Bears

Gaven, Columbus get the best of Fire

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Gaven, Columbus get the best of Fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Eddie Gaven scored Columbus' first goal and assisted on the second by Emilio Renteria as the Crew defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 on Saturday night.

Gaven scored from 19 yards in the 9th minute with a low shot inside the left post for Columbus.

The Crew (5-4-3) tied at San Jose on May 19 and beat Seattle on the road Wednesday before improving to 3-0-2 in the past five games in front of 16,024 fans in Crew Stadium.

''It was not the best game for us, but the most important thing is we got a good result,'' Crew defender Sebastian Miranda said.

Gaven helped make it 2-0 in the 43rd by passing to a posting Renteria, who shirked defender Austin Berry and put the ball into the left corner.

''I did what the coaches wanted me to do: to hold the ball and turn,'' Renteria said.

For the rookie Berry, it was an on-field lesson.

''That was bad positioning on my part,'' he said. ''He used his body well. He took my out of position. It was a good learning opportunity for me.''

Berry got a measure of revenge when he headed a service by Daniel Paladini in the 72nd minute.

''We started the first half pretty well,'' Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. ''The second half, they just pushed us in the back and we defended the forwards and the corner kicks.''

Fire (5-4-3) goalkeeper Sean Johnson made saves on Renteria in the 80th and Nemanja Vukovic a minute later to keep the fire within striking distance.

''It was a disappointing first half going down two,'' Fire captain Logan Pause said. ''It was a pretty big hill to climb.''

Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

Puppy Pick 'Em Puppy Walter makes his Week 7 picks for Bears-Saints

When the Bears announced their 2019 schedule, we decided to have some puppies reveal the opponents. Now, we have taken it a step further. We have a puppy that will make weekly picks for the Bears games.

It is Week 7!

Walter's choices in Week 7 are a chance to go to Mardi Gras or a celebration of St. Patrick's day in Chicago. Bears fans should be excited about his decision in Week 7... and now we're all looking forward to St. Patrick's Day again!

The 12-week old dachshund was hand-selected by the scouts at NBC Sports Chicago and hails from One Tail at a Time rescue. He came from a shelter in Alabama and was transported to Chicago.  At just 7 weeks old and without his mom, he beat a deadly virus and spent some time in the doggie ER, where he healed and became strong again. 

Now, Walter is ready to rumble between the well-manicured lines of Sweetness Field. He is NOW adoptable via onetail.org and has two adorable sisters named Martha and Millie, who are already adopted. 

Walter will pick the games throughout the NFL season, including the playoffs and we hope that his nose follows the scent to the Bears every week, all the way to that magical game in Miami in February. Narrated by Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the White Sox.  

It is time for Puppy Pick ‘Em presented by Nissan.

To learn more: www.onetail.org

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

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Detroit Red Wings

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

The Blackhawks recalled No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach from his AHL conditioning stint on Friday night after he appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs. He missed the first week of training camp with a concussion and the organization wanted him to get a taste of the pro action and back up to speed after not playing in any preseason games, either.

"I enjoyed the experience there," Dach said. "I had a lot of fun. Got to see a couple buddies. It was good for me to get down there and get some pro games under my belt and just feel what the pace is going to be like. It'll be another step up here, but I feel good and I feel like I'm ready to go."

Whether Dach makes his NHL debut on Sunday against the Washington Capitals won't be revealed by head coach Jeremy Colliton until after morning skate on Sunday. But where does he fit into the lineup going forward?

The Blackhawks are 2-0-1 in their past three games and aren't necessarily looking to shake up their rotation, even though they're still searching for consistency on all four lines.

The easy answer is for Dach to slide into a third-line center role behind Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome, but the trio of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad has undoubtedly been the most consistent for the Blackhawks this season. And we saw in the home opener what happened when they were separated. 

The Blackhawks held an optional practice on Saturday morning and didn't run through line rushes, but before Dach was assigned to Rockford, he took several spins on the first line with Toews and alternated with Drake Caggiula and Alex DeBrincat. It's possible Dach starts on the wing, where he can play top-six minutes and not have as much responsibility as a center would.

"I've played wing in previous years, so it's not something that's new to me," Dach said. "At the same time I'm open-minded to just getting into the lineup and helping the team win."

The Blackhawks can give Dach up to nine NHL games before deciding whether they want to burn the first year of his entry-level contract or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.

"As a kid you always grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL, so there'll be nerves," Dach said. "But there will also be a lot of excitement. I've just got to do my best to focus on my game and be ready to play whenever my name's called upon by the coaching staff."

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