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  • 28 Jan
    PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Mason and the Flyers are playing their best hockey of the season heading into the Olympic break. [b]Cheap Saucony Shoes Outlet[/b] . Its a break team chairman Ed Snider would love to abolish. Mason stopped 38 shots, and Mark Streit and Michael Raffl scored goals, leading the Philadelphia Flyers past the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 on Thursday night. But with one game left before the break, the Flyers recent spurt could stall because of the Olympics. "I hate them," said Snider, the Flyers founder. He added: "Its ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous. I dont care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldnt want to break up the league. I think its ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season. It screws up everything. .. How can anybody be happy breaking up their season. No other league does it, why should we? Theres no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything, I can only see negatives." Reminded the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup finals during the last Olympics in 2010, Snider laughed. "Maybe I like them," he said. "I forget about that." Claude Giroux, who scored an empty-netter with 20 seconds left Thursday against the Avalanche, has plenty of time to rest during the break. He was snubbed Thursday by Hockey Canada when Martin St. Louis was picked as an injury replacement for his Tampa Bay teammate Steven Stamkos. Steve Yzerman, the Canadians executive director and Tampa Bays general manager, chose St. Louis over Giroux and Pittsburghs James Neal. "Its a farce," Snider said. "Hes one of the best players in the game. Its ridiculous. Hes better than half the guys on that team. "Anybody that thinks that Claude Giroux doesnt belong on the Canadian team, they dont know anything about hockey as far as Im concerned. Its politics, to a certain degree. He had to pick his own guy. His own guy is good, but Claude is better." The Avalanche, who lost 5-1 to the New York Rangers on Tuesday, couldnt solve Mason until it was too late. The Avalanche called timeout with 1:27 left and pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov in a last-gasp effort at the tying goal. It didnt work. The Flyers scored in the second period, when Streits shot from the blue line was deflected by a defenceman and wobbled past Varlamov for his eighth goal. Streit is heading to his fourth Olympics for Switzerland. The Flyers got a scare when centre Brayden Schenn was checked from behind into the boards by Patrick Bordeleau. Schenn quickly got on his skates, and his teammates went after Bordeleau behind the net. Bordeleau threw his right elbow into Schenns back and the Flyer thumped the board, and then hit the ice. Bordeleau was hit with 5 minutes for checking from behind and a game misconduct. Colorado coach Patrick Roy was red faced and furious as he argued with the officials that the hit didnt merit an ejection. Masons play picked up after a recent pep talk from Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent. Mason stopped 14 shots in the first period and made the save of the night in the second when he robbed Gabriel Landeskog with a glove save from his rear. "I think we didnt make it hard enough for him in the first 55 minutes," Landeskog said. "I think the last five, we were in his face, banging rebounds, and trying to bang one home there and made it hard on him. We started throwing pucks from different angles and tough angles and what not." Mason posted a 1.51 goals-against-average over his last four starts, stopped 95 per cent of his shots and had two shutouts. "The job as starting goalie every night is to make sure we provide stability back there, and thats what Im trying to do," he said. Raffls seventh goal of the season, off a nice pass by Sean Couturier from behind the net, early in the third was the insurance the Flyers needed to win their third straight. Notes: The Flyers had a video tribute and a moment of silence for former coach and general manager Keith Allen. Allen died Tuesday. He was 90. "I love Keith Allen," Snider said. ... Lauren Hart, the daughter of longtime former Flyers broadcaster Gene Hart, sang "God Bless America," alternating lyrics with Kate Smith, who was on a video image. Smiths rendition of the song has been a rallying anthem for the Flyers since the mid-1970s. [b]Discount Saucony Shoes Outlet[/b] . "Hopefully well get all this out of the way," he said, "and everyone will be healthy the rest of the year." Zimmerman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday and is expected to miss between four to six weeks. [b]Saucony Shoes Outlet Online[/b] .5 million, four-year contract with the Texas Rangers that could be worth $32.SALT LAKE CITY -- Gordon Hayward scored 22 points and Derrick Favours had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Utah Jazz hold off the Milwaukee Bucks 96-87 Thursday night and claim consecutive wins for just the third time this season. Hayward, Utahs leading scorer, had failed to reach double-digits in the previous two games but was efficient from the start against the Bucks with 18 in the first half. Favours took his turn as the centre of the improving Jazz offence at crunch time with seven points in the final 2:02 to clinch the game. The Jazz made all 17 free throw attempts and outrebounded the Bucks 43-34 in the matchup of teams with the worst records in each conference. Larry Sanders went 7 of 7 on field goals to lead Milwaukee with 16 points, while Luke Ridnour had 12 points and Gary Neal finished with 11. The Jazz were clinging to a 76-71 lead when Marvin Williams tipped a loose ball to Alec Burks that he turned into a layup. The Jazz stole it again on the next possession and Williams found Burks in the corner for a 3-pointer, widening the gap to 10 again. Sanders scored on a spin move to cut the lead to 83-80, but Burks hit a running hook, Trey Burke hit a long jumper and Favours dunked with 2:02 remaining to give Utah some breathing room. Playing without forward Johnn Henson, who has a left ankle sprain, the Bucks were outmuscled in the paint and ran out of gas after their last run in the fourth quarter. [b]Saucony Shoes Outlet Store[/b]. Diante Garrett, who joined the Jazz in mid-November, seemed to be auditioning to keep his job. The point guard played 20 minutes -- the most in a competitive contest since his initial game with the Jazz -- and scored 10 points, a career high. All contracts become guaranteed for the rest of the year on Jan. 10. The Bucks three-game Western Conference road trip got off to a promising start with a 94-79 win over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday. But the Bucks couldnt keep the Jazz off the boards or get critical stops down the stretch against the Jazz. Burks had seven of his 13 points in the final period as the Jazz won their third straight home game and have won five of their last eight overall. The Bucks missed their first nine 3-point attempts. Brandon Knight finally converted a 3-pointer in the third quarter. The Bucks finished 4 of 22 from beyond the arc. NOTES: The Bucks had 17 fast-break points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to Utahs nine . The Jazz improved to 10-7 with a starting lineup of Burke, Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Williams and Favours. . Favours has 11 double-doubles (points-rebounds) this season. 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