Dunn returns, but Bulls get swept by Toronto

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The Toronto Raptors rolled into the All-Star break knowing the toughest part is yet to come. They’ll take where they are at the moment – staring down at the rest of the Eastern Conference.Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 assists, Serge Ibaka also scored 20 points and the Raptors cruised into the break with their seventh straight victory, 122-98 over the Bulls on Wednesday night.

”We just have to keep it going,” coach Dwane Casey said. ”We haven’t done anything. … It’s even harder from here on out, and that’s why (we’re) not jumping up and down. We have a goal. We haven’t finished it yet.”

Lowry made four 3-pointers, and he and Ibaka each had seven rebounds.Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and nine rebounds to help the Raptors complete a four-game sweep against the Bulls even though they only got seven points from four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan. But Toronto dished out a season-high 38 assists and shot just over 52 percent against a weak defense, sending the Bulls to their ninth loss in 11 games.

”We’re heading in the right direction,” DeRozan said. ”But at the same time, we still understand how much we need to clean up on the defensive end and the offensive end. As long as we keep that mindset anytime we step out there, whether it’s a practice or a game. We understand we’re trying to get better. It kind of carries us.”

Bobby Portis scored 18 points, and Lauri Markkanen had 14. The Bulls were simply overmatched by the Eastern Conference leaders, even though they had point guard Kris Dunn back in the lineup. He finished with eight points and three assists in 20 minutes after missing 11 games because of a concussion.

”Poor effort,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”I talked to the guys, win or lose you got to walk in the locker room after the game and look each other in the eye and say you were the harder playing team. We were not tonight.”

The Raptors took a 61-49 lead to the locker room after outscoring the Bulls by 18 in the second quarter.DeRozan ended a quiet first half with a neat 12-footer, faking David Nwaba and Justin Holiday while leaning in for the basket as time expired.The Raptors continued to pull away in the third. Lowry converted a four-point play and answered a three-point play by Markkanen by nailing another 3 to make it 75-57 three minutes into the quarter.

”It’s one of those things that’s honestly like a dream come true. I’m pretty sure once I get around the whole atmosphere and see what it’s like, it’s going to be (special).” –

DeRozan on playing the All-Star game in his hometown, Los Angeles.Acquired with Zach LaVine and Markkanen in the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, Dunn is averaging 13.5 points and 6.3 assists.The Raptors swept the Bulls for the first time since the 2001-02 season and won their fifth straight against the Bulls. … Lowry has 16 double-doubles. … Ibaka has seven games with 20 or more points.Markkanen has scored in double figures in 21 straight games. … The Bulls were 4 of 24 on 3-pointers after making at least eight in a franchise-record 24 straight games. … Bulls reserves were outscored 56-47.

Vegas gets three quickies in third period to sweep the free falling Blackhawks.

LAS VEGAS—While the Blackhawks have struggled to play consistent hockey for a full 60 minutes, the Vegas Golden Knights counted on 20 good ones Tuesday night.Trailing 2-1 heading into the third period, Vegas scored four unanswered goals, including Reilly Smith’s go-ahead winner three minutes into the final frame, as the Golden Knights beat the Hawks 5-2.Vegas, which swept the season series 3-0, also got third-period goals from Brad Hunt, David Perron and Tomas Nosek. Ryan Carpenter also scored and Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves for Vegas, which snapped a two-game home losing streak.One night after Arizona ended a nine-game losing streak to the last-place Blackhawks, the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights sent the Hawks to their season-high seventh straight loss(and 11th of 13). The Blackhawks have been outscored 29-12 during their losing streak.

”It’s frustrating because through and through our lineup, we don’t have a response when we need it,” Jonathan Toews said. ”We need to find ways to bounce back and stay in those games and not get frustrated and not let that noise or the crowd or a bad call or a goal against us sink our ship. It’s pretty frustrating for us to give up a handful of goals in a row and give up the momentum the way we did again.”

Tommy Wingels and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks, while Jeff Glass stopped 32 shots.

”It’s the same thing that’s plagued over the past month or two, we can’t string 60 minutes together,” Wingels said. ”We felt good about ourselves going into the third, and they scored two quick ones. It’s just a theme of the whole season. It’s frustrating that’s for sure.”

Said coach Joel Quenneville: ”This is probably as tough as I’ve seen, it’s not fun. Everyday we’re trying to find a way to get the team enthused, I know it’s not easy, it’s hard to be positive. We can’t accept that this is the way it is.”

The Golden Knights wasted no time in seizing control early in the third period, with three goals in less than five minutes. First it was Hunt tying the game at 2 when he ripped a wrist shot past Glass for a power-play goal. Moments later, Smith took a pass from William Karlsson and sniped Glass for his 17th goal of the season. Then it was James Neal stealing the puck in neutral zone and setting up Perron on the break to beat Glass low on the glove side.

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant credited Fleury with keeping the Golden Knights in the game, coming up with several big stops after letting the Hawks first two goals in.

”It’s just about trying to stop the next one, and keep the game close,” Fleury said. ”They’re a good team, they come fast. I always believed in our chance to come back and score some big goals. If I can keep the games close we’ll be in good shape.”

The Golden Knights, who have scored a power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games, were 1-for-6 with a man advantage.Wingels got things going 2:10 into the game when he camped out in front of Fleury on a power play and tipped in Erik Gustafsson’s one-timer from the point.The Blackhawks rank 29th in the league on the power play but converted one of their two opportunities against a Golden Knights team that has the league’s sixth-best penalty kill at home.Vegas tied it three minutes later when Carpenter dug the puck out from behind the net and stuffed it between Glass’ left pad and the post.Shortly after Fleury stymied Patrick Sharp’s penalty shot, the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead when he kicked DeBrincat’s rebound back to him and he scored the 21st goal of his rookie season.Nosek’s empty-netter provided the final margin.

NOTES—Artem Anisimov played in his 600th career game. … Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, who has been out since late December with an upper-body injury, took some shots during a morning skate in Phoenix. The Hawks did not have a morning skate in Vegas. … With an assist on Carpenter’s goal, Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland tied a career high in points in a season with 17. … With his assist, Karlsson is one point shy of 100 in his career.

NU falls to second to last place Rutgers in OT

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PISCATAWAY—While Corey Sanders’ offense will be shown on the highlight reel, coach Steve Pikiell focused on his star guard’s defense in Rutgers’ 67-58 overtime victory over Northwestern on Tuesday night.With senior captain Deshawn Freeman benched, Sanders had a game-high 30 points to lead Rutgers’ effort at the RAC.Sanders, who kept the Scarlet Knights (13-15, 3-12 Big Ten) alive all game, hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.9 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime tied at 56.It went in, as part of Rutgers’ 32-13 run to end the game.Derek Pardon hit his first six shots and had 13 rebounds to go along with 12 points to lead Northwestern (15-12, 6-8). Scottie Lindsey added 19 points and Aaron Falzon – who went 3 for 3 in the first half – had eight points off the bench for the Wildcats.Pardon and Falzon started a combined 8-for-8 shooting in the first half. Northwestern finished a stretch of 5 of 6 games on the road.

”We won three of them,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”Went 3-3 during that stretch. Had an opportunity to go 4-2 and couldn’t finish the deal.”

NU jumped out to an 8-2 lead on a Lindsey jumper assisted by Bryant McIntosh before Rutgers tied it at 10 on a Sanders layup.The Wildcats almost pulled away early. Souf Mensah’s bucket stopped Northwestern’s 12-2 run and left Rutgers trailing 23-16. Northwestern went into the break up 33-24. Losers of two in a row coming off a loss at Maryland, the Wildcats need to get back on track with a win as they try to build up a resume to make the NCAA Tournament after making it to the dance for the first time a season ago.

Bulls win over Magic after blowing 18 point lead

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Zach LaVine isn’t shying away from tense moments. The high-flying guard delivered again, just in time to lift the Bulls to another tight victory.LaVine broke for a tiebreaking dunk after stealing an inbounds pass in the closing seconds, Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points and the Bulls beat the Orlando Magic 105-101 on Monday night.The Bulls blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter, yet still came away with their second win in three games after dropping seven in a row.LaVine finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. But his biggest contributions came near the end of the game.LaVine locked on Shelvin Mack and swiped Jonathan Simmons’ inbounds pass with 15 seconds left, breaking for a thunderous slam to put the Bulls on top. He added two free throws after Mario Hezonja missed a 3-pointer.

”I was trying to be aggressive on the inbounds, trying to make it hard for (Mack) to catch,” LaVine said. ”I wasn’t trying to obviously go for a steal and be able to get out of position, but it opened up like it did.”

LaVine also scored 35 – including the Bulls final 11 points – in Friday’s 114-113 win over Minnesota.

”I embrace it,” LaVine said. ”You have to get it done. Everybody wants to have the ball in their hands at the end of games. But you have to have the confidence and the ability to do it. And I think I do.”

He sat out a loss to Washington the following night because he hasn’t been cleared for back-to-back games following ACL surgery with the Timberwolves a year ago.Bobby Portis added 19 points and seven boards for the Bulls, and Jerian Grant had 14 points and seven assists.Hezonja led Orlando with 24 points, though he was angry about his miss at the end. Evan Fournier scored 22.

”I’m (ticked) that I missed,” Hezonja said. ”Simmons made a great read, the rest is on me. I didn’t win for my team today and I’m extremely mad, but it’s going to serve as experience going forward in these clutch moments for me.”

The Bulls appeared in control when they led 93-75 with 8:23 left after an 11-0 run. Denzel Valentine punctuated that spurt with a dunk and two free throws.But the Magic went on a big run of their own, with Hezonja leading the way. He nailed a 3-pointer to give Orlando a 98-96 lead with 3:07 remaining. Portis tied it with a floater and responded to a 3 by Fournier with one of his own, making it 101-all with 2:29 left.

Hawks drop 6th straight,,6-1 to lowly Coyotes.

GLENDALE—The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had many nights like this one. Same for the Blackhawks, at least before this season.
Max Domi, Clayton Keller, Alex Goligoski and Tobias Rieder each had a goal and an assist, and the Coyotes pounded the slumping Blackhawks 6-1 on Monday.The Coyotes ended a nine-game losing streak to the Blackhawks and the sent last-place Hawks to their season-high sixth straight loss.Antti Raanta had 37 saves for Arizona. The Coyotes’ six goals were their highest total of the season.

”Sometimes you’re a little bit lucky and you can make the saves,” said Raanta, who had 40 saves in a shootout loss to Philadelphia on Saturday night. ”Play a couple of years, you kind of have a taste for what they can do.”

Domi put Arizona ahead to stay just 92 seconds into the game. Zac Rinaldo provided a screen in front of Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg, and Domi’s shot went in for his fourth goal of the season.The 22-year-old Domi stopped a 21-game drought with his first goal since Dec. 16.Keller’s 16th goal made it 2-0 at 9:22 of the first. Keller passed from behind the net to Derek Stepan, and Stepan’s shot bounced off Forsberg’s pads to Keller for a backhand follow.No punches were thrown in a scuffle between Jakob Chychrun and Wingels after Wingels leveled former Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson with a check early in the second. But Chychrun and Domi were given two minutes for roughing and the Blackhawks got a power play.Alex DeBrincat then scored the 20th goal of his rookie season, trimming Arizona’s lead to 2-1 at 4:33.But the Coyotes responded with two more goals in the second. Goligoski’s shot went underneath Forsberg at 7:06, and Rieder tipped in a power-play goal at 9:33 after Jeff Glass took over.

”We’re just trying to find something positive to build off of and just can’t do it right now,” Patrick Kane said. ”If we get down in a game right now or get behind, sometimes it’s deflating.”

The Coyotes finished off the rout with Nick Cousins’ redirection of Goligoski’s shot at 7:11 of the third, and Christian Dvorak’s ninth goal with 4:22 to play.

”You lose the game without even giving yourself a chance to get two points,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ”That’s what we play for. We’re in the winning business and that’s what’s frustrating right now.”

NOTES—It was the 3,000th game in the history of the former Winnipeg/current Arizona NHL franchise. … Blackhawks G Corey Crawford took the ice and faced some shots during the morning skate. Crawford has been out since late December with an upper body injury. … The Blackhawks are 4-4-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets this season. They complete their 11th back-to-back set of games when they play Vegas on Tuesday. … Most fans in the crowd were in Blackhawks gear, and they booed at the playing of a song in the arena that contained the lyrics ”I hate Chicago.” … NBA Hall of Famer and former Phoenix Suns great Charles Barkley performed the ceremonial puck drop. He was given a standing ovation.

Bulls blow 21 point lead, lose to Kings

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SACRAMENTO—Two days after getting heated with his players didn’t work, Sacramento coach Dave Joerger tried a softer, gentler approach and got the results he wanted.If only it had been that easy for the Kings all season.Bogdan Bogdanovic made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining and Sacramento overcame a dismal start with a strong finish to beat the Bulls 104-98 on Monday night.The Kings scored just nine points in the first quarter, trailed by as many as 21 and were down by seven with 10 minutes left before rallying to complete Sacramento’s first season sweep of the Bulls since 2006-07.

”I did a fair bit of screaming Saturday night trying to get us to play and I couldn’t,” Joerger said, referring to a 106-99 loss to Dallas. ”If you start doing on that on a nightly basis and they’ll not hear you. So I was trying to be very positive.”

After Zach LaVine’s follow shot tied it at 93 with less than 4 minutes left, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and Bobby Portis exchanged 3-pointers. Bogdanovic then hit the go-ahead bucket for the Kings on an uncontested shot beyond the arc.Willie Cauley-Stein added an emphatic dunk but was called for goaltending on a shot by LaVine that cut the Kings’ lead to 101-98. George Hill added three free throws over the final 11.4 seconds.Bogdanovic had 15 points, Hill scored 14 and Garrett Temple added 12 for Sacramento.The Kings became the second team this season to win after scoring nine or fewer in the first quarter. Miami beat the Bulls on Nov. 26 after being held to seven in the opening period.LaVine scored 27 points and Justin Holiday had 20 for the Bulls, who lost center Robin Lopez to an ejection in the first half, have dropped seven straight.The Bulls were already playing without Lauri Markkanen, who missed his third straight game due to the birth of his child, and Kris Dunn. Markkanen was scheduled to join the Bulls in Sacramento but his flight was cancelled due to weather in Chicago.

”Best start we had in a long time,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ”But then they ramped up the pressure on us in the second half and really bothered us.”

The Bulls led 28-9 after the first quarter while limiting the Kings to a season low for scoring in any period this season. The Kings were booed off the court after making only four shots.Sacramento turned things around after that, scoring 32 in the second, 36 in the third and 27 in the fourth.Holiday had 11 points with three 3-pointers in the first quarter. . Coach Fred Hoiberg said Dunn is feeling better and is making progress from the concussion he suffered against Golden State on Jan. 17.Lopez had to be held back by teammates after being called for a second technical with 4:21 left in the second quarter. The 7-footer then reluctantly left the court and grabbed a chair in the tunnel leading to the Bulls locker room and tossed it.

”I disagreed with the call,” Lopez said. ”I told him, `That’s bad.’ I’m not sure the reason behind the technical, but I supposed the officials are absolute and who am I to discredit that? I was a little bit surprised. In my mind, such a subdued response.”
The Bulls return to Chicago to host Minnesota on Friday.

Mirotic finally gone to New Orleans

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  • The Bulls received a first-round pick from the Pelicans, one that’s likely to convey this year.

The Bulls at last announced that the team has re-acquired Omer Asik,and got Jameer Nelson, Tony Allen and a protected first-round pick from New Orleans in exchange for Nikola Mirotić and a 2018 second-round pick. In addition, the Bulls will have the right to swap its 2021 second-round pick with New Orleans’ own 2021 second-round pick.

“We would like to thank Niko for all of his contributions during his time with the Chicago Bulls organization. We wish him the best with this new opportunity in New Orleans. As I have previously stated, this move has our best interests at heart as we continue to remake our team and position the Bulls for a successful future.” John Paxson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

Asik (7-0, 255), selected 36th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, has played in 14 games this season while averaging 1.3 points and 2.6 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game. Asik led the NBA in total rebounds (956) and ranked third in rebounds per game (11.7) in 2012-13, and holds career averages of 5.3 points and 7.2 rebounds on .528 shooting in 467 contests. He returns to the Bulls after spending his first two NBA seasons in Chicago from 2010-12.Nelson (6-0, 190), picked 20th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft, has averaged 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists and appeared in 43 contests this season. Nelson, a former 2009 NBA All-Star, has shot .410 from the field, .364 from beyond the arc and .765 from the free-throw line on the year. He holds career clips of 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in 871 appearances.Allen (6-4, 213) was selected 25th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft, and has averaged 4.7 points and 2.1 rebounds in 22 appearances while shooting .484 from the field this season. A six-time All-NBA Defensive selection, Allen has recorded career averages of 8.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.41 steals through 820 games.Mirotić (6-10, 260) was acquired via a trade with Minnesota, in exchange for the draft rights to Norris Cole (28th pick), the draft rights to Malcolm Lee (43rd pick) and cash considerations in the 2011 NBA Draft. He is averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 24.9 minutes per game this season and is shooting .474 from the field, .429 from three and .823 from the free-throw line.In 243 career games with the Bulls, Mirotić held averages of 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 23.0 minutes per game and shot .418 from the field, .361 from long distance and .801 from the line. He appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bulls and averaged 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.2 minutes per game, and shot .319 from the field, .262 from three-point range and .800 from the free-throw line.

The Bulls first game on the Score(WSCR 670-AM)is Saturday against the Clippers in Los Angeles

Wildcats use effective zone to thwart Badgers 60-52

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MADISON—A switch to a zone defense may be just what Northwestern needed to get going in Big Ten play.At the least, the zone has given the Wildcats a spark during a tough road stretch.Derek Pardon scored 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting, and Northwestern rode a game-opening 18-1 run to beat Wisconsin 60-52 on Thursday night.Scottie Lindsey added 14 points for the Wildcats (14-10, 5-6 Big Ten), who held the Badgers without a field goal until Brad Davison’s 3 with 13:38 left in the first half ended Northwestern’s spurt.Coach Chris Collins credits the zone for helping the Wildcats win twice on a three-game road swing.

“It’s enabled us to get off to good starts because it takes a while for teams to kind of see how they can attack it,” Collins said.

But what started as a runway slowed down into a miss-filled mess that allowed the Badgers to hang around in the second half.NU went 8 of 8 from the foul line to hang on after Aleem Ford’s 3 with 1:21 left got Wisconsin within 52-46. Ford finished with 12 points.The early struggles caught up with Wisconsin late.

“We got the ball point-blank. We got the ball deep and didn’t complete,” coach Greg Gard said. Northwestern “is too good of a team when you have to dig out of that type of a hole, against a veteran team.”

Khalil Iverson had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Badgers (10-14, 3-8), who have lost four straight games and seven of their last eight. Northwestern held Badgers star forward Ethan Happ to 6 of 13 from the field and 14 points.Wisconsin did manage to get within two possessions late in the game after playing more active defense and keeping the Wildcats off the glass during an ugly second half for both schools.The teams combined to shoot 15 of 52 after halftime, including 5 of 18 (28 percent) for Northwestern.But the game-opening run gave the Wildcats a comfortable cushion the rest of the night. Northwestern attacked the basket and flustered Wisconsin.

“Often in basketball, the way you start the sets the tone for the game,” Collins said. “I thought our energy was good.”

Bryant McIntosh’s assist on Lindsey’s 3-pointer with 15:59 to go in the first half allowed the senior to pass Illinois’ Dee Brown for seventh place on the conference career list. The assist also allowed Lindsey to join Michigan’s Gary Grant and Illinois’ Demetri McCarney as the only players in Big Ten history with 1,650 points and 675 assists. … The Wildcats’ three-game road swing is their longest in league play since the 2002-3 season.Iverson continued his midseason surge after entering the night averaging 13 points in his last four games. The 6-foot-5 forward can find holes along the baseline and maneuver his athletic frame for buckets when Happ gets double-teamed.The Wildcats earlier in the season were giving up too many points in the paint and too many fouls playing primarily man-to-man, so Collins switched to a zone. It helped them open and close their three-game road trip with victories.

“We were having a hard time with communication, with fouling, with dribble penetration,” Collins said, “and I think going to the zone has helped us in all three of those areas.”

Subjected to another healthy dose of double teams, Happ had four of Wisconsin’s eight first-half turnovers. The Badgers, who are plagued by injuries in the backcourt, don’t have enough consistent shooting from 3-point range or enough penetrators to take the pressure off Happ.The Badgers’ steak of 19 straight NCAA tournaments is in serious jeopardy. It’s a young team in which freshmen or less experienced players have been forced to play more.Northwestern hosts Michigan on Tuesday for the Wildcats only home appearance in a six-game stretch.

Hawks offense goes sour again in 4-2 loss in Vancouver

VANCOUVER—The big smile on Brendan Gaunce’s face spoke volumes.Gaunce scored his second goal of the game late in the third period, and the Vancouver Canucks overcame an early deficit to beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Thursday night.His first goal in the second period tied the game 1-1. He scored his second with just 2:58 left in the third period. It came as the Blackhawks were pressing after cutting the Canuck lead to 3-2.

”It’s great to score goals,” Gaunce said. ”You gain confidence offensively.”

Gaunce has played 109 games over parts of three seasons for Vancouver, collecting five goals and six assists. The 23-year-old once went 95 games without a goal. His previous two goals this season came on the road, so his last goal Thursday earned a huge cheer from the announced crowd of 18,144.

”I couldn’t really hear,” he said. ”I was pretty zoned out after I scored. It’s good to contribute.”

Daniel Sedin and Bo Horvat also scored for the Canucks. Troy Stecher added two assists, and Vancouver won for the fifth time in eight games after a 2-11-3 stretch.The Canucks also won back-to-back games on home ice for the second time this season.Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Hawks, who ended a two-game winning streak. Duncan Keith had two assists.The Hawks have not won three straight games since a five-game streak Dec. 8-17.Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots for Vancouver. Forsberg, making his third straight start, stopped 17 shots.Daniel Sedin made it 3-1 for Vancouver with 2:55 gone in the third. Jake Virtanen collected a puck in the slot, spun and fired a quick shot that Sedin tipped.DeBrincat drew the Hawks within in a goal when he scored on a slap shot over Markstrom’s glove at 10:19.The Canucks used a pair of second-period goals to take a 2-1 lead.Stecher also had a hand in Horvat’s goal at 9:58. He took a slap shot from the blue line that Horvat tipped for his 12th of the season.Schmaltz showed some speed in scoring the only goal of the first period. He took a pass from Brandon Saad, cut across the front of the net, then beat Markstrom with a backhand at 15:15 for his 14th goal.Jonathan Toews said the Blackhawks gave up too many good chances.

”We need to be better defensively,” he said. ”When pucks are around our net we have to make sure we are a little bit tougher and we’re not giving them easy chances around our net.”

NOTES—Erik Gudbranson returned to Vancouver’s lineup after missing five games with back spasms. … Blackhawk left wing Patrick Sharp was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. … Vancouver’s Sam Gagner didn’t return for the second period after suffering an injury when hitting Tomas Jurco in the opening period.

Bradley edges Loyola, just one game behind Ramblers in the MVC

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PEORIA—Elijah Childs scored 18 points to lead Bradley past Missouri Valley Conference leader Loyola 69-67 on Wednesday night.Bradley (17-7, 7-4 Missouri Valley Conference) has won four straight, is 12-0 at home this season and has a 14-game home win streak dating to last season. Loyola(18-5, 8-3) had its seven-game win streak snapped.Marques Townes made a 3-pointer for Loyola with 1:05 left to tie it at 64. Darrell Brown made four free throws, but Townes hit another 3 to pull the Ramblers to 68-67. Nate Kennell split a pair of free throws, and the Ramblers had a uncontested 3-point attempt hit the back of the iron at the buzzer.Donte Thomas, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, and Kennell each scored 12 points for the Braves.Clayton Custer made five 3-pointers and finished with 23 points to lead Loyola.