CHICAGO -- The special teams have been awful. The faceoff circle has been a huge problem. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have combined for one goal for the Chicago Blackhawks. The defending Stanley Cup champions are in big trouble in the Western Conference final, down 3-1 to the rolling Los Angeles Kings. But the Blackhawks are back at home for Game 5 on Wednesday night, and have dug out of similar trouble before. "Just looking to win Game 5," coach Joel Quenneville said after the Blackhawks arrived back in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon. "Thats it. Get the momentum back and go from there." The previous time this series was in Chicago, the Kings seized the momentum with a five-goal third period in a 6-2 victory in Game 2. It carried right over to a pair of impressive victories in Los Angeles that moved the Kings to the brink of their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons. Los Angeles has shredded Chicagos penalty-kill unit for five goals in its past 10 chances, while holding the Blackhawks to one power-play goal in their past 11 opportunities. Anze Kopitar and the Kings have won 58 per cent (106 of 184) of the faceoffs during the win streak, taking the puck-possession Blackhawks out of their game. "Its one of the things you look at with young centermen is how are they on faceoffs and are they working to improve on it," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. "Its a special skill. Its one of those stats in hockey when you say youre 50 per cent, you know, if that was us in school, wed be going again." The Kings big advantage against the Blackhawks is a far cry from the beginning of the playoffs, when they lost their first three games against San Jose. But they rallied past the Sharks in seven games, and then eliminated Anaheim after falling behind 3-2 in that series. The twin rallies could help against Chicago. Los Angeles, which won the Stanley Cup in 2012, knows how important it is to quickly close out a team such as the Blackhawks while they are struggling. "Were expecting their best," Kings centre Trevor Lewis said. "Theyre back at home now. Were expecting them to come out hard. I mean, theyre defending Cup champions. I dont think theyre going to give up by any means." A year ago, the Blackhawks were down 3-1 to the Red Wings in the second round when they headed home for Game 5. Andrew Shaw then had two goals in a 4-1 victory that sparked a series-saving winning streak for Chicago. The Blackhawks also lost their first three games in the first round against Vancouver in 2011, and got all the way back to a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 7. They are drawing on those experiences for this series, while acknowledging the surging Kings are an entirely different problem. "Were looking forward to getting out there tomorrow night," defenceman Brent Seabrook said. "I know the guys were being upbeat on the plane this morning, at breakfast this morning. Were looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and trying to get some momentum back and start feeling good about ourselves again." Seabrook and defensive partner Duncan Keith had one of their worst games of the season in Monday nights 5-2 loss. Keith had a turnover that led to a Marian Gaborik goal, and Seabrook struggled on Chicagos penalty-kill unit. "I (have) got to be better. Doesnt just start with a penalty kill. Its every facet of the game," Seabrook said. "We all got to be out there doing the things that are going to make us win the game. "I think some things happened last game that are uncharacteristic, but at the same time you have to give L.A. credit. Theyre forcing us into different situations. We (have) got to be better and we will be better." Custom NHL Jerseys
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. Mickelson shot a 2-under 70 after opening with a 77 -- his worst score of the season -- on TPC San Antonios AT&T Oaks Course. Lefty was 11 strokes behind leader Steven Bowditch, the Australian who had a 67 to reach 8-under 136.JARAGUA DO SU, SANTA CATARINA, Brazil -- In a battle of technical strikers, Lyoto Machida (21-4) outpointed Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2) and may soon challenge for the UFCs middleweight title. Machidas five-round win over Mousasi served as the main event of Saturdays "UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi" event, in Jaragua do Su, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Machida, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, was the faster fighter from the start, darting in and out of range while delivering rapid-fire punches and a few impressive high kicks. The patient Mousasi began to increase his pressure as the fight wore on, but he struggled to pin down the elusive Machida and consistently found it impossible to hit the target. Mousasi was never out of the fight, and his power punches left him as a danger through all 25 minutes of the bout, but Machida simply proved to be a little too fast and too tricky, and was awarded a unanimous-decision win with scores of 49-46, 50-45 and 50-45. "I always want to score a knockout or a submission," Machida said after the win. "Mousasi is a hard fighter, and every detail makes difference. Im already thinking about the belt, but this is something UFC has to decide." In the nights co-feature, Brazilian submission ace Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (20-3) won his third consecutive UFC fight with an impressive decision win over Francis Carmont (22-8), a transplanted Frenchman who trains at Montreals Tristar Gym. Souza, a former Strikeforce champion who now has his eye on UFC gold, controlled the action from the start, taking the fight to the floor and keeping the superior position throughout much of the 15-minute fight. Carmont displayed ample defensive skills, shrugging off multiple submission attempts in hopes of mounting a counterattack. However, he was never able to shake free and find the space he needed to operate, and Souza cruised to the decision win. Afterward, the top-ranked Souza called for a title shot but insisted hell keep knocking off fellow contenders if necessary to get there. "I want the champ," Souza said through a translator. "I want whoever has the belt. And if the UFC doesnt think Im ready for that, just put anyone ahead of me and Ill get over them." In additional main-card action, Brazilian welterweight Erick Silva (16-4) made quick work of late replacement Takenori Sato (17-9-7).dddddddddddd The 29-year-old Silva needed just 52 seconds to dispatch of his overmatched opponent, stopping an early takedown and then unloading a barrage of massive punches as Sato refused to let go of a single-leg attempt. Silva, long considered a top prospect at 170 pounds, said his surprising loss to Dong Hyun Kim this past October served as motivation for the spectacular performance. "I needed a win, but at no point did I feel pressured," Silva said. "Losing my last fight served as motivation, not as pressure. I trained very hard, and it was the best camp of my life. I was the first to arrive in the gym and the last one to leave. "I was very hungry for the win. The result couldnt have been different." Brazilian welterweight Viscardi Andrade nearly earned a first-round knockout win over Swedish fighter Nicholas Musoke (12-2). Instead, he left the octagon with a loss by decision. In the first round, Andrade delivered a crushing right hand that sent Musoke to the floor. But Andrade celebrated too soon, raising his hands in the air rather than pushing forward to seal the result. Musoke somehow recovered from the thunderous blow and seized momentum back for the rest of the contest, using technical striking and superior grappling to claims rounds two and three on the judges scorecards and taking home a unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three cards. "Its never the plan to get hit that hard in the beginning," Musoke said. "All in all, happy with the win, but not at all with my performance, especially with the way the fight started. I knew hed come out hard, although I did think Id be able to avoid his punches a bit better." In the nights first main-card contest, Brazilian featherweight Charles Oliveira earned a third-round submission win over Englishman Andy Ogle. At the evenings post-event news conference, Machida and Mousasi were each awarded $50,000 for the evenings "Fight of the Night" bonus. Meanwhile, Silva and Oliveira each earned $50,000 bonuses in the UFCs new "Performance Bonus" awards, which replace the long-customary "Knockout of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" awards. ' ' 'ear until getting the call from the Ducks, who need a dependable backup behind Frederik Andersen. John Gibson, Anaheims 21-year-old top prospect, hasnt played since Oct. 30 due to a groin injury. ' ' 'with most of those coming in the fourth quarter with the Panthers trailing. They were the first team to top 300 total yards against the Seahawks since the New York Giants in Week 10.Carolina was also the first team to score in the fourth quarter against Seattle since Kansas City in Week 11.Were mad about those seven points, defensive end Cliff Avril said.Seattle will again have injury concerns going into the NFC championship game. Center Max Unger re-injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter. Saturday was Ungers first game since Week 11, having missed the final six games of the regular season with a high-ankle sprain.Cornerback Byron Maxwell appeared on just four special-teams plays after missing practice during the week with an illness.And Seattle will be without rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson as well after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Richardson had 13 receptions in the final three games of the regular season and one catch on Saturday before being injured landing hard on the turf jumping for a deep throw.Richardson also tore the ACL in his left knee in college at Colorado.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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