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Bouchard's goal lifts Wild over Blue Jackets 3-2

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Bouchard's goal lifts Wild over Blue Jackets 3-2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period and the Minnesota Wild snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.

With the Wild seemingly on their heels after giving up a two-goal lead, Bouchard took a pass from Torrey Mitchell near the blue line, zoomed past two Columbus defenders and beat goalie Steve Mason above his right glove.

Mikko Koivu and Tom Gilbert also scored for Minnesota.

Mark Letestu and Jack Johnson had goals for the Blue Jackets.

After Columbus beat Dallas to snap a four-game skid, the Blue Jackets' flight to the Twin Cities on Monday night was canceled because of fog, forcing the team to leave on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Columbus looked sluggish early and trailed 2-0 after the first period.

Koivu took a rebound, skated to the side of the net and banked the puck off Mason to open the scoring midway through the first.

Gilbert flicked the puck into an open net after corralling a deflection off a Columbus player's shin pad late in the first to make it 2-0.

Zach Parise appeared to make it 3-1 late in the second, but the goal was disallowed after replays showed the puck going in off Parise's extended forearm.

The Blue Jackets have struggled to score after trading Rick Nash to the New York Rangers in the offseason. Columbus has allowed the first goal in five of its first seven games and has just 13 goals on the season.

The Blue Jackets managed only five shots through the game's first 31 minutes, and didn't register a second-period shot until 11 minutes had elapsed.

But just as it did Monday night after falling behind early against Dallas, Columbus came back.

Letestu made it 2-1 late in the second after a long sequence in the Wild end without a whistle.

Johnson's shot from the point on a power play tied it 7:32 into the third. It was Columbus' first goal in its last 23 power-play opportunities.

Mason robbed Matt Cullen of a goal early in the second, then did the same to Parise on a wraparound attempt late in the second to keep it close heading into the final period.

Bouchard's go-ahead tally was a big boost for the Wild's confidence beyond their first line.

Minnesota's top line, led by Parise and Koivu, has done most of the scoring for the Wild this season.

NOTES: The game was stopped briefly midway through the second after linesman Thor Nelson was hit in the side of the face with the puck on a clearing attempt. Nelson completed the second period, but didn't come out for the third. The third period was played with just one linesman. ... Koivu has 24 points in 24 career games against Columbus. ... Jared Boll fought Clayton Stoner in the second. Boll entered the game leading the NHL in fighting majors. ... It was the Wild's 500th game at the Xcel Energy Center.

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Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

Wizards' John Wall reveals he's about to start jogging in rehab from Achilles injury

A couple of weeks ago, John Wall was spotted at a Washington Mystics game with no brace to support his Achilles injury, a sign that his rehab from the injury was moving in the right direction. 

On Monday night at the 2019 NBA Awards, the Wizards point guard gave affirmation that he is indeed continuing to get healthier and stronger.

"I feel great, man," Wall told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller on the red carpet. "I'm doing a great job with my body, taking care of that."

Specifically, Wall has been able to slowly increase what he can do on his legs. The recovery and rehab for an injury as severe as his is a long road, and the point guard is making sure not to speed up the process and risk hindering the progress. However, he's about to reach a pretty big milestone in the journey during the coming weeks.

"I'm about to start jogging in like two weeks. Just riding the bike, I get to do exercises standing up now, so I don't have to sit down. I'm able to move, do ladder steps, doing those types of things," Wall said. "Just taking my time and progressing and letting everything heal the right way so I don't force myself back and get another injury."

As Wall continues to work to get back on the court, he's had plenty of motivational factors pushing him through some grueling months. His recent string of injuries have left some wondering if he'll still be an elite player when he finally.

He's heard those comments and he's using them to his advantage.

"I'm one of those guys that's very driven by all the hate and all the negative talk I'm getting. Keep it going," Wall said.

"Everybody said I can't be myself, I won't be nowhere near as good again. That's all the other stuff that's going to fuel me. I don't get upset about it, you're entitled to your own opinion. Please keep it going."

The haters have given Wall some extra juice, but so has his son Ace. Spending the offseason getting right has allowed Wall to work in another area of life: fatherhood.

The newest addition to his family has taken his desire for greatness to new heights.

"I've always had that drive that I want to be the greatest. To have a son like that, that's watching everything I can do. Even though he doesn't understand what's going on, he's putting memories in his head," Wall said. 

"So that gives me extra, extra motivation to another level I never thought I could. Like I said before, that's the best blessing a man could ever ask for is to have a son."

While Wall's offseason has been a busy one as he juggles rehab and being a dad, he's still been very involved in everything going on inside the franchise.

He's already chatted with first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura, and is excited for what is to come for the Wizards. Wall is also hoping that Hachimura will help improve his Japanese so that he can grow a larger following internationally. 

As the calendar slowly turns to July, both Wall and the Wizards' offseasons will ramp up. It's been an up and down time for both lately, but he's excited about the future.

"I think it's good," Wall said about the Wizards situation. "We added some pieces. See what we do in free agency to add some guys to bring back or we're going to go after somebody new. I think we'll be fine."

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Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

Bradley Beal wins the 2019 NBA Cares Community Assist Award three years after John Wall

While he was putting together the best season of his career, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal was also making a profound impact off the court and those efforts have earned him a significant honor, the NBA's 2018-19 Community Assist Award.

The news was revealed at Monday's NBA Awards in Santa Monica, CA as Beal got the nod over nine other finalists. He is the second Wizards player to win the honor in just the last four years following John Wall in 2015-16.

Beal was involved in a variety of charitable efforts this past season. He has partnered with the Ron Brown College Preparatory High School in Northeast Washington to help underprivileged youth. He visited the school in December and gave out shoes.

During the All-Star break in February, as he made his second appearance in the annual showcase, Beal handed out meals at a food bank alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This past year he also gave out Christmas presents in the Washington area and took a group of kids on a tour of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

Beal was named a finalist for the Community Assist Award in April along with Jarrett Allen (Nets), Mike Conley (Jazz), Khris Middleton (Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Jazz), Dwight Powell (Mavs) and Pascal Siakam (Raptors). Part of the criteria was based on fan voting through social media that was held from April 24 through May 25.

Beal, 25, continues to ascend on the court as well. This year he posted career-highs in points (25.6/g), assists (5.5/g) and rebounds (5.0/g). He nearly made All-NBA in late May with the most votes of any guard that was left out.

In Beal and Wall, the Wizards have quite the combination. Both have been All-Stars on the court and now both can say they won the NBA's top honor for charity work as well.

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