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Another slow start dooms Oilers in Detroit against Red Wings

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So, all those coaches for all those years were right all along.

It turns out you CAN’T play 20 minutes and win a hockey game.

Goalie Stuart Skinner was fantastic, give or take a puck-handling error that ended up in his own net, but his Edmonton Oilers teammates were not close to worthy of the two points Tuesday in Detroit, thoroughly outplayed for the opening 40 minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings.

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“Didn’t like the start,” began Connor McDavid, whose team trailed 3-0 until Jesse Puljujarvi scored with 35 seconds left in the second period. “We dug ourselves a hole again. Loved the response, but we can’t keep digging that kind of a hole.”

Edmonton trailed the New York Rangers 4-1 on Friday night, before storming back to win 6-5 in overtime. After opening a five-game road trip in Detroit, a grumpy head coach Dave Tippett did not see any similarities between the two efforts.

“Last game was different. We were down 4-1 but we were still in the game,” he said. “Not enough urgency not enough execution tonight. They played a desperate first period and we didn’t match that.”

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Though McDavid scored a goal to stretch his points streak to 19 games going back to last season, one run that died in Motown Tuesday came on the power play, as Edmonton failed to notch a goal for the first time all season, going 0-for-2. That’s a franchise record that stops at 10 games.

Vlad Namestnikov walked Tyson Barrie wide on the first Detroit goal, then he stood in the slot and poked home a rebound while defenceman Evan Bouchard stood next to him, admiring the Detroit forward’s fine form. Then Skinner’s gaffe made it 3-0, and the Oilers just couldn’t climb all the way back.

“Never lose two in a row,” said McDavid, whose club is still a lofty 9-2. “That’s the focus now.”

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Tasty Stu

There was some good news for Edmonton on Tuesday with the performance of Skinner, who made his second NHL start in the nets. He looked far more comfortable than his maiden start last season, and despite a puck-handling miscue that gave Dylan Larkin a freebie, Skinner looked far more comfortable than he had in his only NHL start last season.

“Much better,” the 23-year-old Edmonton native said. “It felt like I just went out there and do what I normally do. It felt better to have (AHL) games before I actually played.”

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Skinner sat on the bench for seven games watching Mikko Koskinen before getting this start, and got his team to the dressing room down only 1-0 after a first period in which Detroit outshot Edmonton 16-9 and owned the puck. It was a 2-0 game 14 minutes into the second when Skinner fanned on a puck behind his own net.

As he tried to recoup, Larkin lifted Skinner’s goal stick and tapped home one of the easiest goals of his long career for a 3-0 Red Wings lead.

“Honestly, I just fanned on it,” Skinner said. “Hard fan, bad timing. If that didn’t happen we’d potentially still be playing (in overtime), so obviously it sucks … At the same time it happens. Move forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

A young goalie could be crushed by such a play, but Skinner bounced back after that giveaway, giving his team plenty of time to catch up.

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“Believe it or not,” Skinner smiled, “I’ve made a worse play before in my career and we ended up winning the game. I just looked back to that, and there’s always a chance to come back in a game. We almost got it.”

They didn’t deserve it, but indeed Edmonton nearly pushed this game into OT. They owned the Wings for the final 10 minutes, but it was Detroit that finally got the empty-netter.

The Red Wings deserved the two points. They were the better team for 40 minutes.

Zack is Back — On I.R.?

Zack Kassian got moved up to the second line, a rare tour in the Top 6 for a guy who is pretty much a prototype for what you want in a third-line winger. Unfortunately, Kassian never saw the second period after he suffered a “lower body injury” in the first.

In his post-game remarks, Tippett did not have any information on the extent of the injury.

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Kassian played just 27 games last season because of a pair of injuries. He just never got started.

This season he had three goals and five points in his first nine games, and staked his claim on a line with Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan that — though Tippett may tinker during the season — looked very much like a valid post-season third line.

It was time to tinker after a few sub-par games, Tippett said.

“They’ve been very average the last two, three games. We decided to shake it up a bit,” Tippett said. “We were going to try Yamo and Ryan together because they penalty kill together, but Kass goes out of the game early and we really didn’t get a chance to see what we were looking for.”





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Morocco's Abdelhamid Sabiri scores goal vs. Belgium in 73' | 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Watch Morocco’s Abdelhamid Sabiri scoring a goal against Belgium in the 73′ in the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup.



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Neymar working ’24 hours a day’ to return from injury at World Cup

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is working “24 hours a day” to try to recover from his ankle injury and play again at the World Cup, Brazil teammate Marquinhos said Sunday.

Neymar damaged ligaments in his right ankle in the team’s 2-0 opening win over Serbia on Thursday and will miss the match against Switzerland on Monday. He remained hopeful of recovering but team doctors still haven’t given a timetable on his return — or said if he will return at all.

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“He is sleeping in physiotherapy, 24 hours a day,” Marquinhos said. “That shows how much he wants to be back with us. We don’t know when it’s going to happen, but we hope we will have him with us again as soon as possible and in good health mentally and physically.”

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Brazil coach Tite said he had to “force” Neymar and right back Danilo — who is also injured — to stop their treatment on Sunday and go be with teammates at the last training before the match against Switzerland. Tite said after the match against Serbia, Neymar was in physiotherapy until five or six in the morning.

Neymar had said Saturday on Instagram that he was “sure” he would “have a chance to return.” He posted photos of his ankle still looking very swollen.

Marquinhos said Neymar had been feeling down after the injury but was getting more upbeat.

“I see him very well and confident about returning,” the defender said ahead of the match against Switzerland. “He is very focused on coming back.”

Tite remained optimistic about the return of both Neymar and Danilo, who sprained his ankle against Serbia.

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“I’m not a doctor, I’m not an expert,” Tite said. “But I still believe that Neymar and Danilo will play in the World Cup. I think we will still be able to use them.”

Tite has plenty of options to fill in for Neymar but admitted it’s hard to replace the talent of a player like him.

“These great talents can show up two or three times and make the difference,” Tite said. “And that’s what Neymar can do for us.”

The coach did not say who would replace Neymar or Danilo in the starting lineup on Monday. The options to replace Danilo included Dani Alves or Éder Militão.

The 30-year-old Neymar is second on Brazil’s scoring list with 75 goals, two behind Pelé’s record with the national team. He has yet to win a major title with Brazil.

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Neymar had to leave the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after hurting his back in the quarterfinals against Colombia. He also missed the 2019 Copa América because of a right ankle injury.

Brazil, seeking its first World Cup title in two decades, faces Cameroon in its last Group G match. The team can reach the round of 16 with a win on Monday if Cameroon doesn’t defeat Serbia in the other group match.



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Morocco's Hakim Ziyech puts a free kick in the net but Romain Saïss caught offside in 45'+2'| 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Hakim Ziyech put Morocco on the board momentarily after a strong free kick from the right wing, but Romain Saïss was caught offside and the goal was disallowed.



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