Maatta’s late goal help Penguins make in 13th in a row at home

Updated 16 January 2014
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Maatta’s late goal help Penguins make in 13th in a row at home

PITTSBURGH: Olli Maatta’s slap shot beat Michal Neuvirth with less than 2 minutes remaining and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied by the Washington Capitals 4-3 Wednesday night.
Maatta’s fourth goal of the season gave Pittsburgh its only lead as the Penguins won their 13th straight home game, a club record.
Jussi Jokinen, Taylor Pyatt and Kris Letang also scored for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots to pick up his NHL-leading 27th victory.
Alexander Ovechkin’s 34th goal of the season gave Washington a 3-2 lead midway through the third period but the Capitals collapsed over the final 10 minutes. Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera also scored for Washington, which lost for the seventh time in nine games. Neuvirth made 33 stops, but didn’t see Maatta’s blast from the point with 1:54 left.
Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3 (SO): Tyler Bozak scored the third and decisive goal in a shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Buffalo Sabres.
Phil Kessel Nikolai Kulemin and defenseman Morgan Rielly scored for the Maple Leafs in regulation, while Cody Hodgson and left wingers Matt Ellis and Matt Moulson responded for the Sabres.
James Reimer, who started in the Toronto (24-20-5) goal for only the second time this month, stopped 27 shots in regulation and overtime.
Buffalo (13-27-6) goaltender Ryan Miller made 36 saves.
All three Maple Leafs shooters, left wingers James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul as well as Bozak, scored in the shootout.
Moulson scored on the first Sabres attempt in the shootout but Reimer stopped Hodgson’s effort before Bozak netted to seal the contest.
Ducks 9, Canucks 1: Wingers Corey Perry, Nick Bonino and Teemu Selanne scored two goals each and goaltender Frederik Andersen made 31 saves as the Anaheim Ducks demolished the Vancouver Canucks.
Perry also added two assists for a four-point night.
The Ducks (36-8-5) got balanced scoring with wingers Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg also potting goals in a dominating performance that kept them undefeated in regulation at home this season.
They extended their record at Honda Center to 20-0-2.
Vancouver (24-15-9) wilted after a competitive opening 20 minutes and lost for the seventh time in eight road games in California this season.
Winger Zack Kassian scored the lone Vancouver goal and Eddie Lack stopped 10-of-13 shots before being pulled.


Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 24 min 18 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

John Duerden RIYADH: The General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) have announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs.
According to reports, the Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million) that will not only clear monies owed but also enable clubs to invest ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The issue of debt had become a major issue in the country’s football scene.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs are currently experiencing financial problems that require immediate and urgent intervention,” the General Sports Authority, which oversees Saudi Arabian sport, said in a statement released on social media.
The body noted that there are a total of 107 cases under appeal at world governing body FIFA regarding unpaid salaries in Saudi Arabia.
“Failure to intervene urgently to rescue clubs may result in damage to the reputation of the Kingdom in general and Saudi Arabian sport in particular,” added the GSA.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs may face severe disciplinary sanctions because of the failure to meet financial obligations such as the
denial of the registration of players in general or the deduction of points.”
Unpaid salaries were also a factor in Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr being unable to appear in this year’s AFC Champions League after they were denied AFC club licenses.
Al-Ittihad were the club with the highest debt of 309 million riyals ($82 million) and welcomed the news.
“We are delighted by the generous initiative of His Royal Highness,” Al-Ittihad president Nawaf Al-Muqairn said in an official statement released by the two-time Asian champions.
“This contributes to creating solid ground for all clubs to move toward achieving their goals.”
Legendary Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, recently appointed president of champions Al-Hilal, announced his gratitude on social media.
“Great thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince for the great support that the clubs have enjoyed which enables sport in our country to keep pace with the aspirations of our leadership,” Al-Jaber wrote.
The Crown Prince’s move followed the SAFF announcing a new raft of regulations in April that will come into effect next season and are designed to take the league forward. These included restricting club spending on transfers and salaries to 70 percent of revenue. The size of first-team squads has been reduced from 33 to 28, of which five must be homegrown players of 23 or younger.