NFL SCOREBOARD

Pittsburgh 23 Baltimore 16

Chicago 41 Buffalo 9

Carolina 42 Tampa Bay 28

Kansas City 37 Cleveland 21

Miami 13 NY Jets 6

Minnesota 24 Detroit 9

Atlanta 38 Washington 14

Houston 19 Denver 17

LA Chargers 25 Seattle 17

New Orleans 45 LA Rams 35

New England 31 Green Bay 17

 

NBA SCOREBOARD

Milwaukee 144 Sacramento 109

Brooklyn 122 Philadelphia 97

Washington 108 New York 95

Orlando 117 San Antonio 110

Phoenix 102 Memphis 100

Portland 111 Minnesota 81

Toronto 121 LA Lakers 107

 

NHL SCOREBOARD

Tampa Bay 4 Ottawa 3

NY Rangers 3 Buffalo 1

Anaheim 3 Columbus 2

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Columbus 1 New York 0

Portland 2 Seattle 1

Atlanta 1 New York City FC 0

Real Salt Lake 1 Sporting KC 1

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL AP POLL

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Michigan
  5. Georgia
  6. Oklahoma
  7. West Virginia
  8. Ohio State
  9. LSU
  10. Washington State
  11. Central Florida
  12. Kentucky
  13. Syracuse
  14. Utah State
  15. Texas
  16. Fresno State
  17. Boston College
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Florida
  20. Washington
  21. Penn State
  22. North Carolina State
  23. Iowa State
  24. Michigan State
  25. Cincinnati

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES POLL

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Michigan
  5. Georgia
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Ohio State
  8. West Virginia
  9. Washington State
  10. LSU
  11. Central Florida
  12. Kentucky
  13. Syracuse
  14. Boston College
  15. Mississippi State
  16. Utah State
  17. Fresno State
  18. Washington
  19. Texas
  20. Penn State
  21. Florida
  22. North Carolina State
  23. Cincinnati
  24. Utah
  25. Iowa State

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE SOCCER

Georgetown 1 Butler 0 (Big East Championship)

Ball State 1 Bowling Green 1 (PK)

 

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

Cincinnati 3 Tulsa 0

Green Bay 3 Wright State 0

Notre Dame 3 Miami Florida 0

Fort Wayne 3 North Dakota State 1

 

MEN’S COLLEGE SOCCER

IU RELEASE

Indiana 2 Northwestern 1 OT

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Light rain fell, a chilling wind continued, and Todd Yeagley wasn’t about to let his Indiana Hoosiers see him sweat.

Worried? You bet. The veteran coach had seen the Hoosiers (16-2) dominate on Sunday as few college soccer teams could, and yet they faced Big Ten tourney overtime drama and — worst of all — potential penalty kick heartbreak.

And then Spencer Glass and Frankie Moore came to the rescue, Indiana again displayed a refuse-to-lose mentality that has left it unbeaten in 37 conference matches, and underdog Northwestern was out, 2-1.

“One of our goals was to play for the (conference tourney) title,” Yeagley said.

That’s still in play, and if took more drama than the Hoosiers (16-2) wanted, they’re well equipped to handle it.

“We’ve seen a lot,” Yeagley said. “We’ve given up some tough goals and found a way.

“I didn’t think they were worried. I just didn’t want them to be tight. I might have been more anxious than they were because I didn’t want to see this group not advance. With the way the game was played, that would have been tough.”

He paused.

“The next time we get in this situation, they’ll have even more confidence. It’s another positive reinforcement.”

So it’s off to Westfield’s Grand Park on Friday and a rematch with Maryland, a 1-0 overtime winner over Michigan State.

“It’s a matter of focus,” Glass said. “We’ve been here before. It’s not like we’re a bunch of young kids not sure what to do. Everyone has the same mindset. We’ve bought in to what we have to do.”

This is a team that has seen unprecedented success in the last 12 months, but not total victory. It didn’t win a championship last season despite just one loss and a national runner-up finish, and that burned. This season IU already has a Big Ten regular season title on its resume, and wants more.

“Our mindset from the beginning of the season,” defender Rece Buckmaster said, “was we want to take it to the next level.”

IU was in total control for all but five seconds on Sunday, and that was without standouts Griffin Dorsey and Justin Rennicks, who are in Florida as members of the U-20 National Team competing in the Concacaf U-20 championships.

“It shows the depth we have,” Glass said. “With our team and scouting, a lot of guys can come off the bench. We’re confident they can do the role.”

It helps to have Big Ten defensive player of the year Andrew Gutman and conference goalkeeper of the year Trey Muse. The Hoosiers have allowed just four goals in nine conference games.

Northwestern (6-9-5), having beaten Ohio State in Saturday’s opening round, went into pack-it-in mode. It would play for overtime surprise.

IU countered with patience and relentless offense.

It took 24 shots and 80 minutes before IU, thanks to Buckmaster, got a goal. Glass had the assist.

IU’s Big Ten-best defense was well positioned to make it stand up.

And then, shockingly, it wasn’t.

Northwestern’s Matt Moderwell scored on a spectacular goal (Yeagley called it a “world-class finish”) with 1:26 in regulation. At that point, IU had a 25-2 edge in shots.

“Northwestern always gives us a tough time,” Glass said. “Having that happen, it shows you have to play a full 90 minutes. It was a great shot.”

Glass countered with his own great shot in overtime off of Moore’s assist.

“It shows our confidence,” Glass said “No one panicked or freaked out. Our thinking was, we just have more time. It wasn’t like the game was going downhill.

“No one was flustered. Nobody wants to go that extra time, but we just got in the (team) circle, talked and calmed down. We know what we have to do.”

IU dominated the first half with a 13-0 edge in shots. Austin Panchot had three of the shots. Jeremiah Gutjahr had two, both on goal.

Midway through the second half the Hoosier had a series of near misses from point-blank range, but if frustration was building, it didn’t show. The onslaught continued until Buckmaster scored and then Glass.

“We had good chances,” Buckmaster said. “We knew something would come eventually, and it finally did. We had to keep going and going. We had to keep grinding.”

And so the Hoosiers did.

As far as Maryland preparation, Monday’s recovery day includes weight lifting and massages. Soccer training resumes on Tuesday. IU heads to Westfield on Thursday.

Hoosier coaches already have begun game planning for Maryland, which lost to Indiana 2-1 on Oct. 12. Yeagley said coaches won’t provide game specifics to the team until Thursday.

“This is an older group,” Yeagley said. “They have ownership of the team. We put them in position, but they are making it happen.”

NOTABLES

  • The Hoosiers are unbeaten in the team’s last 37 matches against Big Ten opponents, posting a record of 24-0-13. Indiana’s last loss to a league foe was at Ohio State on Oct. 10, 2015.
  • With the victory over Michigan State, the Hoosiers improve to 21-0-2 in the team’s last 23 matches at Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
  • IU has won seven-straight matches. In that streak, IU has posted five shutouts and has out-scored the team’s opponents, 11-2.
  • Indiana qualified for the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament for the sixth-straight season. IU has won 12 Big Ten Tournament titles in program history, with the last one coming in 2013.

 

Dayton 2 Davidson 1 2OT

Louisville 1 Notre Dame 0

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

PURDUE RELEASE

McLaughlin Lights Up Scoreboard in Exhibition Win

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue sophomore Karissa McLaughlin poured in 29 points to lead the Purdue women’s basketball team to an 85-69 victory over visiting Ashland University in an exhibition game at Mackey Arena on Sunday. The second-year Boilermaker hit on 10-of-15 from the field, including five-of-seven from 3-point range and was a perfect four-of-four at the stripe.

Joining McLaughlin in double-figures were junior teammates Ae’Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden and freshman Kayana Traylor. Harris posted a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots, while Oden stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals, and committed no turnovers in 35 minutes of action. Traylor had an impressive introduction to the Mackey Arena faithful, tallying 13 points and eight assists against just one turnover in 27 minutes.

The Boilermakers raced out to a quick lead and never really looked back against the visiting Eagles, using an early eight-point flurry from McLaughlin to build a 12-5 edge. The advantage swelled as high as 15 in the first half as the Boilermakers finished with a triple from sophomore Léony Boudreau and a pair of Traylor free throws to make it 47-32 at the break.

Purdue kept the Eagles at bay in the third quarter, leading 61-48 going to the fourth, but Ashland would not go quietly. A 10-0 run knifed Purdue’s lead to 61-55 with 7:09 to play, but the Boilermakers settled and quickly pushed things back to double digits with a three-point play from Harris and a triple from freshman Cassidy Hardin. McLaughlin, Harris and Oden accounted for 15 of the Boilermakers’ 24 fourth-quarter points and the Boilermakers converted all seven attempts at the charity stripe down the stretch.

Junior Jodi Johnson paced Ashland with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals, while classmate Sara Loomis added 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Senior Maddie Dackin was the only other Eagle in double figures with 11 points.

The win pushes Purdue to 45-3 all-time in exhibition games and is the 40th in a row for the Boilermakers, including a 15-0 mark under head coach Sharon Versyp.

Purdue officially opens the 2018-19 season Wednesday, traveling to Ball State University for a 7 p.m. ET tip at Worthen Arena. The game will air live on ESPN+ in addition to the Purdue Radio Network.

 

TOP HEADLINES

Brady, Patriots beat Rodgers, Packers 31-17

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers spent the week telling anyone who asked that the other guy was the better quarterback.

In the second matchup between the future Hall of Famers, it was the one with five Super Bowl rings who walked off the field with the victory.

Brady threw for 294 yards and a touchdown, and James White ran for two scores to lead the New England Patriots to a 31-17 victory over Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

It was the sixth straight victory for the Patriots (7-2).

“We made some plays in the fourth quarter when we needed to,” Brady said. “Anytime you beat a good football team it feels good. So, 7-2 is a long ways from 1-2 where we were.”

Rodgers completed 24 of 43 passes and two touchdowns but failed to rally his team after tying the game in the third quarter. Rodgers won the first matchup with Brady at Lambeau Field in 2014.

“If you play long enough, and you have the sustained greatness that Tom has had, there’s going to be a lot of records,” Rodgers said. “He’s been the gold standard at quarterback for two decades.”

It was 17-all late in the third quarter when Aaron Jones fumbled for Green Bay (3-4-1).

New England receiver Julian Edelman hit White on a 37-yard catch-and-run to set up White’s second score, a 1-yard run. On the Patriots next possession, Brady connected with Josh Gordon for a 55-yard TD.

Gordon caught five passes for 130 yards, the 12th 100-yard receiving game of his career.

 

Chicago Bears rout turnover-prone Buffalo Bills 41-9

Linebacker Khalil Mack broke into a wide grin when it was pointed out the Chicago Bears defense didn’t need him for a second straight week.

“Ha, I might be looking for another job here soon,” Mack told The Associated Press.

Sidelined by a right ankle injury, Mack had plenty of reason to joke.

He had just finished watching his teammates force four turnovers, including two returned for touchdowns 3 1/2 minutes apart in the second quarter of a 41-9 rout over the Bills in what proved to be another comedy of errors for Buffalo’s anemic offense on Sunday.

Sandwiched between Jordan Howard’s two touchdown runs, Eddie Jackson scored on a 65-yard fumble return and Leonard Floyd returned a tipped pass during Chicago’s decisive 28-point second-quarter surge.

“It’s always great to go out and perform the way we did,” linebacker Roquan Smith said. “We definitely did focus on getting the ball out, and we knew when they do come, they come in bunches. So that was one of the main things.”

The only disappointment, perhaps, was becoming Buffalo’s first opponent in three weeks to give up a Bills touchdown. It didn’t happen until quarterback Nathan Peterman scored on a 1-yard run with 5:41 left.

It was the first TD run the Bears have allowed this season, and it ended the Bills’ touchdown drought at 187 minutes and 19 seconds – dating to Peterman’s 16-yard pass to Zay Jones in a 20-13 loss at Houston on Oct. 14.

The Bears, coming off a 24-10 win over the New York Jets, won their second in a row and improved to 5-3 to match their best start to a season through eight games since 2013.

 

Magic Mahomes: KC quarterback throws 3 TDs, Chiefs go to 8-1

With almost every flick of his right wrist, the legend of Patrick Mahomes grows.

And he’s just beginning.

Only 10 games into his NFL career, Kansas City’s young quarterback is doing things that have never been done before.

Mahomes passed for 375 yards, threw three touchdown passes – two to Cleveland native Travis Kelce – and continued the best start by a QB in 68 years as Kansas City’s impossible-to-handle offense kept rolling with a 37-21 win on Sunday over the Cleveland Browns, who played their first game since coach Hue Jackson’s firing.

Kareem Hunt, who also has Cleveland connections, had two scoring runs and one receiving for the Chiefs (8-1), who came in averaging 36.3 points with an offense overloaded with weapons for Mahomes.

The 23-year-old used all of them in winning his first pro matchup against Baker Mayfield and the Browns (2-6-1).

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Mahomes, who was hurt by a couple drops. “It makes my job a lot easier knowing that I can trust these guys are going to be in the right spot. They’re taking care of their business. They’re running the routes and making route adjustments on the fly just because they’ve looked at the film and know how to do those things.”

Mahomes and Mayfield didn’t match their epic college meeting in 2016, when they combined for more than 1,700 yards in offense. But the Chiefs put on another impressive offensive show with 499 total yards, averaging 8.6 per snap.

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said preparing for Mayfield and Kansas City’s air-and-ground show is nothing like playing against it.

 

Vikings hang 10 sacks on Stafford in 24-9 win vs. Lions

The Minnesota Vikings turned their defensive line loose on Matthew Stafford in a dominant performance that would have made the old Purple People Eaters proud.

This unstoppable pass rush was led, predictably, by Danielle Hunter.

Hunter had 3 1/2 of Minnesota’s franchise-record 10 sacks plus a fourth-quarter fumble return for a touchdown, tormenting Stafford and the Detroit Lions all afternoon in a 24-9 victory by the Vikings on Sunday.

“We knew he liked to throw the ball down the field, so that’s something that really helped us a lot because he held on to the ball,” said Hunter, who moved into the NFL lead with 11 1/2 sacks for the season. “So as long as we executed the rush plan, we knew we’d be able to get back there.”

Hunter also was credited with nine tackles and four quarterback hits. The Vikings (5-3-1) limited the Lions (3-5) to a season-low 214 total yards, and their pressure on Stafford was so intense he literally had pieces of rubber pellets from the artificial turf flushed out of his left eye in the second quarter. The Lions had a streak of 25 consecutive games with at least 14 points come to a crashing halt.

“The fault is on everybody,” said Stafford, who was sacked a total of 13 times over the first seven games. “I have to get the ball out faster.”

After Dalvin Cook dropped a pitch from Kirk Cousins and A’Shawn Robinson recovered at the Detroit 28 with Minnesota leading 17-6, the Lions converted a fake punt to keep that drive alive. Two plays later, Stafford ran right on the short side of the field and tried an option-style flip that Kerryon Johnson was unable to secure, and Hunter scooped it up on his way to the easy score.

“I don’t know why he pitched it. He could’ve just run,” Hunter said. “I thought it was a pass all the way, but I guess he didn’t want to get hit or something.”

 

Newton, McCaffrey lead Panthers past Bucs 42-28

Cam Newton can’t keep from grinning when he looks around at the playmakers that surround him in the Panthers’ locker room.

“The talent level we have on this team is extremely scary,” Newton said.

The Panthers proved that again Sunday.

Newton completed 19 of 25 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, running back Christian McCaffrey racked up 157 total yards and scored twice and second-year wide receiver Curtis Samuel scored on a 33-yard double reverse and hauled in a 19-yard TD catch midway through the fourth quarter to seal Carolina’s 42-28 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

The Panthers (6-2) are on a roll midway through the season, scoring 99 points in the last nine quarters.

They have wide receivers that can run the ball, running backs that can catch, a big body receiver, a third-down receiving specialist, one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league and, of course, a one-time league MVP at quarterback who can do it all.

Those weapons were all on display in the first half as the Panthers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions to build a 35-7 lead en route to their 10th straight win at home.

Even a little “Fitzmagic” wasn’t enough for the Buccaneers (3-5).

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started in place of the turnover-prone Jameis Winston, finished with 243 yards passing and four touchdowns – two each to Adam Humphries and O.J. Howard – and led the Bucs back to within 35-28 in the fourth quarter before running out of steam.

 

AP Top 25: West Virginia up to 7 after 10 ranked teams lose

No. 7 West Virginia re-entered the top 10 of The Associated Press college football poll after another weekend in which the number of ranked teams losing reached double digits.

Unanimous No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame remained unchanged, and No. 4 Michigan, No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 Oklahoma each moved up a spot. The Mountaineers surged from No. 12 after beating Texas on a go-ahead 2-point conversion in final minute.

Ten ranked teams lost this weekend, four in games against other ranked teams. Over the last two weeks, 21 ranked teams have lost, the most over a two-week span since the AP poll expanded to 25 in 1989.

Iowa State was ranked for the first time this season, one of five teams to move into the ranking this week.

POLL POINTS

There are seven teams in the ranking after Week 10 of the regular season that already have lost three times. If that seems like a lot, it is. Last season after Week 10, there were three teams in the Top 25 that had lost three games. In the previous five years, from 2012-16, there were a total of five teams ranked in the Week 10 AP poll that already had lost three times.

What’s going on?

A few logistical changes to the college football season are at least a part of the increase. The Big Ten went to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016, joining the Big 12 and Pac-12, meaning more opportunities for those teams to pick each other off.

The Big 12 restarted its conference championship game last year after six-year hiatus. That condensed the conference’s regular season, which from 2011-16 ran through the first weekend of December. Also, there has been an increase in September conference games in recent years.

Still, the only scheduling change throughout the Football Bowl Subdivision this season is in the Sun Belt, which became the final conference to add a championship game.

In conclusion: There are more opportunities for teams to lose, so the new normal is likely somewhere between this season’s seven ranked three-loss teams by Week 10 to last season’s three.

THIS WEEK IN `BAMA

Alabama has been ranked in the top 5 for 49 straight weeks, the second longest streak to Miami’s 55 weeks from Oct. 8, 2000-Oct. 26, 2003. There have been three other streaks of 48 straight top-five appearances:

Alabama, preseason 2011-Dec. 8, 2013.

Ohio State, preseason 1973-Sept. 20, 1976.

Oklahoma, Nov. 16, 1953-Nov. 11, 1957.

UP

All those ranked teams losing propelled a few teams to new heights in the Top 25.

– No. 13 Syracuse moved up nine spots to its best ranking since 1998, when the Orange got to No. 11.

– No. 14 Utah State is up four spots and has its best ranking since finishing 10th in 1961.

– No. 16 Fresno State moved up four spots. The Bulldogs were last ranked this high in 2015, when they reached 15 with Derek Carr at quarterback.

– No. 17 Boston College jumped seven spots and has its best ranking since 2007, when the Eagles last played in the ACC championship game and spent much of the season in the top 10.

DOWN

– Unbeaten No. 11 Central Florida fell two spots after beating Temple 52-40. The Knights ran their winning streak to a nation’s best 21 straight games.

– No. 9 LSU slipped five spots after being shut out by Alabama.

– No. 19 Florida dropped six spots after losing for the second straight week.

– No. 21 Penn State fell seven places after being blown out by Michigan.

IN

There is a lot of recycling going on in the Top 25 this season. While Iowa State is in for the first time since last season, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 North Carolina State, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 25 Cincinnati all reappeared in the poll.

OUT

Utah fell out, leaving the Pac-12 with only two ranked teams, No. 10 Washington State and No. 20 Washington. The last time the Pac-12 had only two ranked teams was Oct. 16, 2016.

– Houston and Virginia had one-week stays in the Top 25 after making their debuts last week.

– Iowa and Texas A&M fell out after losing for the second straight week.

CONFERENCE CALL

SEC – 6 teams (1, 5, 9, 12, 18, 19).

ACC – 4 (2, 13, 17, 22).

Big Ten – 4 (4, 8, 21, 24).

Big 12 – 4 (6, 7, 15, 23).

American – 2 (11, 25).

Mountain West – 2 (14, 16).

Pac-12 – 2 (10, 20).

Independent – 1 (3).

RANKED vs. RANKED

No. 18 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama. A second straight ranked opponent for the Tide – if that even matters.

No. 2 Clemson at No. 17 Boston College. The biggest game left on Clemson’s schedule. BC could shut the Tigers out of the ACC championship game with a victory.

No. 8 Ohio State at No. 24 Michigan State. The Buckeyes have become college football’s biggest soap opera.

 

Kansas fires David Beaty after 6 wins in 3-plus years

David Beaty inherited a football program in disarray when he arrived at Kansas, years of losing having left the Jayhawks short on scholarship players and long on fan apathy.

Not enough has changed over the past three-plus seasons.

So after a loss to Iowa State on Saturday in which the Jayhawks looked unprepared and uninspired, Beaty was let go with three games left in another disappointing season. The school announced the news in a statement Sunday, and athletic director Jeff Long planned a news conference later in the evening.

“After a thorough evaluation of the program, I believe that new leadership is necessary for our football team to move forward and compete at the highest level of the Big 12,” Long said. “I know that Coach Beaty cares deeply about his players, and I respect that. The student-athletes on this team have continued to play hard and I am confident they will do that for the rest of the season.”

Beaty, who is 6-39 with just two Big 12 wins, will coach the remainder of the season beginning with Saturday’s rivalry game at Kansas State. He will paid $3 million in six installments under terms of his contract, which was extended two years through 2021 in late 2016.

Long said he informed Beaty of his decision Sunday, though word began leaking late Saturday that the coach was on his way out. The AD then addressed the football team.

“The search for a new head coach will begin immediately,” Long said.

Beaty arrived at Kansas as a nondescript wide receivers coach from Texas A&M who had stints as the offensive coordinator of the Jayhawks and Rice but had never been a college head coach. The program he inherited was in shambles following the failed tenure of Turner Gill and the abject failure of Charlie Weis, but with an abundance of energy and positivity he began to slowly improve things.

 

Harvick earns his shot at NASCR Cup title with win at Texas

Kevin Harvick earned a shot at another NASCAR Cup championship, rocketing past polesitter Ryan Blaney in overtime Sunday to win at Texas.

Another late caution led to a third restart in the final 35 laps, each time with Harvick leading. Harvick led 177 of the 337 laps.

After taking the inside on the first two restarts, and briefly losing the lead after the second one, Harvick opted to start from outside for the green-white-checkered finish. By time they got to the backstretch, Harvick pushed his No. 4 Ford in front and raced to his eighth win of this season.

It is the second year in a row that Harvick, the 2014 Cup champion, won the fall race at Texas to get into the final four.

Harvick also won both stages at the 1 1/2-mile Texas track, the fourth time this season he did that and went on to win the race.

With Joey Logano and Harvick locked in after winning the past two races, the series goes to Phoenix next week with only two spots up for grabs for the championship run at Homestead in two weeks.

Kyle Busch, a seven-time winner this year, and defending Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. are among the other six title contenders. They are above the cut line, but Clint Boywer, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch or Chase Elliott could advance with a win.

 

Struggling LA Kings fire head coach Stevens, hire Desjardins

The struggling Los Angeles Kings fired head coach John Stevens on Sunday just 13 games into his second season in charge.

Willie Desjardins will be the Kings’ interim head coach for the rest of the regular season, general manager Rob Blake said.

Los Angeles also fired assistant coach Don Nachbaur and hired former Kings forward Marco Sturm to replace him on Desjardins’ staff.

Los Angeles is last in the overall NHL standings after a 4-8-1 start and last in the league with 2.15 goals per game. The Kings have been outscored 45-28, but they had won two of their past three games following a six-game losing streak.

“I’m looking to get the compete and the passion back,” Blake said after announcing his second coaching change in 19 months. “We need our players emotionally involved. It’s difficult to win when you’re not. We expect Willie to bring that passion and that excitement to this team.”

The Kings beat Columbus 4-1 on Saturday in Stevens’ final game in charge. Desjardins, the former Vancouver head coach, will lead practice Monday and will debut behind the bench when the Kings host rival Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Kings still have a wealth of top-end NHL talent including Hart Trophy finalist Anze Kopitar, Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Drew Doughty and high-scoring forward Jeff Carter alongside newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk. But with goalie Jonathan Quick missing all but four games because of injuries, Los Angeles has stumbled through the past 3+ weeks with its top-heavy roster of well-paid veterans, inconsistent depth players and a patchy defense.