Demko makes 36 saves for Canucks in 4-3 win over Sabres

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Thatcher Demko was nervous before stepping on the ice.
It sure didn’t show.
The 23-year-old goalie made 36 saves in his second NHL game, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
“An opportunity for me,” Demko said. “I’m just really excited and wanted to make the most of it.”
Alex Edler, Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser and Loui Eriksson scored for Vancouver. Bo Horvat had two assists.
Buffalo got goals from Evan Rodrigues, Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart. Linus Ullmark stopped 19 shots.
“For a large majority of the game we played the way we wanted to, but those mistakes we’re making are just a little too big,” Reinhart said. “I’m sure we can correct and we are going to.”
Demko, who made one appearance for the Canucks last season, was called up Jan. 4 from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League after Vancouver traded backup goalie Anders Nilsson to Ottawa.
“I’ve been working hard and just patiently waiting for that first chance,” Demko said.
He was tested early and often Friday, and his performance had the crowd chanting “Dem-Ko! Dem-Ko!” in appreciation of some highlight-reel saves.
“He was great. Good to see. He was one of our best players tonight,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said.
Rodrigues beat the young goaltender 8:48 in after Rasmus Ristolainen got a pass to the left wing down low and Rodrigues chipped it up over Demko’s pad.
Vancouver had yet to register a single shot.
Edler got the Canucks on the board 3½ minutes later with a massive slap shot from the blue line. The speeding puck squeezed through traffic and past Ullmark down low.
Vancouver went up by one at 15:31 of the first after defenseman Derrick Pouliot sliced a pass through the Buffalo crease to Baertschi, who collected it on his tape and popped the puck into a wide-open net.
The Swiss left wing sustained a concussion in October that kept him out of the lineup for 30 games. He has six points since he returned late last month.
Early in the second, Pouliot and fellow defenseman Erik Gudbranson got caught behind the Vancouver net, leaving Okposo wide open at the hash marks. The right wing got the puck and flipped a backhand past Demko to even the score.
Vancouver pulled ahead once again eight minutes into the period.
Horvat stripped Buffalo’s Lawrence Pilut of the puck and made a beautiful pass to Boeser in front of the Sabres net. The right wing tipped it in for his 16th goal of the season.
“Me shooting the puck hasn’t been working so I thought I’d give it to somebody who’s going to put it in the net,” Horvat said.
Horvat doesn’t have a goal since Dec. 20, but his assist was his 200th career point.
“Never when you’re playing in the NHL do you think you’ll be able to hit these kind of milestones,” he said. “It’s really exciting and it feels even better to get that win.”
The lead didn’t last long. Almost three minutes later, Conor Sheary made a quick pass to Reinhart in front of the Vancouver crease and he put in a no-look backhand up high.
“Probably half our team didn’t play their best hockey game. And when you can not play your best and win, that’s a real bonus in the NHL,” Green said.
“Our goalie gave us a good period in the third period. And we found a way to win a hockey game.”
Nearly six minutes into the third, Canucks left wing Josh Leivo dug out the puck from behind the Buffalo net and dished it to Eriksson. He put a one-timer past Ullmark for his fourth point in three games.
The Sabres had opportunities to tie it again on a power play late in the third. Ullmark was pulled with 87 seconds left, but Demko held strong.
“Responsibility without the puck, that was the difference. But I can’t complain, we had a heck of a game,” Buffalo coach Phil Housley said.
The Canucks registered just four shots in the opening period. Demko kept them in a game that got off to an “ugly” start, according to Horvat.
“That’s unbelievable. Especially at a young age, coming in. These are meaningful games and he stepped up like great players do and he played phenomenal tonight,” Horvat said. “We owe him a lot of credit.”
NOTES: Vancouver’s Nikolay Goldobin was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. … The defeat ended a three-game swing through Canada for the Sabres, who lost 7-2 in Edmonton on Monday and beat Calgary 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday.
Sabres: Off until after the All-Star break.
Canucks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
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Limited role leaves Sabres’ Beaulieu open to being traded

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Hockey Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu is concerned with his lack of playing time and would prefer being traded if his role doesn’t change in Buffalo, the player’s agent told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Kent Hughes said that while he didn’t demand the Sabres trade his client, he did request they consider it if Beaulieu isn’t considered part of their future plans with his contract set to expire.
“He’s not unhappy with Buffalo, he’s just looking for more of an opportunity to play,” Hughes said by phone.
He spoke in a bid to clarify a post published on Canada’s TVASports Twitter account reporting Beaulieu requesting a trade.
Hughes says Beaulieu will “continue going about his business” and respect whatever decision the Sabres make.
The defenseman has three goals and seven points while appearing in just 26 of Buffalo’s 47 games. Beaulieu has been a healthy scratch in 11 of the past 14 games, including Buffalo’s game at Calgary on Wednesday.
Buffalo’s roster features eight defensemen — two more than usually play — since Matt Hunwick was activated off injured reserve last month. Hunwick has played in just two games after missing the first two months of the season with a neck injury.
Beaulieu has seven seasons of NHL experience and is in his second with Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with Montreal in June 2017.
Overall, he has 11 goals and 76 points in 310 career games, including four goals and 16 points in 85 games with Buffalo.
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Jack Eichel scores in OT to lift Sabres past Flames, 4-3

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jack Eichel battled through some misfortune before scoring the overtime winner for the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Seconds after putting a backhand off the post, Buffalo’s captain rifled a low shot past Dave Rittich, on the Calgary goaltender’s glove side 70 seconds into OT.
Eichel also rang the puck off the iron in the first minute of the game. He was all alone in front of Rittich with five minutes remaining in the first period, but his shot was over the net.
“Obviously you put a lot of pressure on yourself,” Eichel said. “When things aren’t going well, you want to be one of the guys who makes a difference.
“I think that’s when you start gripping your stick and start thinking about it a little too much. Hopefully, that goal can get me going again. It’s just what I needed.”
Jake McCabe, Evan Rodrigues and Rasmus Dahlin also scored for Buffalo, which halted a four-game losing skid.
Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark earned the start and the win with 30 saves after relieving Carter Hutton in Monday’s 7-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
The Sabres scored three goals on a total of three shots in the third and overtime periods.
“When we needed goals, we found ways to get them,” Eichel said. “I think as a group, we probably weren’t the most confident after losing 7-2 in Edmonton.
“This is a game we should use moving forward as kind of a building block of what we can do every night to try and give ourselves the best chance to win.”
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for Calgary, which snapped a five-game win streak.
Matthew Tkachuk and Noah Hanifin also scored for Calgary, with Elias Lindholm contributing a pair of assists.
After winning four straight starts, Rittich had 19 saves in the loss.
“I liked our game. We only gave up two shots in the third,” Flames head coach Bill Peters said. “Special teams were good, two-for-three on the power play and three-for-three on the penalty kill.
“I think we held onto the puck a little too much tonight and tried to force some plays where we had other options available and could have taken what was given.
“We didn’t capitalize on the three-on-one in overtime and they came back the other way and ended it.”
The Flames took their point and continue to battle with the San Jose Sharks for first in the Pacific Division.
NOTES: Gaudreau became the third-fastest player in Flames history to reach the 70-point mark, doing it in his 48th game of the season. Kent Nilsson did it in 46 games in 1980-81, and Bob MacMillan in 47 in 1978-79. … Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic (family illness) and forward James Neal (illness) were scratched.
Sabres: At Vancouver on Friday night.
Flames: Host Detroit on Friday night.
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‘Dinosaur’ defensemen like Orpik survive in NHL by adapting

By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Writer
When John Tortorella compares Brooks Orpik to a creature that went extinct 65 million years ago, he means it affectionately.
“He’s a little bit of a dinosaur because he hits, and there isn’t a lot of hitting in this game,” Tortorella said.
Yet there’s still a Brooks Orpik, who helped the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup last season and played his 1,000th NHL regular-season game Tuesday as more of a relic than a dinosaur. Big, rugged, defensive defensemen are going the way of prehistoric animals, mask-less goaltenders, helmet-less skaters and enforcers, except the ones like Orpik who have adapted to keep pace with the ever-quickening speed of modern hockey.
“I think if you don’t adapt to where the league’s going, then you’re pushed out,” Orpik said. “If you weren’t willing to adjust how you trained or maybe shed some weight, that would push you out of the league. Not necessarily kind of what your role was. But there’s that and there’s obviously more of an emphasis on being able to move the puck up quickly.”
NHL teams are looking for the next Erik Karlsson or Thomas Chabot — a smaller, more mobile defenseman who can lead the rush and pile up the points — than the next Orpik. Slower, play-it-safe defensemen like 6-foot-7, 245-pound Hal Gill don’t roam the ice anymore, and those players must approach the game differently.
“I’ve heard people come up and say, ‘Hey, my kid plays just like you,'” Gill said. “And I’m like, ‘Well, you better change quick.'”
Tortorella, who coached Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004 and is in his fourth season with Columbus, sees value in big “miserable” defenders who can play a tough game underneath the hash marks. He believes the depletion of that kind of player has contributed to an increase in scoring over recent years — which is what the NHL wants at the expense of some old-school muscle.
Players like Orpik and St. Louis’ Robert Bortuzzo are far less prevalent than when Gill stayed in the NHL for 16 years from the late 1990s through 2013. Bortuzzo thinks the term “stay-at-home” should become extinct because even the less fleet of foot defenseman have to do more than just sit back, hit and defend like they used to for a living.
“Defensively conscious would probably be a better term nowadays and one that fits the game,” the 6-4, 216-pound Bortuzzo said. “At this stage of the game, you need to be able to join the rush, you need to be able to move pucks. … The days of a defenseman not being able to skate and keep up with the pace of play is done. Guys are too fast and moving too quick.”
No one’s confusing Orpik, Bortuzzo, Vegas’ Deryk Engelland or Buffalo’s Zach Bogosian for speed demons, but puck moving lets those players keep jobs in the NHL. Bortuzzo said his focus has always been on his skating, and similarly Orpik and Boston’s Zdeno Chara have worked with skating coach Adam Nicholas to improve their technique and adapt to changing times.
Even if they can’t get markedly faster, they can better manage their skates and sticks and use their size as an advantage rather than a detriment.
“What I work on with those guys a ton is just always giving them good footwork-type drills and suggestions to allow them to still be able to control space and tempo,” Nicholas said. “What we talk a lot about is continuing to be puck-moving machines and how to always stack decks in your favor to have time and space, control it and transition pucks very quickly.”
While Nicholas helped Chara be in better position by putting the puck into the middle of the ice instead of banking it off the glass or flipping it into the air, Todd Reirden, during his time as a Penguins assistant, helped Orpik evolve from a hit-seeking missile to a defensive stalwart. Orpik began picking his spots on hits and using his stick more to defend.
“That has allowed him to still have the physical element when he needed to around the net front against some of the skill guys,” said Reirden, who now coaches Orpik with the Capitals. “He’s been able to really change his game to fit into today’s hockey.”
Orpik cites former Pittsburgh teammate Kelly Buchberger as the greatest influence on him as a young player. Buchberger retired in 2004 but has since seen Orpik learn on the fly and become an example for younger players of the same ilk.
“Players have to adjust to the new rules in the game. He’s adjusted very well,” said Buchberger, who coaches the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans. “If you have players like that, you don’t want to get rid of those players.”
Being a “defensively conscious” defenseman is becoming a lost art, but coaches and teammates love guys who save goals with blocked shots, big hits and some snarl. Gill sees value in the kind of simplicity Hall of Fame Nicklas Lidstrom played with, and having contrasting styles on the blue line allows skilled, jump-up-in-the-play defensemen to take some more risks and score goals.
“They’re a real good safety valve a lot of time for D-men who do want to get up the ice and move the puck,” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. “You can’t just have offensive defensemen throughout your lineup. You want to have guys who will take care of the back end. You need guys that can play both ends of the ice.”
The Columbus Blue Jackets made quick work of an “incident” involving goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky last week, punishing him by making him miss a game, meeting with him and getting him back with the team the next morning. Captain Nick Foligno said the leadership group, coaching staff and front office are adept at pushing aside distractions — which is important given that Bobrovsky and scoring winger Artemi Panarin could be free agents this summer.
“No matter who it is, it’s all right, we’re going to handle the situation and get back to what really matters and that’s trying to win hockey games,” Foligno said. “We’re trying to win hockey games, trying to become a Stanley Cup champion and nothing’s going to get in the way of that. That’s kind of the message for everybody.”
The Winnipeg Jets visit the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in a matchup of the top two teams in the Central Division.
Goals: Alex Ovechkin (Washington), 33; Assists: Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), 53; Points: Kucherov, 75; Ice Time: Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), 26:39; Wins: Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas), 26; Goals-Against Average: Robin Lehner (N.Y. Islanders), 2.21; Save Percentage: Jack Campbell (Los Angeles), .930.
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Bills re-sign linebacker Lorenzo Alexander to 1-year deal

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have re-signed veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander to a one-year contract.
The signing Wednesday comes as no surprise after both sides ended the season openly discussing the likelihood of the 35-year-old returning for a third season in Buffalo.
Alexander is a 12-year NFL veteran who said he wanted to play one more season and preferred it being in Buffalo.
He provides the Bills versatility because he is able to play various defensive and special teams positions. He also is a respected team leader, who will be asked to further fill that role following defensive tackle Kyle Williams’ retirement.
Alexander finished last year with 6½ sacks and a career-best two interceptions while starting eight of 16 games.
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Bills offer special teams job to Heath Farwell

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A person familiar with discussions confirms the Buffalo Bills have offered their special teams coordinator’s job to Carolina Panthers assistant Heath Farwell.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because Farwell has not yet signed with Buffalo. The Charlotte Observer cited a league source in first reporting the news earlier in the day.
Farwell completed his first season as Panthers special teams assistant, and previously spent two years as an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks. He’s a former linebacker, who played mostly special teams roles in splitting 10 NFL seasons between Minnesota and Seattle.
Buffalo’s special teams struggles last season led to Danny Crossman being fired two weeks ago.
AP Sports Writer Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
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Lucic, Kassian combine for 4 goals as Oilers top Sabres 7-2

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Two players mired in major scoring slumps provided plenty of offense for the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian each scored a pair of goals as the Oilers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 7-2.
“It feels good as an individual to pop a couple tonight, but the most important thing is that we got the two points in the standings,” said Lucic, who had two goals in the entire calendar year of 2018. “I’m not even going to go into 2018, there is lots to play for in 2019 to get ourselves back in the mix and now it is about stringing a few wins together moving forward.”
Kassian was also relieved to see a couple of goals go in.
“It is nice to chip in two goals,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever had a stretch where I had gone 40-plus games and had only two goals before. It is nice to score goals, it’s the National Hockey League. Hopefully the floodgates open now.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers, who have won two of their last three.
Casey Mittelstadt and Evan Rodrigues scored for the struggling Sabres, who have lost three straight.
“It seems like our mistakes right now, every single one ends up in our net,” Buffalo captain Jack Eichel said. “You know you’re going to make mistakes over the course of the game and the magnitude of the mistakes are probably too big.
“It’s frustrating. It’s a rough patch for our group right now. We have to find a way out of it and we have to stick together.”
The Sabres kicked off the flurry of scoring by making good on the first shot, exactly one minute in, when Mittelstadt tipped a shot past Oilers starting goalie Mikko Koskinen.
However, Edmonton pulled even on the game’s second shot a minute-and-a-half later when a shot by Kassian ticked off a Sabres’ stick and past Buffalo netminder Carter Hutton.
The Oilers also scored on their second shot, 50 seconds later, when Nugent-Hopkins deflected in a shot by Caleb Jones for his 15th of the season.
Edmonton made it 3-1 before the game was even five minutes old when Tobias Rieder found Kassian in front and he scored his second of the game and fourth of the season into a wide open net.
The Sabres got one back nine minutes into the first after a giveaway led to a goal by Rodrigues.
The Oilers added to their total just 24 seconds into the second as McDavid shrugged off a trip for a clear breakaway, scoring his 28th of the season.
Edmonton made it 5-2 five minutes into the middle frame when Lucic picked off a pass and scored.
Linus Ullmark replaced Hutton in the Buffalo net.
Lucic scored his second of the game four minutes into the third, giving him three goals in his last four games after scoring only two goals in his previous 91 games.
The Oilers continued their offensive outburst a couple minutes later when Draisaitl scored his 24th.
NOTES: Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (hand) is expected to soon have medical clearance to begin skating and is hopeful he’ll rejoin the team for practices ahead of the all-star break and make his full return after that.
Sabres: At Calgary on Wednesday.
Oilers: At Vancouver on Wednesday.
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Stamkos breaks late tie, Lightning beat Sabres 5-3

By The Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Steven Stamkos broke a tie with 5:16 remaining in the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan also scored, and Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots. The Lightning have won 18 of their last 20.
Sam Reinhart, Tage Thompson and Marco Scandella scored for Buffalo.
Scandella gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead at 5:54 of the third, chipping home a pass from Jason Pominville from close range. Just 23 seconds later, the Lightning took advantage of a bad giveaway by Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut, and Stamkos found Kucherov for his 22nd goal of the season.
Stamkos then put Tampa Bay ahead for good late, taking a drop pass from Kucherov and firing a hard shot to Ullmark’s blocker side.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cam Atkinson scored his 25th goal of the season, Artemi Panarin connected in overtime and Columbus beat Washington after the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals lost All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby to an eye injury.
Panarin scored in overtime for the second straight game.
Holtby took a stick to the left eye from Atkinson through his mask in the second period. He left the game, giving way to backup Pheonix Copley, and the team said Holtby was still being evaluated.
Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo stopped 32 shots in his second consecutive start in place of Sergei Bobrovsky, who backed up after being scratched Thursday for disciplinary reasons. Coach John Tortorella did not commit to starting Bobrovsky in the second half of his team’s back-to-back this weekend.
After Atkinson beat Holtby a minute into the game on a breakaway, Columbus was cruising toward a regulation victory until Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it with 1:06 left. The 6-on-5 goal was Kuznetsov’s first in 18 games dating to Dec. 2.
But Panarin snapped Washington’s winning streak at four games and gave the Blue Jackets back-to-back wins with a power-play goal 3:30 into overtime.
TORONTO (AP) — David Pastrnak scored a tie late in the second period and Boston beat Toronto.
Sean Kuraly had a goal and two assists, David Krecji also scored, and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves. Boston won the season series 3-1 and moved within two points of Toronto for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Mitch Marner and Andreas Johnsson scored for Toronto.
NEW YORK (AP) — Mats Zuccarello scored late in the third period and the New York Rangers beat the Islanders for their first victory at Barclays Center.
Zuccarello redirected the winner with his skate from in front of the net for his fifth goal of the season. Filip Chytil also scored and Alexandar Georgiev made 24 saves to help the Rangers win in Brooklyn for the first time since the Islanders began playing home games there in 2015.
The Islanders had been 13-2-0 in the teams’ previous 15 meetings overall.
The game completed a home-and-home series that began Thursday night with the Islanders’ 4-3 victory at Madison Square Garden. It also marked the final meeting between the Big Apple rivals this season, with each team winning two games.
Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders.
CHICAGO (AP) — Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore scored 1:19 into overtime when Chicago’s Carl Dahlstrom slid the puck into his own net.
Theodore was driving when Dahlstrom knocked it away and through the legs of goaltender Collin Delia. It was Theodore’s first goal since he scored twice in an 8-3 victory at Chicago on Nov. 27.
Alex Tuch, Ryan Carpenter and Paul Stastny also scored for Vegas, which won for the eighth time in nine games. Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves. Tuch extended his points streak to a franchise-record nine games in the Golden Knights’ second season.
Alex DeBrincat scored twice, and Patrick Kane added a goal for Chicago.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rookie Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves in his return from an injury, helping New Jersey beat Philadelphia.
Damon Severson, Nico Hischier and Miles Wood scored for New Jersey. The Devils won for the second time in six games and handed the Flyers their ninth loss in 10 games.
James Van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier scored for Philadelphia.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tyler Bertuzzi had his first career hat trick and Detroit beat Minnesota to end a three-game losing streak.
Playing in his 100th career game, Bertuzzi completed his three-goal performance at 8:38 of the third period, converting a feed from Nyquist by lifting a backhand past Devan Dubnyk.
Thomas Vanek had two goals, and Jimmy Howard made 17 saves for the Red Wings, winners for the second time in 11 games. Nino Niederreiter and Luke Kunin scored for the Wild.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick stopped 38 shots to get his 301st win, helping Los Angeles snap Pittsburg’s six-game road winning streak.
Quick tied Mike Richter for fourth place in career wins by an American goalie, reaching the mark in his 577th game and matching the former Rangers goalie’s total in 666 games.
Jeff Carter had a goal and two assists, Anze Kopitar scored twice, and Alex Iafallo and Brendan Leipsic had one ech for the Kings, who had lost four of their past five.
Jake Guentzel scored short-handed and power-play goals and Casey DeSmith made 20 saves for the Penguins, who lost for the second time in their past 12 games.
MONTREAL (AP) — Carey Price stopped 28 shots for his third shutout of the season and 43rd overall to help Montreal beat Colorado.
Brett Kulak, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordie Benn scored in the third period. The Canadiens had lost three of their last four. The Avalanche have lost nine of 10.
DALLAS (AP) — Rookie goalie Jordan Binnington won his third straight start, Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals and St. Louis topped Dallas.
Binnington, who has played in six NHL games, is 3-0 in three starts. The 25-year-old has allowed only two goals in those starts. Binnington shut out Philadelphia 1-0 on Monday and beat Montreal 4-1 Thursday.
He made 21 saves on Saturday, the first time he has started consecutive games.
Pat Maroon also scored for the Blues, who have won two straight for the fifth time this season.
Erik Condra scored for Dallas. Ben Bishop made 25 saves.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Conor Garland scored a pair of power-play goals, including one that went in off his face and left him bloodied, and Arizona won its third straight.
Jordan Oesterle also scored for the Coyotes.
Connor McDavid and Kris Russell scored for the Oilers, who have lost nine of 12.
Garland’s second goal came on a scary play as a point shot struck him in the face when he was in the crease and went into the net. Garland was bleeding heavily and taken to the dressing room. He returned to the game.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Brent Burns scored his fourth game-winning goal and, Martin Jones made 27 saves for San Jose.
The Sharks, who own the second-best home record this season at 16-4-4, have won six straight games and are 8-1-0 in their last nine along with a five-game win streak at home.
Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Melker Karlsson also scored for San Jose. Jones has allowed two or fewer goals in four straight starts.
Ryan Dzingel scored the lone goal for Ottawa while Anders Nilsson, acquired Jan. 2 in a trade with Vancouver, made his fifth consecutive start for the Senators and stopped 28 shots.
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Buffalo QB Jackson declares himself eligible for NFL draft

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — University at Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson is forgoing his senior season by declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft.
Jackson calls it a “once in a lifetime opportunity” in a posting Sunday on Instagram . He has been contemplating his future since placing his name into the NCAA transfer portal shortly after completing his season with a 42-32 loss to Troy in the Dollar General Bowl.
Jackson is a redshirt junior who already has graduated. He says he reached his decision by consulting with his family, and adds he’s “really excited about the journey ahead, and I am going to attack it head on.”
Jackson had a career-high 3,131 yards passing for 28 touchdowns, one short of matching the school’s single-season record, and 12 interceptions this season. He also scored seven touchdowns rushing.
He helped the Mid-American Conference Bulls (10-4) set a single-season record for victories and earn the fourth bowl berth in school history.
Overall, Jackson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 6,999 yards with 49 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 32 career games.
“Though we are disappointed he will not return for his fifth season in our program, we are proud of Tyree for earning his degree and happy and excited for him and his family as he enters this next chapter,” coach Lance Leipold said in a statement. “He will always be a Bull.”
Buffalo also stands losing its top two receivers. Anthony Johnson is graduating, and K.J. Osborn is exploring the possibility of transferring.
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Buffalo Bills sign CFL-leading receiver Duke Williams

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills have signed D’haquille “Duke” Williams to a reserve-future contract after he led the Canadian Football League with 1,579 yards receiving.
The 25-year-old Williams spent the past two seasons with Edmonton before being released by the Eskimos last week to pursue his NFL opportunities. He also had 88 catches and finished tied for the CFL lead with 11 touchdowns last season.
Overall, he had 135 catches for 2,294 yards and 15 TDs in 31 career CFL games.
Williams had a troubled college career at Auburn. He was kicked off the team after breaking teammate Xavier Dampeer’s jaw during an altercation in October 2015. Some 10 months earlier, Williams was suspended from playing in the Outback Bowl for breaking team rules.
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