Blackhawks

Oduro's late goal leads Fire past Chivas

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Oduro's late goal leads Fire past Chivas

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
Posted: 2:11 p.m.
Associated Press

Both Chivas USA and the Chicago Fire are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

A win for either club, however, could drastically help its postseason chances.

Hoping to regroup from a disappointing loss, Chicago looks to extend its seven-game unbeaten streak in this series while Chivas tries to avoid a season-worst fourth consecutive defeat Saturday at Toyota Park.

The Fire (4-8-15), who recorded 2-0 victories over Toronto FC and Colorado to close last month, saw their run come to an end with last Saturdays 2-0 loss at San Jose - their first defeat in five games.

With 27 points, Chicago is one of seven teams within striking distance of the fourth and final wild-card spot.

While getting defender Gonzalo Segares back after serving a one-game suspension against the Earthquakes (yellow card accumulation) will surely help the Fire, theyll be without fullback Dan Gargan, who was suspended for this match through caution accumulation.

I think Gonzalo is obviously a proven left back in this league, so to take a guy out of the lineup thats played 20 games for us, that hurts, Gargan told the teams official website. Anytime you change two positions in your back line, its going to take some adjusting.

In what interim coach Frank Klopas considered a tune up for Chivas, Chicago lost 1-0 to Mexican side CD Guadalajara in a friendly Wednesday.

It was a good match, one that the fans enjoyed, Klopas said. For us, we wanted to continue to build as a team, be sharp and I felt we did that. Second, we walked away with no injuries.

Games like this will get us even sharper and more ready for the one on Saturday. Never pleased with the outcome of the game, we never like to lose, but I was pleased with the performance of a lot of our guys.

Chivas (7-11-10), meanwhile, also remains in the postseason hunt, but it hasnt looked anything like a playoff contender of late. After suffering back-to-back 1-0 defeats, coach Robin Frasers club fell 3-0 to United last Saturday.

One approach is to close the door on it and say it was a bad day and move on, but Im a little too practical for that. A lot of it, we just have to look at ourselves and look at what mistakes weve made and be able to commit to making the same kind of mistakes, Fraser said.

At the end of the day, if you give team goals, you are making it really difficult for yourself and I thought the goals we gave away today were incredibly soft.

Regrouping against the Fire could prove difficult given Chivas lack of recent success in this series. Since posting a 2-0 victory June 19, 2008, Chivas has gone 0-5-2 against Chicago.

The teams reached a 1-all draw during the last meeting, July 2 at the Home Depot Center.

Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

He’s back.

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the first time since Dec. 23, 2017 when the Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes, coach Joel Quenneville confirmed after morning skate on Thursday morning.

"It’s exciting," Quenneville said. "I’m sure he’s looking forward to it and we’re all excited about it as well. It’ll be a fun situation for the guys, seeing him back in the net as well. So we’re looking for everyone to be excited about tonight’s game."

The two-time Stanley Cup champion was medically cleared to practice from his concussion on Oct. 1, but the Blackhawks wanted to give Crawford as much time as he needed to get his conditioning and puck-tracking skills up to game speed before putting him into game action.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said on Wednesday. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. It was a pretty long process. ... Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

To make room for Crawford on the 23-man roster, the Blackhawks will assign forward Luke Johnson to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. Brandon Saad, who wore a white healthy scratch jersey all week at practice, will take his spot in the lineup.

For now, the Blackhawks will hang on to Anton Forsberg and carry three goaltenders as insurance as they get ready to start a seven-games-in-11-days stretch.

Crawford was 16-9-2 with a 2.27 goals against average, .929 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 games last season. The Blackhawks were 17-30-8 without him and finished last in the Central Division.

Bulls will open against Sixers without Kris Dunn

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USA TODAY

Bulls will open against Sixers without Kris Dunn

The Bulls faced a steep test opening their 2018-19 campaign against the Philadelphia 76ers.

That task won't become any easier with Kris Dunn missing the game for personal reasons, head coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters at shootaround on Thursday.

Dunn's exlusion opens up an opportunity for Cameron Payne, who will enter the starting lineup. Payne started 14 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 9.4 points and 5.6 assists in 26.5 minutes.

It also moves up Ryan Arcidiacono and Tyler Ulis, both of whom will be active, in the rotation. Expect both to see at least some playing time, especially with Denzel Valentine also out while recovering from a sprained ankle suffered in training camp.

It could mean an even bigger evening for Sixers point guard Ben Simmons. The reigning Rookie of the Year posted 19 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists in Philly's season-opening loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.