Wake-Up Call: Another Slow Afternoon Start Costs Flyers a Point

Wake-Up Call: Another Slow Afternoon Start Costs Flyers a Point

Another early afternoon game, another poor start for the Flyers. They were able to ratchet the effort up in the second second and third periods and overcome a 2-0 first period deficit, forcing OT and a shootout, but Boston scored on each of their shootout attempts, while the Flyers converted two of three, taking the OTL point as consolation. Despite the efforts that led to the comeback, it's hard not to think the first 10 minutes set the Flyers back in their chances at grabbing a win over the Bruins.  
The loss moves the Flyers to 3-8-2 in afternoon games. As the broadcast team pointed out, the sample size is enough to be more than a coincidence. Also, unlike the shootout, day games are a part of playoff hockey. Hopefully the Flyers can use their remaining matinees to develop some new practices and patterns. 
The good news is, they were able to salvage a hard-fought point. The Bruins played some excellent hockey, and this could have been a blowout. The game was rough from the start, with big hits, fights, and plenty of stickwork, and the Flyers managed their comeback while shorthanded, losing Andreas Lilja in the first period and Max Talbot in the second. More on that here, with video. 
Already without Andrej Meszaros and Pavel Kubina, the remaining blueliners had to take on extra minutes. Braydon Coburn and Matt Carle each topped 27 minutes of ice time, as did Claude Giroux. 
Nearly 10 minutes ticked off the clock before the Flyers registered their first shot on goal. Quality opportunities were hard to come by all day, as the Bruins played tight defense, forechecking very well and marking up in their own zone. At times it seemed like the ice was 100 yards long. The Flyers had trouble clearing the zone, connecting on outlet passes, getting through the neutral zone, and putting quality shots on net. Although the Flyers didn't have their game together early, the Bruins deserve credit for taking them off the tracks for much of the game. 
The early hole came courtesy of goals by Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. Kelly scored on a rebound after Ilya Bryzgalov stopped the initial shot; Nick Grossmann was unable to tie up Kelly on a play that developed quickly and a rebound that went right to him as he approached the net. 
With three minutes left in the first, Patrice Bergeron was given plenty of room to work with behind the net, and he found Seguin waiting with an unchecked stick. The talented 20-year-old had no problem taking it from there. Neither goal was a bad one on Bryz. 
The Flyers had more life in the second, and Matt Read defibrillated their effort with his 20th of the season, tying him for the league lead in rookie goals. The goal came on the power play, with Read stationed in front of Thomas in position to deflect a Danny Briere shot. 

Jake Voracek would score a similar goal with less than five minutes to go in the game, tying it up for good. This time it was a Coburn attempt that was deflected, with a sweet between-the-legs tip by Vorch. Watch the second angle here:

After overtime went scoreless, the skaters went nuts in the shootout. The first five attempts—three by the Bruins and two by the Flyers—all scored, with Read and Giroux each netting theirs. But, Tim Thomas was able to hang in on Danny Briere's attempt, and the B's got the extra point. 
Full Highlights (definitely some good ones in here):

No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

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No. 10 Washington dominates No. 7 Stanford in rout

SEATTLE -- Jake Browning threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns, Myles Gaskin added 100 yards and two scores, and No. 10 Washington was dominant on both sides, overwhelming No. 7 Stanford 44-6 on Friday night.

After months of hype that Washington (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) was on the verge of a breakout, the Huskies showed they were ready for their return to the national stage.

And they did it emphatically, handing Stanford (3-1, 2-1) its worst loss since a 41-3 setback against Arizona State in 2007.

The Huskies raced to a 23-0 halftime lead, scored early in the second half to go up 30-0 and coasted to their biggest victory over an AP Top 10 team since beating No. 5 Southern California 31-0 in 1990. That game 26 years ago announced Washington as a national contender and the Huskies went on to share the national title a year later with Miami -- taking the coaches' version while Miami topped the AP media poll.

Browning was the leader of an efficient offense that scored on six of its eight drives. He threw touchdowns of 3 yards to Dante Pettis, 19 yards to John Ross and capped the night with a 3-yarder to Aaron Fuller with 5:30 remaining. Browning was 15 of 21 and did not commit a turnover.

Equally important was Washington's ability to establish a running game. The Huskies rushed for 214 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, Stanford star Christian McCaffrey saw his Heisman Trophy aspirations hit a major speed bump. McCaffrey was held to 49 yards rushing on 12 carries, five catches for 30 yards and continued his streak of never scoring an offensive touchdown in a road game.

It was McCaffrey's fewest yards rushing since 2014 at California when he had 19 yards on three carries.

Stanford's only TD came late in the third quarter on a 19-yard pass from Ryan Burns to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

Burns was 15 of 22 for 151 yards, but Washington controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. Stanford quarterbacks were sacked eight times, six in the first half. Stanford had allowed only four total sacks in the first three games combined.

Stanford was playing short-handed without starting cornerbacks Quenton Meeks and Alijah Holder, starting wide receiver Francis Owusu and starting fullback Daniel Marx. Starting right tackle Casey Tucker limped off with an apparent leg injury late in the fourth quarter.

Takeaways
Stanford: The Cardinal were unexpectedly sloppy. Stanford committed 11 penalties after entering the week as the least penalized team in the Pac-12. There were communication issues in part due to the roaring Washington crowd, but also a lack of sharpness not normally seen from David Shaw's team.

Washington: The defense was up to the task of keeping McCaffrey under control and forcing Burns to beat them through the air. McCaffrey had 34 yards on 10 carries in the first half and forced the Cardinal into numerous long third-down situations. That allowed Washington to bring extra pass rushers to get to Burns.

Up Next
Stanford: The Cardinal head home after two straight weeks on the road to host Washington State.

Washington: The Huskies travel to Oregon looking to snap a 12-game losing streak to the Ducks.

Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

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Best of MLB: Darvish stars as Rangers beat Rays 3-1 and clinch home field

ARLINGLTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish looked playoff-ready with a season-high 12 strikeouts in six innings as the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Friday night and clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Rangers can be tied by only the Cleveland Indians and they own the tie-breaker by winning the teams' season series. The AL owns home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to its win in the All-Star Game.

Darvish (7-5) allowed one run, three hits and one walk. His 28th career game of double-digit strikeouts is the second-most in a pitcher's first 100 major league starts, topped only by Dwight Gooden (31). Darvish will likely start Game 2 of the Division Series following Cole Hamels.

Shin-Soo Choo returned to Texas' lineup after missing 39 games with a fractured left forearm. Choo pulled a single to right in his first plate appearance since Aug. 15 and went 1 for 4.

Matt Andriese (8-8) gave up three runs and seven hits, including solo home runs to Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor (see full story). 

Cabrera hits 2 HRs, Tigers move up in playoff race, beat Braves
ATLANTA -- Miguel Cabrera hit two home runs, Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton also connected and the Detroit Tigers moved up in the playoff race, beating the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Friday night.

The Tigers won their third straight and pulled within a half-game of Toronto for the second AL wild-card spot. The Blue Jays lost at Boston 5-3.

The regular season is scheduled to end Sunday, but the Tigers might need to play beyond that. They were rained out against Cleveland this week and would have to make up that game if it impacts their playoff chances.

Daniel Norris (4-2) gave up one run, five hits, two walks and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.

The Braves, playing their final series at Turner Field before moving north to the suburbs next year, had won 10 of 11. Matt Wisler (7-13) was chased in the fifth when James McCann's RBI single made it 5-0 (see full story).

Trumbo hits 47th, Schoop 5 RBIs as Orioles top Yankees 8-1
NEW YORK -- Mark Trumbo hit his major league-leading 47th home run, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones also went deep in a six-run fifth inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees 8-1 in steady rain Friday night to maintain their AL wild-card lead.

Baltimore began the night tied with Toronto for the AL's two wild cards at 87-72, with Detroit 1 1/2 games back and Seattle trailing the Tigers by a half-game.

Trumbo and Jones homered off Michael Pineda (6-12), who started with 3 2/3 hitless innings and suddenly became ineffective.

Schoop tied his career high with five RBIs, hitting a go-ahead, two-run double in the fourth and adding a three-run homer in the fifth against James Pazos -- Baltimore's big league-high 250th home run this season.

Yovani Gallardo (6-8) won for just the second time in nine starts since Aug. 5, allowing two hits, three walks and Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly in six innings (see full story). 

Ortiz delivers another HR, Red Sox beat Blue Jays 5-3
BOSTON -- Opening his final weekend with yet another game-winning homer, David Ortiz lined a two-run shot into the right-field stands to break a seventh-inning tie and help the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Friday night.

The AL East champion Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak and stayed one game ahead of Cleveland in the race for home-field advantage for the playoffs.

The Blue Jays fell one game behind Baltimore in the wild-card race and are now within range of Detroit and Seattle in the fight for the AL's final postseason berth (see full story).