The Calgary Flames took advantage of an extended break to work on their scuffling power play. Zapatillas España . Theyll see if the extra practice pays off Thursday night in a matchup with the Arizona Coyotes, one of the leagues worst teams at killing penalties. The Flames (22-18-3) have been off since opening a five-game road swing leading into the All-Star break with Saturdays 1-0 win over Vancouver that snapped a three-game skid. Mikael Backlund scored and Joni Ortio made 36 saves in his first start of the season after being recalled by Calgary two days earlier. With four days off, the Flames got a chance to return home and take a break from the grind of the schedule. Its a time to get some mental and physical rest, but at the same time, we cant be complacent, coach Bob Hartley told the teams official website. Hartley and his coaching staff spent extra time examining their brutal play with the extra skater. The Flames are 1 for 14 with the man advantage in 2015 and have converted a league-worst 8.9 percent of power plays (4 for 45) since Dec. 12. Over the past two or three weeks, weve hit a speed bump, Hartley said. It comes in waves and thats what were facing. Ive talked to many coaches over the past weeks like I always do, about my power play, thats where were searching for solutions. A simple solution may be facing the Coyotes (16-22-4). Arizona has killed a Western Conference-worst 74.5 percent of its penalties and has allowed eight power-play goals in 25 chances during a 2-4-0 stretch. The Flames have won all three matchups with the Coyotes this season, scoring twice with the extra skater. Rookie center Josh Jooris notched his first career hat trick in the last matchup with Arizona, a 5-2 win Dec. 2. Jiri Hudler assisted on two of those goals and has one goal and five assists in the season series. The Coyotes, whose 3.26 goals-against average is among the worst in the NHL, head into the finale of a six-game homestand after Tuesdays 3-2 loss to San Jose. The Sharks broke a 2-all tie in the third period on a shot that bounced off Arizona defenseman Zbynek Michaleks skate and squeezed through Devan Dubnyks pads. You hate to lose on a goal like that, especially because I thought we battled hard, Michalek told the Coyotes official website. You feel like whatever you do, nothing goes your way. We just have to fight through it. Weve said it many times. Nobody is going to give us anything for free. The Coyotes traded Dubnyk, who had been their most consistent goalie with a 9-5-2 record, 2.72 goals-against average and .916 save percentage, to Minnesota for a third-round draft pick in 2015 on Wednesday. That leaves Mike Smith, who has struggled with a 7-17-2 mark, 3.52 GAA and .885 save percentage, to carry the load. One positive for Arizona is Mikkel Boedker breaking out of his scoring slump. Boedker has four goals in the last three games after going without one in the previous 11 contests. The Coyotes leader with 13 goals, Boedker has one assist against Calgary this season. Calgary will start Ortio again after his stellar debut and Karri Ramo, working his way back from injury, will travel with the team. Air Max Baratas España . Saltalamacchia has agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Miami Marlins, two people familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday. Zapatillas Nike España . - Titans quarterback Jake Locker will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, leaving Tennessee trying to rally with Ryan Fitzpatrick.CALGARY -- John Kuceras career was shorter than he wanted but he leaves alpine ski racing knowing he achieved two firsts for Canada. The first Canadian man to win a world downhill championship and the Canadian skier to stand atop the World Cup podium in Lake Louise, Alta., announced his retirement from ski racing Thursday. Kucera won the mens downhill title in Val-dIsere, France, in 2009. He earned three career World Cup medals in super-G, including gold in Lake Louise in 2006. "Im just really proud I managed to take a very short career and do big things with it," the 29-year-old Calgarian said at Alpine Canadas headquarters in his hometown. "It was a great ride. It really was. "I did some things in this country that I was the first to do and Im really proud of that." Kuceras first four years on the national team were successful and promising. But a broken leg followed by a frustrating inner ear condition sidelined him for four of the last five seasons and also kept him from competing in two Winter Olympics. Vestibular neuritis -- an inner ear condition causing dizziness and nausea -- struck during a training camp in Chile last September and made it impossible to race through gates at 130 kilometres per hour. Kucera wasnt able to get back on skis to race at the Winter Games in Sochi in February. The symptoms still linger and the uncertainty over how long theyll remain, combined with an opportunity to join the coaching staff of the national development team, steered Kucera towards retirement. "Truth be told, Im not 100 per cent yet," he said. "I think my body just told me it was time to start doing something else. "This vestibular neuritis is tough because there is no time line. I could be good by July, but I could be good by next July and really, nobody can give me that answer. Who wouldve thought the thing that would have finally took me out was waking up dizzy one morning?" Super giant slalom, or super-G, is shorter than downhill but there are more gates on the course. The discipline requires a combination of speed and technical ability. At five foot nine and 185 pounds, Kucera wasnt as beefy as the top downhill racers early in his career, so he excelled in super-G. But on Feb. 7, 2009, he bested such heavyweights as Hermann Maier of Austria, Didier Cuche of Switzerland, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and American Bode Miller to win on Val-dIseres difficult slope. "Val-dIsere was a course that obviously played into a lot of my strengths, very technical, very steep," Kucera recalled. "That being said, I felt like every year I was becoming a better and better downhiller. "I just hit the right track, the right conditions and the right time of my career to become a champion there." Kucera was the first Canadian too win in 26 years of World Cup racing at Lake Louise when he captured super-G gold in 2006. Zapatillas Jordan España. . He drew the No. 1 start bib, so after crossing the finish line, the 22-year-old stood nervously in front of television cameras watching as skier after skier came down the mountain. "I remember being really cold. I think it was -35 C that day," Kucera said. "Coming down, having that great run, freezing, watching a lot of the people I looked up to growing up and me beating them, it was pretty exciting." Kucera dedicated that victory to his former coach and friend, Jason Lapierre, who was hit by a car while biking and died earlier that year. Kuceras successes coincided with those of teammates Erik Guay, Manny Osborne-Paradis and Jan Hudec. The "Canadian Cowboys" have given the national mens downhill team depth it hasnt had since Steve Podborski and Ken Read headlined the "Crazy Canucks" of the 1980s. Guay won the mens downhill title again for Canada in 2011, while Hudec took silver in 2007. Guay passed Podborski as Canadas most decorated World Cup racer with 22 career medals. Guay also won the overall super-G title in 2010. Osborne-Paradis collected nine World Cup medals, including three gold, between 2006 and 2010. Hudec tied for third and won Olympic bronze in super-G in Sochi. "As a group, now with Jans medal at the Olympics, weve really done it all," Kucera said. "The only thing I guess you could say we havent done is we dont have an Olympic champion yet. "As a group, we pulled off some special things. Weve kind of superceded the Crazy Canuck era and did something great. Weve set the bar pretty high for the next group coming up, but I think thats where it needs to be." Kucera won two World Cup medals at Lake Louise -- he took silver there in 2008 -- but the mountain was disastrous for him in the first race of 2009-10. He badly broke his left leg in the super-G and erased his chance to race in Whistler, B.C., at the 2010 Winter Games. Rehabilitation and subsequent setbacks kept him off his race skis for the next three seasons. "Obviously the last four years hadnt gone exactly gone the way I would have liked them to, but that being said, I felt the time was right to step away now," Kucera said. "Ive had a good run as an athlete. "Im walking away relatively healthy. Thats a good thing. Im excited and passionate about the next group, the guys Im going to be working with because Im going to be working with a pretty exciting group of 17- to 19-year-olds." Kuceras parents, Jan and Zdena, emigrated to Canada from the former Czechoslovakia in the early 1980s before John was born. Jan worked with the ski patrol at nearby Nakiska. John and his brother James began skiing at an early age. ' ' '
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