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Detroit, MI

Monday’s hockey: Capitals pass Wings in standings, Ovechkin joins Howe in elite class

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Monday’s hockey: Capitals pass Wings in standings, Ovechkin joins Howe in elite class


Calgary, Alberta — Alex Ovechkin scored twice and became the third player in NHL history to have at least 20 goals in 19 consecutive seasons as the Washington Capitals beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Monday night.

The 38-year-old Ovechkin had two power-play goals in the second period as Washington won its third straight game. He joined former Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe (22) and Brendan Shanahan (19) as the only players to achieve the goal-scoring feat.

Dylan Strome, Hendrix Lapierre and Tom Wilson also scored for Washington (33-25-9), which moved into the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of idle Detroit. It’s the first time the Capitals have occupied a playoff spot since Jan. 2.

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In fact, since Washington lost in Detroit, 8-3, on Feb. 27, the Capitals have gone 6-3, including consecutive road wins in Seattle, Vancouver and Calgary. They’ll begin a four-game homestand against Toronto on Wednesday, Carolina on Saturday, Winnipeg on Sunday and then the Wings on Tuesday, March 26.

Kevin Rooney and MacKenzie Weegar scored for Calgary (33-30-5). The Flames finished 2-2-0 in a four-game homestand.

Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren had 34 saves and improved to 18-11-5. He has won five of his last six games with a .956 save percentage.

Calgary rookie Dustin Wolf allowed four goals on 32 shots in his third straight start and saw his record dip to 3-4-1. Wolf had allowed three goals on 67 shots in winning his last two games.

Ovechkin’s 20th goal of the season made it 2-0 at 5:58 of the second period. Ovechkin went to the net where he neatly deflected a hard centring pass from Max Pacioretty (Michigan) into the top corner. After pumping his arms in celebration, Ovechkin immediately looked over at Pacioretty and pointed, acknowledging the terrific pass.

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Just over three minutes later, Washington’s power play struck again. Ovechkin set up at the top of the faceoff circle, stick cocked. When John Carlson slid a pass across, Ovechkin leaned into a slap shot that beat Wolf inside the near post.

Ovechkin has 12 goals in 20 games since the All-Star break after scoring just nine times in 44 games before that. He raised his career goal total to 843, second to – and 51 behind – Wayne Gretzky.

The Capitals have been helped in their playoff chase by a rejuvenated power play. On Jan. 18, Washington had the league’s third-worst power play at 13.3%. Over the last two months, including going 2-for-3 against Calgary, the Capitals have the league’s third-best power play at 29.1%.

Buffalo 6, (at) Seattle 2: Jeff Skinner had a hat trick, with his first goal coming during a three-goal outburst in the first six minutes to chase goaltender Joey Daccord, and the Buffalo cruised to a 6-2 victory.

Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch also scored in the first period for the Sabres, who earned their first win in six tries against the third-year Kraken. Buffalo is now three points behind Detroit and four points behind the Capitals for the second wild-card spot.

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Owen Power (Michigan) had Buffalo’s other goal. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 32 saves.

The three-goal barrage came after Jordan Eberle gave the Kraken a 1-0 lead just 24 seconds into the game. Matty Beniers (Michigan) scored on a power play late in the first but the Kraken lost their fifth straight game – all at home.

Playoff tracker

Atlantic

▶ Bruins (95)

▶ Panthers (94)

▶ Maple Leafs (85)

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Metropolitan

▶ Rangers (94)

▶ Hurricanes (90)

▶ Flyers (76)

Wild card

▶ Lightning (78)

▶ Capitals (75)

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(Top two wild-card teams make the playoffs)

▶ Red Wings (74)

▶ Islanders (73)

▶ Sabres (71)

▶ Pittsburgh (69)

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▶ Devils (68)

Two Broncos earn awards

Western Michigan’s Logan Pietila was named forward of the week and teammate Max Koskipirtti rookie of the week in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) on Monday.

Pietila (Howell) led the Huskies to a 4-3 victory over Minnesota State in the Mason Cup semifinals on Saturday, scoring two goals, including the game-winner with 9.1 seconds left in regulation. Koskipirtti (Espoo, Finland) picked up a league-best two assists in Saturday’s victory.

N. Michigan’s Van Unen off to ECHL

Northern Michigan defenseman Mike Van Unen signed with the Adirondack Thunder, the ECHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils and Utica Comets.

Van Unen, 25, finished his fifth season at Northern Michigan University and recorded four points in 17 games. In 150 games with Northern Michigan, he recorded nine goals and 28 assists for 37 points and 181 minutes in penalties.

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Michigan-area hockey this week

Tuesday

▶ Columbus at Red Wings, 7 (BSD/97.1)

▶ Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 11:30 a.m. (AHL/96.1)

Wednesday

▶ Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8 (AHL/106.9/1300)

Thursday

▶ N.Y. Islanders at Red Wings, 7 (BSD/97.1)

Friday

▶ Michigan Tech at Bermidji State, 8

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▶ NTDP U17’s at Green Bay, 8

Saturday

▶ Red Wings at Nashville, 5 (BSD/97.1)

▶ Grand Rapids at Rockford, 8 (AHL/106.9/1300)

▶ Michigan at Michigan State, 8 (Big Ten)

▶ NTDP U17’s at Madison, 8

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Detroit, MI

Detroit Tigers rally, but miss out on sweep of Tampa Bay Rays with 7-5 loss

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Detroit Tigers rally, but miss out on sweep of Tampa Bay Rays with 7-5 loss


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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Right-hander Jack Flaherty is trying to put together a bounce-back season with the Detroit Tigers, and since the start of the regular season, the slider has been a pitch reborn for him.

It has been one of the best sliders in baseball.

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But the Tampa Bay Rays executed their game plan against Flaherty’s slider, recording four hits off it en route to four runs across the first and second innings. Flaherty settled into his fifth start after adjusting his pitch mix, which allowed the Tigers to storm back and take the lead, but the Rays delivered a comeback of their own in the later innings.

The Tigers lost to the Rays, 7-5, in Wednesday’s finale of a three-game series at Tropicana Field. Right-handed reliever Will Vest, who replaced Flaherty, surrendered three runs in the sixth inning.

The Tigers (14-11) finished their six-game roadtrip with a 4-2 record.

KING OF WALKS: Tigers’ Riley Greene tops MLB in this key stat: ‘Walks are freaking awesome’

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The two teams combined for five runs in the sixth inning.

The Tigers jumped out to a 5-4 lead with RBI singles from Buddy Kennedy and Javier Báez, both with two outs against right-handed reliever Chris Devenski. The two-run inning was set up by Matt Vierling’s one-out triple to the right-field corner.

The Rays regained the lead, 7-5, with an RBI single from Ben Rortvedt and a two-run home run from Curtis Mead, both off Vest with two outs. Isaac Paredes, who played for the Tigers in 2020-21, sparked the comeback with a leadoff double.

Mead only hit the ball 327 feet to left, but he got just enough of Vest’s slider for a two-run homer to the shortest part of the park. It was the slowest exit velocity to produce an over-the-wall home run this season, at 87.3 mph.

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After Báez’s double, the next nine batters were retired by Rays relievers before Jake Rogers walked with two outs in the ninth inning, but left-handed reliever Garrett Cleavinger struck out Riley Greene to end the game.

[ MUST LISTEN: Make “Days of Roar” your go-to Detroit Tigers podcast, available anywhere you listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify) ]

Jack not so nimble

In his fifth start, Flaherty allowed four runs on seven hits — without a walk — in five innings, striking out six batters. He kept the Rays from scoring in the third, fourth and fifth innings to keep the Tigers within striking distance.

He threw 97 pitches.

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The Rays collected their first four hits off Flaherty’s slider: Randy Arozarena’s solo home run in the first inning, followed by Amed Rosario’s single, Rortvedt’s double and José Caballero’s single in the second.

JAVY ON THE BAGS: Tigers’ Javier Báez builds on stolen-base streak while gaining momentum on offense

The double from Rortvedt and the single from Caballero scored runs for a 3-1 lead. Yandy Díaz increased the Rays’ lead to 4-1 with an RBI single off Flaherty’s fastball with two strikes and two outs in the second.

After that, Flaherty began to throw more curveballs.

Flaherty struck out Arozarena on three pitches in the third inning: a 74.1 mph curveball for a called strike, an uncharacteristically slow 88.9 mph four-seam fastball fouled off and, finally, a 77.3 mph curveball for a swinging strike.

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He retired the final six batters he faced.

Flaherty generated 15 whiffs (on 50 swings) with six fastballs, five sliders and four curveballs. His fastball — responsible for six of 15 whiffs and nine of 15 called strikes — averaged 93.6 mph.

A reunion with Tyler Alexander

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Greene delivered a leadoff single and scored on Spencer Torkelson’s hard-hit groundout. Greene trotted to second base on Wenceel Pérez’s walk, then moved up to third on a balk from right-hander Shawn Armstrong, who served as an opener for the Rays.

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The Tigers tacked on two runs in the fifth inning against left-hander Tyler Alexander, an old friend.

A-MIZE-ING: Casey Mize had ‘pain down left leg’ before surgery. Now he’s back, and better than ever

Alexander, who pitched for the Tigers from 2019-23, walked Báez on four pitches with one out in the fifth. Rogers followed up with a single, pulling Alexander’s middle-in cutter. The runners advanced — both into scoring position — when Greene flew out to the warning track in right-center field.

Báez and Rogers scored on Mark Canha’s two-run single on a ground ball into left field, cutting the Tigers’ deficit to 4-3.

Alexander, whom the Tigers designated for assignment in early November, allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in four innings. The Rays claimed Alexander off waivers after he was cut by the Tigers.

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He has a 4.74 ERA in 24⅔ innings this season.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him @EvanPetzold.

Listen to our weekly Tigers show “Days of Roar” every Monday afternoon on demand at freep.com, Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. And catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at freep.com/podcasts.





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Detroit, MI

Lions lock up offensive tackle Penei Sewell with long-term extension

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Lions lock up offensive tackle Penei Sewell with long-term extension


Hours after agreeing to a long-term extension with All-Pro wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Detroit Lions locked up another cornerstone from the team’s 2021 draft class, coming to terms on a four-year extension with offensive tackle Penei Sewell, a source close to the negotiations confirmed to The Detroit News.

The pact is worth up to $112 million with $85 million in guarantees. That would make the 23-year-old Sewell the highest-paid player at his position, by annual average value, easily topping the $25 million per year package signed by Houston Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil last offseason.

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Sewell, the No. 7 pick in the 2021 draft, was the first selection of general manager Brad Holmes’ tenure. Despite starting just one year at Oregon, and opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Sewell had minimal issues making an immediate impact as a rookie.

Initially starting that year as a left tackle while blindside blocker Taylor Decker recovered from a broken finger, Sewell has since settled in at right tackle, a position he hadn’t played before coming to Detroit.

Sewell has shown steady improvement each of his three seasons, and was graded as the league’s best offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus last season, earning career-high marks as both a run blocker and pass protector. In 2023, he allowed just 20 quarterback pressures and a single sack. For his early-career dominance, he’s twice been named to the Pro Bowl and was selected as a first-team All-Pro last season.

Despite his young age, Sewell also has rapidly emerged as a leader on Detroit’s roster. He was selected by his teammates as a captain last year and routinely breaks down with pre-game huddle with fiery speeches.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

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@Justin_Rogers



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Detroit, MI

Metro Detroit sinkhole to be repaired after sewer collapse

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Metro Detroit sinkhole to be repaired after sewer collapse


NFL Draft road closures, Michigan woman in fatal boat club crash gets $1.5M bond and more top stories

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NFL Draft road closures, Michigan woman in fatal boat club crash gets $1.5M bond and more top stories

04:03

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Crews are repairing a sinkhole in Birmingham caused by the collapse of a 12-inch sewer. 

City of Birmingham


(CBS DETROIT) – Crews are set to repair a sinkhole in an Oakland County community Wednesday following a sewer collapse, city officials said. 

The sinkhole is located on Willits between Chester and Greenwood. 

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City officials investigated the sinkhole on Tuesday, April 23, and determined it was caused by a 12-inch sewer collapse. The collapse caused a surcharge to flow into the catch basin that leads into the Rouge River, city officials said. 

The surcharge is less than 100 gallons, according to city officials, and crews installed a bypass to contain the overflow. 

Birmingham’s contractor will complete the repairs on Wednesday.

There is no threat to public health, and Birmingham “is in compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination permit,” according to city officials. 

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