Nationals

Stempniak leads Flames past Oilers 4-3

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Stempniak leads Flames past Oilers 4-3

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Lee Stempniak scored a power-play goal and added two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to their first win of the season, 4-3 over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

Jay Bouwmeester, Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross also scored for Calgary. New Czech acquisitions Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka both played well in their debut on a line centered by Matt Stajan with Hudler picking up an assist.

The Flames got off to a bad start to the season with back-to-back home losses last weekend before picking up a point in a shootout loss in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Sam Gagner, Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton, which was outshot 35-20.

Stempniak's power-play goal at 14:57 of the second period, restoring a two-goal cushion for the Flames at 4-2, was set up on a beautiful effort by Bouwmeester. The Flames defenseman pinched in from the blue-line, made a slick move to fool Ladislav Smid, then zipped a hard pass across the top of the crease that was neatly deflected in by Stempniak.

That goal would turn out to be the winning goal as the Oilers, with goaltender Devan Dubnyk pulled for an extra skater, got a goal from Gagner with 2 seconds left.

Despite having won two of its first three games, the Oilers entered the night not having led yet in a game and that trend continued as goals by Backlund and Bouwmeester gave Calgary a 2-0 first-period lead.

Backlund's goal at 5:16 came when he banged a loose puck under Dubnyk from the top of the crease after Mike Cammalleri got it there by neatly weaving his way through the slot.

Bouwmeester made it 2-0 at 14:25, ripping a wrist shot past Dubnyk from the blue line with Jarome Iginla providing a screen.

The Oilers cut the gap to one after taking just 5 seconds to convert a power play in the final minute of the first period.

With Glencross off for goaltender interference, Edmonton won the faceoff back to the blue line where Eberle slid the puck across to Schultz and the impressive Oilers rookie wristed a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff at 19:19.

Calgary restored its two-goal lead four minutes into the second period when Iginla's centering pass was tapped in by Glencross who was wide open on the far side of the net.

Eberle got the Oilers back to within one again with Edmonton's second power-play goal of the night. Breaking off the sideboards, Eberle looked off Bouwmeester, then neatly dodged the stick check of Stajan before wiring a shot into the top corner.

NOTES: Calgary has won 10 of the last 12 games between the two teams. ... Since Taylor Hall was born 21 years ago, Calgary and Edmonton have made the playoffs in the same season only once - in 2005-06. ... With the debut of Hudler and Cervenka, the Flames had two Czechs in their lineup for the first time since Jan. 29, 2003, when they had Petr Buzek and Roman Turek. ... The teams don't meet again until April 1. They'll meet three times in the season's final month. ... After this four-day layoff, Calgary's has no more than two days off between games the rest of the season.

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It's been 13 years since Ryan Zimmerman hit his first career walk-off HR

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It's been 13 years since Ryan Zimmerman hit his first career walk-off HR

On June 18, 2006, a 21-year-old Ryan Zimmerman beat the New York Yankees with one swing. The once rising star who would later be nicknamed 'Mr. Walk-Off' launched his first career game-winning home run 13 years ago today. 

The blast marked the 10th long-ball of his big league career and came on Father's Day with his dad, Keith, in the stands. 

Fast forward to 2019 and the now 34-year-old owns a .279 career batting average with 267 home runs. 

But 2019 hasn't given him much of a chance to add to those totals, seeing how he's played in just 22 games after being placed on the 10-day Injured List April 28 because of plantar fasciitis

His recovery, though, is well underway. NBC Sports Washington's Todd Dybas reported Tuesday that the first baseman ran the bases and will do so again Wednesday. If these drills go well, look for the veteran to begin a rehab assignment as part of his continued efforts to return to help the Nationals make a run in his 15th season. 

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Nassir Little is top of his class, in the draft and in school

Nassir Little is top of his class, in the draft and in school

Check out Chris Miller's full 1-on-1 interview with UNC's small-forward, Nassir Little down below.

The draft order has been decided, teams are hosting final workouts, and the NBA Draft is just a few days away. On June 20, the Washington Wizards will pick 9th overall with the hope to add some help on defense. The team has hosted workouts and invited players such as University of Noth Carolina's, Nassir Little.

NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller sat down with Little after his workout with the Wizards. His skill on the court is not the only thing that should impress people.

Little graduated from Orlando Christian Prep as salutatorian in 2018. Miller joked on the latest episode of the Wizards Talk Podcast that he should be referred to as "Nassir Little the science guy." 

The 19-year-old has a passion for science and learning. "I just really like learning about everything and how stuff works, it's what I was into." Little broke down his play style "scientifically" calling himself a player that is extremely athletic, able to guard multiple positions and "a guy with a 40 inch vertical."

Miller noted that the Wizards have been the only team that has highlighted his abilities in the classroom. 

Little's graduation rank is quite uncommon. However, he is not the only draft pick to graduate near the top of his class. Grant Hill graduated as the valedictorian and was drafted 3rd overall in 1994. Both Little and Hill wore blue during their time in college. Little sported Carolina Blue for one year while Hill spent four years in Duke blue. 

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