Connor Hellebuyck makes 34 saves, Jets beat Blues 4-0

Connor Hellebuyck shut down the St. Louis Blues — again.

Hellebuyck made 34 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist in the Winnipeg Jets’ 4-0 victory Friday night.

Hellebuyck has three shutouts in six career games against St. Louis.

The good news for the Wings is that it’s not a displaced fracture, so Mantha isn’t expected to miss any games, although he will be required to wear a full face shield.

“It is difficult,” Mantha said of wearing the face mask. “When you look down to try to find the puck between your legs, the lower part is kind of weird, but I guess you get used to it.”

The Wings are also expecting to get defenseman Mike Green back for Saturday’s game. Green has missed the last four games due to an upper-body injury.

“He skated today,” Blashill said Friday. “He felt good, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But I would say he’s a game-time decision.”

How many more games Green will play as a Wing is another decision that must be made soon. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and Monday is the trade deadline.

On Thursday, the Panthers faced the Washington Capitals — Florida’s first home game since the Feb. 14 shooting. There was a moment of silence before the game as well as an extended tribute featuring video and speakers, similar to what the Vegas Golden Knights produced for their Oct. 10 home opener after a mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that month.

Seventeen people died when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which is about 10 miles from the Panthers’ arena in Sunrise and just less than four miles from their practice facility in Coral Springs. Many Panthers employees and players — including goalie Roberto Luongo and captain Derek MacKenzie — live in the neighborhood and have children enrolled in the school district.

Luongo, a Parkland resident, gave an emotional statement about the bravery of those who lost their lives trying to save others and how inspiring the students have been coping with the tragedy.

“The first 10 minutes of the game was very difficult. I was not in a zone, that’s a good way to put it. Emotions were still running high from the ceremony,” said Luongo, who lives in Parkland, where the shooting occurred.jays_520_41b40ff4f2f65fdb-180x180

Slumping Heat host Grizzlies

When the slumping Miami Heat play host to the woeful Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, it will be the Florida franchise’s first home game since Feb. 9.

The Heat, who lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 124-123 in overtime on Friday night, have lost eight of their past nine games, putting the franchise in danger of missing the playoffs.

Miami (30-29) is a defensive-minded team, ranking third in points allowed, although some of that has to do with their slow pace of play (28th out of 30 teams in that category).

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (heel) is gone for the season, having played only 12 games, and wing Chandler Parsons (knee) has been severely limited.

The Grizzlies, who will miss the playoffs after qualifying for seven consecutive years, have seen their 14 players miss a combined 175 games due to injury or illness this season.

That situation could be made worse by the time they arrive in Miami since guard Tyreke Evans left the Cleveland game midway through the fourth quarter due to a rib injury.

“We may have our shortcomings,” Grizzlies interim coach JB Bickerstaff said in a massive understatement told to the Commercial Appeal, “but our effort and competitive nature are still there.”

“I just think being the leader of this team, I don’t think he thinks he can take games off, because, you know, guys being hurt and going through a rough patch, and now new guys coming in,” Lue said before the Cavs’ 112-89 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. “So, I think he’s trying to lead and lead by example … I think we still got to be smart about the situation, but [the training staff] say he feels good.”

Friday was the 58th game of the Cavs season and the 58th that James played in. He recorded a triple-double (18 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists) in 37 minutes of action.

Last season, James rested in the Cavs’ 11th game of the season and played in 74 games total.

Cleveland came into the season with eight new players, then went through a rotation shuffle in late December through early January when Isaiah Thomas and Tristan Thompson were worked back onto the court after rehabbing injuries and are in the midst of more change since dealing away six players and adding four more in their place at the trade deadline.bears_093-223x223

Paul Millsap (wrist) practices, but no timetable for return

Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap on Wednesday returned to his first full practice since undergoing left wrist surgery in November.

Although Millsap said it felt good to be back with his teammates, he stopped short of putting an exact date on when he’ll return to game action.

“When he is back, there’s a good chance I start off by bringing him off the bench,” Malone sad. “He’s missed 42 games right now. And I think we’re 23-19 without him, and our group is playing at a high level.”

Also Wednesday, the Nuggets welcomed back center Mason Plumlee, who hasn’t played since Jan. 29 due to a calf injury. Plumlee is expected to play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs.

“It’s just great to have those guys back,” Malone said, according to the Post. “We’ll figure out who plays and when they play, but being healthy with 24 games to go [is] a good thing to be.”

The Warriors would face the Sacramento Kings during the 2018 preseason.

During their one trip to Washington, D.C., this season, the reigning champion Warriors will spend time with area kids, according to sources, having been uninvited from the customary trip to the White House.

Golden State star Kevin Durant played his rookie season for the Sonics before moving with the team, which became the Thunder. Durant returned to Seattle to play in front of a sellout crowd at Seattle Pacific University during the Crawsover Pro-Am in the summer of 2013, telling fans, “I miss you guys. Thank you for the warm welcome. I can’t wait to come back.”

According to a source, the Warriors had hoped to schedule an exhibition game in Seattle last fall but were unable to do so because of their preseason trip to China.jaguars_001-223x223

Super Bowl 52 is being called one of the greatest NFL title games ever, but many people apparently wouldn’t know this — because they didn’t watch the game.

According to NBC Sports, the game drew an average of 103.4 million viewers. That gives it the lowest TV viewership of any Super Bowl since 2009, when 98.7 million people watched the Steelers defeat the Cardinals.

While analysts have blamed the NFL’s lower ratings on everything from the national anthem controversy to a glut of broadcasts, you can’t blame a lack of excitement in Super Bowl 52 for its lower ratings. The Eagles’ 41-33 victory was the second-highest scoring game in Super Bowl history, and the two teams set several NFL postseason records, with Tom Brady passing for a record 505 yards.

It’s also worth noting that the way traditional viewership is measured has changed, with more fans opting to stream games on their mobile devices and computers. NBC reported that a total of 106 million viewers watched the game across all platforms, including NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com, NBC.com, NFL.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon. Fans also watched a record 633.7 million live-streaming minutes of the game.

Running back Corey Clement took the snap and pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who then astonishingly found Foles wide open in the end zone as he became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to catch a touchdown pass.

That put the Eagles up 22-12 at halftime, and Pederson’s nerve held on the most crucial drive of the game after the Patriots had taken a 33-32 lead.

Faced with a fourth down on his team’s 45-yard line and needing a yard to move the sticks, Pederson put the ball in Foles’ hands and he again delivered with a stunning show of poise to find tight end Zach Ertz and keep the drive alive.

In Cincinnati’s 21-13 playoff win over the Seahawks (Seattle was an AFC team then) on Dec. 31 1988 to reach the AFC Championship, the Bengals played a low-risk grind. Esiason was seven-for-19, 108 yards and Wilcots had an interception. The game included 12 punts. However, Wilson stood out, busting a 20-yard carry and twice scoring on 3-yard runs.patriots_045_0c6d6d893c15f4a1-180x180