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Flames face daunting task of ending losing skid before it derails momentum

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MONTREAL – On the heels of a ten-game point streak, the Calgary Flames have started a new run.

They’ve now lost two games in a row against depleted teams they should have beaten.

Surrendering a pair of power play goals in the second half of an entertaining, 4-2 loss to the Canadiens at Bell Centre Thursday, the Flames now face the daunting task of trying to stop their slide in Toronto Friday against a surging Leafs club.

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And just like that, the Flames are staring at the type of skid that has derailed Flames clubs of the past.

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This is where we start to see whether Darryl Sutter’s system, preparation and mindset can help turn the tables on an age-old trend in Calgary where the Flames have long been prone to turning solid runs into bad ones.

“Good teams don’t lose three in a row, so we’ve got to bounce back tomorrow,” said Mikael Backlund, who opened the scoring with a deflection past Jake Allen two minutes into the evening.

“We’ve got to regroup and refocus, we’re not happy we’re losing. We have to come out with a lot of energy like I know we will. Hometown game for a lot of guys. They’ve got a good power play, so we have to stay out of the box. It’s a big game for us, setting up this road trip. It’s a long trip and it’s going to feel a lot better 1-1 than 0-2.”

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The Flames certainly played well enough to squeak out at least a point, before 1-0 and 2-1 leads were erased by a desperate Habs club that tied it midway through the second by banging in a puck lying on the goal line after rebounding off the post and then Jacob Markstrom’s back.

The Flames found themselves trying to kill off the last three of their five shorthanded situations in the third period before a Nick Suzuki bank shot off Jacobson’s pad was the difference-maker.

“Marky was probably reading the play to go all the way around the net,” said Sutter, whose happiness with the team’s play was countered by his obvious displeasure on the bench with officials.

“I thought we had a really solid first period. I think it was a little disjointed in the second with the way the officiating was, and I thought we had a really good start to the third. My only take on (the officiating) is their team leads the league in minor penalties. I thought it would be a little more (even).”

The Flames enjoyed just one power play.

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Given how tight a game it was, no one in Calgary should be worried about the start or the effort.

As Sutter reiterated after the game, he doesn’t feel his club is capable of sustaining the goal-scoring pace it set to open the season 7-1-3.

So, in an effort to kickstart a few of his forwards, he promoted Sean Monahan and Andrew Mangiapane to the second line, alongside Blake Coleman.

It paid dividends early when the three combined on a stunner that saw a 40-foot cross-ice pass from Monahan corralled by the right skate of Mangiapane, who kicked it to his stick before roofing a backhand over Allen, in tight, with a defender draped all over him.

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It was a magic marker that served as yet another reminder of why he’s on the Canadian Olympic team’s long list.

His ninth of the year is the league’s-leading eighth road marker.

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“I was just trying to shake some guys up that have struggled lately,” said Sutter of the line changes.

“We try to set goals for these guys to achieve, short-term, in three or four games or five games at a time. Some guys have fallen off in that. Sometimes it gets a little stale for them or something like that. Wanted to get Sean going a little bit, so moved some guys around and tried to see if we could get a little more offence out of it. That’s what I said a while ago, when we were scoring three and a half goals a game, it’s not a sustainable number. It’s just flat-out not, the league doesn’t work like that. What are we, 12 games in now? We need a little more offence.”

They needed one more save too, something the red-hot Markstrom lamented afterwards.

“Not good enough – I think that’s a pretty simple way to assess it,” said Markstrom, unduly hard on himself after a 25-save effort in which only the Suzuki goal was questionable.

“You want to keep it two or under and they got some bounces to get their first and second one. But you need to come up with a couple saves to keep it tight and give the guys a chance to win. We’ve got a new game tomorrow so you can’t really dwell on it, but tonight is going to suck.”

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Sutter said he hadn’t thought about who he’d start in Toronto Friday, but smart money says Dan Vladar gets the tap.

It’s the Flames first road loss in six road outings, but it’s the first game of a seven-game roadie they hoped to start off with some momentum.

“This is a long road trip and we wanted to start with a win,” said Markstrom.

“No one was happy with the game against San Jose the other night. I thought we had this game where we wanted to, but we couldn’t finish it and they got three goals.”

Sutter refused to buy into the narrative his team should have beaten a Covid-ravaged Sharks team with 11 players of under 50 games of NHL experience, and a Montreal club missing Jonathan Drouin, Joel Edmundson, Shea Weber and Carey Price.

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“We’re a team that didn’t make the playoffs last year, we’re trying to stay in the race,” said the coach.

“There’s not enough difference in the league, I’ll tell you that, right now. Every night, it’s a tough game. As I said before, we’re a team that’s not going to score a lot, so we are going to do a lot of grinding and banging away. I think we did more of that tonight than we probably did in the last couple games.”



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Combate Global picks, live stream, how to watch, fight card: Tena vs. Romero predictions, channel, time

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The Combate Global schedule will continue Friday on Paramount+ with five fights from La Jaula in Miami. Ivan Tena is a 23-year-old featherweight who looks like one of the best prospects in the promotion after earning three knockout victories and one submission win in his first four fights. He’ll take on Mexican fighter Roberto Romero in a USA vs. Mexico showdown in the 145-pound division. You can stream the action live on Paramount+.

The co-main event will feature Chile’s Valentina Escobar (1-0) against Mexico’s Yazmin Najera in a fight at 120 pounds. Another bout on the Combate Global fight card will feature a pair of veteran featherweights as Carlos Rivera (14-6) takes on Landry Ward (5-1). The Combate Global fight card begins at 10:30 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ now has two levels of membership so you can watch Combate and much more. The Premium Plan is $9.99 per month and you can watch your local CBS live stream, including plenty of sports like Champions League, Italian Serie A, college hoops, and the PGA Tour, with no ads, on-demand and the ability to download episodes for offline viewing. Plus, watch the highly-anticipated series Halo, Picard, 1883, and more. Both plans come with a free week to start. Paramount+ will even give you a free week to start, so sign up now here.

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How to watch Combate Global 

  • Date: Friday, August 19
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Streaming: Paramount+

Top Combate Global picks for Aug. 19 fight card

Before tuning in to Friday’s Combate Global fight card, you need to see the picks from SportsLine’s MMA insider Andrew Gombas. With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000. 

For Friday’s card, Gombas is picking Tena to defeat Romero to stay unbeaten and continue his rise up the featherweight ranks. Tena is a recent Arizona State graduate who trains out of MMA Lab and has finished all four of his professional fights in the first or second round. Romero is coming off a draw against Zed Montanez in his last fight.

“This is a fantastic main event for the Combate USA vs. Mexico card. Ivan Tena is one of the prospects in Combate who I hold in high regard. Roberto Romero is known for an exciting fighting style and has a bright future as well. I have to side with Tena. He is a slick finisher who punishes his opponents for making mistakes. I think he gets another finish,” Gombas told SportsLine. Stream the card on Paramount+ now.

How to watch Combate Global in Miami

Now that you know who to pick, get ready to watch Combate Global. Visit Paramount+ now to see the Combate Global, your live local CBS sporting events, some of the world’s top soccer matchups and much more.

August 19 Combate Global fight card

Stream the entire Combate Global fight card here

  • Ivan Tena vs. Roberto Romero
  • Valentina Escobar vs. Yazmin Najera
  • Carlos Rivera vs. Landry Ward
  • Jaret Betancourt vs. Rodrigo Garcia
  • Katie Perez vs. Andrea Meneses Garcia



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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers sets up QB Danny Etling’s long rushing TD during mid-game interview in preseason win

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Quarterback Danny Etling scored a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Friday’s preseason victory over the New Orleans Saints, yet the highlight of the play wasn’t the touchdown run itself — but who was on air when the play occurred. Etling took the snap and ran to his right untouched for the touchdown with Aaron Rodgers being interviewed mid-game. 

Needless to say, Rodgers was pretty excited when Etling — the third-string quarterback — had the big play for the score. 

“What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya,” Rodgers said as he clapped his hands and smiled. “Yeah baby, I love it. I love it.” 

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This isn’t the first time Etling ran a naked bootleg and scored on a long touchdown run. Etling scored on an 86-yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg to his right during his time with the New England Patriots in 2018 — and this touchdown looked eerily similar. In fact, Rodgers was complimenting Etling’s athleticism and reminiscing about that very run minutes before he took off for the score Friday night.

Etling has bounced around the league, being waived and signed by the Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks several times. Etling also was on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, the Denver Broncos practice squad, the Packers practice squad and the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He actually was assigned to the Packers practice squad and later signed by the Jaguars and assigned to their practice squad last December.

Overall, Etling has been involved in 27 transactions since entering the league in 2018 — yet has never played a regular season snap in the NFL

For one night, the former seventh-round quarterback from LSU recaptured his rookie year magic. No one at Lambeau Field may have been happier than Rodgers. 

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Watch Everton vs. Nottingham Forest: How to live stream, TV channel, Saturday’s Premier League start time

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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Nottingham Forest @ Everton
  • Current Records: Nottingham Forest 1-1; Everton 0-2

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Everton will look to defend their home turf on Saturday against Nottingham Forest at 10 a.m. ET.

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This past Saturday, Everton fell a goal shy of Aston Villa, losing 2-1. That was Everton’s second consecutive one-goal defeat against Villa.

Speaking of close games: Nottingham Forest won by a goal, slipping past West Ham United 1-0. The Nottingham Forest offense checked out after the first half but had enough goals banked to take the contest anyway.

Nottingham Forest’s victory lifted them to 1-1 (10th place with three points) while Everton’s loss dropped them down to 0-2 (18th place with zero points). We’ll see if Nottingham Forest can repeat their recent success or if Everton bounces back and reverse their fortune.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

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How To Watch

  • Who: Everton vs. Nottingham Forest
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: Goodison Park
  • Online streaming: Peacock
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Everton -111; Draw +245; Forest +325

Featured Game | Everton vs. Nottingham Forest

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last six years.

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