Kane brace powers Blackhawks over Sharks

Updated 07 February 2013
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Kane brace powers Blackhawks over Sharks

SAN JOSE, California: Patrick Kane scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal after a fight midway through the second period as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Tuesday in a matchup of the NHL’s top two teams.
Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger also scored for the Blackhawks, who overcame a 2-0 deficit to remain the only team yet to lose in regulation this season. Corey Crawford made 30 saves.
Joe Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Michal Handzus scored for the Sharks, while Antti Niemi made 26 saves.
David Clarkson scored twice and set up New Jersey’s other goal as the Devils downed the New York Rangers 3-1 in their first meeting since last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
The Devils won that series in six games, and they still had the Rangers’ number in getting 24 saves from Martin Brodeur.
Chris Kreider scored for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist had 19 saves.
James Neal gave Pittsburgh to an early lead, and Marc-Andre Fleury and the rest of the Penguins then held on to beat the Islanders.
The New York Islanders stormed back to avoid their second straight home shut out in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead 1:44 into the third period with Brandon Sutter’s goal, before Michael Grabner sparked a New York comeback at 3:14, and Brad Boyes — moved up to the top line for this game — made it 3-2 just 35 seconds later when he flung a shot past Fleury, who was sprawled on the ice.
Defenseman Simon Despres added a second-period goal for Pittsburgh.
Pascal Dupuis finally put away the Islanders with an empty-net goal with 39 seconds left.
Los Angeles’ Mike Richards scored his first goal of the season and Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots as the Kings downed the Blue Jackets 4-2.
Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Slava Voynov also scored while Justin Williams had three assists for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who began the night 14th in the Western Conference with six points — two more than last-place Calgary and one fewer than Columbus.
Derick Brassard and Dereck MacKenzie had the Blue Jackets’ goals.
At Detroit, Jarome Iginla scored his first goal of the season and Dennis Wideman had a goal and an assist to lead the Calgary Flames past the Detroit Red Wings 4-1.
Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano also scored for Calgary, while Miikka Kiprusoff made 19 saves before being replaced by Leland Irving to start the third period because of a lower-body injury. Irving stopped six shots.
Johan Franzen scored for Detroit and Jimmy Howard made 19 saves.
Philadelphia’s Tom Sestito scored his first two goals in three years to lead the Flyers over the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1, while Chris Neil scored in the second period and Craig Anderson made 20 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators past the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
In other games, the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Washington Capitals 3-2, the Nashville Predators downed the St. Louis Blues 6-1 and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime.


Joan Oumari makes case for Lebanon causing Asian Cup shock

Updated 18 October 2018
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Joan Oumari makes case for Lebanon causing Asian Cup shock

  • Lebanon have made it to their first Asian Cup since 2000 and are up to 77th in world rankings.
  • Oumari feels the Cedars have what it takes to upset a few of the big guns.

LONDON: While much of the focus ahead of the Asian Cup will be on defending champions Australia, who are one of the favorites, along with Japan and South Korea, Lebanon’s Joan Oumari is hoping his side can grab people’s attention and cause a shock or two.
The Cedars’ last appearance at the tournament came back in 2000 when they were hosts — this is the first time they have qualified for the tournament on merit.
Since their FIFA world ranking fell to 147 in 2016, Lebanon have been one of Asia’s most improved and in-form teams, with their ranking jumping to its current position of 77 — the highest in their history.
Drawn alongside regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Qatar and North Korea in Group E, it will not be easy, but Oumari, one of their star players, is convinced they can put on a show when the tournament gets under way in January.
“I think when we play and stay like we are now we can go far,” the defender told Arab News. “In football everything is possible and we have a great team.”
Oumari knows that just being back at the Asian Cup after a 19-year absence is already a victory for the nation of six million people.
“For sure it is a great thing for us as a national team, but also for all the people (of Lebanon),” the 30-year-old said. “I hope we will write history and get very far in this tournament.”
Oumari’s journey to play for the Cedars is an interesting, and not unfamiliar one in the recent climate of war, family displacement and refugees. His parents, both born in Lebanon, fled the country during the civil war of the 1970s, making their way to Germany, where Oumari was born in 1988.
Starting his professional career in the lower divisions, he gradually worked his way through the professional tiers of club football in Germany, playing for SV Babelsberg in the fourth division, FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt in the third tier, before making the step up to FSV Frankfurt in 2.Bundesliga in 2013.
Along the way he came to the attention of the Lebanon Football Association, and when the invitation came to join the Cedars in 2013, there was no hesitation in accepting and representing the country of his heritage, if not his birth.
“When I got the invitation from the national team for sure I didn’t have to think about it,” he recalled. “I was very proud to play for the national team.”
His debut in a 2-0 win against Syria in September 2013 did not go to plan, however, getting sent off late in the game. His next appearance would not come for almost two years after Miodrag Radulovic had taken over as coach.
“To be honest it was my decision not to play for the national team for these two years,” he said.
“The main reason was our ex-coach (Giuseppe) Giannini, because after he invited me to the national team I was on the bench and I am not used to flying all over the world just to sit on the bench.
“I am not a player who sits on the bench in my club and not in the national team. After Mr. Radulovic started at the national team the federation called me and convinced me to come.”
The change in fortunes for the Cedars since Radulovic took over has been remarkable, and as it stands they are one of the most in-form teams in Asia, going 16 games without a loss dating back to March 2016.
A friendly match with defending Asian Cup champions Australia in Sydney next month will be sure to provide tougher competition, but given their form they travel to Sydney confident of causing an upset.
While the Asian Cup is within touching distance, Oumari’s immediate focus is on club matters and trying to help his side avoid relegation. Having made the move to Japan’s Sagan Tosu, becoming the first Lebanese player to play in the J.League, Oumari has been in and out of a side that has struggled for consistency and currently lie 17th in the 18-team league.
“I hope that we can avoid relegation and stay up, that’s why I came to help the team,” he said.
One of his new teammates in Japan is Spanish World Cup winner Fernando Torres, and despite the team’s struggles on the field, Oumari is loving his time in Japan.
“It’s really nice here and I like it very much,” he said. “I am enjoying the time with my teammates after training. For sure Fernando (Torres) is a great football player and any football player can learn from him no matter which position you are playing.”