Bears trade up(with Tampa Bay)and draft Leonard Floyd of Georgia

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The Bears on Thursday night traded up two spots in the first round of the NFL Draft to select Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick.The 6-6, 244-pounder appeared in 38 games with 32 starts over three seasons for the Bulldogs, recording 184 tackles, 28.5 tackles-for-loss and 17 sacks.

“We said all along we wanted to improve the athleticism and speed on our defense and we’ve definitely done that with Leonard Floyd,” said general manager Ryan Pace.

“This guy lines up all over the field for Georgia. We see him as an outside linebacker on our defense. He brings great athleticism for a guy that tall with that kind of length. He brings some juice to our defense that we need and will definitely help our pass rush.”

The Bears dealt the 11th overall pick and one of their two fourth-round selections (106th overall) to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the No. 9 choice.

“We were concerned he would go a couple of picks ahead of us,” Pace said. “This is a guy we identified, a guy we wanted, so we didn’t sit on our hands. The luxury of having extra picks gives us the ammunition to do those things.There was a consensus on this player; all the scouts, all the coaches all had this guy graded very similar. For me, that kind of makes it an easier decision. In addition to that, it fills a major need on our defense. We were excited about it and wanted to be aggressive and ensure we get the guy that we wanted.”

It’s been 20 years since the Bears last traded up in the first round, jumping five spots to select cornerback Walt Harris at No. 13 in 1996.Floyd played one year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at Georgia in 2013. After starting eight of 13 games as a freshman, he was voted the Bulldogs’ defensive MVP as a sophomore in 2014 when he registered 55 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. Last season Floyd led Georgia in sacks for the third straight year with 4.5 and tied for the team lead with 10.5 tackles-for-loss.

“When you watch the film on him he’s not just rushing from the outside linebacker position, he’s floating in the middle of the defense and shooting through an interior gap with great burst,” Pace said. “I don’t think you can have enough pass rushers in today’s game; if you look at the playoffs this past year it really showed that. You need to load up on pass rushers and that’s what we’re doing.”

Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.Bears selected Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with the ninth overall pick.Pace revealed that coach John Fox was strongly in favor of selecting Floyd.

“He’s been pounding the table to add these kind of guys for a while,” Pace said. “We talk during the season [and Fox says], ‘Hey, Ryan, we’ve got to get off the field on third down.’ We needed guys to help us in that area and this is the type of player that can help that, add a major pass rush threat to our defense.”

At 6-6 and 244 pounds, Floyd has a lanky frame that lacks bulk. Asked if the Bears’ first-round pick needs to add weight and strength, Pace said: “John says that we can make a guy stronger and get him bigger, but we can’t get him faster and more athletic.

“He’s definitely fast and athletic. He’s got such great length that guys don’t get into his body. When you see him playing the run on the edge of the defense, he uses his hands really well and he plays with such great separation that it’s hard for guys to get into him. I think that helps him a lot even though he’s a little thinner framed.”

Pace feels that Floyd’s ideal playing weight is “probably in the 240s.”

“The last thing you want to do is bulk this guy up and then you’re taking away what he does best,” Pace said. “You see some guys put on too much weight too fast and they look stiff and they lose some of that twitch that makes them a special player.We’ve got to do it the right way. I’ve got a lot of confidence in our strength and conditioning coaches, our sports science director Jenn Gibson, to get Leonard at an optimal playing weight to maximize his talent.”

Brouwer goal in third period hands Blackhawks 3-2 loss and early Summer Vacation

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ST. LOUIS—The St. Louis Blues acquired Troy Brouwer for moments like this, dealing fan favorite T.J. Oshie to Washington for some badly needed veteran presence.The 30-year-old forward showed plenty of poise when his first shot clanked off the post midway through the third period. The second effort off the backhand produced the goal that put a long-frustrated franchise over the top against the defending Stanley Cup champions.Brouwer described the go-ahead score in the third period of a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Blackhawks on Monday night as ”the ugliest goal I’ve ever scored and probably the timeliest goal I’ve ever scored.”

”I just tried to stay with it, knowing the magnitude of the game, knowing how everything’s been going,” Brouwer added.

Brouwer played for the Blackhawks’ Cup winner in 2010 and this was his seventh career Game 7. The goal at 8:31 was his first in 24 postseason games since 2013 and was the difference in a tense series that was either tied or a one-goal game 91 percent of the time, according to Hawks just missed a chance to tie it when Brent Seabrook‘s shot went off both posts with about 3:30 left. Coach Joel Quenneville came close to challenging the play.

”We had a sniff there,” Quenneville said. ”We didn’t get the positive feedback from the headset. It was close.”

It is the first time the Blues advanced past the first round since 2012, when they beat San Jose in five games but then lost four straight to Los Angeles. St. Louis plays Dallas in the next round.

”We’re still not where we want to be,” Brouwer said. ”We want to be playing in a month and a half still.”

Jori Lehtera scored his first career playoff goal and rookie defenseman Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues, who avoided another inglorious finish. They led 2-0 early, their second two-goal cushion in two games, before the Blackhawks tied it in the second period.Marian Hossa scored his third goal of the series and Andrew Shaw got his fourth on a power play for the Blackhawks. Patrick Kane was dangerous all night but was scoreless, and was minus-3.

”It just doesn’t really feel right,” Kane said. ”Pretty quick right after to put everything right after into words. Obviously, not the outcome we were looking for.”

The Blackhawks have won three of the last five Cups – but when they don’t win it all, the postseason can be a short one, with three first-round eliminations the last six seasons.

”You get the feeling that it’ll be one of those things again and we feel from the get-go we’ve got the team to do it again,” Jonathan Toews said. ”Not much you can say right now. It was close the whole way.”

Brouwer scored from close range off a feed from Robby Fabbri. The first shot went off the right post and he nudged the second past Corey Crawford.St. Louis was coached by Quenneville the last time it played in a Game 7, a loss at Vancouver in 2003. The Game 7 win was the franchise’s first since 1999.

”To coach it, to play in it, to strategize in it, it was a lot of fun,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. ”I don’t know if it’s a milestone. It’s a hump.”

The Blues outscored the Blackhawks 7-3 in the first period in the series, but the Blackhawks owned the second period with an 11-3 advantage. That included the first three of five unanswered goals in Game 6 on Saturday.Blues standout Vladimir Tarasenko was no factor after entering among the playoff leaders with four goals. He went to the locker room for about 2 1/2 minutes midway through the second for undisclosed reasons and his ice time was down at 14 minutes and 31 seconds – second-fewest on the Blues’ top three lines – just as it has been earlier in the series.Game 7 drew a standing-room attendance of 19,935 and the arena had seldom been louder than after Parayko’s drive from the point made it 2-0 at 13:43 of the first period. Lehtera’s deflection on Jay Bouwmeester‘s point shot gave St. Louis an early cushion just a minute in.The Blackhawks had a 7-0 shots advantage the rest of the period and Hossa’s third of the series, a drive from the top of the right circle on the counter-attack, cut the deficit to one at 18:30.The Hawks made it 14 shots in a row at the start of the second period, including the tying goal by Shaw from a bad angle off the leg of Bouwmeester crouching in the crease and past Brian Elliott.

NOTES—Blackhawks D Duncan Keith had by far the most ice time at 33 minutes, 34 seconds. Blues D Alex Pietrangelo played 29:36. …The Blackhawks made no lineup changes. The Blues re-inserted rookie D Joel Edmundson after sitting two games in place of Robert Bortuzzo. … The 37-year-old Hossa has 149 career playoff points, including 52 goals.

Hawks force 7th game with 6-3 win over Blues

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Artem Anisimov, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Dale Weise scored during a dominant second period, and the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Saturday night to send their first-round playoff series to Game 7.Andrew Shaw added a third-period goal in his return from a one-game suspension for using a gay slur during the 4-3 loss in Game 4. Andrew Ladd had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks improved to 15-1 in their last 16 Game 6s in the playoffs.The Blackhawks trailed 3-1 in the series, but stayed alive with a 4-3 double-overtime victory in St. Louis on Thursday. Then, the defending Stanley Cup champions trailed 3-1 after one period in Game 6, but found a way again.Game 7 is Monday night.Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo and Scottie Upshall scored for St. Louis, which lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. Brian Elliott made 30 saves.Trailing 3-1 after one and facing the possible end of their title defense, the Blackhawks roared back with perhaps their best period of the season.With St. Louis center Kyle Brodziak in the box for hooking, Anisimov got the Hawks within one when he poked home a rebound opportunity for his third goal of the series. That seemed to spark the Blackhawks, and Elliott made a couple of nice stops on Richard Panik and Marian Hossa to keep the Blues in front.But the Blackhawks only turned up the pressure from there.Panik left the puck for a streaking Jonathan Toews, and the captain slid it over to van Reimsdyk for the tying goal at 12:21. Spurred on by a raucous crowd of 22,260, which stood and applauded for a whole TV timeout at one point, the Hawks went ahead to stay when Artemi Panarin passed from behind the net to Weise for a one-timer at 16:18.It was Weise’s first goal since he was acquired in a trade with Montreal on Feb. 26. It also was his sixth career playoff score, including a pair of overtime winners during his time with the Canadiens.Shaw’s third goal of the series, a power-play tally off a slick pass from Patrick Kane, made it 5-3 at 16:53 of the third, and Hossa added an empty-netter.It was a memorable night for Shaw, who made an emotional apology the day after his embarrassing display in Game 4. While sitting in the penalty box Tuesday night, the forward directed a gay slur toward the ice, and the NHL responded with a one-game suspension and a $5,000 fine.Fresh off Kane’s dazzling overtime winner on Thursday night, the Blackhawks got off to a fast start. Ladd jumped on a turnover by Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and beat Elliott on the glove side at 3:47 of the first.Weise then set up Andrew Desjardins for an open net, but his shot was wide and St. Louis responded with three goals in a span of 4:42.Desjardins’ miss turned into Upshall’s first goal of the series. Pietrangelo sent a big rising drive past a screened Corey Crawford on the stick side at 8:51, and Tarasenko made it 3-1 with another screeching wrist shot, stunning the sellout crowd with his fourth of the playoffs. NOTES—Hossa also had an assist in his 200th career playoff appearance. … Toews finished with two assists. He has yet to score in the series.

Kane’s goal in second OT extends series to game 6 Saturday

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ST. LOUIS—Patrick Kane scored on a backhander early in the second overtime and the Blackhawks avoided first-round elimination with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues early Friday.The game winner was the first goal in the series by the defending Stanley Cup winners’ stars, Kane and Jonathan Toews. Both assisted on Artemi Panarin‘s goal in the final second of the second period for a 3-1 lead.Kane, who led the NHL in scoring with 106 points, circled the net to corral his own shot that slowly slid wide, and poked it past Brian Elliott at 3:07 to send a most of the standing-room crowd of 19,956 home unhappy.David Backes, who got the winning goal in the Blues’ 1-0 overtime victory in Game 1, tied it on a deflection that slipped past Corey Crawford with 5:10 to play. Rookie Robby Fabbri and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis.Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov also scored for the Hawks, which takes the series back home for Game 6 on Saturday. Every game in the series has been decided by a single goal.The Blackhawks won despite being outshot 46-35, and helped road teams improve to 19-15 in these playoffs.The Blackhawks have won three of the last six Cups, but also are trying to avoid first-round elimination for the third time in six seasons.Kane and Toews have combined for one goal and eight assists in the series. They were paired on the top line for Game 5 and both assisted Panarin’s seemingly back-breaking goal with 0.4 seconds left in the second period for a 3-1 cushion.The Blues are trying to end a string of three consecutive first-round playoff exits. In 2014 they had a 2-0 lead on the Hawks, and then lost four straight.The Blackhawks stayed alive without Andrew Shaw, suspended for one game for making a homophobic slur at the end of Game 4.The teams combined for 11 game misconduct penalties at the finish of the Blues’ 4-3 win in Game 4 on Tuesday. There were no penalties in the first period of Game 5.

NOTES—Fabbri was among the rookie leaders with 18 goals during the regular season. … Blues D Carl Gunarrsson returned after missing game with an injury. Rookie Joel Edmundson sat after playing the first four games. … The Blackhawks inserted David Rundblad in place of Michal Rozsival, who was minus-3. Fs Brandon Mashinter and Dale Weise also played with Tomas Fleishmann out….Game six Saturday starts at 7pm.

Hawks fall to Blues 4-3, on the brink with game 5 in St.Louis Thursday

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Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a pair of impressive wrist shots, Brian Elliott made 39 saves and the St. Louis Blues beat the Blackhawks 4-3 on Tuesday night to open a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.Jaden Schwartz scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period for the second straight game as St. Louis moved to the brink of its first appearance in the Western Conference semifinals since 2012. The Blues were eliminated in the opening round in each of the past three years.Game 5 is Thursday night in St. Louis.Duncan Keith had two goals for the Blackhawks, who dropped consecutive home playoff games for the first time since 2012.Andrew Shaw had a goal and two assists, and Corey Crawford finished with 16 saves after getting into a fight with Blues rookie Robby Fabbri during a wild second period.With Keith in the box for holding Alexander Steen, Schwartz intercepted a clearing attempt by Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and beat Crawford low on his stick side at 1:36. Schwartz also had the game-winning goal in St. Louis’ 3-2 victory in Game 3 on Sunday.Steen then picked off a passing attempt by van Riemsdyk and went in all alone on Crawford for his first goal of the series at 4:46, stunning the sellout crowd of 22,212.A fortunate bounce for Keith off Tarasenko’s stick and over Elliott gave the Blackhawks some hope, but Elliott shut the door from there. He jumped on a loose puck during a Hawk rush with 4:10 remaining, and Shaw was penalized for interference with 2:04 left.Before Schwartz and Steen broke through, it was the Tarasenko show once again for St. Louis. The dynamic winger has three goals and two assists in the series and 13 goals in 17 career playoff games.The Blackhawks had a 2-1 lead and momentum before Andrew Ladd was whistled for interference at 17:09 of the second. Just 22 seconds later, Tarasenko whistled a shot under Crawford’s glove for the tying score.Tarasenko’s goal capped a frenetic second period that included a fight between Crawford and Fabbri after the forward was pushed into the goaltender on a rush to the net. Crawford skated into the corner and shoved Fabbri before the two wrestled on the ice.The crowd responded with chants of ”Co-rey! Co-rey!” and the resulting fracas between the teams somehow generated a power play for the Blackhawks. Fabbri (interference), Alex Pietrangelo (roughing) and Kevin Shattenkirk (roughing) were sent off for St. Louis, and Crawford (roughing) and Ladd (roughing) were penalized for the Hawks.There was another big fight between the teams right after the final horn mand resulted in 6 Hawks and 5 Blues getting Game Misconducts. During the power play after the Crawford-Fabbri dispute, Keith scored on a rebound to give the defending Stanley Cup champions a 2-1 lead at 13:09. The defenseman has three goals in the series after winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP a year ago.The Hawks got off to a fast start, but St. Louis kept most of the action away from Elliott in the first period. The Blues also caught a break when Artem Anisimov‘s shot stopped right on the goal line and Elliott knocked it out of the way before the Blackhawks could get to it.St. Louis managed just five shots on goal in the first, but one of them was a laser from Tarasenko that made it 1-0 at 14:02. Jori Lehtera made a nice pass from behind the net to set up the play.

NOTES—Erik Gustafsson returned to the lineup after he was scratched in the previous two games. F Andrew Desjardins also played after he was inactive for Game 3. … Steen had an empty-net goal in the final minute disallowed by an offside call.

Kane’s 4 minute high sticking penalty, leads to game winner as Blues take 2-1 Series lead.

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Jaden Schwartz scored at 13:32 of the third period with Patrick Kane in the penalty box for high-sticking, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday for a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.Patrik Berglund also scored in the third as St. Louis rallied for the win after a difficult 3-2 loss in Game 2 that included two key coach’s challenges that went against the Blues. Brian Elliott made 44 saves, keeping St. Louis in the game during the Hawks strong second period.Kane, the NHL’s leading scorer this season and one of the favorites for league MVP, got four minutes for a high stick on defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and St. Louis made the most of the chance to go in front.Vladimir Tarasenko passed down low to David Backes, who sent it right to Schwartz in the slot. He beat Crawford low on the glove side for his third career playoff goal and a 3-2 lead with 6:38 left.The Blackhawks pulled Corey Crawford for an extra attacker with 1:10 remaining, but Elliott and the Blues held on. Game 4 is Tuesday night in the United Center.Brent Seabrook and Artem Anisimov scored for the Blackhawks, who dropped to 28-7 in home playoff games since the 2013 postseason. It was their first home playoff game since they hoisted the Stanley Cup at the United Center last June.Anisimov’s fluttering shot past Elliott at 1:04 of the second put the Home team in front, and Crawford’s stellar play helped preserve the 2-1 lead for a while.First, Crawford stuffed Carl Gunnarsson on a nice look in front. Then Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival had an ugly turnover and Crawford made an outstanding glove save on Jori Lehtera at 5:31.The sellout crowd of 22,207 responded with cheers of ”Co-rey! Co-rey!” and then resumed the chants after the goaltender turned away Lehtera again and Tarasenko on a couple more prime opportunities. He finished with 33 saves.Elliott had his own series of impressive stops on a Blackhawks power play in the second. He also caught a break when Andrew Ladd’s shot bounced off the left post and then the right one with about 6:20 to go.Berglund tied it at 5:15 of the third when his shot from the middle of the ice went off the inside of Rozsival’s right leg and then skipped over Crawford’s glove.The pace of play only picked up after the teams exchanged power-play goals in the first, with Brent Seabrook scoring for the Hawks and Colton Parayko responding for St. Louis. The Blackhawks outshot the Blues 24-13 in the second.


NOTES—Blues C Steve Ott replaced Ryan Reaves in the lineup for his first game since Dec. 5. Ott had hamstring surgery and then was diagnosed with colitis. … Blackhawks F Dale Weise, who was acquired in a Feb. 26 trade with Montreal, got into the lineup for the first time in the series. F Richard Panik also was active, while Andrew Desjardins and Brandon Mashinter were on the scratch list.

Hawks rally past Blues 3-2, tie series and take Home Ice advantage back to United Center

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ST. LOUIS—A coach’s challenge in the nick of time resulted in third-period momentum for the Blackhawks.The defending Stanley Cup champions made it stayed that way.Andrew Shaw stuffed home a rebound on a power play with 4:19 remaining, minutes after Joel Quenneville prevailed on a call that resulted in an offside call that negated a goal, and the Blackhawks pulled even with the St. Louis Blues in their first-round series with a 3-2 victory Friday night.
“Right away, somebody said on the bench, ‘It’s offsides,'” Quenneville said. “We got it late and I was screaming like a crazy man.” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock insinuated that the call, after a lengthy review, went the Blackhawks’ way for a reason. “When you play the defending Cup champions, you’re going to have to fight through a lot of stuff,” Hitchcock said. “Calls aren’t going to go your way, you’re not going to get the officiating you want. It’s always going to seem like it’s one-sided. Big deal, fight through it.”
Corey Crawford had a strong game in net and Duncan Keith also scored in his first game back from a six-game suspension for a dangerous high stick to Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle. Keith assisted on rookie Artemi Panarin‘s clinching empty-net goal with 1:34 to go, and Patrick Kane had two assists.
“It was just kind of nice to shake a little rust off there and get my legs back underneath me,” said Keith, who led all skaters in ice time with 30 minutes and 59 seconds. “It’s different when you’re skating and practicing and training and working out to jumping into a game, especially when it’s fast-paced like that.”
The Blackhawks did what it took to send a sellout crowd home sour with the series shifting to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday at 2pm. “If we’re going to get the bounce, we’ll wait as long as we have to, I guess,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “There’s no doubt that to a certain degree it takes a little bit away from the energy in the building.”
Vladimir Tarasenko started the scoring for St. Louis and nearly had the go-ahead goal at 12:14 of the third. After a lengthy replay, it was determined that Jori Lehtera had been offside by inches.
“It’s a great call by Matt Meacham, our video coach,” Keith said. “Obviously they felt down. We had to step on the throttle, and we did.” Blues captain David Backes thought the losers’ game improved from the opener and wasn’t happy to have the game decided by officiating. “I’ve seen that offsides a million times and … we’ll bite our tongues on it,” Backes said. “It’s a play where it’s a critical time in a game and you hope that they’re 100 percent sure with what they saw, they saw.”
Tarasenko was in the penalty box with 8 seconds left to serve in a slashing penalty when Shaw, who had 14 goals in the regular season, scored on the rebound of a shot by Brent Seabrook.The Blues lost a challenge, and their timeout, unsuccessfully arguing that goalie Brian Elliott had been pushed into the net.
“We’ve got to put ourselves in a position where those calls don’t make or break the game,” Elliott said, adding, “I don’t know what the rules are anymore.”
Kevin Shattenkirk scored for St. Louis with 2 seconds to go, making it a one-goal decision.Keith gave the Blackhawks their first goal of the series, tying it at 1 with 5 seconds left in the second period.Both teams had several good scoring chances in a wide-open second period, including a shot off the crossbar by Panarin and a breakaway by Kane that fizzled when defenseman Jay Bouwmeester got a piece of his stick late, before both teams cashed in.Tarasenko, who led the Blues with a career-best 40 goals, got his first of the playoffs on a one-timer at 15:20 set up when Lehtera stole the puck from Michal Rozsival on the forecheck.Jonathan Toews won the faceoff and Kane got the puck to Keith on the tying goal, a shot through traffic from the point with 4.4 seconds left in the second.
NOTES—Besides Keith, the Blackhawks gave forward Richard Panik his first start with defenseman Erik Gustafsson and forward Brandon Mashinter sitting. The Blues had no changes. … Blackhawks F Andrew Ladd played Game 1, returned to Chicago, missing by minutes the birth of his third child late Wednesday night, and was back in St. Louis for Game 2. “My wife was very cool about allowing me to go,” Ladd said.



     DATE                      OPPONENT                         TIME (CT)       NETWORK / RADIO

     Thur., Aug. 11           DENVER BRONCOS              7:00pm          CBN on Fox32 Chicago / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

     Thur., Aug. 18           at New England Patriots          7:00pm          CBN on Fox32 Chicago / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

     Sat., Aug. 27            KANSAS CITY CHIEFS           Noon           CBN on Fox32 Chicago / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

     Thur., Sept. 1            at Cleveland Browns                7:00pm          CBN on Fox32 Chicago / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio


     DATE                         OPPONENT                      TIME (CT)         NETWORK / RADIO

     Sunday, Sept. 11               at Houston Texans                         Noon                 FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Monday, Sept. 19              PHILADELPHIA EAGLES           7:30pm               ESPN / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Sept. 25               at Dallas Cowboys                       7:30pm               NBC / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Oct. 2                   DETROIT LIONS                           Noon                 FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Oct. 9                   at Indianapolis Colts                     Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Oct. 16                 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS       Noon *                CBS / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Thursday, Oct. 20              at Green Bay Packers                  7:25pm               CBS / NFLN / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Monday, Oct. 31                MINNESOTA VIKINGS                7:30pm               ESPN / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Nov. 6                                                                        BYE WEEK

      Sunday, Nov. 13                at Tampa Bay Buccaneers          Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Nov. 20                at New York Giants                       Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Nov. 27                TENNESSEE TITANS                 Noon *                CBS / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Dec. 4                  SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS          Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Dec. 11                at Detroit Lions                              Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Dec. 18                GREEN BAY PACKERS              Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Saturday, Dec. 24              WASHINGTON REDSKINS       Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

      Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017        at Minnesota Vikings                    Noon *                FOX / WBBM Radio & Univision Radio

* Game times tentative and subject to flexible scheduling

Blues edge Hawks on defected goal in OT

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ST. LOUIS—Brian Elliott thwarted the Blackhawks at every turn.The St. Louis Blues goalie was every bit as good as he was in the regular season, earning his first career playoff shutout in a 1-0 overtime victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday night.He made 35 saves and didn’t look at all like a player getting just his second playoff start in three years.

”You just try to get your emotions in check and try not to get too revved up, calm yourself down a little bit when needed,” Elliott said.”At this time of the year it’s just about that next game. You’re not looking at the past or the future.”

David Backes scored at 9:04 of overtime trying to go across the ice to Alexander Steen, and the pass deflected off a Blackhawks defenseman in front of the net.It was Backes’ sixth career playoff goal and the first in overtime.

”I said out there, that’s an ugly goal and I specialize in those,” the Blues’ captain said. ”Rightfully so. First shot of the game for me, too.”

Backes’ shot got past Corey Crawford after bouncing off Trevor Van Riemsdyk’s skate. Defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo assisted on the winner.

”I kind of felt it hit the inside of my pad and from there I was just hoping that it died,” Crawford said. ”It was a tough bounce, but we’ve got to feel good about how we played.”

Elliott led the NHL with a .930 save percentage and was up to the task against a lineup led by scoring champion Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.Elliott shared a playoff shutout in 2012 after relieving the injured Jaroslav Halak in Game 2 of the first round against San Jose.Elliott came into the playoffs sharp after going 11-1 in his final 14 starts with three consecutive shutouts.

”We had a number of chances, especially on the power play,” Toews said. ”I think all four lines can generate a little bit more around the net.”

The Blues had 10 shutouts during the regular season, seven of them on the road. Jake Allen had six of the shutouts.Coach Ken Hitchcock thought there were enough chances for a 6-5 game, and thought the game-winner would be more impressive, too.

”I thought it would be a 2-on-1, top shelf,” Hitchcock said. ”I wasn’t thinking fluky goal, but we’ll take it. We’ll take every win we can.”

St. Louis cruised into the postseason with the third-best record in the NHL, winning eight of its last 10 games.The Blues opened their previous series in 2014 against the Blackhawks with a pair of overtime victories, with Alexander Steen getting the winner in triple overtime in the opener. But the Hawks won the last four, two in overtime.The Blackhawks were 4-1 in overtime last season in the playoffs, including a double-overtime win at Nashville in Game 1 of their opening series.

”That’s the type of goal that gets scored in overtime,” Niklas Hjalmarsson said. ”But they deserved it too, and we’ve got to find a way to score.”’

This was the Blues’ first 1-0 playoff game since losing May 4, 2013, in Game 3 of the first round at Los Angeles, and their first 1-0 overtime playoff game since April 8, 2004, a loss in Game 1 of the first round at San Jose.The Blues were at full strength for the first time all season after Backes and Allen were cleared from lower-body injuries.Elliott had the best save in the first two periods, stopping Toews on a breakaway near the midway point. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk trailed the play but didn’t give up.

”He just pressured him to just not really be able to make a move,” Ellioitt said. ”So I just tried to stand my ground.”

Blues penalty killers were busy in the scoreless first period, surviving three minors in a span of 3:32 and 36 seconds of a two-man advantage. The Blackhawks had an 11-4 advantage in shots, but St. Louis had several good chances that missed the net.Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith served the final game of a six-game suspension for high-sticking.

”We’re happy to have him back,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”He gives us some speed, he gives us a lot of different looks and a lot of other options.”

NOTES—The Blackhawks and Blues have played four straight overtime playoff games in St. Louis. … The Blues are 32-29 in playoff overtime games, including 24-12 at home. The Blackhawks are 54-43-2 and 24-25-1 on the road. … Blackhawks Andrew Ladd, who had returned to Chicago to be with his pregnant wife, made it back in time to play. … Blues F Jaden Schwartz had some teeth knocked out by an errant teammates’ stick on the shift before Backes’ winner.

Bulls close out disappointing season with wierd win over hapless Sixers

Chicago Bulls Logo - Red bull with script above head

Nikola Mirotic scored 32 points, Justin Holliday added a career-high 29, and the Bulls closed a disappointing season with a 115-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.Mirotic hit seven 3-pointers. Holiday made five from long range, matching a personal best. Jimmy Butler added 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.The Bulls wiped out an early 24-point deficit and led by as much as 19 to close out a less-than-golden 50th season on a winning note.That’s little consolation for a team that expected to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 at 42-40.Robert Covington led Philadelphia with 27 points, hitting six 3s. The 76ers finished an NBA-worst 10-72.Hollis Thompson added 21 points, Jerami Grant had 20, but the 76ers ended the season on an all-too-familiar note.They head into the offseason with about $60 million in cap space and up to four first-round draft picks after former general manager Sam Hinkie gutted the team in recent years. He quit last week via a rambling 13-page manifesto to ownership and was replaced by former NBA executive of the year Bryan Colangelo, whose father Jerry also stepped aside as chairman of basketball operations.With Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol among the top players sitting out, the Bulls looked like they were on their way to a blowout loss in the early going.They were trailing 42-18 and hearing it from the crowd after Covington nailed a 3-pointer early in the second quarter. But with the Sixers up by 21 late in the half, they turned it around in a big way, going on a 25-1 run that extended into the third.The Bulls scored the final 12 points of the half and 19 in a row overall, including a dunk by Butler that cut it to 60-58. After Nerlens Noel hit a free throw, Holiday and Tony Snell capped the run with 3-pointers that made it 64-61 with just under nine minutes left in the third.The Bulls had a 29-2 run which became 39-8. NOTES—The 76ers are the sixth team in NBA history to go a full season without winning back-to-back games. The others were the 1947-48 Providence Steamrollers (48 games), 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers (82 games), 2004-05 Atlanta Hawks (82 games), 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats (66 games) and 2013-14 Milwaukee Bucks (82 games)….The Bulls had just eight players.