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POSTED BY: linchao on 13/08/2018 02:27:03


TAMPA Cheap DJ Chark Jersey , Fla. — A potential Stanley Cup Final preview will be on display Sunday as the league-leading Nashville Predators visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A late-season surge by the Predators has them in front in the chase for the Presidents’ Trophy. Tampa Bay occupied that spot for most of the season before a mini-slump late in the season and is three points back.

Nashville, coming off a 7-4 loss at home to the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, continues to pace the league with 111 points, running off a 16-3-2 record since Feb. 19 to bypass the Lightning in the standings.

The Boston Bruins, who play at Philadelphia on Sunday, is two points behind the Predators and one ahead of Tampa Bay with a game in hand on both teams.

“That’s a huge game (Sunday) obviously,” Nashville center Austin Watson told The Tennessean. “Everybody knows that. It’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back. I don’t know how much we’ll look at this, or we’ll just look to Tampa. That’s up to the coaching staff. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to get our minds right.”

The Predators want to quickly put the loss to Buffalo behind them and avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the second time second time in the past 21 games.

“We have to get our stuff together, last four games we need to play hard Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , play much better than we showed,” Nashville center Mike Fisher told Predators’ television network following the loss to Buffalo. “Good thing is we have a big game (Sunday), and we have to get back at it and play our hockey. We still have a lot to play for, we have to show it.”

The Lightning, meanwhile, have not only dropped out of the top overall spot in the league standings, they now trail Boston for the top overall spot in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings with a 4-5-0 record in the past nine games.

While getting back on the right side of the ledger is something for Tampa Bay to focus on in the final four games, there are other areas the team is looking at as well.

“I think we are focusing on some little things here and there,” Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. “Obviously we are in a funk and in a little groove right now we are trying to get out of Marcedes Lewis Youth Jersey , but we will. I think once playoffs start it’s a completely different thing and it automatically elevates wherever you are, and I have a lot of faith in our team and our group, so I’m not too worried about there.”

Chasing down Boston is on the Lightning’s agenda heading down the final week of the season and is in the middle of a stretch of four emotionally charged games, including the matchup with Nashville. Tampa Bay hosts Boston on Tuesday.

“We have gone in to a little bit of a lull since we clinched,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “I think these upcoming games, they bring the emotions out, especially with the distance in the standings between us and Boston and what it has been. You don’t know how these games are going to turn out but I would expect our guys to be fully invested for sure.”

It will also be an expected matchup between Vezina Trophy favorites with Nashville’s Pekka Rinne likely facing Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Rinne has jumped to the forefront as the favorite thanks to a 22-3-1 run in which he has posted a 2.02 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in his past 26 starts. He enters Sunday with an overall record of 41-11-4, a 2.25 GAA, .929 save percentage and league-leading eight shutouts Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , but was victimized for six goals by Buffalo.

Vasilevskiy was the runaway leader at the All-Star break and though he leads the league with 42 victories, which is a single-season franchise record, he has seen his GAA blow up to 2.60 after giving up three or more goals 15 times in 21 starts since the All-Star break.

Max Kepler drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded in the 13th inning and the Minnesota Twins outlasted the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Thursday.

The Twins pushed across the go-ahead run after Logan Morrison doubled off left fielder Charlie Tilson’s glove with two outs. Hector Santiago (2-3), the sixth White Sox reliever, intentionally walked Ehire Adrianza before walking Jake Cave and Kepler.

Alan Busenitz (2-0), the Twins’ sixth reliever, pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win.

Minnesota bounced back after the White Sox tied it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when closer Fernando Rodney walked pinch-hitter Daniel Palka on four pitches to force in a run.

Rodney quickly got the first two Chicago hitters in the inning, but ended up blowing his fourth save in 21 chances. Yolmer Sanchez singled, Rodney hit Tim Anderson with a pitch and Charlie Tilson walked before Palka also walked.

Morrison hit his ninth homer deep to right to lead off the seventh for a 1-0 lead. The drive was just Minnesota’s second hit off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito Cheap M.J. Stewart Jersey , who didn’t allow any until Eddie Rosario lined a double off first baseman Jose Abreu’s glove with one out in the sixth.

Twins starter Jake Odorizzi tossed six shutout innings in his best outing in more than a month, allowing three hits and striking out eight. The righty was 0-3 with an 8.77 ERA in his six previous starts.

Giolito recovered after walking the bases loaded in the first for his lowest-scoring outing this season. The 6-foot-6 righty, who entered with a 7.01 ERA, allowed one run on four hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He leads the AL with 51 walks.

Giolito escaped the first without allowing a run despite throwing just 11 of his first 26 pitches for strikes.

The White Sox barely threatened against Odorizzi.

BOOTED

Anderson, Chicago’s shortstop, was ejected for the second time in his career in the 11th when he argued with umpire Gerry Davis after being caught stealing second.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: RF Taylor Motter hit the wall hard trying to catch Yoan Moncada’s double in the sixth. Motter stayed down on the warning track for a couple of minutes, but was tended to by the trainer and remained in the game until Kepler pinch hit for him in the seventh. . INF Jorge Polanco (PED suspension) was scheduled to DH in one game and play shortstop in the other in a doubleheader for Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He can be reinstated on July 5. . OF Byron Buxton (fractured left big toe) will play DH and play center field for Rochester.

White Sox: Sanchez left the game in the 13th after tripping on first base when he ran out a grounder. . Manager Rick Renteria said OF Nicky Delmonico (broken right middle finger) will start swinging a bat soon, but isn’t close to beginning a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Twins: Ace RHP Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.15) takes the mound against LHP Mike Montgomery (2-2 Austin Corbett Browns Jersey , 3.39) as the Twins move across town and meet the Cubs in the opener of a three-game interleague set that starts Friday. Berrios has won his last three decisions over five starts in June and has a 2.10 ERA during the span.

White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (3-2, 3.45) faces RHP Yovani Gallardo when Chicago opens a three-game series at Texas on Friday. Covey left in the fifth inning of his previous start, last Saturday, with a right hip flexor strain, but after throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday said he felt fine.

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