WINNIPEG - Brad Jacobs was the first to admit how poorly his team played. He's also one win away from a trip to the Winter Games.
The reigning Canadian champion remained undefeated at 6-0 with a 5-4 victory Thursday night over veteran Kevin Martin, clinching a spot in Sunday's final of the Canadian Olympic curling trials.
"Even though we were, in all honesty, pretty bad that game, we were able to pull it out and I think that's huge," Jacobs said.
MONTREAL - Max Pacioretty scored a game-winning goal, but wasn't exactly in the mood to celebrate.
The Montreal winger sent Boston defenceman Johnny Boychuk to hospital with a check into the boards in the first period and then got the go-ahead goal in the second frame of the Canadiens 2-1 victory over the arch-rival Bruins on Thursday night.
TAMPA, Fla. - Martin St. Louis helped the undermanned Tampa Bay Lightning stop a lengthy scoring drought.
St. Louis scored two in-close goals, Ben Bishop won his 15th game this season, and the Lightning beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Thursday night.
"If you look at most of my goals, I'm not the kind of guy that's going to score from outside the circle," St. Louis said. "It's just not my game. I try to get free and go to the net. That's what I did tonight and the puck came to me."
TORONTO - Nazem Kadri wanted to have a big game to honour his late grandfather. He didn't disappoint.
Kadri scored twice in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-2 overtime victory against the Dallas Stars on Thursday night, a performance he dedicated to his namesake, who died earlier this week.
"Emotionally, I think he was really drained," coach Randy Carlyle said. "I don't think he really looked himself around the rink the last couple of days. ... It's good to see he was rewarded."
SUNRISE, Fla. - The latest trade by the rebuilding Panthers is already paying dividends.
Dylan Olsen scored his first NHL goal Thursday night to help Florida beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2.
Jimmy Hayes, Nick Bjugstad, Tomas Fleischmann and Erik Gudbranson also scored for the Panthers. Tim Thomas stopped 29 shots and Scottie Upshall had two assists. Olsen also added an assist.
MONTREAL - Boston Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk was taken from the ice on a stretcher and sent to hospital after a first-period hit from behind by Montreal forward Max Pacioretty on Thursday night.
After the game, coach Claude Julien said Boychuk was released from hospital and would return to Boston with the team. He had no details of the injury, which is believed to be a back problem.
"He can travel, but he's not out of the woods yet," said Julien, adding that he felt the two minutes Pacioretty got for boarding on the play was the correct call.
LAKE LOUISE, Alta. - As the host country, Canada could have as many as six women competing in the Lake Louise World Cup downhill races.
But there is just one and Larisa Yurkiw navigated a financial and logistical maze just to get to the start hut.
The 25-year-old from Owen Sound, Ont., will race in downhills Friday and Saturday even though she was dropped from the Canadian ski team after last season.
As Canada's lone female downhiller, Alpine Canada provides her with some race-day support, but Yurkiw was responsible for getting herself ready to race at Lake Louise.
TORONTO - Tyler Seguin has returned to the Dallas Stars' lineup after a two-game absence with a concussion.
Seguin was back in his old spot as the top-line centre between Jamie Benn and Rich Peverley against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had missed games earlier this week against the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks.
Seguin was not available to speak to reporters after the Stars' morning skate Thursday because a team spokesman said he had to undergo concussion tests. The club announced during pre-game warmups that he was cleared to play.
TORONTO, Cananda - Veterans Kajan (Ragin') Johnson, Nordine Taleb and Luke Harris lead the Canadian cast unveiled Thursday for "The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia."
Filming for the reality TV show, slated to debut Jan. 15, is under way north of Montreal.
TUF Nations pits four Canadian welterweights and four middleweights under coach Patrick (The Predator) Cote against Australian coach Kyle Noke's eight-man team.
The last man standing earns a contract to fight in the UFC, although traditionally more than a few others also move on.
COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - FIFA president Sepp Blatter says FIFA is in mourning after the death of Nelson Mandela.
He released a statement saying the former South Africa president was "probably one of the greatest humanists of our time."
Blatter said he and Mandela "shared an unwavering belief in the extraordinary power of football to unite people in peace and friendship."
One of Mandela's last major public appearances was during the closing ceremony of the 2010 South Africa World Cup.