Tuesday, March 3
Toews scores 2 to help Blackhawks beat Hurricanes 5-2
CHICAGO (AP) — Jonathan Toews had two goals and assisted on Marian Hossa's score as the Chicago Blackhawks rolled to a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.
Brandon Saad scored his 20th to reach that mark for the first time in his career and Marcus Kruger also connected for the Blackhawks, who have won three of their last four. Toews increased his total to 21 goals.
Corey Crawford made 27 saves for Chicago and lost his bid for a second straight shutout when Carolina's John-Michael Liles scored at 4:29 of the third period. Alexander Semin also scored late in the third for the Hurricanes, who snapped a three-game winning streak.
Cam Ward allowed four goals on 18 shots through the first two periods for Carolina, and was replaced by Anton Khudobin to start the third. Khudobin stopped seven of the eight shots he faced.
Bulls' Butler out 3 to 6 weeks
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say guard Jimmy Butler will miss three to six weeks because of a sprained ligament in his left elbow and join the injured Derrick Rose on the sideline.
Butler, Chicago's scoring leader, was injured during Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. He missed most of the second half after he ran into a pick by DeAndre Jordan, the latest blow to a team that has shuffled players in and out of the rotation because of various ailments.
The injury to Butler comes on the heels of last week's announcement that Rose needed surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee. He had the operation on Friday and is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Sharks trade Desjardins to Blackhawks for Smith
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks have traded forward Andrew Desjardins to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Ben Smith in a swap of fourth-line players.
The Sharks also get a 2017 conditional pick.
The deal was made Monday, just hours before the NHL trade deadline.
Desjardins had five goals and three assists in 58 games for San Jose this season. He also is used as a penalty killer. He is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Smith had five goals and four assists in 61 games. He is under contract for one more season.
The Sharks also acquired defenseman Karl Stollery from Colorado for forward Freddie Hamilton in a deal of minor leaguers.
Penguins add veteran defensemen in Lovejoy and Cole
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins gave their defense an experienced upgrade on Monday, acquiring veteran defensemen Ben Lovejoy from Anaheim and Ian Cole from St. Louis.
The 31-year-old Lovejoy returns to Pittsburgh after spending two-plus seasons with the Ducks. Pittsburgh sent former first-round pick Simon Despres to Anaheim. The 23-year-old Despres led the Penguins in hits but struggled with consistency. Lovejoy had one goal and 10 assists in 40 games with Anaheim.
Pittsburgh sent Robert Bortuzzo and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 draft to the Blues in exchange for Cole. The 26-year-old Cole has four goals and five assists in 54 games for St. Louis this season. Cole's plus-16 plus/minus ratio ranked third on the team at the time of the trade.
MAPLE LEAFS-BLUES TRADE
Blues acquire forward Olli Jokinen from Maple Leafs
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues made their third move on the trade deadline, acquiring forward Olli Jokinen from the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Joakim Lindstrom and a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2016.
The 36-year-old Jokinen is making his third stop this season after 48 games with Nashville and six with Toronto. The Blues are his 10th team in 17 seasons. He has three goals, four assists and 28 penalty minutes.
Lindstrom had three goals and three assists in 34 games with St. Louis.
Earlier Tuesday, the Blues acquired defensemen Zbynek Michalek from Arizona and Robert Bortuzzo from Pittsburgh. They had 85 points, fourth-best in the NHL.
Jokinen is eighth among active players with 1,223 career regular-season games and his 747 points is 20th-best. He's appeared in six postseason games.
Jokinen was the third overall pick of the 1997 draft by the Kings.
Lester to start opening night April 5 vs Cardinals
MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Jon Lester is slated to make his first start for the Chicago Cubs on opening night, April 5, against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon confirmed Monday what he had earlier indicated about Chicago's new ace. Lester signed a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs in December.
In his first season Cubs manager, Maddon also said the fourth starter in the team's rotation likely will be Kyle Hendrix. He'll follow Lester, Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel.
"I don't want to be disingenuous," Maddon said. "What's obvious is obvious. But things can change. The competition around here is unbelievable on so many different levels."
The fifth starting spot is wide open, with contenders including past starters Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson.
Cubs to ask to work around the clock on Wrigley Field
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs officials plan to ask the city for permission to work around the clock to speed up Wrigley Field renovations.
Their comments came Monday during a media tour of the $375 million stadium construction project that began late last year.
The iconic ballpark will open for the season on April 5 without bleachers, which were torn down as part of the project. Officials say that's a loss of about 5,000 seats.
The left-field bleachers should be open in May, followed by the right-field bleachers in June.
The team says a new left-field video board should be installed and working by opening day.
But the Cubs say steelwork has been delayed by February's extreme cold. That's why they want the approval to work day and night.
BIG EAST-HOME STRETCH
No. 4 Villanova leads formidable Big East into home stretch
CINCINNATI (AP) — No. 4 Villanova has clinched the top seed in the Big East tournament. The Wildcats have been the team to beat all season in one of the nation's toughest basketball conferences, top-to-bottom.
There's still a lot at stake as the Big East opens the final week of the regular season.
Villanova (27-2, 14-2) has put itself in consideration for a top seed in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats have won 10 in a row and are so good at shooting the 3-pointer that everyone — even unbeaten Kentucky — would rather avoid them.
Four Big East teams rank among the top 25 in the latest RPI, tied for second-most of any conference. Only the Big 12 has more.