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  • 20 August 2019
    导出博客文章OTTAWA -- Fresh off their first-round demolition of the Montreal Canadiens, the
    Ottawa Senators had a familiar face back in the fold on Sunday. No. 1 centre
    Jason Spezza practised with his teammates for the first time since undergoing
    back surgery for a herniated disc on Feb. 1 and says it was nice to take another
    step in his recovery. "Its been a long process and a long season for me," Spezza
    said. "It felt good to join the team again and get some reps in. It may not seem
    like it and I may not play this year, but for me its a small victory." Despite
    speculation that Spezza could be done for the season, the fact the 29-year-old
    took part in a full practice was encouraging. Spezza, who had been skating on
    his own before joining the Ottawas AHL callups for more training, says he had
    some "ups and downs" over the course of his recovery but made improvements over
    the last few weeks that allowed him to take part in a regular practice. Whether
    or not he plays this season depends on how is body reacts. The Senators will
    take on the No. 1 seed Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the Eastern
    Conference playoffs after Ottawa disposed of second-ranked Montreal in five
    games. "I always felt there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel and
    when that is I dont know," Spezza said. "But Im going to keep pushing towards
    getting better so I can try to play." The Senators top centre played in just
    five games this season, scoring two goals and adding three assists, before being
    forced to have surgery. Spezza last played on Jan. 27, coincidentally against
    the Penguins. Its unclear whether Spezza will travel to Pittsburgh, but Senators
    coach Paul MacLean doesnt seem to have much hope he will play in the first two
    games of the series. "Hes a long ways away," said MacLean after practice. On
    Saturday, the coach said he would love nothing more than to have Spezza back in
    the lineup, but if and when that happens he has to be able to slide right in.
    "Thats the important factor for me ... Jason has to be up to speed to where the
    team is playing," said MacLean. "And the treadmill goes pretty fast in the
    second round of the playoffs." Spezza understands MacLeans thinking and says in
    no way does he want to be a hindrance to the team. "As a player you have to be
    confident. The only way youre going to have any success if you come back to play
    is to be confident. I have to make sure I have confidence in myself that Im
    going to help the team," he said. "The team has played real well and done real
    good things and the only way that I want to come back is if I feel I can help
    the team." Thats not to say Spezza wouldnt love to be a part of this
    second-round series. "I wish I could play next game," he said. "Its all going to
    be how I respond. I have to push myself. Thats why were really going to try to
    push forward here the next three days and it might tell me its not time to play
    or it might respond real well. "Id be lying if I tried to give you a straight
    answer on when I thought I would play." Teammates were thrilled to see Spezza
    back on the ice and while they are tempering expectations, the Senators know he
    would bring a significant contribution to the lineup. "You dont want to get
    excited too early, but at the same time if hes going to come back hes going to
    help us a lot," defenceman Sergei Gonchar said. "Overall he can help us creating
    offence." The Penguins offer a different challenge than the Canadiens, but the
    Senators feel confident they match up well. "We know were in tough against a
    very good team," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "But we definitely dont think
    its a task thats impossible." The series has added intrigue considering it was
    the skate of Pittsburghs Matt Cooke that led to Erik Karlsson missing most of
    the regular season with a partially severed Achilles tendon. "Whatever happened,
    happened and Im back playing and Im happy," Karlsson said. "Its not something Im
    thinking about and Im sure hes not thinking about it either." Both Karlsson and
    MacLean say the incident wont be a distraction for the teams other than creating
    discussion for the next few days. "We have to go out and play our best game if
    we want to beat Pittsburgh," Karlsson said. "Theyve had an unbelievable season
    so far and they have a great team and weve got to play our best to even have a
    chance. "If we can find some consistency for 60 minutes in all the games we play
    I think well have a good chance." The Senators watched with interest as the New
    York Islanders won two games against the Penguins and came close to forcing a
    Game 7. "Were going to study it, especially the ones (the Islanders) won and
    figure out if they did anything that was surprising or different," MacLean said.
    "I think we have a good handle on Pittsburgh and how they like to play and its
    just a matter of us sticking to it." Notes: Pittsburgh was 2-0-1 against Ottawa
    in the regular season. ... Senators forward Milan Michalek was not on the ice at
    practice, but MacLean says it was just a maintenance day. Defenceman
    Patrick Wiercioch (lower-body injury) isnt expected to be ready for the start of
    the series.
    Larry Bird
    .C. -- Todd Fiddler scored a hat trick, including the overtime
    goal, as the Prince George Cougars survived an 8-7 win against the Kamloops
    Blazers in Western Hockey League play Sunday.
    Kevin Mchale
    . Manuel was offered a position the day he was fired. He accepted earlier this
    week and the team made the announcement Friday.
    Bob Cousy
    . Wilson hit Schenn from behind during Tuesday nights game in
    Philadelphia, earning a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. He
    has a phone hearing with the department of player safety, which limits any
    potential suspension to five or fewer games.
    Bill Russell
    . Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050 Thursday, the Leafs GM also touched
    on the questions surrounding the teams leadership and the struggles of his
    big-name free-agent signing. “Its not from lack of effort from the coaching
    staff. NEW YORK -- His playing days dwindling, Mark Teixeira gave himself a
    moment to savor Wednesday night and rescued the New York Yankees in the
    process.Teixeira hit a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the ninth
    inning, and the Yankees staved off playoff elimination at the last possible
    instant with a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.Thats as good as it gets
    right there, said Teixeira, set to retire after this season.Boston clinched the
    AL East title nearly 30 minutes before Teixeira connected, thanks to Torontos
    3-2 loss against Baltimore. But a five-run comeback by New York in the ninth
    prevented its longtime rival from celebrating on the Yankee Stadium field.Its an
    unbelievable moment, manager Joe Girardi said. Its a great moment for him, and
    its a great moment for us.The victory by the Orioles put the Yankees on the
    brink of wild-card elimination following a surprising charge late this season.
    New York had only one infield hit and trailed 3-0 heading into the ninth, with
    Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel (2-5) jogging in from the bullpen on a misty and
    blustery night in the Bronx.Kimbrel, however, gave up a leadoff single to Brett
    Gardner and issued three straight walks, the last forcing in a run.Red Sox
    manager John Farrell turned to Joe Kelly, who struck out Starlin Castro and
    retired Didi Gregorius on a foul popup. With the Yankees down to their last out,
    Teixeira launched a 99 mph fastball on an 0-1 count into the New York bullpen in
    right-center.You dont want a wall-scraper in an 8-0 game to be your last one.
    You want a walkoff grand slam against the Red Sox, Teixeira said. Ill still be
    trying the next four games, but if it happens to be my last one, it will be
    pretty special.Yankees relievers raised their arms in excitement, and Teixeira
    puffed his cheeks and spread his arms wide as he rounded first base. The
    36-year-old slugger, in his 14th big league season, tossed his helmet as happy
    New York players poured out of the dugout to swarm him at home plate.Im going to
    take away a lot of memories. This will be one of the best, Teixeira said. Thats
    as good as I can hit a ball.New York (82-76) guaranteed its 24th consecutive
    winning season, the second-longest streak in major league history behind the
    Yankees run of 39 straight from 1926-64.It was the teams first game-ending slam
    since Alex Rodriguez on April 7, 2007.Meanwhile, the Red Sox walked back to
    their bench and quietly cleared out of the dugout,, an awkward way to mark their
    second division crown in four years.dddddddddddd But once they returned to their
    clubhouse, they let loose and celebrated with the traditional beer and
    bubbly.Cant let one inning deter our whole season, outfielder Mookie Betts
    said.James Pazos (1-0) earned his first major league win, and the Yankees
    remained four games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card with four to
    play.Though the final score in Toronto was posted on the out-of-town scoreboard,
    the Red Sox hardly seemed to notice as players draped their arms over the dugout
    railing and rooted for Kimbrel in the ninth.Red Sox executives, however, jumped
    out of their front-row seats next to the Boston dugout and rejoiced when the
    Blue Jays game ended, giving Boston its eighth AL East title.Betts snapped a
    scoreless tie when he chopped a two-run double over third base in the eighth
    inning. David Ortiz scored moments later on Gary Sanchezs passed ball.Boston,
    which had already secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, will open
    its postseason schedule Oct. 6 seeking a second World Series crown since 2013.
    The teams first opponent has not been determined yet.You never want to see a
    team celebrate on your home field, or celebrate at all, so well take that as a
    positive tonight, Teixeira said in the clubhouse, where he was congratulated by
    Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.TRAINERS ROOMRed Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (sore
    forearm) is tentatively slated to throw his customary 30-35 pitches in a bullpen
    session Thursday. The team hopes he can make a relief appearance during its
    final regular-season series this weekend, but manager John Farrell said that
    wont be determined or planned until Pomeranz gets through his bullpen OK.
    ...Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (forearm) felt fine after playing catch Tuesday,
    but the team is unsure if hell start Saturday against Baltimore, Girardi said.UP
    NEXTOrtiz, also retiring after the season, says goodbye to Yankee Stadium in the
    series finale Thursday night. New York has planned a pregame ceremony.Red Sox
    LHP Henry Owens (0-1) starts in place of Pomeranz, scratched from his scheduled
    outing. Owens threw 80 pitches at the teams complex in Florida last week and
    should be comfortable going that far, Farrell said. LHP CC Sabathia (8-12) gets
    the ball for the Yankees. ' ' '