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Mitch's Sports Report: Canadiens Win Fourth In A Row; Irving Shines In Fourth Quarter For Celtics

The Montreal Canadiens appear to be reversing a trend in recent years of starting out of the gate strong and fading as the race draws to a close.

The Habs were mired in a spate of losing to start this season, then lost their best player, goalie Carey Price to injury, and appeared stuck in neutral. But after a 6-3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit last night, the Canadiens are now cruising on a four game winning streak, their longest of the season, and with Price back healthy in between the pipes, the Habs may have plenty more left in the tank.

Brendan Gallagher scored twice for the Habs, and Montreal broke the game open in the second period, scoring three times to erase a 2-1 deficit, with two of those goals coming just 46 seconds apart off the sticks of Charles Hudon and Andrew Shaw. Price made 28 saves in net and the Red Wings are seeking answers having now lost six games in a row, the only silver lining for them being that three of those losses came in overtime, and in the present day NHL you do pick up a point in the standings for just getting to OT. This was the first game of a home and home series so Detroit will get a chance at avenging this loss Saturday night, but they'll have to win on hostile territory back at the Habs home ice of the Bell Centre.

You know things are going good in Maple Leaf land when you get a key goal from a player who's not even on your own team. It can happen even to the best of them, but that will be little solace to Kris Russell of the Edmonton Oilers, who accidentally knocked a puck into his own net late in the third period of a tight game that gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 6-4 win over the Oilers in Edmonton. It wasn't all luck, though, that propelled the Leafs to yet another win, their seventh in their last ten games. William Nylander had a goal and two assists and the lamp was also lit legit by Auston Matthews, Dominic Moore, Matt Martin and Nazem Kadri. Patrick Marleau got credit for the goal that Russell knocked into his own net, as the last player to touch the puck for Toronto before he did so, and Frederik Andersen stopped 41 shots to help the Leafs to the win, and when you're going good as the new look Leafs are, a little good luck seems to follow you around. That was certainly the case in Alberta last night.

To the NBA, and when Isaiah Thomas was taking over games for the Boston Celtics his calling card was doing it in the fourth quarter when the game was still close. Now the guy he was traded for is reading from the same script.

Kyrie Irving scored nine points in the final 12 minutes, part of his overall 36-point effort in Boston's 108-97 win over the up and coming Philadelphia 76ers in Boston last night. It marks the fifth time this season that Irving has scored at least 30 points in a game, and perhaps the biggest difference between this Celtics team and the one that Thomas led is that Irving isn't being left to do it all on his own, as IT often was. Players helping Irving get in on the action last night included veteran Al Horford, who scored 21 and pulled down 8 rebounds, and Marcus Morris, who poured in 17.

The Celtics run their best in the east record to 19-4 with the win, bouncing back from a home loss to Detroit earlier this week.

There was Thursday night football last night, featuring long time NFC rivals Dallas and Washington, and the Cowboys came away with a much-needed 38-14 to keep their playoff hopes alive, if not especially well. The Cowboys limped into the game on a losing skid of three straight, unable to put together a win since losing Ezekiel Elliott to a six-game suspension in connection with a domestic abuse allegation.

Ryan Switzer returned a punt 83 yards for one Dallas touchdown, and Dak Prescott rebounded from a poor start in his last game to throw two touchdown passes, one to Dez Bryant, and that broke a Cowboys franchise record. Bryant now stands alone as the all-time leader in Cowboys touchdown receptions with 72, passing Hall of Famer Bob Hayes.

 
 

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