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  1. New Jersey Devils‘ first playoff berth since 2012 is there for the taking. All they have to do is take it. Taylor Hall scored two goals and the Devils reduced their magic number for clinching a postseason berth to six points with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Any combination of points earned by the Devils or not earned by Florida that total six will complete an improbable ride back to the postseason for the team that finished last in the Eastern Conference in 2016-17. ”It’s a tough time in the year and for a lot of the guys in this room Randy Gregory Jersey , they’re going through it for the first time,” said Hall, who is looking to make the playoffs for the first time in his eight-year NHL career. ”It wasn’t a perfect game but we managed to get two points and give ourselves some breathing room.” Coupled with Florida’s 5-1 loss to Boston earlier in the day, the Devils opened a five-point lead over the Panthers in the race for the second wild-card spot in the conference and moved within a point of idle Philadelphia for the top wild-card spot. The Devils and Flyers each have four games left in the regular season, while the Panthers have five. ”Any win right now is going to be huge and we have to keep it going to give ourselves the best chance to control our own destiny and come out strong in Montreal tomorrow,” said goaltender Keith Kinkaid, who made 27 saves, the last on a one-timer by Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock with 14 seconds to play. Stefan Noesen and Blake Coleman each had a goal and assist as the Devils won for the seventh time in 10 games (7-2-1). Tanner Fritz, Anthony Beauvillier and Chris Wagner scored for the Islanders Mitch Unrein Jersey , who have lost 16 of their last 19 (3-12-4). Thomas Greiss made 31 saves in his first game since Feb. 16, when he sustained an ankle injury and went on injured reserve. ”He played great,” Pulock said. ”It was good to see him back. It looks like he didn’t miss a beat, so good to see him.” Hall, who has carried the Devils in a career-best season, broke a 1-all tied 41 seconds into the second period with a fortuitous power-play goal. His shot from the left boards hit off the skate of New York defenseman Adam Pelech in front of the net and deflected past Greiss. Hall’s 36th goal of the season was magnificent. He picked up a loose puck at his own blue line, flew up the ice into the Islanders zone and then veered to his left and ripped a shot over Greiss’ left shoulder from the left circle to make it 3-1 at 9:08. ”He’s our leader,” Coleman said of Hall. ”He’s been doing it all year, it’s almost routine now for him to score big goals and make big plays. We feed off of it and it’s a reason why we are where we are.” Beauvillier got New York within one a little more than four minutes later with a power-play shot that was deflected by Devils forward Brian Gibbons past Kinkaid. Islanders had a chance to tie it late in the period with another power play Tony Dorsett Jersey , but Coleman got his third short-handed goal, beating Greiss up high to cap a 2-on-1 with defenseman Mirco Mueller with 1:02 left in the period. The goal became important when Wagner scored on a deflection in front with 3:36 left in regulation. Fritz had given the Islanders the lead 75 seconds after the opening faceoff, scoring on a rebound. Neosen tied it at 7:54 scoring in close on a setup by Coleman. NOTES: The Devils honored hockey historian and television analyst Stan Fischler during the game. A 2007 Lester Patrick Trophy recipient for contributions to hockey in the United States, he is retiring from television coverage in the New York-metropolitan area after this season. He turned 86-years-old on Saturday. … Devils RW Kyle Palmieri left the ice in the third period after being cut under the eye by an inadvertent stick from teammate Andy Greene. Devils coach John Hynes had no update on his condition. … Wagner took out Hall and referee Dan O’Halloran with a check being the Devils net in the first period. … Hall’s 88 points are the fifth most in a season for the Devils, eight less than Patrik Elias’ record of 96 set in 2000-01. UP NEXT Islanders: Start the final week of the season at home against Philadelphia on Tuesday night Devils: Play final back-to-back of season at Montreal on Sunday night. — More NHL hockey: Kyrie Irving is playing coy about the possibility of reuniting with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James next season in Boston. The Celtics guard on Tuesday deferred when asked about the prospect of the team pursuing James this summer. The 33-year-old James has a player option to remain in Cleveland next season but could opt for free agency. ”In this business, I’ve kind of experienced it all and I’ve seen a lot, so we’ll see what management decides,” Irving said when asked if he would be open to playing alongside James again. Irving was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers in 2011 and played three seasons with James, from 2014-17. The duo made three straight trips to the NBA Finals Mike Singletary Jersey , winning a championship in 2016. ”Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day,” Irving said. ”Ownership and management, they’re going to feel what’s best for our future and I’m fully supportive of (them). We’ll see what happens.” Irving was traded to Boston last August and averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists over 60 games in his first season with the Celtics. The five-time All-Star missed the last 15 games of the regular season and the entirety of the playoffs after undergoing left knee surgery. ”To kind of have something like that unexpected, it was hurtful, because just a lot of what I wanted to accomplish with our guys and individually as one of the leaders of the team,” Irving said. Irving also had a separate surgery in May to repair a deviated septum, a procedure that kept him away from the sidelines for Game 7 of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals series against James and the Cavaliers. ”Obviously, it wasn’t going to feel the same (not being there) Doug Williams Jersey , but I was just so proud of our guys and what they did,” Irving said. ”They passed a lot of expectations, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.” Cleveland beat Boston 87-79 in Game 7 to send James to his eighth consecutive Finals series. The Cavaliers were swept by the Golden State Warriors, dropping James’ personal Finals record to 3-6. The Celtics expect Irving to be completely recovered by the start of training camp in the fall. ”I’m feeling good,” Irving said. ”It was going to be a process coming back, just making sure I’m healthy enough for September. Just trying not to push it too hard.” — Authentic Womens Kalen Ballage Jersey
  2. Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur wants to make sure Marcus Mariota is comfortable with Tennessee’s new offense so he plans to call plays that best fit the quarterback. Mariota is busy learning his latest NFL offense Xavier Rhodes Jersey , but any talk about what plays the fourth-year QB prefers will have to wait at least until he knows everything LaFleur is asking him to run. ”I’m just trying to grasp everything,” Mariota said Tuesday. ”You don’t want to be opinionated on something that you have never run. I just try to go out there and execute, and do what they’re asking me to do. When we come back and we have to determine some of these things, and determine what we like and what we don’t like, I’ll definitely express my opinion.” That’s exactly what LaFleur expects, even if he’s learning that getting the polite Mariota to speak up isn’t always easy. ”He’s an extremely bright guy Jermon Bushrod Jersey ,” LaFleur said. ”He’s picked it up pretty quickly. Again, I think it’s more or less just having that confidence in being able to go out there and not think so much when he’s playing. So the more reps he’s been getting, the better he’s been doing.” The Titans wrap up their organized team activities this week, and their mandatory minicamp next week concludes the offseason where first-time head coach Mike Vrabel and his staff have been busy teaching and installing new offensive and defensive schemes. LaFleur, the third man to interview for the Titans’ head coaching job in January, joined Vrabel as his offensive coordinator for the chance at calling plays in the NFL. LaFleur’s biggest challenge is making sure the Titans put Mariota in position to take advantage of his skills. Tennessee fired coach Mike Mularkey after winning the franchise’s first playoff game in 14 years because they didn’t get enough out of Mariota and the offense last season despite going 9-7. The Titans tied for 22nd in the NFL with 33 touchdowns despite tying for second with 18 TDs rushing. Only four teams threw fewer passes than Tennessee (496) Casey Hayward Jersey , and the Titans ranked 23rd averaging 199.4 yards passing per game. They also fell to 15th in the league running the ball for an average of 114.6 yards. LaFleur joined Tennessee from the Los Angeles Rams who scored a league-high 29.9 points per game last season. What LaFleur wants from the Titans all starts with the run game and his very mobile quarterback. ”We’re going to try to have a strong marriage between the run and the pass, so that to a defense it might look, `Oh, here comes another run,’ and it’s play-action off that run,” LaFleur said. To rev up the run game Jimmy Graham Jersey , the Titans released veteran DeMarco Murray in March and signed Dion Lewis as a free agent to join Derrick Henry. LaFleur said he looks at the running backs as 1A and 1B. In the end, the biggest key also is the most obvious: keep Mariota healthy for a full season for the first time in his career. ”When he’s healthy, this offense runs smoothly and we’ve got to keep him that way,” Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said. Notes: Left tackle Taylor Lewan and wide receiver Corey Davis were not at Tuesday’s session. Vrabel said he had heard from the players not in attendance. … Linebacker Kevin Dodd, the No. 33 pick overall in 2016, has been missing in action during the three organized team activity sessions open to reporters. Vrabel said Tuesday he could end the mystery because Dodd wasn’t around. The upcoming minicamp is mandatory. — Cavaliers point guard George Hill is questionable for Wednesday’s crucial Game 5 against Indiana because of back spasms. Hill has been dealing with back problems since the series opener Richard Sherman Jersey , when he was flattened by an illegal screen by Pacers forward Trevor Booker. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says Hill was limited to shooting drills during Tuesday’s practice and will start if he can play. Jose Calderon started Game 4 at Indianapolis and scored five points in 19 minutes as the Cavaliers evened the series at 2-2. Cleveland is 24-9 when Calderon starts. Hill is averaging 8.7 points and 1.7 assists in his first postseason with Cleveland, which acquired him at the trade deadline in February. He started 24 games during the season. — Authentic Womens Brian O'Neill Jersey
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