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No FA Cup upsets for EPL clubs Leeds and Leicester

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Leeds and Leicester avoided potential upsets to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, but Premier League survival remains the priority for both clubs.

Leeds won 3-1 against third-tier Accrington Stanley, while Leicester overcame fourth-tier Walsall 1-0.

The wins provided a temporary distraction for both teams who each sit just one point above the relegation zone in the league.

Goals from Leeds’ Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Luis Sinisterra ended any chance of a fairytale for Accrington in front of its home fans at Wham Stadium. Leslie Adekoya, however, gave them something to cheer with a late consolation goal.

It was only Leeds’ second win since Nov. 5 with both of those victories coming in the cup.

Leicester — the cup winner in 2021 — needed a 68th minute goal from Kelechi Iheanacho to end Walsall’s resistance in a match that also saw Youri Tielemans miss a penalty.

Leicester's only other win since Dec. 20 was in the previous round of the cup.

While the chance of major silverware remains a possibility for both Leeds and Leicester, the fight to preserve their top-flight status is of far greater concern.


James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson


McKennie left out of Juventus squad amid possible Leeds move

TURIN, Italy (AP) — United States midfielder Weston McKennie was left out of the Juventus squad for this weekend’s match amid a potential move to the English Premier League.

McKennie has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds, which is coached by American Jesse Marsch.

And Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed Saturday that he did not call up McKennie for Sunday’s match against Monza.

“He absolutely won’t be involved, he’s at the center of transfer rumors,” Allegri said. “I think the club has already reached an agreement with the club he’ll be joining.”

The 24-year-old McKennie joined Juventus from Schalke in 2020, becoming the Bianconeri’s first American player. He has made nearly 100 appearances for Juventus, scoring 13 goals.

McKennie was a key member of the U.S. squad at the World Cup and has scored nine goals in 41 appearances for his country.

Leeds already has U.S. midfielders Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson and this week hired former U.S. international Chris Armas as assistant coach.


Hurts, Purdy set for college-era rematch in NFC title tilt

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy could be primed for a shootout in the NFC championship game.

It's the first time Hurts — the league MVP finalist for the Philadelphia Eagles — and Purdy, the “ Mr. Irrelevant ” rookie sensation for the San Francisco 49ers, have matched up in the NFL. And it’s a doozy, with a spot in the Super Bowl at stake.

But the two young quarterbacks have gone head-to-head before, in a game that was among the best in the 2019 college football season. Hurts passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more scores for Oklahoma, and Purdy passed for five touchdowns for Iowa State. Purdy's No. 9 Sooners came out on top, 42-41, on Nov. 9, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma.

“It was almost like you had to score every single time you had the ball,” Purdy recalled this week.

His stint with the Cyclones had a story that has pretty much been replicated in San Francisco.

As a freshman in 2018, Purdy played so well, so quickly that incumbent starter sophomore Zeb Noland decided to play elsewhere just a month into the season. Purdy took over in the fifth game of the season and led the Cyclones to a 7-2 record and a trip to the Alamo Bowl. He was the first true freshman quarterback to start a game for Iowa State since 1995 and finished with a team bowl-record 315 yards passing against Washington State in the bowl game.

Eagles defensive end Matt Leo, on the team’s practice squad, played for three seasons with Purdy at Iowa State.

“I remember when he came in straight out of high school, he was already working out before the semester even started,” Leo said. “Seeing that competitive nature in him, I knew the kind of tone he was going to bring to the team. And he did.”

Fast forward to 2022, when Purdy was the last player drafted, yet made the 49ers’ roster as the third-string QB and improbably took over after Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo both got hurt. Purdy is now the third rookie quarterback ever to win two NFL playoff starts, the fifth to reach the conference title game as a starter and will look to be the first to reach the Super Bowl.

For all his success, it’s still easy to think about the game against Hurts that slipped away.

Purdy led the Cyclones back from a 42-21 hole in the second half and pulled them within one when he found Charlie Kolar for a 13-yard touchdown pass in the final minute. Trying for a win that would boost their Big 12 title game chances, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell called for a two-point conversion. The gamble failed. Parnell Motley intercepted Purdy’s two-point conversion pass with 24 seconds left.

Hurts passed for 273 yards and ran for 68 yards. Purdy passed for 282 yards and rushed for 55 yards.

“Yeah, I thought it was a completion,” Purdy said. “Obviously, it sucked not getting the completion and the game being over. That was that.”

Until they meet again.

Leo said the 23-year-old’s performances in big NFL games made it hard for him to believe Purdy was the ninth QB picked in the draft: “He showed everyone that he’s ‘Mr. Relevant,’” he said, laughing. “I’m so happy for him and an old teammate, as well. I still root for him. But this week, no.”

The 24-year-old Hurts had his own travails in three seasons at Alabama, which included getting benched at halftime of the 2018 national championship game. Hurts used his final year of eligibility to transfer to Oklahoma and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting.

Hurts said he remembers how impressive Purdy was in that 2019 game.

“I have a lot of respect for (Purdy). He’s always been a really good player," Hurts said. "He has a lot of moxie, he makes plays and he’s been doing that since college, so there’s no surprise when he was given this opportunity to see the success he’s having now.”

The game also gave Purdy a taste of what it was like to play on the road in front of 83,541 fans.

Since then, Purdy faced a loud crowd in a playoff win at Seattle — but few atmospheres rival the rowdiness ahead in Philly. That night in Norman came close.

“I think that was just a great experience for me to go back to and remember how I felt, what was going through my mind, how did it affect my decisions,” Purdy said.

On Sunday, he hopes it’s the kind of performance that leads to a Super Bowl.


AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow in Santa Clara, California, contributed to this report.


AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Canada's Oldham makes freestyle history winning X Games gold

ASPEN, Colo. — Megan Oldham of Parry Sound, Ont., won Winter X Games gold in women's freestyle big air Friday.

Oldham became the first woman to land a triple cork, which she did on her third of five runs to score a perfect 50.

Her best two runs scored a combined 91 points in the eight-athlete final on Buttermilk Mountain.

Tess Ledeux of France was second with 90 points, while Kirsty Muir of Scotland was third with 85.

The 21-year-old Oldham took silver last year in Aspen and placed fourth at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China did not compete in the event Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2023.

Aussies Hijikata, Kubler win Australian Open men's doubles

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Australian pair of Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler defeated Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski 6-4, 7-6 (4) to win the men’s doubles title at the Australian Open on Saturday.

It was the first Grand Slam title for both Hijikata and Kubler — the third Australian team to win a men’s doubles title in the last five Grand Slams.

The Australians entered the tournament playing for the first time as a team.

“Rinky and I definitely didn't think this was happening two weeks ago,” Kubler said. “A bit of a pleasant surprise I should say.”

Kubler, who has battled knee injuries, said Hijikata approached him about playing together.

“He (Rinky) was actually the reason we teamed up for this tournament,” Kubler explained. “I wasn't sure I was going to play, then Rinky asked me and I decided to play. Two weeks later, now we've got this trophy."

Nys and Zielinski were also after their first Grand Slam title.

“Play Australians in Australia is never easy,” Zielinksi said in an on-court interview, drawing loud applause from fans at Rod Laver Arena where the match ended just after midnight local time.

Australia has a long history of strong doubles team. This pair was the 16th all-Australian team to win a Grand Slam men's doubles title in the Open era.


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Swiss skier Odermatt wins super-G on return from injury

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) — Swiss skier Marco Odermatt won a men’s World Cup super-G on Saturday in a triumphant return from his injury layoff, 10 days before the start of the world championships.

Odermatt skipped two races last week to rest a sore left knee but the defending overall champion was back to his best on the scenic Olympia delle Tofane course, beating his Norwegian rival Aleksander Aamodt Kilde by 0.35 seconds.

It was Odermatt's third super-G win of the season, while Kilde won the other two events.

“It's maybe my most special win,” Odermatt said. “When I went back on snow two, three days ago, it felt like I had been away for a long time. The trust in my body, in my knee, was gone. Now I'm a bit speechless.”

Mattia Casse finished 0.49 behind in third for the Italian's best career result in the discipline, followed by Austrian trio Stefan Babinsky, world super-G champion Vincent Kriechmayr, and Lukas Feuerstein.

Odermatt had not raced since hurting his left knee eight days ago in an acrobatic recovery from a near-crash at a downhill in Kitzbuehel.

He sat out another downhill the following day and only went back on snow for a training session in Austria on Wednesday, but skipped a giant slalom in Schladming that evening.

Odermatt was behind Kilde's time early in his run, but mastered the bottom section and held both hands to his helmet after finishing in apparent disbelief.

“The adrenaline at the start was worth gold,” said Odermatt, who used a bag of ice to cool his knee after his run.

The course in the Italian Dolomites with its marquee Tofane Schuss is a usual stop on the women’s circuit but was hosting a men’s World Cup race for the first time in more than three decades.

Three of the first four starters failed to finish, missing gates as they appeared to misjudge their speed in some turns.

One of them was Loic Meillard, Odermatt’s Swiss teammate who won Wednesday’s GS in Austria, who posted the fastest split times in the middle section before missing a gate near the end of his run.

Christof Innerhofer crashed and slid into the safety netting after hitting a gate with his face. The Italian got up and skied down with a bloody chin and nose but seemed not seriously injured.

Another super-G is scheduled for Sunday, the last men’s World Cup speed race before the Feb. 6-19 world championships in France.


Shiffrin wins slalom, moves within 1 win of World Cup record

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin celebrated with a shoulder wiggle and a bright smile Saturday after dominating a slalom and moving within one victory of the 34-year-old World Cup record of 86 wins.

The American showed no signs of pressure, a day before another slalom in which she could match the best mark set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in the 1980s.

“I don’t feel a lot of pressure to get this record. Now, I am so close that it’s like just take a breath and enjoy the moments we are in now," Shiffrin said.

She had shared the women’s record of 82 wins with former teammate Lindsey Vonn before triumphing at back-to-back giant slaloms in Italy this week and adding career win 85 on Saturday.

“I’m always trying to think about everything else except these numbers, because they just make me nervous. And I don’t have a reason to be nervous if I achieve 86 or 87," Shiffrin said. "But, for sure, if everybody asks, then I feel pressure to do it and then I don’t enjoy the races as much.”

Shiffrin certainly enjoyed the race Saturday, which marked her third win within five days.

“Today, it was just an amazing day. From the moment I woke up, I felt good and ready to go. And I was so happy with how I skied,” said the American, adding she had to overcome signs of fatigue.

“Sometimes when you’re tired, it takes away the nerves because you just don’t have the energy to be nervous,” she said. “Maybe it’s an advantage for me today, but I’m barely making it through tomorrow before I need a couple of days off.”

The American held a lead of 0.29 seconds after the opening run, but lost one-tenth of the advantage after going wide on a few turns early in the second before speeding up and posting the fastest run time again, this time shared with Croatian skier Leona Popovic, to beat Germany’s Lena Dürr by 0.60 seconds.

Shortly after Shiffrin finished the race, third-place Wendy Holdener of Switzerland and runner-up Dürr came over to hug her.

“I knew it would take some risk and there's a chance that I don't finish at all, but I have to do my best turns to have a chance because these women are so strong,” Shiffrin said.

Holdener was 1.31 behind in third, followed by Olympic slalom champion Petra Vlhová of Slovakia in fourth and Shiffrin's American teammate Paula Moltzan in fifth.

The race took place at the resort near the Czech-Polish border where she had her World Cup debut as a 15-year-old almost 12 years ago. Shiffrin also won when the venue last hosted a World Cup race, in 2019.

“Wow, I can you hear you all so loud. Thank you for cheering, it’s amazing to race for this crowd,” she said to the spectators during a post-race interview.

Shiffrin laid the foundation for her victory with a clean opening run, in which she had a fast start and already led her competitors by at least a quarter of a second at the first intermediate time.

She also gained time on most racers in a tricky passage halfway through her run, where the course set allowed various ways to pass the gates.

“You could ski it either way,” Shiffrin said. “I was able to really carry a lot of speed on the end of the course. In the end, I felt very good on my run.”

Shiffrin has won five of the eight slaloms this season and extended her lead in the discipline standings over Holdener to 175 points. She could wrap up the title if she leads by at least 200 points after Sunday's race.

Overall, the American has won 11 races this season. Only twice in her career has she won more races in a single season: 12 in 2017-18 and a record 17 in 2018-19.

Sunday's slalom is the last women's World Cup race before the Feb. 6-19 world championships in France.


Aryna Sabalenka wins 1st Grand Slam title at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — One point away from her first Grand Slam title, Aryna Sabalenka faulted. And then she faulted again. She grimaced. She yelled and turned her back to the court. She wiggled her shoulders and exhaled.

Clearly, this business of winning the Australian Open was not bound to happen without a bit of a struggle Saturday night. Sabalenka knew deep inside that would be the case. She also knew that all of the effort she put in, to overcome self-doubt and those dreaded double-faults, had to pay off eventually. Just had to.

And so, as she wasted a second match point by flubbing a forehand, and a third by again missing another, Sabalenka did her best to stay calm, something she used to find quite difficult. She hung in there until a fourth chance to close out Elena Rybakina presented itself — and this time, Sabalenka saw a forehand from her similarly powerful foe sail long. That was that. The championship belonged to Sabalenka via a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback victory over Wimbledon winner Rybakina.

“The last game, yeah, of course, I was a little bit nervous. I (kept) telling myself, like, ’Nobody tells you that it’s going to be easy.' You just have to work for it, work for it, ’til the last point,” said Sabalenka, a 24-year-old from Belarus who is now 11-0 with two titles in 2023 and will rise to No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday.

“I’m super happy that I was able to handle all those emotions,” she said, “and win this one.”

The only set she has dropped all season was the opener on Saturday against Rybakina, who eliminated No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the fourth round.

It was telling that Sabalenka’s remarks during the post-match ceremony were directed at her coach, Anton Dubrov, and her fitness trainer, Jason Stacy — she referred to them as “the craziest team on tour.”

“We’ve been through a lot of, I would say, downs last year,” said Sabalenka, who was appearing in her first major final and had been 0-3 in Slam semifinals until this week. “We worked so hard and you guys deserve this trophy. It’s more about you than it’s about me.”

Well, she had a lot to do with it, of course. Those serves that produced 17 aces, helping erase the sting of seven double-faults. Those hammered groundstrokes and relentlessly aggressive style that produced 51 winners, 20 more than Rybakina's total. And, despite her go-for-broke shotmaking, somehow Sabalenka limited her unforced error count to 28. One more key statistic: Sabalenka managed to accrue 13 break points, converting three, including the one at 4-3 in the last set that put her ahead for good.

“She played really well today,” said Rybakina, who has lost all four matches she's played against Sabalenka, all in three sets. “She was strong mentally, physically.”

While the latter has long been a hallmark of her game, even Sabalenka acknowledges that the first has been an issue.

Her most glowing strength was also her most glaring shortfall: her serve. Capable of delivering aces, she also had a well-known problem with double-faulting, leading the tour in that category last year with nearly 400, including matches with more than 20.

After much prodding from her group, she agreed to undergo an overhaul of her mechanics last August. That, along with a commitment to trying to keep her emotions in check — she used to work with a sports psychologist but no longer, saying she relies on herself now — is really paying off.

“She didn’t have great serve last year, but now she was super strong and she served well,” said Rybakina, a 23-year-old who represents Kazakhstan. “For sure, I respect that. I know how much work it takes.”

With seagulls squawking loudly while flying overhead at Rod Laver Arena, Rybakina and Sabalenka traded serious racket swings for nearly 2 1/2 hours.

The serves were big. So big. Rybakina’s fastest arrived at 121 mph (195 kph), Sabalenka’s at 119 mph (192 kph).

The points were over quickly. So quickly: Seven of the first 13 were aces.

Sabalenka had been broken just six times in 55 service games through the course of these two weeks, but Rybakina did it twice in the opening set.

And never again. Sabalenka resolved to take the initiative even more, and the payoff for her high-risk, high-reward attitude was too much for Rybakina to withstand over the last two sets.

Sabalenka said ahead of time that she expected to feel some jitters. Which makes perfect sense for anyone: This was the most important match of her career.

At the end, when it mattered more than ever, Sabalenka was able to steady herself. After the final point, she dropped to her back on the court and stayed down for a bit, covering her face as her eyes welled with tears.

Quite a difference from a year ago at Melbourne Park, when Sabalenka departed after 15 double-faults in a fourth-round loss.

“I really feel right now that I really needed those tough losses to kind of understand myself a little bit better. It was like a preparation for me,” Sabalenka said at her post-match news conference, her new trophy nearby and a glass of bubbly in her hand. “I actually feel happy that I lost those matches, so right now I can be a different player and just a different Aryna, you know?”


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Blockx, Korneeva win Australian Open junior titles

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Alexander Blockx of Belgium beat American Learner Tien 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (9) to win the junior boys championship at the Australian Open on Saturday.

“It was one of my hardest battles of my life,” the 17-year-old Blockx said.

In the junior girls singles final, ninth-seeded Alina Korneeva beat seventh-seeded Mirra Andreeva 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-5 in a 3-hour, 18-minute baseline duel between the 15-year-old Russian doubles partners.

“It’s not our last battle,” Korneeva said during the trophy presentations. “We will have a lot of good matches."

In the junior girls doubles final, Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia and Federica Urgesi of Italy beat Japan’s Hayu Kinoshita and Sara Saito 7-6 (5), 1-6, 10-7.

Tien paired with fellow American Cooper Williams to beat Blockx and Brazilian Joao Fonseca 6-4, 6-4 in the junior boys doubles final on Friday.


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Flames rebound with impressive 5-2 win over Kraken

SEATTLE (AP) — Tyler Toffoli and the Calgary Flames rebounded from one of their ugliest losses of the season and picked up an important two points in the Pacific Division before starting the All-Star break.

Toffoli, Elias Lindholm and Blake Coleman each had a goal and two assists, and the Flames topped the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Friday night.

Calgary bounced back impressively after getting surprisingly routed at home a day earlier in a 5-1 setback to lowly Chicago. The Flames topped the Kraken for the second straight time in Seattle, took two of three in the season series and headed into their break on a high note.

“We talked about it the past two games," Toffoli said. “Obviously we let the Chicago game slip, but overall tonight was obviously a really important match and we did a really good job."

Lindholm deflected a pass from Toffoli at 7:16 of the first period for his 15th goal to pull Calgary even after Seattle took an early lead.

Toffoli’s 18th goal at 13:28 gave Calgary a 2-1 lead, and Nikita Zadorov scored with 4.5 seconds left in the first period to give the Flames a 3-1 advantage.

Noah Hanifin scored his fourth of the season with 8:20 remaining in the third period after Seattle had pulled within 3-2, and Coleman added an empty-net goal with 1:20 left.

Dan Vladar made 29 saves and won his fifth straight start. Calgary is 10-0-3 in Vladar's last 13 appearances, tying a club record for longest point streak by a goaltender, joining Mike Vernon (1988-89) and Brian Elliott (2016-17).

Recent AHL callup John Hayden gave Seattle a 1-0 lead by redirecting Will Borgen’s shot from the point early in the first period. But the Kraken seemed a step slow all night and failed to capitalize on numerous opportunities with an extra attacker. Seattle was a season-worst 0 for 6 on the power play.

“I kind of feel comfortable in those situations because I know I'm going to get some action. I didn't get much the first 40 minutes so I was kind of looking forward to it,” Vladar said of Seattle's power plays.

Seattle appeared to pull within 3-2 with 11:01 left on Alex Wennberg’s power-play goal, but Calgary challenged for goaltender interference and the goal was overturned. The Kraken did eventually get that goal when Eeli Tolvanen scored on a rebound with 9:24 remaining, but Hanifin answered 64 seconds later.

Martin Jones made 33 saves, but the Kraken lost for the second time in three games and missed an opportunity to move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said “we weren't very good.”

“Our group wasn't good, especially the middle portion of the game we had no energy," Hakstol said. “And that's top to bottom. That's all of us."

Seattle is also seeing injuries start to impact its lineup. Hayden was in the lineup because rookie All-Star center Matty Beniers was out after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers in Wednesday’s win over the Canucks. Beniers’ injury wasn’t specified but he was already ruled out for Saturday’s game against Columbus and his status for next weekend’s All-Star game is uncertain.


Calgary placed D Chris Tanev on injured reserve Friday and activated F Brett Ritchie from IR. Tanev was injured last Monday against Columbus and was scratched in Thursday’s loss to Chicago. In Tanev’s absence, MacKenzie Weegar paired with Nikita Zadorov against the Blackhawks and again against Seattle. Ritchie was scratched. ... Seattle placed D Justin Schultz on IR and recalled F Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Schultz had missed three games before being placed on IR.


Flames: Calgary is off until Feb. 6 when it plays at the New York Rangers.

Kraken: Hosts Columbus on Saturday.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

De Groot wins 9th straight Grand Slam wheelchair title

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Dutch legend Diede de Groot extended her winning streak to nine consecutive Grand Slam titles when she overcame a slow start to beat Yui Kamiji of Japan 0-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s wheelchair singles final at the Australian Open on Saturday.

It was de Groot's fifth Australian Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles trophy overall. Kamiji was the last player to beat de Groot — more than two years ago.

In the quad singles final, No. 2-seeded Sam Schroder beat fellow Dutchman and top-seeded Niels Vink 6-2, 7-5. It was Schroder's fourth Grand Slam title.

Vink and Schroder have dominated the quad division since the retirement of Australian Dylan Alcott after the Australian Open last year, and the Dutch duo were playing for a fourth consecutive Grand Slam quad title.

Top-seeded Alfie Hewett of Britain beat No. 3 Tokito Oda of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in the men's singles final. Hewett, a runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2021 and 2022, won his seventh Grand Slam singles title.


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Bo Horvat puts up four points as Vancouver Canucks top Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2

VANCOUVER — Despite a rough season, the Vancouver Canucks are heading into the all-star break on a high. 

Elias Pettersson scored twice as the Canucks (20-26-3) took a decisive 5-2 victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

The win capped an emotional week that saw Vancouver fire head coach Bruce Boudreau and replace him with Rick Tocchet.

“It's been a long year up until this point, I'm sure everyone in the league feels like it," said defenceman Quinn Hughes. "And I think everyone was excited for the break and was happy that we got a good one tonight. And we can kind of go into the break and enjoy and feel good about ourselves. 

"Obviously, still lots of work to be done. It hasn't been a great season, but we'll enjoy the time off.”

Hughes had a goal and a helper and Bo Horvat contributed a career-high four assists, while Ilya Mikheyev and Dakota Joshua also scored for the home side. J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser each added a pair of assists. 

Kirill Marchenko replied with two power-play goals for the Blue Jackets (15-30-3).

Vancouver's Collin Delia made 23 saves and Joonas Korpisalo stopped 29-of-34 shots for Columbus.

"“We just weren't really in this one," said Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen. "We didn't have as much energy really all game."

Columbus bit into Vancouver's lead midway through the third period when Tyler Myers was sent to the box for tripping. 

Marchenko swiped at a puck from below the goal line, sending it into the back of Delia's leg before it popped into the net for the rookie's second goal of the night. He now has 13 goals in 26 games. 

“Obviously he can score," centre Boone Jenner said of the 22-year-old from Barnaul, Russia. "He can put the puck in the back of the net. He scores in different ways and he gets it in an area, it's dangerous. He's got a real good knack for it and he's getting some big goals for us."

Pettersson put the Canucks up 5-1 with a power-play goal 12:52 into the final frame, firing a blistering shot on net from high in the face-off circle. Korpisalo got a piece of the shot but it dribbled across the goal line for Pettersson's second goal of the night and 21st of the season. 

Joshua scored 8:20 into the third on an errant pass. The depth forward looked to send a puck across the slot to Brock Boeser, but the puck hit Columbus defenceman Adam Boqvist in the leg and caromed into the net to make it 4-1. 

Vancouver took a two-goal cushion into the first intermission thanks to a lucky bounce.

Mikheyev unleashed a blast from above the face-off circle and his shot ricocheted off the end glass, hitting Korpisalo's skate and skittering into the net. 

It was the Russian winger's 13th goal of the season and marked his 100th NHL point. 

Earlier in the frame, a scrum erupted when Sean Kuraly slammed Vancouver's Andrei Kuzmenko into the glass, prompting a multiplayer tussle in the Blue Jackets' end. 

Kuraly was called for boarding and Vancouver capitalized on the man advantage when Hughes sent a long bomb through traffic from the point. The tally put the home side up 2-1 at the 13:21 mark. 

Both the Canucks and Blue Jackets went 2 for 4 on the power play Friday. 

“(The power play) has been struggling lately," Pettersson said. "So today we – as boring as it sounds – but simplify and just get the puck to the net. I think that's what we did. And we had good looks and scored, too.”

An early penalty saw both sides score. 

With Miller in the box for slashing, Horvat picked the puck off Patrik Laine and streaked down the ice with Pettersson on a two-on-one. The Canucks captain sliced Pettersson a pass at the hash marks and the Swedish centre wrapped it around Korpisalo's outstretched leg for his 20th goal of the season 1:25 into the game. 

“Everyone was burying their chances for me. Just trying to get pucks to those guys. And thankfully they were going in tonight," said Horvat, who has a team-leading 31 goals on the season. 

"I’m not the type of guy, especially in recent years, to be dishing the puck like that. But it definitely feels good to see them go in when I do.”

The Blue Jackets replied 43 seconds later when Marchenko, stationed in the slot, tipped in Boqvist's shot to tie the score at 1-1. 

Laine also registered an assist on the play, extending his point streak to five games with two goals and six helpers across the stretch. 


Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin announced after the game that Mikheyev is set to have season-ending knee surgery next week. He said the 28-year-old Russian winger suffered a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during a pre-season game on Sept. 25. Mikheyev is expected to be back in time for training camp in the fall. 


Vancouver's now off for the all-star break. The Canucks will resume their campaign with a four-game road swing, starting with a matchup with the Devils in New Jersey on Feb. 6.

The Blue Jackets will take on the Kraken in Seattle on Saturday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023. 

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