Hawks blanked 3-0 in worst effort of season as Power Play continued to be embarressment

LOS ANGELES—Dustin Brown has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Kings, and he became the youngest captain in team history in 2008. Although he’s not the most talkative guy wearing their black jersey, he has no desire to leave town in a much-rumored trade.A dynamic hat trick against the struggling Blackhawks made Brown’s point quite clearly.Brown scored three goals in an early 15-minute stretch and matched his career high with four points in an impressive response to rumors of his departure, and Jonathan Quick earned his NHL-leading seventh shutout in the Kings’ 4-0 victory Saturday night.After scoring two power-play goals in the first period, Brown completed his natural hat trick with a short-handed goal less than five minutes into the second, earning a standing ovation from fans who wondered this week if their hardworking captain was headed out of town.The Kings acquired Jeff Carter from Columbus on Thursday to bolster the NHL’s lowest-scoring team, and general manager Dean Lombardi was widely rumored to be shopping Brown, who had just one goal in his previous 13 games. Brown showed off the speed and hockey sense that makes him a valuable U.S. Olympian against the Blackhawks, giving life to the Kings’ flagging playoff hopes along the way.

“Things went well for me tonight, and I hope to build on it,” Brown said. “I think we’ve been struggling as a team. I’ve been struggling personally to score goals, and it definitely felt good to score some goals.”

Jarret Stoll also broke a slump with a career high-tying three assists, and defenseman Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist in his first game since getting a two-year, $7 million contract extension from the Kings.Brown’s three goals and Quick’s 19 saves overshadowed Carter’s solid debut with the Kings, who snapped a four-game skid with their third victory in 11 games. Carter played right wing on a line with Mike Richards, his longtime Philadelphia teammate who was traded to Los Angeles last summer at the same time the Flyers shipped Carter to the Blue Jackets.While the Kings’ offensive woes abated for a night, they got more spectacular play from Quick, who posted his 21st career shutout. The All-Star goalie matched the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist for the NHL lead in shutouts this season with several outstanding saves. Corey Crawford allowed four goals on 10 shots before leaving for the Blackhawks, whose power-play slump grew to 0 for 39 after six scoreless chances in their 13th consecutive game without a man-advantage score.

“It’s frustrating, because we’re just not working hard enough on the power play,” Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “We had some good looks tonight, but Quick was good, and their forwards were doing a good job of getting in lanes. We need to work harder, to do a better job.”

After his early power-play goals energized the Kings, Brown slipped away during a Hawk power play, beating Crawford low for his first three-goal game since April 1, 2010 — which was also the Kings’ last hat trick at Staples Center. Mitchell chased Crawford with his fourth goal of the season on a pass from Brown. Ray Emery finished up with 20 saves. The Blackhawks played their third straight game without captain Jonathan Toews, who is home in Chicago after an apparent concussion. Toews also crashed his car on the way to the United Center on Thursday, but coach Joel Quenneville thinks he could return next week along with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who sat out again after recently returning from a seven-game absence with an apparent concussion.

NOTES—Brendan Morrison was a healthy scratch, sitting out for the seventh time in nine games. D Steve Montador missed his ninth straight game with an undisclosed upper body injury….Rookie Slava Voynov stepped into the lineup spot vacated by Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who was traded to Columbus for Carter….Wayne Gretzky and former Buffalo coach Ted Nolan attended the game.

Cats get call,Shurna freethrows with 2.6 seconds left to edge Penn State and keep NCAA hopes alive


STATE COLLEGE—A loss in this one could have been fatal. But,John Shurna made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to give Northwestern a 67-66 win over Penn State on Saturday night. Tim Frazier’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short for the Nittany Lions.Shurna, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, led three Wildcats in double figures with 23 points. Drew Crawford added 13 and Alex Marcotullio 12 for Northwestern (17-11, 7-9). Marcotullio came off the bench to make 4 of 6 3-pointers.Penn State (12-17, 4-12) was paced by Frazier, the Big Ten’s second-leading scorer, who scored 23. Jon Graham and Ross Travis each contributed 10 points for the Nittany Lions.Graham had the opportunity to expand Penn State’s 66-65 lead with 14 seconds to go, but he missed two foul shots. Northwestern rebounded the second miss and raced up court.With time winding down, the Wildcats dumped the ball inside to Shurna, who put up a shot that was contested by Graham. The Nittany Lion was whistled for a foul and Shurna made the two resulting foul shots.

“It was a late whistle,” said Penn State coach Patrick Chambers. “I thought we had the rebound and were going down to the other end to shoot a 1 and 1.”

Northwestern coach Bill Carmody smiled when asked about the call, saying “Are you trying to get me in trouble? They (Penn State) took a shot. They (the referees) called a foul. It’s a good crew out there.”

The road win kept alive Northwestern’s flickering NCAA tournament hopes, especially on the heels of a tough overtime loss to Michigan on Tuesday.

“We had to get this game,” Carmody said. “We have to win a few games here so we’re not on the periphery.”

Northwestern has two games remaining, home against Ohio State on Wednesday and a road contest at Iowa to close out the season on March 3.The Wildcats’ win was bolstered by a 15-of-29 effort from 3-point range. Penn State converted just 3 of 14 from beyond the arc.

“We were shooting 3s much better than (other shots),” Carmody said.

Chambers said he wasn’t surprised at the Wildcats’ proficiency from long range.

Three late goals carry Stars past Hawks 3-1, four game winning streak ends

Michael Ryder scored on a deflection with 5:02 left in regulation as the Dallas Stars rallied with three goals late in the game to defeat the Blackhawks 3-1 on Thursday night, ending the Hawks’ four-game winning streak.Tied at 1, Ryder got behind the Hawk defense and redirected Mike Ribeiro’s shot between Corey Crawford’s left pad and the near goal post.Dallas’ Loui Eriksson was credited with a goal 74 seconds later that made it 3-1. He scored after Ryder’s shot deflected off Brent Seabrook’s skate. Dallas’s Steve Ott scored on a deflection midway through the third to tie it at 1. Stars backup Richard Bachman made 26 stops in his first start since Feb. 2, a stretch of 11 games.Marian Hossa scored the lone Hawk goal and Corey Crawford finished with 22 saves.As expected, Blackhawks captain and leading goal scorer Jonathan Toews missed his second game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Niklas Hjalmarsson returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a concussion. Toews also was involved in an automobile accident on the way to the United Center on Thursday morning. According to Chicago police, the Blackhawks center struck the support pillar of an elevated rapid transit rail line as he made a turn in his Mercedes. The police report said Toews was not injured in the accident and no citations were issued. The team called the accident a “minor one” and also said Toews was not injured in it.While the Blackhawks have shored up their defense, their power-play continues to sputter. They failed to convert the only man advantage of the game and are 0 for their last 33 chances. Neither team had many prime opportunities or sustained pressure in the scoreless first period. Crawford stopped Adam Burish on a short-handed breakaway 4:50 in as the Blackhawks struggled on the lone power play of the night.Dallas’ Ryan Garbutt ripped a shot from the left circle that ricocheted off both the left and right posts about 3 minutes into the second. Moments later, Bachman made a diving glove save to deny Jimmy Hayes. Hossa finally opened the scoring 9:32 into the second. After jumping on a turnover behind the Dallas net, Michael Frolik plowed to the front, but lost control of the puck. It squirted to Hossa, who fired in his 24th goal over Bachman’s blocker. Following a botched clearing attempt, Ott tied it at 9:25 of the third on a deflection of Trevor Daley’s shot from the point. Ott, parked just above the hash marks, redirected the puck past Crawford on the stick side while Garbutt cruised through the crease. Ryder and Eriksson connected 1:14 apart to give the Stars their second straight win.

NOTES—Steve Montador missed his eighth game with an upper-body injury.. Dallas D Sheldon Souray returned after missing seven games with a bruised foot and Burish came back after missing one due to an illness.. Stars C Jamie Benn (leg) missed his fourth game and former Blackhawk Jake Dowell missed his first (broken finger).

Flames lose 20th as UWM earns 72-61 win

Kaylon Williams had 19 points and 10 assists as UW-Milwaukee beat UIC 72-61 Thursday night to climb into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Horizon League.The Panthers (18-12), who close out the regular season Saturday against last-place Loyola, are tied with Detroit and Youngstown State for fourth place at 10-7 in the Horizon – one game-behind Butler and Cleveland State, who share second place at 11-6. The top two teams earn first-round byes in the conference tournament.Tony Meier added 17 points and Ryan Allen had 11 for Milwaukee, which hit 14 of 25 3-pointers en route to its eighth straight victory over UIC. Meier was 5 for 7 beyond the arc while Williams hit 4 of 7 3-pointers.The Flames (8-20, 3-14) got 17 points from Marc Brown, 13 from Hayden Humes and 11 each from Gary Talton and Darrin Williams.

UWGB goes OT to edge Ramblers 73-70

Kam Cerroni hit a 3-pointer with 1 second left in overtime, giving Green Bay a 73-70 victory over Loyola on Thursday night.Brennan Cougill led the Phoenix (14-14, 9-8 Horizon League) with 19 points. Alec Brown had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Keifer Sykes scored 13 and Steve Baker added 10.Ben Averkamp notched his sixth career double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Ramblers (7-21, 1-16). Joe Crisman scored 12. Jordan Hicks and Denzel Brito added 10 apiece.With Loyola down 63-59, Averkamp hit a jumper with 10 seconds to go and then tipped in Brito’s miss at the buzzer to force overtime.Cougill and Averkamp scored five points each in overtime, with Averkamp’s free throw tying it at 70 with 8 seconds to go.But Averkamp missed his second attempt, and then Cerroni, the league’s top 3-point shooter, ended the game.

Bulls continue to dominate Bucks, Noah gets Triple-Double.

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

A rare triple-double was all well and good for Joakim Noah. More important for him was this: the Bulls got another big victory.Noah had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double by a Bulls center in roughly 35 years, and the Bulls pounded the Milwaukee Bucks 110-91 on Wednesday night.Carlos Boozer scored 20 points to lead six Bulls players in double figures. Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each added 16, and the Bulls simply ran away with this one. The Central Division leaders built an 11-point halftime lead and broke it open in the third quarter, a nice send-off for the All-Star break. Ronnie Brewer scored 15 points as all five Bulls starters finished in double digits. Reserves Kyle Korver (11 points) and Taj Gibson (nine points, 10 rebounds) provided a spark as the Bulls handed Milwaukee its sixth loss in seven games.Brandon Jennings scored 20 to lead the Bucks, who never really had a chance in this one with the Bulls shooting 54.4 percent from the field and dominating on the glass with a 49-29 rebounding edge. This, however, was far from a winning effort for them.Boozer hit 9 of his 12 shots.Rose looked sharp again after saying the lower back pain that caused him to miss five recent games is gone. He followed up a 23-point effort against Atlanta on Monday with another strong showing. And then there was Noah.How good was he? Consider this: Not since Artis Gilmore had 35 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks against Atlanta on Dec. 20, 1977, had a Bulls center delivered a triple-double.With the Bucks trapping Rose, Noah has plenty of opportunities and posted a career high in assists. As he approached the triple-double in the third quarter, teammates kept reminding him. Noah fired up the crowd twice in the final minute of the third quarter.First, he dunked on Beno Udrih for a three-point play. Then, after two free throws by Jennings, he buried a corner jumper with about a second left to make it 93-75, sending a roar through the arena. He had only six rebounds without a point or assist in a loss to the Nets on Saturday. He played better against Atlanta, grabbing 16 rebounds, and trumped that with what probably was the best all-around performance of his career.

NOTES—The Bulls have won seven straight against Milwaukee….Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Richard Hamilton “is doing a lot more” and is “taking on contact now,” but his return date remains up in the air. Hamilton has been limited to 11 games this season because of thigh and groin problems….C.J. Watson missed his second successive game because of a mild concussion…..Milwaukee’s Stephen Jackson did not travel with the team because of a sore right hamstring, and Drew Gooden missed his fourth consecutive game because of a sprained right wrist.

Valpo beats Ramblers in OT to win Horizon League Regular Season crown

VALPARAISO—Ryan Broekhoff had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Kenney scored six of his eight points in overtime as Valparaiso clinched the Horizon League regular-season title with a 66-62 victory against Loyola on Tuesday night.Will Bogan added 16 points and Kevin Van Wijk 12 for the Crusaders (20-10, 13-4), the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. Valpo received a bye to the semifinals and will host both games on March 3. The championship contest on March 6 is on the home floor of the highest remaining seed.Ben Averkamp had 21 points and nine rebounds, Denzel Brito 12 points and Christian Thomas 10 for the Ramblers (7-20, 1-15).Kenney’s 3-pointer with 2:35 remaining in overtime gave the Crusaders the lead for good, 57-56. After Bogan had baskets on consecutive possessions, Kenney hit two free throws to make the score 63-57.A Brito layup got Loyola within 64-62 with 14 seconds left, but Broekhoff hit two free throws to seal it.

Hawks edge Wings 2-1 for fourth straight win

Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks did just fine without captain Jonathan Toews on Tuesday night.The Detroit Red Wings had a much more difficult time without their star center.Crawford made 31 saves and the Blackhawks beat the Red Wings 2-1 in a matchup of depleted Central Division rivals.Jimmy Hayes scored the tying goal in the second period and set up Marcus Kruger’s winning score in the third as the Hawks earned their fourth consecutive victory since a nine-game losing streak.Valtteri Filppula scored for NHL-leading Detroit, which had won six in a row. Jimmy Howard had 27 stops in his first action since being sidelined for two-plus weeks with a broken right index finger.While Howard was back in the net for the first time since Feb. 2 at Vancouver, the Red Wings were without leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk. The dynamic center had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove fragments from his right knee and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.Datsyuk leads the Red Wings with 43 assists and 59 points, playing a key role in Detroit’s record 23-game home winning streak. The Red Wings host Vancouver on Thursday. The Hawks were missing Toews, who was scratched with an upper-body injury and is day to day.Hayes skated behind the Detroit net early in the third and threw it in front, where Kruger slammed in his own rebound to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead just 1:53 into the period.Crawford and the Blackhawks’ defense took it from there, tying up Detroit and preventing any great chances to tie it up in the waning moments.The Blackhawks evened the season series at two games apiece while improving to 7-1 in their last eight home games.The Blackhawks got off to a slow start without their captain and the Red Wings took advantage. Kruger was sent off for tripping just 34 seconds into the game and Filppula sent a wrister over Crawford’s right leg to give Detroit a 1-0 lead at 2:22.The Blackhawks turned up the pressure late in the opening period and carried it over to the second, forcing Howard to make a handful of outstanding stops. Patrick Kane made a perfect pass to Sharp in the mouth of the Detroit goal, but Howard got over to kick it away. Michael Frolik skated in on a breakaway after Ian White fell down in the second and Howard kicked that one away, too.The Hawks finally broke through at 7:45 of the second when Duncan Keith’s shot from the left point squirted through to White, who pushed it into the wide-open net for his fifth goal of the season.Detroit could have a different defensive look when it takes the ice against the Canucks.The Red Wings acquired Kyle Quincey on Tuesday in a three-team deal that also involved Tampa Bay and Colorado. The Lightning traded forward Steve Downie to the Avalanche for Quincey, who was shipped to the Red Wings for a first-round draft pick and minor league defenseman Sebastien Piche. Quincey was drafted by Detroit in 2003, and played a role as the Red Wings reached the Western Conference finals in 2007.

NOTES—Red Wings F Dan Cleary was activated from injured reserve and played against the Blackhawks. He missed the previous five games with a lower body injury…..The Hawks swapped minor league forwards with Tampa Bay, sending Brandon Segal to the Lightning for Matt Fornataro…..Red Wings G Ty Conklin cleared waivers and was assigned to Grand Rapids of the AHL…..Niklas Hjalmarsson missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury.

Cats fall to Michigan in OT again.

EVANSTON—Michigan kept shooting from the 3-point line Tuesday night and coach John Beilein had no problem with the 38 attempts his No. 11 Wolverines hoisted toward the basket from long range.Most pleasing to him of the 14 Michigan made were the three straight to open overtime against Northwestern, sending his team to a 67-55 victory and keeping them right in the hunt for a Big Ten title. Trey Burke, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass hit 3-pointers to start the extra period as Michigan continued its late season surge with a fourth consecutive victory. And this one was hard-earned, the second time this season Michigan has gone to overtime to beat NU. But there were other numbers beside the 3-pointers that stood out — like only seven turnovers for the Wolverines and the 14 points from Big Ten scoring leader John Shurna of Northwestern, six under his average. Northwestern (16-11, 6-9) had its chances of getting to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history dealt another setback with three games left. Shurna became the school’s career scoring leader on Saturday, but managed only four points after halftime Tuesday night. He shot 6 for 16.Burke, who finished with 19 points, sank a 3-pointer after an offensive rebound by Novak to give the Wolverines (21-7, 11-4) the early lead in overtime. And then two more 3s gave the Wolverines a nine-point lead. Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-pointer with about a minute and a half left in regulation tied the game at 49. Both teams had a chance to go ahead in closing seconds but couldn’t. Northwestern missed two shots and Burke rebounded the second one and called a timeout with 24.3 seconds to go. The Wolverines moved the ball around before Northwestern’s Alex Marcotullio fouled with 4.7 seconds to go.After both teams used timeouts, Burke put up a contested shot from deep that was well short, forcing the second overtime game of the season between the teams. Michigan won the first meeting 66-64 in Ann Arbor on Jan. 11. Hearn, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer as Northwestern regrouped after three rapid-fire turnovers to give the Wildcats a 45-43 lead. And a Wolverines miss at the other end,. Shurna made a spin move in the lane and dropped the ball in the basket to make it a four-point lead. But Burke and Hardaway hit 3-pointers for Michigan on either side of a basket Shurna made while falling down making it 49-49 tie with 1:25 left.Michigan clamped down on defense in the second half and the Wolverines took their first lead of the second half when Matt Vogrich sank a 3-pointer from the corner. Seconds later a Northwestern turnover led to a fastbreak layup by Burke and the Wolverines led 41-38 with a little more than eight minutes left. The Wildcats managed just three baskets on 11 attempts in the first 12 minutes of the second half, a span that saw the Big Ten’s leading scorer Shurna go scoreless. Hearn’s hustle and six points during a closing 18-5 run over the final eight minutes drove the Wildcats to a 31-24 halftime lead.The Wolverines hit six 3-pointers in the first half and had a 19-14 lead before Northwestern’s half-court trapping defense started to bother them over the final half of the opening 20 minutes. The Wolverines shot 8 for 24 overall in the first half, while Northwestern was good on 50 percent and outrebounded Michigan 20-10.

Butler leads from start and beats UIC 69-44

INDIANAPOLIS —Roosevelt Jones had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Butler to its fifth consecutive win, 69-44 over UIC on Tuesday night.The Bulldogs (18-12, 11-6) play their regular-season finale at Valparaiso on Friday. The Horizon League tournament begins on Feb. 28.Ronald Nored, in his final regular-season home game, had 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Nored and fellow senior Garrett Butcher played for Butler’s back-to-back national finalists.Andrew Smith and Chrishawn Hopkins added 10 points for the Bulldogs. Butler has won 12 in a row in the series with UIC.Gary Talton had 13 points and Darrin Williams scored 11 for the Flames (8-19, 3-13). UIC broke a 26-game road losing streak Saturday at Eastern Illinois.