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Flames-Red Wings Preview

Flames-Red Wings Preview

The Calgary Flames insist they are a better team than their record indicates.

They can prove it by ending their recent road struggles and prevent the Detroit Red Wings from notching a fourth consecutive home victory Tuesday night.

Calgary (1-3-2) took a 2-1 lead over Chicago on Jay Bouwmeester's goal with 35 seconds left Saturday before the Blackhawks tied it with 2.3 seconds to go, then handed the Flames at 3-2 shootout loss.

Despite an NHL-low four points and losses in both shootout appearances, the Flames remain positive.

"We've said it all along that we're a better team," said forward Alex Tanguay, the team points leader with three goals and three assists. "For some reason, when you don't win you find ways to lose, and certainly that was one of those cases."

Calgary had a season-high 47 shots, including 24 in its two-goal third period, and limited the Blackhawks to six shots in each period of regulation.

"I see many positive signs all over our game, and it's just a matter of collecting a couple of wins and growing a little confidence," coach Bob Hartley said. "If we play every game like we played (Saturday), we're going to turn our season around, that's for sure."

Hartley remains optimistic even though the Flames are allowing 4.0 goals per contest and have one victory while playing five of six at home. They must try to get on track with the next three games coming on the road, where they're in the midst of an 0-2-4 stretch going back to last season.

Calgary, which last went winless in seven straight road games Jan. 26-Feb. 22, 2007, has dropped seven of nine overall against the Red Wings (4-3-1) and three of four at Detroit.

Star winger Jarome Iginla has yet to record a goal in 2013, but he has five with two assists in Calgary's last three visits to Detroit.

Flames forward Jiri Hudler has two goals and three assists in three games after missing the first three contests while on bereavement leave. The veteran now makes his return to Detroit, where he spent his first seven NHL seasons and posted at least 37 points in each of the last four before signing a four-year deal with Calgary over the summer.

The Red Wings have totaled 14 goals, including five on 19 power-play chances, during a three-game winning streak at Joe Louis Arena that followed a 2-1 home-opening loss to Dallas on Jan. 22. However, they are looking to rebound after Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Columbus.

Detroit has been outscored 15-7 in four road games (1-2-1), going 0 for 22 on the power play.

Rookie Damien Brunner scored his fourth goal in six games Saturday and Johan Franzen added his second, but the Red Wings allowed more than three goals for the first time since a season-opening 6-0 loss at St. Louis.

"They had more energy, they played better and they got better and better as the game went on, and we got worse and worse," said coach Mike Babcock, whose team was coming off a 5-3 win over the Blues a night earlier.

Jimmy Howard had his worst performance since the season opener but has a 2.35 goals-against average while winning seven of eight against the Flames. The lone defeat during that span came at home, 4-1 on Nov. 3, 2011.

While Detroit could be without injured defenseman Brendan Smith (shoulder), it might get some help along the blue line if former Flame Ian White returns after missing the last five games with a leg injury.

Two of White's seven goals last season came against Calgary.

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We can’t stop staring at these Bowie Baysox commemorative moon landing jerseys

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Twitter/@BowieBaysox

We can’t stop staring at these Bowie Baysox commemorative moon landing jerseys

One of the coolest things about Minor League Baseball is the creativity that comes with it.

The stadiums. The ice cream deals. The interesting mascots. And most importantly, the uniforms.

The Bowie Baysox, the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, released special uniforms they will be wearing on Saturday for the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing.

And, oh wow, are they something. Take a look.

On the front of the uniform, you can see the image of where lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the lunar surface of the moon. On the back, a satellite view of the moon is pictured, with the player's number on top of it. Both the number and the cursive "Baysox" on the front are filled in with the American flag.

If you're looking for some to do on Saturday, go support the Baysox and their Moon Landing uniforms. If only there was a jersey giveaway.

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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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