Ravens

Prospal, Bobrovsky lead Jackets past Stars 2-1

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Prospal, Bobrovsky lead Jackets past Stars 2-1

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Vinny Prospal scored from a hard angle at 1:22 of the third and Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Monday night, ending a four-game losing streak.

It was the Blue Jackets' first victory since opening night in Nashville in a shootout. They had been outscored 16-6 since while mustering just a point in a shootout loss to Detroit in the home opener a week ago.

Derek Dorsett also scored for the Blue Jackets.

Philip Larsen had the Stars' goal with Kari Lehtonen stopping 25 shots.

The Blue Jackets took the lead for good when Prospal collected the puck in the right corner and fired a shot along the goal line that appeared to catch Lehtonen by surprise, slipping into the net.

Bobrovsky preserved the lead with a terrific stop on Michael Ryder's one-timer from the right hash midway through the period, just before Columbus' Adrian Aucoin hit a post with a slap shot.

Jamie Benn saw his first action of the season for the Stars, who have lost three in a row. He signed a five-year, $26.5-million contract last week and had missed the first five games during negotiations for a new deal and while awaiting a U.S. work permit.

Jaromir Jagr, needing just one goal to break a tie with Luc Robitaille (667 goals) to move into 10th on the all-time list, returned to the Dallas lineup after missing one game with a bad back.

The second period was filled with frustration for the Blue Jackets, but ended with them getting a loud ovation as they came off the ice.

Larsen scored his first goal of the season on the power play at 4:13, rocketing a shot from the right point that slipped between two players to befuddle Bobrovsky, who was screened on the play. Benn picked up an assist.

Soon after, Vernon Fiddler picked up two minors for a hook and high sticking on the same sequence. Then Tom Wandell gloved the puck in the defensive zone and was called for delay of game - giving the Blue Jackets 2 minutes of a 5 on 3 advantage.

The Stars' defense completely shut down the power play, limiting Columbus to passes back and forth out front, but no real scoring chances.

There was a smattering of boos when Dallas killed off all the power plays.

Despite generating no offense when they had a man advantage, the Blue Jackets then tied it at even strength.

Artem Anisimov, acquired in the July trade that sent the franchise's most recognizable player Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, carried the puck up the left wing through the neutral zone and dropped a pass to Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin sent a perfect setup to Dorsett at the left dot for a one-timer that beat Lehtonen.

Lehtonen made a spectacular save in the opening minute of the second. Jack Johnson deked and then fired a shot that Lehtonen got a piece of, the puck flipping over his shoulder. He reached back with his glove to make the grab as the puck was going into the net.

The Stars' penalty kill also dominated the opening period. Perfect in all six opportunities coming in when on the road and a man down, the Stars stifled the Blue Jackets, who had three power plays. In fact, Dallas generated more offense with one fewer man than did the Blue Jackets, outshooting them 2-1.

Columbus didn't get its first shot on goal until 13:49 had expired. The Stars, who had one power play, outshot the Blue Jackets 9-3 in the first 20 minutes.

NOTES: Columbus was 0 for 7 on the power play, Dallas 1 for 4. ... Following Tuesday's road game at Minnesota, Columbus will play six straight games at Nationwide Arena - its longest homestand of the season. The Blue Jackets were without RW Cam Atkinson (lower body) who was placed on the injured list on Saturday night. He's expected to miss the next week or two. ... Columbus' first two home games were played before capacity crowds while Monday's game drew just 10,475.

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Lamar Jackson’s play this season has begun to make some analysts and fans backtrack 

Lamar Jackson’s play this season has begun to make some analysts and fans backtrack 

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson is starting to make people reconsider what they think of him. 

After the Ravens’ 49-13 win over the Bengals on Sunday, the rest of the NFL is starting to take notice about Lamar Jackson’s status in the NFL. Especially considering his spin move through the Bengals defense.

Hall of Fame NFL general manager Bill Polian recently admitted that he was wrong when he said that Jackson should be an NFL wide receiver during his draft process in 2018.

“I was wrong, because I used the old, traditional quarterback standard with him, which is clearly why John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were more prescient than I was,” Polian told USA TODAY Sports. 

Jackson is currently building an MVP case for himself and is on-pace for over 30 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards of total offense. 

It’s a nice change of pace for the 22-year-old quarterback in his second year as a pro. Jackson had to face heavy criticism after he left Louisville for a variety of reasons headed into the draft. Even after he took over as the Ravens quarterback, those evaluations persisted. 

“We always knew what he was about,” Ravens center Matt Skura said. “We always knew his ability to make plays and all that stuff. I think it’s just people right now seeing it on a much larger scale and it’s just getting the attention now.”

At this point, however, it’s clear that not only is Jackson a quarterback, he might even be the MVP of the league.

Of the five quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2018 Draft, only four are starting and just two have led their teams to a winning record. Jackson leads all of his draft counterparts in total yards and total touchdowns. 

But as anyone in the Ravens’ locker room will say, the accolades don’t concern Jackson — only the record does.

“I think he’s more concerned with winning than anything,” Orlando Brown Jr. said. “As individuals, we’ve all got people to prove wrong and things that we used to put a chip on our shoulder. At the end of the day, I know he’s more concerned with winning more than anything.”

Still, it’s noteworthy that it only took Jackson a complete season of starts, through two partial seasons, to begin the backtracking across the NFL landscape.

“If you watch ESPN or you watch TV, it’s going to come up no matter what,” Skura said. “Even on your Instagram feed it’s going to come up. I think for a lot of us, just in one ear and out the other as far as people pumping us up. You’ve kind of got to stay level-headed and ride the rollercoaster, so to say.”

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Hayden Hurst set on helping those with depression, anxiety with new documentary titled “Headstrong”

Hayden Hurst set on helping those with depression, anxiety with new documentary titled “Headstrong”

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Hayden Hurst immediately saw the impact of his documentary last week when, just hours after it aired, people reached out to him to tell their stories. 

Hurst was a part of a documentary titled “Headstrong” that aired on NBC Sports Washington last week, which detailed his struggles with depression and anxiety as a baseball player. The documentary will air on NBCSN on Nov. 20.

Now, Hurst is reaching out to tell his story in hopes of impacting those who struggle with mental illness, as he did.

“I think it’s going to reach a lot of people,” Hurst said. “Some people even reached out to tell me stuff that affects them in their lives. It’s very cool, it’s very humbling.”

Hurst was a standout baseball player in high school and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He signed immediately and began his professional baseball career. 

But shortly thereafter, Hurst developed the “Yips,” and he was unable to throw strikes like he once did. On the mound, his hands shook when he attempted to pitch. Off the field, his condition began to deteriorate. 

He said he began to self-medicate and that’s when he started to seek help. 

After he retired from baseball, he decided to play football at the University of South Carolina and began to treat his mental illness. In 2018, he was a first-round pick of the Ravens.

“It’s night and day from where I was,” Hurst said. “Back in the baseball days, my lack of success in baseball kind of led to my off the field issues. I kind of self-medicated a little bit to make everything go away. Where I’m at now, I’m so much more mature, I’m so much more in-tune with the person that I am, I’m close with my family.”

Hurst is now set out on telling his story to help others who might be in the same situation that he was in. With his background as a professional baseball and football player, he’s hopeful that people will see his situation and feel compelled to talk about what they’ve been going through.

“I really want to tell my story so I get it out there and people can relate to it and they can see it and read it and see the silver lining in it,” Hurst said. “I think a lot of people struggle with things and not a lot of people like talking about it.”

It’s difficult for him to make speeches and speak with others during the NFL season, but he’s got plans to travel to Columbia, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida to reach out to people who might be in need of help in the offseason.

He’s already begun work in Baltimore and wants to continue to help through his foundation, the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation. 

For now, though, he wants everyone to know that it’s OK to not be OK. Hurst’s story proves that. 

“I think more people are affected by it than we think,” Hurst said. “It’s a sensitive topic and not many people like talking about it. I’m in a position where — this sounds worse than it is — I really don’t care what people think about me. I am who I am, it’s part of the make up of who I am and I’m going to tell my story.”

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