No stopping record-breaking Blackhawks

Updated 26 February 2013
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No stopping record-breaking Blackhawks

CHICAGO: Having broken the NHL record for the best start to a season, the Chicago Blackhawks showed no let-up on Sunday, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0 to stretch their points streak to 18 games.
Chicago’s Corey Crawford made 28 saves, and Andrew Shaw scored the sole goal as the Blackhawks remained unbeaten in regulation this season.
Elsewhere, Detroit put eight goals past Northwest Division-leading Vancouver, Sidney Crosby starred in Pittsburgh’s win over Tampa Bay, and Anaheim needed overtime to beat Colorado and extend its winning streak to six.
Chicago’s Shaw scored the winner in the second period for the Blackhawks, who have won their past nine against Columbus. The 18-game point streak is also a team record for the Blackhawks, who have only lost in shootouts this season.
The Blue Jackets, who have an NHL-low 12 points, went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Detroit’s Damien Brunner had two goals and two assists, and Joakim Andersson also scored twice as the Red Wings pummeled the Vancouver Canucks 8-3.
Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall had a goal and two assists each, Daniel Cleary added a goal and an assist, and Jordin Tootoo also scored for Detroit, which netted three power-play goals in the second period to take the lead.
Daniel Sedin had two goals, and Chris Higgins also scored for Vancouver.
Pittsburgh’s Crosby had two goals and an assist to lead the Penguins past the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3, making up for the absence of injured star Evgeni Malkin.
Beau Bennett scored his first career goal on a power play to help Pittsburgh take over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division. Matt Cooke and defenseman Paul Martin each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who have won five of six to tie Montreal for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Malkin is out indefinitely after slamming back-first into the end boards during Friday’s win over Florida.
Steven Stamkos had three points for Tampa Bay, with his 13th goal and two assists. Stamkos and John Tavares of the New York Islanders are tied for the NHL lead in goals.
Cory Conacher, the NHL’s leading scorer among rookies, and defenseman Eric Brewer also scored for the Lightning, who are tied with Carolina for first place in the Southeast Division.
Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf scored the tying goal in the third period and set up Corey Perry’s second of the game in overtime to lift the Ducks over the Colorado Rockies 4-3, notching their 10th win in 11 games.
The Ducks have the NHL’s second-best record behind the Chicago Blackhawks.
Teemu Selanne scored his 668th career goal, tying Luc Robitaille for 11th place on the NHL list. It also was his 250th power-play goal, breaking a tie with Phil Esposito for third place.
John Mitchell, Cody McLeod and P.A. Parenteau scored for Colorado.
Winnipeg’s Evander Kane scored a breakaway goal in the second period, and Andrew Ladd added some insurance in the third to lift the Jets to a 4-2 win at the New Jersey Devils.
Boston’s Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic scored first-period goals to set up the Bruins for a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
Carolina defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti’s first NHL goal snapped a tie midway through the third period, and the Hurricanes rallied to beat the New York Islanders 4-2 and snap a three-game losing streak.
Calgary’s Jarome Iginla scored twice, and Calgary netted goals 23 seconds apart in the final 2 minutes to rally for a 5-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.


'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

Updated 21 June 2018
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'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

  • Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
  • Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious

ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup. 
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target. 
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal. 
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction. 
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.