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In a mighty forgettable loss to Stars, Oilers suffer two key setbacks

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EDMONTON — A key injury to Duncan Keith and the end to Connor McDavid’s points streak. Those two setbacks and a 4-1 loss made the Edmonton Oilers‘ trip into Dallas a mighty forgettable one Tuesday night.

Hey – it could have been worse, as a beleaguered Stuart Skinner made some circus stops to stop this one from being a laugher. It was just one of those games: McDavid couldn’t keep the puck on his stick from one zone to the next; the Stars out-checked and outworked Edmonton all over the ice, and Leon Draisaitl had more minor penalties (two) than points (one).

“A few too many penalties,” said defenceman Cody Ceci of the five minors taken by the Oilers. “They got some momentum with some goals on those penalties and changed the whole course of the game.”

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Edmonton’s defence was too soft in front of its own net, as the Stars tipped two pucks past a chanceless Skinner, and a usually stout penalty kill gave up two goals, and another just seconds after a Dallas power play had expired.

“I don’t think we deserved as many (penalties) as we got,” groused head coach Dave Tippett.

What does a team do when the minors start adding up?

“You try to kill ’em,” said Tippett, whose penalty killing units were ranked second in the NHL prior to the game. “That’s the difference — we didn’t kill ’em tonight. We gave up two power-play goals — actually three, one right at the end — against a heavy team like that. They got the two power-play goals in the first period and that just allows them to … make it harder on you.”

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And the Oilers’ power play? To our eye Edmonton deserved the penalties they were assessed, but the Oilers surely could have had a better shake from the zebras on a couple of Stars infractions that went uncalled — particularly a high stick on Ryan McLeod that was missed.

The two calls Edmonton did receive on the night led to power plays that lasted just 35 and the final 19 seconds of the game. Dallas went two-for-five, another statistic that accurately depicted the flow of possession on this night.

“They moved it around well,” Ceci complimented. “It’s a pretty balanced power play. They showed it tonight, but we’ve got to move on pretty quickly. We have another game (Wednesday) night.”

Edmonton is in Arizona Wednesday, where Mikko Koskinen will get the start in goal.

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Black and Blue Line

Add another Top 4 defenceman to the injury pile, with Keith leaving Tuesday’s game after two periods with what they are calling an upper-body injury.

Keith made a simple D-to-D pass along the blue line to Tyson Barrie, and immediately bent over in pain. He went to the Oilers bench where trainer T.D. Forss was seen checking Keith’s lower back.

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Edmonton is already missing left side D-man Darnell Nurse (broken finger) for at least two weeks, and lefty Slater Koekkoek (ankle), both of whom are on the injured reserve. Keith is also a left-sider.

“The three guys that were on our left-side defence last week are not here right now. That’s a challenge,” assessed Tippett.

William Lagesson is on the trip and will almost certainly draw into the lineup Wednesday in Arizona. He, Kris Russell and Philip Broberg will comprise the left side of the blue-line against the Coyotes, barring a Keith return. Broberg has played two NHL games and Lagesson 27, while it will be the 889th game in Russell’s long career on Wednesday.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Ceci said. “Those (injured) guys eat up pretty big minutes, but …Broberg has come up and played pretty well for us. He’s a great skater, and he gets his shots through. It’s exciting for him, but it’s tough for us to have those guys all missing.”

Broberg has looked very comfortable through the first two games of his NHL career. And these injuries will ensure that he gets an even longer look than was likely planned, as the smooth skating Swede looks every bit like his billing said he would; big, an excellent skater, and very composed with the puck.

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Fun while it lasted

McDavid’s 17-game point streak off the start of the season is the third longest in Oilers team history. We’ll let you guess who had numbers one and two.

Of course, it was Wayne Gretzky, who had a 30-game skein to open the 1982-83 season. Then the very next season The Great One challenged Joe DiMaggio’s legendary 56-game hit streak, when he stretched his consecutive games points streak to an NHL-record 51 games.

“His accomplishment so far has been unbelievable,” Tippett said of McDavid. “You know, the streak’s over. Move on.”

McDavid actually had a run of 25-straight games with a point, going back to last season. But it was a night of frustration for No. 97, who just couldn’t find his way through the Dallas traffic often enough to furnish him with the kinds of looks that makes him hockey’s most dangerous player.

He closed out the night with three shots on net and two more attempts in 20:50 of ice time.

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Aaron Rodgers to the Jets? Giants' free agency options & Mike McCarthy's future with Cowboys | Ask Jay Glazer

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Jay Glazer discussed whether Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will head to the New York Jets, the New York Giants’ free agency options, and breaks down Mike McCarthy’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.



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Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs and Eagles will meet for title in Arizona

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Patrick Mahomes finally got the best of Joe Burrow. 

All he needed was a little shove.

Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for shoving Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC championship game to make it back to the Super Bowl.

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Kansas City will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. 

The Eagles opened as a 1 1/2-point favourite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

There are no shortage of storylines: Kansas City coach Andy Reid goes against his old team — which he led to Super Bowl 39 — in a game that’s also the first matchup of Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl with Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. 

On top of that, there’s a brother-against-brother showdown between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.

“Officially done being a Chiefs fan this season!! ” Jason Kelce tweeted immediately after the Chiefs won.

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The Chiefs have been making deep postseason runs on a regular basis ever since Mahomes came to town as the franchise quarterback. 

This was their fifth straight trip to the AFC title game and will be their third Super Bowl appearance in that span. They beat the 49ers for the NFL title in the 2019 season, but lost to the Bucs the following season.

The Eagles clobbered the Niners 31-7 in the NFC title game earlier Sunday. They’ve looked dominant in the playoffs so far, also beating the New York Giants 38-7 in the divisional round.

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Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018. 

Now a mostly new generation of Eagles — led by coach Nick Sirianni and Hurts — will come to Arizona to try and win another title.

The Chiefs-Bengals game looked as if it was going to overtime before Ossai’s ill-advised play. Mahomes — who was playing on a badly sprained ankle — was running to get a first down in the final seconds as Ossai desperately tried to track him down. 

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Mahomes was out of bounds when Ossai gave him a shove, sending both players tumbling to the turf. The ensuing 15-yard penalty was enough to push Butker into field-goal range and the kick split the uprights.

A distraught Ossai sat on the bench with his head in his hands, well after the game was over.

The Bengals and Chiefs were playing for the fourth time in less than 400 days and Cincinnati had won the previous three meetings — all by three points. This one was decided by a field goal, too, and all Burrow could do was watch.

The Bengals lost to the Rams in last year’s Super Bowl and they just missed another chance at returning to the title game.

NO DRAMA IN NFC

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Oddsmakers thought fans were in for some close conference championship games. 

They’ll have to settle for a 50% success rate.

The NFC title game was a blowout. Niners rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was injured in the first quarter when Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick drilled his right arm on a play that was ruled a fumble. The Eagles recovered that fumble and the injury proved to be a game-changer.

With Purdy hurt, San Francisco turned to 36-year-old journeyman Josh Johnson, who couldn’t do much before eventually leaving with a concussion. Purdy came back into the game, but could barely throw, and the Eagles cruised to the win.

The 49ers dealt with quarterback injuries all season, losing Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before turning to Purdy, a seventh-round draft pick out of Iowa State. Purdy stepped into a starter’s role in December and won his first seven games before Sunday’s injury. 

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Here’s a few things to know about the upcoming Super Bowl:

WHAT’S THE UPCOMING SCHEDULE?

FEB. 5

Pro Bowl flag-football game, 3 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN

FEB. 12

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Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 6:30 p.m. EST, Fox

RIHANNA AT HALFTIME

Rihanna will take center stage as the headline act for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

With sales of more than 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna ranks as one of the best-selling female artists ever. Her most recent album was 2016′s “Anti.” Rihanna last performed publicly at the Grammy Awards in 2018.

The singer said she turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl that was ultimately headlined by Maroon 5. At the time, many artists voiced support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested police brutality against Black people and minorities by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

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Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem, while R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful.” 

PRO BOWL MAKEOVER

The Pro Bowl is getting a major makeover this year after the NFL eliminated its full-contact all-star game and replaced it with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game.

The flag football contest is Feb. 5 in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, one week before the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl debuted in January 1951 in Los Angeles and stayed there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972-80. Hawaii hosted from 1980-2009, and the game has had several homes in the years since, including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.

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“The game was kind of silly, I guess,” Saints two-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk said back in September when the news was announced. “Guys weren’t out there playing true football. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot of interactions with the fans and guys will get their opportunity to go out there and show some skills. I could see that being a good change.”

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Ohio State hires James Laurinaitis & Tennessee extends Huepel's contract | Joel Klatt Show

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Joel Klatt discussed Ohio State Buckeyes hiring former linebacker James Laurinaitis as a defensive GA. Joel believes that Laurinaitis can help transform the defense into a powerhouse like the offense is for wide receivers. He then discussed the Tennessee Volunteers giving Josh Huepel a contract extension after their 11-win season.



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