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As part of the League’s Centennial Celebration, NHL.com is taking a look back at memorable events each week.

Here are Centennial highlights for the week of Oct. 22-28:


Oct. 28, 1978: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Bobby Orr scores the 270th and final goal of his NHL career during the third period of a 7-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Olympia Stadium. It comes in one of six games he plays during the 1978-79 season before being forced to retire because of knee injuries.
NHL100: Bobby Orr

06:10 • January 1st, 2017


Oct. 27, 1963: Gordie Howe scores his 544th NHL goal during the Red Wings’ 6-4 loss to the visiting Montreal Canadiens. The power-play goal midway through the third period against goalie Gump Worsley pulls Howe into a tie with Maurice Richard of the Canadiens for the most in NHL history.
NHL100: Gordie Howe

04:15 • January 1st, 2017


Oct. 26, 1990: Wayne Gretzky becomes the first player in NHL historyto reach 2,000 career points. The milestone comes when he gets an assist in the Los Angeles Kings’ 6-2 road loss to the Winnipeg Jets at Winnipeg Arena. The assist gives him 684 goals and 1,316 assists in 857 NHL games.



Oct. 25, 2000: Ray Bourque becomes the highest-scoring defenseman in NHL history, passing Paul Coffey by earning two assists in the Colorado Avalanche’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center. Bourque finishes the regular season, his last in the NHL, with 1,579 points, still an League record for defensemen.


Oct. 24, 1976: Orr becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to reach 900 career points when he scores twice to help the Blackhawks defeat the St. Louis Blues 7-2 at Chicago Stadium.


Oct. 23, 1998: Mark Messier scores his 600th NHL goal during the Vancouver Canucks’ 5-0 win at the Florida Panthers. The milestone goal comes at 12:58 of the third period, when he one-times a pass from Alexander Mogilny past goaltender Kirk McLean.
NHL Tonight: Mark Messier

02:56 • January 28th, 2017


Oct. 22, 1953: Dick Irvin becomes the first coach in NHL history to win 600 games when the Canadiens defeat the Blackhawks 3-2 at Chicago Stadium.

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After missing the first three games of the 2017-18 regular season following the death of his grandmother, Charlotte Hornets starting small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has returned to the team.

Rumor CentralAccording to The Charlotte Observer, Hornets head coach Steve Clifford said there’s a “good chance” Kidd-Gilchrist will play Wednesday when Charlotte takes on the Denver Nuggets.

After playing in just seven games during the 2015-16 season, Kidd-Gilchrist made 81 appearances (all starts) in 2016-17 and averaged 9.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

With Kidd-Gilchrist’s return to the lineup, Clifford will move rookie Dwayne Bacon back to the bench.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart took the pitch left on Thursday night and was immediately greeted by Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Stewart escaped that tackle, but then he faced three other defenders running clean through the line. He ultimately found himself under a pile of six Eagles, with not a blocker within arm’s length.

Afterward, Stewart appeared frustrated as he stood and stared at coaches on the sideline.

“No more than anybody else would be,” offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Friday before the Panthers (4-2) began a three-day break. “The biggest thing is we’ve got to not have the negative runs, the runs for losses. We want to make sure we take care of that.”

The Panthers had six negative runs, including three by Stewart, against the Eagles. This came a week after they had nine (eight by Stewart) against Detroit.


“We flat-out missed some blocks,” coach Ron Rivera said.

This wasn’t what Rivera envisioned after a preseason loss at Tennessee when he was more impressed with a 4-yard run by Stewart than a 38-yard catch and run by rookie running back Christian McCaffrey.

He made it clear that was what he wanted the offense to be about.

“It was a very physical-natured play,” Rivera said. “The offensive line fired off, got the good surge, Jonathan gets a crease and picked up 4 good yards. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for that physical, tough running presence that Jonathan gives.”
Jonathan Stewart has only 17 yards on 26 carries in the past two games, including minus-4 yards on eight carries against the Eagles on Thursday. Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports
The Panthers have been anything but that the past two games against Detroit and Philadelphia. Running backs have averaged less than a yard per carry (29 on 34 attempts) in those games. They had 1 yard on 13 attempts in Thursday night’s 28-23 loss to the Eagles. Without quarterback Cam Newton during this span, the running game would be almost non-existent. He had 71 of the team’s 108 total yards in those two games. (The Panthers had just 80 total yards against Detroit and 28 against Philadelphia.)

The last time the Panthers had consecutive performances with less than 100 yards rushing was the ninth and 10th games last season, when they ran for 99 yards against Kansas City, followed by 50 against New Orleans.

The latest two-game total of 108 yards is the team’s lowest since the second and third games of the 2014 season, when Carolina had 62 yards against Detroit and 42 against Pittsburgh for a combined 104.

Two weeks later, the Panthers went on a run of 35 straight games — including five playoff games — with at least 100 yards.

They topped that mark in all 19 games during the 2015 season, including the loss to Denver in Super Bowl 50.

“We’ve got to be better across the board,” Shula said. “We’ve got good run-blockers, we’ve got good schemes. That’s never been an issue and I don’t see that being an issue.

“But we want to make sure we get that back in good balance for sure.”

If Stewart is frustrated, you can’t blame him. He’s averaging 41.2 yards rushing and 2.9 yards per carry. He has only 17 yards on 26 carries in the past two games, including minus-4 yards on eight carries against the Eagles.

Stewart has a career average of 4.3 yards per carry.

The Panthers don’t believe the issue is Stewart, who at 30 is at an age when the production of running backs typically falls off.

But they do have an issue with the negative plays. It figured into a decision to pass on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 with just under a minute left from the Philadelphia 48.

Both were incomplete. One was tipped with tight end Ed Dickson wide open, and the other was just off target to McCaffrey, who had room to run because a defender jumped up and threw Newton’s timing off.

“I know it’s a game of inches, but that one was literally inches away from being a big play for us,” Rivera said.

Inches are what the Carolina backs are getting in the running game. Correcting that will be a focus when players begin preparing for Chicago on Tuesday.
Entering Sunday’s games, the Chicago Bears’ defense ranked 13th against the run, allowing 100.2 yards a game.

The Panthers entered Sunday’s games ranked 20th in the league with 95.5 yards rushing a game. They haven’t finished a season with less than 100 yards a game since 2004, when they averaged 98.6 yards.

They’ve finished in the top 10 in rushing five of the past seven seasons, including second (142.6 ypg.) in 2015 en route to an NFL-best 15-1 record.

“It’s that little difference between making your block and not making your block,” left tackle Matt Kalil said. “It’s as simple as that. For us, just going back to the basics and being more fundamentally sound.

“I have no doubt that we’ll fix that and get that going.”

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LOS ANGELES — Baseball’s postseason is a time of resetting in that everyone begins at 0-0. Still, each team brings with it the baggage of the regular season, the sixth-month slog during which narratives are constructed.

The Los Angeles Dodgers got a good start on a fresh fall tale Friday, riding a Justin Turner-led four-run first inning to back Clayton Kershaw in his mixed-bag of an outing. The Dodgers beat the Arizona

9-5 to grab a 1-0 lead in their National League Division Series matchup and snap a six-game losing streak to the Diamondbacks.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start to the game,” Kershaw said. “I think we really had quality at-bats the whole night all the way through.”

For three mysterious weeks this season, everyone in the baseball universe puzzled over the struggles of the seemingly invincible Dodgers. You remember them: The team that raced to a 91-36 record, stepping on everyone’s throat on a nightly basis and not letting up.
Justin Turner tied a Dodgers postseason record with his five RBIs in Game 1. Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images
The team of historic dominance then went missing during a skid of 16 losses in 17 games.

In search of their first title since 1988, the Dodgers entered the postseason as rickety as a 104-win team could possibly be. Down what path would their October narrative lead: that of the dominant Dodgers, or that of doubtable Dodgers?

Score one for a little of both.

“The first game is big,” Turner said. “Every game is big. You want to win them all, but when you’ve got Keshaw on the mound in Game 1, to get that out of the way, we’re feeling pretty good about it. But we’ve still got a long way to go.”

The Dodgers put the first five batters on base against a Diamondbacks starter, Taijuan Walker, making his first postseason appearance. That rally included a three-run jolt to left from Turner, sending jam-packed Dodger Stadium into a frenzy. It also included an RBI double to emotional powder keg Yasiel Puig.

2017 MLB Postseason
Keep up with the latest as baseball’s top teams contend for the title.

• Ultimate playoff guide » | Picks »
• Stars shine, Dodgers sweep D-backs »
• Astros reach ALCS, Sox head home »
• Nats’ error: Challenging Cubs’ Rizzo »
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Puig later tripled, then wagged his tongue toward the celebrating Dodgers dugout, a gesture he demonstrated for the postgame media gathering.

“I don’t know why,” Puig said. “Maybe ice cream in front of me. [Turner] like it. That’s the reason he’s laughing right now.”

Puig then turned to Turner and demonstrated the tongue wag again.

Walker finished the first frame with 48 pitches and was replaced by Zack Godley before the start of the second. Add another name to baseball’s growing list of successful regular-season starters who have been knocked out early during the first week of the 2017 postseason — eight of 16 so far haven’t made it to the fifth inning.

“They hit a couple of mistakes and unfortunately [Walker] never got grounded,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Made the decision to take him out after the first inning.

“With 48 pitches in one inning, that’s a lot for any pitcher to absorb.”

The quick lead and the solid run prevention to protect it was reminiscent of the Dodgers team that went 56-11 over one stretch of the season. At times it did look dominant, mostly because Kershaw looked a bit more like his All-Star self than the version that returned from the disabled list late in the season.

Kershaw entered the game with his 4.55 career playoff ERA hanging over his head and for a brief moment, that history stirred when he walked David Peralta to start the game. But he escaped that inning by striking out Diamondbacks sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez.

Kershaw mostly cruised through six innings, giving up a solo homers to A.J. Pollock in the third and Martinez in the sixth. He came out for the seventh despite a career 23.82 postseason ERA in that frame. Sure enough, he gave up back-to-back rockets into the left-field seats to Adam Rosales and Ketel Marte.

Turner said he thought his All-Star teammate was sharp.

“When you have a lead like that, it’s about attacking guys, not giving up free bases and pounding the zone,” Turner said. “I thought he was spectacular for us tonight.”

The back-to-back shots marked the end for Kershaw — 6 1/3 innings, seven strikeouts, five hits allowed, but four of those were long balls and he walked three. Let’s face it, it wasn’t bad, especially given the sudden plague that has struck top-flight starters in recent days, but it wasn’t elite-level Kershaw, either. He admitted that by the time he departed, he was gassed.

“Definitely the intensity of playoff games, there is more riding on each pitch,” Kershaw said. “Mentally, for sure, you try to focus that much harder every single pitch and try to take over that moment every single time. That can be taxing, for sure.”

There were good portents for the Dodgers elsewhere. Some of those appeared in the fourth, when Corey Seager’s RBI single and another RBI from Turner keyed a three-run rally against Godley that broke open the game. Seager also walked and tripled, so that’s two more Dodgers stars who faded a bit late but now look poised for an October push.

Turner’s five RBIs tied the Dodgers’ postseason record, set by Davey Lopes in the 1978 World Series and tied three years later by Pedro Guerrero in that season’s Fall Classic. Turner has reached base safely in 16 of his last 17 postseason games, hitting .397 during that stretch.

“He’s just got an easy approach,” Lovullo said. “He’s never off balance, rarely fooled. To me, it’s like he’s taking batting practice.

“There is not hustle in his swing.”
For L.A., it was just the first step but given Arizona’s regular-season record against them (11-8) and the late-season surge of the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation, the Snakes entered the series as a trendy upset pick. A Game 1 loss would surely have spurred the Cassandras of the L.A. baseball world to scream in unison.

Those doomsdayers will have to wait another day. But the Diamondbacks remain capable of striking back, and in Saturday’s Game 2, they’ll send Dodger killer Robbie Ray to the mound.

“He’s a heck of a pitcher,” Roberts said. “He’s one of the elite pitcher in the National League. I think if he makes a mistake, we’ve got to be able to capitalize.”

Right. Because in October, dominance only lasts as long as your last game.

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FRISCO, Texas — With Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee unable to play last week because of a hamstring strain, Jaylon Smith played in all 69 snaps against the Los Angeles Rams.

Smith was credited with 13 tackles, to add to his team-leading total, but the Rams were able to isolate him in coverage at times to their advantage.

“Think I had some good. Think I had some bad,” Smith said of his production. “So it’s all about eliminating the bad plays.”

Smith has played in 227 of a possible 283 snaps in the first four games. It might not be more than he expected — “I go in every game hoping that I get a chance to play every snap,” Smith said — but it is more than what the Cowboys expected.

Smith found himself in the starting lineup because Anthony Hitchens suffered a tibial plateau fracture in the preseason. He found himself playing every snap against the Rams because Lee was out.

The Cowboys might give Lee another week of rest, especially with the bye coming next week, but Hitchens is looking at making his 2017 debut Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He took part in his first full practice since suffering the injury Aug. 26 against the Oakland Raiders.

“Felt good,” Hitchens said. “They’re going to watch the film and let me know if I can play or not this weekend.”

If Hitchens can play, then he would replace Lee if the All-Pro linebacker is unable to return. When Hitchens suffered the injury the Cowboys feared he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. After he was diagnosed with the fracture, he said it went from a full fracture to a hairline fracture.

“I just knew I was in pain,” Hitchens said, recalling the injury. “I didn’t know what the circumstances was but glad it was just five weeks now instead of a whole season.”

When Lee is able to return, then the Cowboys can move to a rotation of sorts at linebacker to keep everybody fresh. When they are all healthy, Lee is the only linebacker who is likely to play every snap. By cutting back on Smith’s snaps, the Cowboys hope the quality of his work goes up.
His recovery from a horrific knee injury, which included nerve damage that led to a case of drop foot and forced him to miss the 2016 season, has been nothing short of amazing. But a player needs time to work back into the game after such a prolonged absence.

“Man, honestly my knee and my legs, they feel great,” Smith said. “I mean as far as soreness, it’s the regular typical football soreness. It’s a good thing. I’m happy to have that type of soreness. It’s something I didn’t experience last year recovering and things like that, so it’s just a blessing to be here.”

A case of less is more could help the Cowboys’ defense. Hitchens recorded two 100-tackles seasons in his first three seasons, according to the coaches’ breakdowns.

“He’s a guy that’s been here for four years now and he knows a lot,” Smith said. “He knows the system. So he’ll definitely help.”