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SUMMERSIDE, Prince Edward Island — The New Jersey Devils’ youth brigade put on a show during an 8-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at the 2017 Kraft Hockeyville preseason game at Credit Union Place on Monday.

Pavel Zacha, a first-round pick (No. 6) in the 2015 NHL Draft, had two goals in the first period. Nico Hischier, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, had a goal (his third in as many games) and an assist. John Quenneville, a first-round pick (No. 30) in the 2014 NHL Draft, had two power-play goals in 29 seconds during the second period. The Devils scored the game’s first seven goals.

The town of O’Leary, Prince Edward Island won the Hockeyville title, but the game was played here to accommodate more fans. Credit Union Place was filled early in a historic hockey night for the province.

Defenseman Dion Phaneuf, an alternate captain for the Senators, is a summertime resident of the island. Whether it was that relationship with the fans or the fact that Ottawa is more centrally located to the province, the majority of the sold-out crowd was pulling for the Senators.
Recap: NJD 8, OTT 1

04:09 • 6:00 AM

Phaneuf was not happy with the Senators’ performance, but insisted the night was a positive one.

“We would have liked to play better, but the bottom line is we came here to support this event and there more to it than the hockey game,” Phaneuf said. “It’s about this morning when you are interacting with the kids. It’s about spending some time with the fans.

“At the end of the day, there is a National Hockey League exhibition played in Summerside, and it’s a big step for PEI.”

O’Leary will also receive a $100,000 grant to help update the town rink, O’Leary Community Sports Center.
Trophy presented to O’Leary

02:20 • 6:00 AM

The fans may have waited a long time to see an NHL game here, but they did not have to wait long to see some goals.

Marcus Johansson scored 1:07 into the game on a fluky goal and, from there, the flood gates opened.

Zacha scored twice before the period was finished and Stafford and Hischier each had a goal in the first 20 minutes.

“It was my first game with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri and I was really excited for that game,” Zacha said. “I played with Taylor a little bit last season and we know what we are going to do. The chemistry is there. I was lucky to play with them today.”

Hischier and Quenneville are trying to secure spots on the NHL roster. Zacha had eight goals and 16 assists in 70 games as a rookie last season.
Zacha’s second PPG

00:54 • 6:00 AM

Stafford, a free agent after playing last season with the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets, finished with two goals to give him three in as many games. He played with Johansson and Hischier throughout the game. The line combined for nine points.

“I just have to put my stick on the ice,” Stafford said. “There is a reason why Nico is No. 1 overall [draft pick], and Johansson is a great player.”

Stafford said that as nice as the score was, the two-day experience here was what will be most remembered.

“They did a tremendous job here,” Stafford said. “The people here were extremely friendly and accommodating.

“It’s good to see all the kids come out today, because I know I was one of those kids watching the big boys play at one point as well. All in all, it was a great experience for us.”

Devils goalie Cory Schneider made 21 saves.
Quenneville scores two quick PPGs

00:29 • 6:00 AM

Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot scored a power-play goal in the second period. Goaltender Mike Condon started and allowed seven goals on 27 shots in 28:45. Andrew Hammond finished the game and allowed one goal on seven shots.

Devils coach John Hynes said the strong showing by his young players will make the final roster decisions difficult, but insisted that is a good place to be. New Jersey has one preseason game remaining against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

For the Senators, some roster decisions were made easier after the game. They have two preseason games remaining, but coach Guy Boucher said he wants to get close to his opening-night roster in the next couple of days. Ottawa opens its regular season against Washington on Oct. 5.

“The downside is that it wasn’t pretty out there,” Boucher said. “The good side is we know we have to get back to who we are for the next game. Having said that, I think we have taken a lot of our high-end vets out [of the lineup] on purpose to see the young guys and what the guys battling for spots could do.

“I tried all kinds of things and put guys with different guys to give them a chance to show themselves, and we saw that some guys were able to battle through and still show something and some other guys it was a tough night. Every day gives us information.”

The Senators have preseason games remaining at the Jets on Wednesday and the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

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Kyrie Irving said Monday that his decision to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers was motivated by his own pursuit of happiness and that it had nothing to do with former teammate LeBron James.

The All-Star point guard appeared on ESPN’s First Take on Monday and discussed his trade to the Boston Celtics. Asked if he was happy now, Irving said he was “ecstatic.”

He said his trade request wasn’t about “wanting to be the man,” claiming he has no ego. Instead, he’s looking forward to “perfecting his craft” and playing his position for a storied NBA franchise.

EDITOR’S PICKS

Is this about LeBron James? Kyrie Irving offers insight into his trade request
During a revealing interview on First Take, the former Cavaliers star detailed the motives behind his trade request that shocked the NBA this summer.

Kyrie praises LeBron; trade about ‘potential’
New Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said his trade from the Cavaliers was more about maximizing his potential and had nothing to do with LeBron James, whom he praised.
“I’m looking forward to becoming something that I’ve always envisioned myself being, that’s being a complete point guard on a great team. I want to be able to come off pick and rolls and be able to dissect the defense,” he said.

Irving said he “relished” his role with the Cavaliers, but: “I’m not just this one-on-one individual that wants to go one-on-one every single time down. That’s not how I appreciate the game.”

Money had no factor in his decision, he said.

“Can’t put a price on happiness and truth,” Irving said, pointing out that he waived his $5.8 million trade kicker.

As he said in his introductory news conference, Irving said he didn’t talk to James before making his trade request.

“I don’t think that you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life. It’s not anything personal. … I’m not here to go at any particular person or the organization because I have nothing but love for Cleveland. I have nothing but love for the times that I spent there,” he said.

He said he “absolutely” believes he can win without James and that he feels fortunate that he landed with the Celtics after “I really took a leap of faith with myself” with the trade request.

He emphasized that it will take time for the Celtics to jell this season. Asked what his expectations were this season, he said:

“That’s the kind of difficult question that will be asked throughout probably the entire season until we form our identity. … Only four guys from last year’s team that I played against in the Eastern Conference finals are returning. So this becomes a totally, totally new, new journey, and you have to see it as that. I have expectations, and I know we all share that as a group, but we don’t know about each other at all. And the only time that we have to figure that out is through training camp and throughout the season,” he said.

However, he was part of an evolving roster in Cleveland, and he said he will use that experience in Boston.

“So now you take that same formula that I had the unique opportunity of being a part of and observing every single day, and you apply that to another cultural environment that has a culture that’s existed for years, and now you try to put your imprint on it,” he said.

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The Los Angeles Lakers will retire both of Kobe Bryant’s jerseys — No. 8 and No. 24 — at halftime of their game against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18, the team announced Tuesday.

Kobe Bryant’s Career, In Nos. 8 And 24

Kobe Bryant switched from No. 8 to No. 24 following the 2005-06 season.
NO. 8 NO. 24
Seasons 10 10
All-Star selections 8 10
1st-team All-NBA 4 7
Championships 3 2
Finals MVPs 0 2
– ESPN Stats & Information
Bryant, who retired after the 2015-16 season, played 20 seasons with the Lakers, winning five championships. The 18-time All-Star scored 33,643 career points, currently third on the all-time list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.

“As a kid growing up in Italy, I always dreamed of my jersey hanging in the Lakers rafters, but I certainly never imagined two of them,” Bryant said in a news release. “The Lakers have bestowed a huge honor on me and I’m grateful for the fans’ enthusiasm around this game.”

The Lakers usually retire only the jerseys of players in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bryant isn’t yet eligible for enshrinement, but the team is confident he will be inducted.

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The Lakers also retired Shaquille O’Neal’s jersey in 2013 before he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

“Kobe’s jerseys are taking their rightful home next to the greatest Lakers of all time,” controlling owner Jeanie Buss said in the release. “There was never any doubt this day would come, the only question was when. Once again, Lakers fans will celebrate our hero, and once again, our foes will envy the legendary Kobe Bryant.”

Bryant will be the 10th player to have his jersey retired by the Lakers, joining Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Elgin Baylor (22), Gail Goodrich (25), Magic Johnson (32), Abdul-Jabbar (33), O’Neal (34), James Worthy (42), Jerry West (44) and Jamaal Wilkes (52).

The name of longtime team broadcaster Chick Hearn also is hanging in the rafters of Staples Center.

“This honor is very well deserved,” said Johnson, the team’s president of basketball operations, in the release. “Kobe was one of the greatest Lakers and NBA players of all-time and he’s definitely on my Mount Rushmore. I look forward to seeing BOTH of his jerseys be retired and celebrating this special day with Kobe and his family.”

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NEW YORK — It was Aug. 3, the day after a rainout at Fenway Park, and Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell was outlining his plans for arranging the starting rotation around an unusually high number of days off in the schedule.

“You look ahead,” Farrell said, “and there’s three series against New York. Chris [Sale] is mapped out to be in every one of them.”

Farrell might as well have been wearing a pinkie ring, holding a cat on his lap and cackling fiendishly, for this was a plot straight out of the Dr. Evil playbook. The division-leading Red Sox would use one of the days off to give Chris Sale extra rest before an Aug. 8 start at Tampa Bay, then line up their ace to pitch in each of the three series that remained against the New York Yankees, their closest pursuer in the American League East.

Genius, right?

Well, not exactly.
Sale dominated the Yanks for seven innings and took a no-decision in a 10-inning, 3-2 Sox win on Aug. 13 in the Bronx. No shame in that, certainly. But he allowed four runs in seven innings of a 4-3 loss six days later at Fenway. And on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, he gave up three solo homers — including back-to-back shots for the first time in his career — and lasted only 4⅓ innings in a 9-2 loss that shaved the division lead to 3½ games.

So much for burying the Yankees under an avalanche of Sale fastballs and sliders.

“We’ve got plenty of time left. Now is definitely not the time to panic,” Sale said. “We know where we’re at. We know what we need to do.”

Here’s where Sale is at: In his past six starts, including seven shutout innings last Tuesday night in Toronto, he has a 4.57 ERA. He has gotten knocked around twice by both the Yankees and Cleveland Indians, teams that are likely bound for the postseason. Once the clear-cut favorite to win the Cy Young Award, Sale now appears to be in a dead heat with Indians ace Corey Kluber.

And here’s where the Red Sox are at: After getting swept by the red-hot Baltimore Orioles and sweeping the last-place Toronto Blue Jays, they dropped three out of four games to the Yankees. They scored nine runs on 22 hits in the series and went 1-for-27 with runners in scoring position, continuing a season-long trend over 19 games against the Yanks in which they went 20-for-140 (.143) with runners on second or third base.

“It’s probably historic,” Farrell said, “when you look at it.”

Fortunately for the Red Sox, they won’t have to see more of the Yankees during the regular season. The teams played 10 games in a span of 24 days but won’t face one another again unless they meet in the postseason.

It stands to reason, then, that this series was more important to the Yankees, who played with far greater urgency. Entering Sunday night, the Red Sox had an 87.8 percent chance of winning the AL East, according to FanGraphs, and those odds aren’t likely to change much after one loss.

But if Sale had overwhelmed the Yankees as the Red Sox envisioned when they aligned their rotation last month, the division would be all but wrapped up by now. Instead, the Yankees are still hanging around, just like the concern over whether Sale is fatigued or, even worse, headed for another September struggle.

“Don’t worry about me,” Sale said. “I’m doing all right.”

But is he? For the second consecutive game against him, the Yankees ran up Sale’s pitch count early, making him throw 24 pitches in the first inning, 22 in the second and 36 in the fourth. They fouled off 26 of the 109 pitches he threw. Chase Headley’s third-inning homer came on an 0-2 pitch, only the fifth time that has happened to Sale in his career.

“Hung a breaking ball that Headley hit. Same thing with [Todd Frazier in the fourth inning],” Sale said. “Holliday hit a homer on a fastball. Just got to be better than that, especially knowing the ballpark we’re playing in. Just got to be better at executing two-strike pitches than I did tonight.”

Perhaps it was the familiarity of facing the Yankees three times in four weeks that doomed Sale?

“It could be, but at the same time, they’ve got to adjust to me just like I got to adjust to them,” he said. “They were putting long at-bats together, fouling some pitches off, taking some good pitches. So, it was up to me to make an in-game adjustment, and clearly I didn’t.”

Or maybe the workload is catching up to Sale? After all, he leads the majors in innings (189 2/3) and strikeouts (270) and has thrown at least 100 pitches in all but three of his 27 starts.
“I feel real good,” Sale said. “We’ve done a lot of things over the course of the year, even dating back to spring training, to get over this hump right here.”

The hump has tended to be larger in September. Since he became a full-time starter in 2012, Sale’s ERA in the last month of the season entering Sunday night was 3.86, nearly a full run higher than his 2.97 career mark.

“He’s set such a high bar for himself, not only this year, but throughout the course of his career and certainly this season, the way he’s pitched,” Farrell said. “We’ve got a couple of off days that we’ll take advantage of to get him some extra rest.”

The Red Sox will hope that plan with Sale works better than the last one did.