. "Theyre a real good team now. Theyve obviously got more experience. They play their game plan to a T and they dont deviate in any shape, way, or form so that makes it real challenging for the opposition." Captain Dustin Brown says part of the secret of the Kings success is their familiarity. "For our team, its just a result of us being together for a long time. I think that goes a longer ways than most people think," he said. "When it gets really hard, really tough, you know the guy next to you very well. You know what hes going to do in those types of situations." Worrying for the Rangers is the fact the Kings, who fell behind 2-0 in the first period only to rally and outshoot New York 20-3 in the third, can be better. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter acknowledged his team was sluggish following the quick turnaround from the gruelling series with Chicago. "Guys are not machines," he told a media availability at a hotel adjacent to their practice facility. "We can play a lot better," he added. "Its way better when youre not chasing the lead." Sutter did his bit to inject some life into his team, changing up the lines in the first period as soon as he saw some players did not have their legs under them. The Kings also had an off-day Thursday. 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