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Carter leads LA Kings past Canucks in shootout

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Carter leads LA Kings past Canucks in shootout

LOS ANGELES (AP) Jeff Carter scored Los Angeles' first power-play goal of the season and added the only score in the shootout, leading the Kings to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night.

Defenseman Slava Voynov tied it with 43.2 seconds left in regulation for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have won two straight after an 0-2-1 start. Jonathan Quick stopped 21 shots for the Kings, including all three Vancouver attempts in the shootout.

Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for Vancouver, which went 1-1-1 on a three-game California road trip. Zack Kassian scored his fourth goal of the season, and Alex Burrows also scored in a rematch of the clubs' stunning playoff series last spring.

Luongo was sharp in his second start since losing his job to Cory Schneider, and Los Angeles struggled offensively through 59 frustrating minutes until pulling Quick for an extra attacker. Voynov teed up a shot from the point that found a hole in heavy traffic, wobbling past Luongo for the Russian defenseman's first goal of the season.

After a scoreless overtime, Quick easily stopped Burrows, Alexander Edler and Kassian, while Carter beat Luongo in the third shootout round.

The clubs hadn't met since the eighth-seeded Kings eliminated the Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks in five games before romping through the next three rounds to the title.

Although Los Angeles handily won the clubs' playoff series last spring, a 111-point Vancouver team arguably gave the Kings their toughest test during their 16-4 rampage through the postseason. The Kings persevered through several tight games against Vancouver, capped by an overtime victory in the Game 5 clincher.

The Kings got off to a slow start after winning their franchise's first title, getting blown out by Chicago in their banner-raising season opener before winning once on a three-game road trip. Los Angeles finally returned home to face the Canucks, who made their second appearance in Southern California already this season after routing Anaheim last week.

Los Angeles started slowly against Luongo, and Vancouver already had a 2-0 lead when the Kings ended their 0-for-25 start on the power play this season.

Kassian scored late in the first period when Quick allowed a rebound of Edler's long shot from the point out of a faceoff, easily knocking home his fourth goal in six games to start the season. Burrows then doubled the Canucks' lead early in the second period when he came from behind the net and sneaked the puck between the post and Quick's skate.

The Kings finally ended their man-advantage drought when Carter scored out of a faceoff just 7 seconds after Chris Tanev went off for high-sticking.

NOTES: Kings F Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Coach Darryl Sutter wasn't pleased with the two-time Stanley Cup champion's early efforts. ... Canucks C Manny Malhotra returned to the lineup after missing two games following the birth of his son. Andrew Ebbett was scratched. ... Kings captain Dustin Brown played in his 600th NHL game, all with Los Angeles ... The Kings welcomed their 25 millionth fan to Staples Center, presenting season tickets and a wealth of merchandise to 21-year-old Dustin Kramer of Torrance, Calif.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Nats to fall to Brewers in wild 14-inning affair

Washington Nationals Roundup: Nats to fall to Brewers in wild 14-inning affair

Check out the latest Nationals news and notes after their 15-14 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. 

Player Notes:

Max Scherzer (back) threw 64 pitches in a simulated game on Saturday. If all goes well on the recovery side, Scherzer could be back with the team as soon as Thursday. As NBC Sports Washington's Todd Byas puts it, he's getting closer to a return

With 14 innings of at-bats available on Saturday, Adam Eaton sure made the most of his opportunities in the loss. The outfielder went 4-for-8 with a three-run blast as well as two doubles. In a 15-14 game, this is a statline you expect to see. 

Juan Soto looks to have put the injury scare behind him. With a two-run homer as well as a stolen base on Saturday, the 20-year old seems to be just as potent as ever as he continues to rake in 2019.

It was a rough trip to the mound on Saturday for Sean Doolittle. Coming in for the ninth to protect an 11-8 lead, things quickly spiraled out of control. The lefty allowed three home runs and only managed to get one out before exiting the contest with Milwaukee leading 12-11. The once-reliable arm out of the bullpen has not been himself as of late. A workhorse at the beginning of the season, it's now time for the Nationals to figure out how to best use him down the stretch

A not-so-great start from Aníbal Sánchez will somewhat be forgotten due to events later on. It was a long third-inning that hurt the starter, as the Brewers put up five runs in the frame. Sánchez lasted just four innings and will look for a rebound outing in his next appearance against Pittsburgh. 

Injuries:

SP Max Scherzer: Back, 10-Day IL, maybe back August 22

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, 10-Day IL, maybe back in mid-August

RP Roenis Elias: Hamstring, 10-Day IL, maybe back in mid-August

SP Austin Voth: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, maybe back in late-August

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely

Coming Up:


Sunday 8/18: Brewers @ Nationals, 1:35 p.m., Nationals Park

Monday 8/19: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park

Tuesday 8/20: Nationals @ Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park

via Rotoworld

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Sean Doolittle, Nationals rethinking things after another rough outing

Sean Doolittle, Nationals rethinking things after another rough outing

WASHINGTON -- Jack White and his band, The Raconteurs, found their faces on the center field video board around 7:20 p.m. They waved sheepishly as the crowd murmured, somewhat confused by what they were looking at.

Finally, a graphic went up with their name and mild I-think-I-know-that-band clapping began. Their visit to Nationals Park was brief because they had to head a mile up the street to play an 8 p.m. concert at The Anthem.

Almost five hours later, right at midnight, Christian Yelich’s fly ball landed just above the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field. He zipped around the bases with little admiration for his 41st homer. Javy Guerra bent at the waist when looked toward the fence from the pitcher’s mound.

The Nationals trailed, 13-12, heading into the bottom of the 13th inning. Sitting behind home plate? White and The Raconteurs. They had returned for plenty of post-concert baseball because the Brewers and Nationals spent the night pulverizing each other in a 14-inning, 15-14 Milwaukee win. 

However, they missed the most important part because closer Sean Doolittle suffered another disastrous night. When he’s flat this season, he’s all the way down to ground level, incapable of recording almost any outs.

Saturday’s line was a garish: ⅓ of an inning, four hits, four earned runs, three home runs, depleted velocity, increased dejection. Saturday was Doolittle’s third outing this season where he allowed four runs. It was his second such monstrosity in just more than a week.

Now the team has to figure out what to do with him.

“I felt great [Friday],” Doolittle said. “That was the best I felt in the last several weeks. And then [Saturday] man, I just didn’t have anything. So, yeah, we’re going to have to figure something out. I’m going to have to figure something out because this team, they deserve better right now.”

Doolittle has allowed seven home runs since July 29. His fastball typically runs around 94 mph. Saturday, Ryan Braun hit a 90-mph fastball into the seats. Doolittle’s arm appeared sapped on Aug. 17 with his team hanging on to a wild-card spot and tracking first-place Atlanta.

He’s downtrodden as much as frustrated after changing his pregame routine, postgame routine and bullpen warmup. No alteration has re-energized his sagging left arm.

So, he and Davey Martinez will talk Sunday about what to do. Unlike earlier in the season, the Nationals have authentic options to handle the ninth inning. Daniel Hudson appears to be the top candidate if anyone is going to give Doolittle a night off or temporarily replace him if he has to go on the 10-day injured list. Hunter Strickland could also be used. Fernando Rodney is a fall-back plan, as well as a way to close the gap created by moving another reliever to the ninth.

“I’m not saying anything definitive, but I definitely want to have a conversation with Doo, and figure something out,” Martinez said. “What best for him, what’s best for the club and just make sure that he’s ready.”

Asked directly if Doolittle is healthy, Martinez said Doolittle told him pregame Saturday he was able to pitch. In the bullpen, Doolittle started to learn he was not.

After Christian Yelich’s second-pitch home run, Doolittle’s first instinct was to attribute the damage to Yelich’s greatness. That was until the video board showed his fastball traveled just 92 mph. Keston Hiura doubled. Mike Moustakas homered. Braun homered. Doolittle scratched his head.

“I just...I don’t know,” Doolittle said. “It just wasn’t coming out tonight. That part of the order, that team? There’s really nowhere to hide.”

He tried sliders as a salve, but his second pitch is more for blindsiding than problem-solving. Eventually, Martinez removed Doolittle from the mound once Hudson was ready. Doolittle conceded postgame his workload would have to change in some manner.

“I think so at this point,” Doolittle said. “I’m giving everything I got, but, I don’t really...I don’t know. It’s really, really tough. It’s frustrating. This time of year, with whole well we’ve been playing lately, with everything’s that at stake, everything this team can still accomplish, you want to be out there. You want to help the team. But, I haven’t been pulling my weight here these last couple weeks.”

Sunday, how his weight is distributed could change.

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