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Vanek has 3G, 2A and Sabres beat Bruins 7-4

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Vanek has 3G, 2A and Sabres beat Bruins 7-4

BOSTON (AP) Thomas Vanek had three goals and two assists, setting up the tiebreaking score with 13:06 left in the third period, to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 7-4 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Vanek opened the scoring 98 seconds into the game, then had a goal and an assist to tie it after Boston took a 3-1 lead in the second. The Bruins went up 4-3 in the third before Alexander Sulzer tied it on a wrister from the faceoff circle, and then Vanek helped give Buffalo the lead when he kept the puck in the zone, faked a shot and slid it over to Cody Hodgson for the game-winner.

Ryan Miller made 38 saves for Buffalo, which ended a four-game winless streak. Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for the Bruins.

Vanek picked up his eight career hat trick with 1:31 left to play. And he was trailing the play - but did not get an assist - when Jason Pominville skated in for the empty-netter with 14 seconds left to clinch it.

Vanek, who entered the game tied for sixth in scoring in the league, now has 54 points in 46 career games against the Bruins.

Brad Marchand scored two goals and Rich Peverley and David Krejci had one apiece for Boston, which had points in its first six games since Bobby Orr led the Bruins to a 5-0-1 mark in 1970-71. A win would have equaled the best start in franchise history.

Vanek gave the Sabres the lead after a scoreless first period, but Boston came back with three straight goals to open a 3-1 lead. The Sabres tied it again, thanks in part to a 5-on-3 power play when Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic were both sent off for penalties.

Midway through the two-man advantage, Vanek deflected a pass from Christian Ehrhoff into the net. Ninety-three seconds later, Vanek was posted up in front of the net when he was flattened by Boston's Andrew Ference; even as Vanek was falling to the ice, he managed to pass the puck across the slot to Tyler Ennis for the tying goal.

Krejci gave Boston the lead early in the third, but Sulzer tied it 4-4 less than a minute later and Hodgson added the go-ahead goal with 13 minutes left.

Notes: As part of their efforts to apologize to the fans for the lockout of the players, the Bruins gave away 134,000 concession items during home games in January, three per fan per game. That included 36,111 fountain sodas, 27,364 hot dogs and 19,472 boxes of popcorn. ... Lane MacDermid, a fourth-round pick in 2009, made his season debut tonight. He took the place of Chris Bourque, who was a healthy scratch. ... Bruins forward Shawn Thornton left the game after a first-period fight with John Scott and did not return.

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John Wall and Bradley Beal sport Elena Delle Donne’s face mask in WNBA Playoffs

John Wall and Bradley Beal sport Elena Delle Donne’s face mask in WNBA Playoffs

The newest celebrity fashion statement in Washington D.C. is sporting Elena Delle Donne face mask.

Just ask Washington Wizards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

The two Wizards superstars made it out to the Entertainment and Sports Arena supporting their fellow D.C. athletes Thursday evening. The Mystics were playing Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Las Vegas Aces.

Wall attended Game 1 as well with the Wizards first-round draft pick Rui Hachimura. Several other Wizards were spotted throughout the first two games of the series. 

Since mid-July, Delle Donne has worn a face mask after suffering a nasal fracture in a game. The injury forced the 2019 WNBA MVP to miss two contests until being cleared for play. Even though she no longer is required to wear the mask, medically, Delle Donne continues to wear it for the remainder of the year.

Earlier in the regular season, Redskins running back Derrius Guice also took in a Mystics game in a Delle Donne mask.

Just next time, someone give John a hand. He’s recovering from an injury after all.

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Elena Delle Donne celebrates second WNBA MVP award by crediting others

Elena Delle Donne celebrates second WNBA MVP award by crediting others

WASHINGTON -- A lot can change in four years, and for Elena Delle Donne, that has certainly been the case. As she stood at the podium on Thursday at St. Elizabeth's Arena to accept the 2019 NBA MVP award, she reminisced on her journey since 2015, the first time she got the honors.

Back then she was 26 years old, playing for the Chicago Sky and "wide-eyed," as she put it. A blockbuster trade, several injuries and a wedding later, she is MVP again.

"I've definitely grown so much," Delle Donne said. "It's a different vibe now. I just have a different feel being so settled and happy where I am." 

Delle Donne is quick to deflect compliments and spent much of her press conference tipping her cap to others. She thanked her teammates and coaches and said she wouldn't be able to win MVP without them.

She also thanked the Mystics front office and ownership group as they were getting set for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals against the Las Vegas Aces.

"Thank you to the organization. This is a first-class organization that really makes coming to work nice," she said. 

"You get to show up and we have a chef cooking for us. It's just a phenomenal place to be a part of. It feels like a family and I absolutely love D.C."

Delle Donne's most effusive praise was reserved for her wife, Amanda. Delle Donne went into detail about how her support makes the success she has on the court possible.

"She's the one I get to go home to and she keeps my head straight. She has to deal with all my craziness. She makes my pregame meals and basically gets everything in order for me," Delle Donne said.

Though Delle Donne talked mostly about others, the occasion was to celebrate her. Whether she is comfortable talking about herself or not, her accomplishments speak for themselves. She is now one of six players in WNBA history to win multiple MVP trophies and the first to do so with two different teams.

She got 41 of 43 first-place votes this time around after placing second in the league in scoring (19.5 ppg), fifth in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and 11th in blocks (1.29 bpg). She was the first player in WNBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the free throw line.

Delle Donne is in the midst of a historic career. And now at 30 years old, she understands her place in the sport has context that goes way beyond trophies at stats.

"It's always incredible to know that something you've done will go down in history. It's even more inspiring to know that there are little girls looking up to me that maybe can do the same or do more. That's what I did when I was younger because I had them to look up to," she said.

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