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nother tough fortnight of soul-searching but t

  • December 18, 2017 11:31 PM GMT

    PITTSBURGH -- Its been about a month since Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan had a talk with winger Phil Kessel. Sullivan wanted to see Kessels wicked shot more to, he hoped, increase his scoring.The Ottawa Senators, who visit PPG Paints Arena on Monday night, will have a chance to see the results, although they might not be thrilled about that.Over the past six games, Kessel has scored four goals to double his total from the first six weeks of the season. He has been contributing all season -- he has 16 assists and ranks third on the team with 24 points -- but seems to be getting back to the snipers role that has defined his career.Sullivan noted that when Kessel is on the puck, hes a threat. Hes got such a great shot, whether its off the rush, underneath the hash marks. ... We have to be a team that can generate offense different ways.Kessel has 29 shots over the past eight games. Saturday, he scored twice in a 5-3 win over Detroit, his first multi-goal game of the season.Those two goals came off of slick passes by Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin, and Kessel was quick to deflect most of the credit to those two, and in hockeyese.Geno sauced me a good one on the first one, and Haggy made a great backdoor for a tap-in, Kessel said.Translation: Malkin found him with a cross-ice saucer pass for a one-timer, and Hagelins pass cut across the grain.The Penguins (15-7-3) have won two games in a row for the first time in almost a month, since Nov. 6 and 8, but they remain neck and neck and neck with the Rangers and Washington as the three jostle for the Metropolitan Division lead.The Senators (15-8-2), meanwhile, beat Florida 2-0 Saturday to break a two-game losing streak. The win brought them within two points of Montreal atop the Atlantic Division -- although the Canadiens then picked up another two points Sunday in a shootout win against Los Angeles.Ottawa coach Guy Boucher sensed some fatigue after the two straight losses, so he called off Fridays practice, and Saturdays morning skate was a lightly-attended optional.We needed to give the guys a rest, Boucher said. We were definitely hoping to have more energy, and thats exactly what happened. You saw that right off the bat. Our guys were skating hard. They were ready.Now the Senators will need to be ready to start a four-game, nine-day road trip that heads to the West Coast following the game against the Penguins.With goaltender Craig Anderson on leave from Ottawa to be with his wife as she battles cancer, Pittsburgh could see a familiar face in goal for Ottawa on Monday.Mike Condon began the season with the Penguins while Matt Murray recovered from a broken thumb. He played just one period. When Murray returned, Pittsburgh traded Condon to the Senators.Condon is 3-1-1 with Ottawa, including two shutouts -- the second one a 24-save job Saturday against Florida. Its quite a run.I dont really look too far in the past or too far in the future, Condon said. Im just trying to keep the game simple and just stay in the moment. Nike Cortez Blanche . Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Air Max 90 Femme Blanche . The 20-year-old Pelicans big man glanced up and smiled widely at the well-wishers -- a fitting end to a day he wont soon forget. Davis responded to his selection earlier in the day as a Western Conference All-Star with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 on Friday night. . The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville Predators. Nike Shox Pas Cher . PAUL, Minn. Tn Pas Cher En France . Instead of dwelling on the negative, Oates focused on what was good about the clubs recent play. It worked. The Wallabies restored a degree of pride in the gold jersey but the black haze that has hung over Australian rugby remains following another Bledisloe Cup loss.The novelty-sized icon of trans-Tasman relations will stay in New Zealand for a 14th straight year after the All Blacks capitalised on their opportunities to record a 29-9 victory in a stop-start, and heated, affair in Wellington.Frenchman Romain Poites whistle was a constant theme throughout a tense 80 minutes at Westpac Stadium, broken only by the attacking brilliance of Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett, and the finishing of Israel Dagg and Julian Savea.Matching their sublime first half -- and to a lesser degree the second stanza -- from Sydney seven days ago was always going to be a tough task, yet the All Blacks still showed glimpses of the skills that sets them apart from not only Australia but the rest of the rugby world, too.That was evident in Smiths first-half break in which he beat a swarm of Wallabies defenders; that play eventually resulted in the first of Daggs two tries, and the right winger himself later caught an attacking kick above two Australians in the lead-up to Saveas 41st Test five-pointer.Again New Zealand were playing behind a pack that physically dominated their Wallabies counterparts, and they managed to pick off lineout balls from Australia captain Stephen Moore.The veteran hooker endured another torrid night before he was replaced in the second half with a series of facial cuts. Moore struggled to communicate with the referee, as has been the case throughout his captaincy tenure, and he seemed to get Poite offside early on. From there on, the Frenchman wouldnt entertain a conversation with Moore.But the Reds-bound rakes lineout throwing will be of bigger concern for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, as will another 30 missed tackles and a couple of moments of ill-discipline that reflect Australias current frustrations.There was certainly a clear focus on physical aggression and intensity from Australia, but that was overcooked by Adam Coleman when he earnedd himself a yellow-card for a blatant shoulder charge shortly before half-time; there is smart aggression and stupid aggression, and Coleman must learn the difference if hes to remain in the squad -- let alone the run-on XV.ddddddddddddElsewhere, a couple of familiar faces again did their best to inspire Australia.Israel Folau had few opportunities to impress, but he did run off a fine inside ball from Quade Cooper that resulted in one of just two Australian breaks.The other moment came from Will Genia, the Wallabies scrum-half scooting past three All Blacks defenders in the type of run that suggests he might be returning to somewhere near the form that saw him regarded as the worlds best No. 9 before the emergence of Aaron Smith.And then there was Cooper, who may have just killed off the remaining and now plainly embarrassing boos that remain in the country of his birth with a solid game at No.10.Cooper kicked well and threw a handful of nice passes; but more importantly there were no of the hair-brained moments that have highlighted his performances across the Tasman for some time.But to compare Cooper with Barrett at this current juncture is to masquerade sparkling as champagne, chuck steak as fillet - gold as black. And perhaps that perfectly reflects the current Tasman rugby divide.The All Blacks are a team bursting with confidence, a squad loaded with playing talent in which any man can seemingly step in and do a job -- even on debut: case in point Anton Lienert-Brown.The Wallabies, having now lost six Test matches on the trot, are at the opposite end of the spectrum.They now have two weeks to prepare for the Springboks in Brisbane; it looms as another tough fortnight of soul-searching but they can at least take solace in the fact that there was some improvement from their Sydney shocker.The Wallabies moved slightly up from rock bottom on Saturday night, but theres an awfully long way still to climb, too. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '