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Rangers option outfield prospect Willie Calhoun to minors

The Texas Rangers have optioned prospect Willie Calhoun to the minors, ending his bid to be their Opening Day starter in left field.

Calhoun, 23, had been a second baseman before being traded to Texas in the deal that sent Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters Tuesday that the organization wants Calhoun to get more outfield work in the minors.

“I think they’ve gotten the best of us over the past year or two years. I think (on Tuesday) we don’t look at it as a Battle of Alberta game. We look at this as a must-win game for us. It’s an important game for us where we’re at in the standings right now.”

Although they’re well outside of the playoff picture, the Oilers have different motivating factors for dousing the Flames.

“It’s a lot of pride from the fans,” defenseman Adam Larsson said. “For the players, it’s something we will always remember with the Battle of Alberta … even going into next season. If we can make them miss the playoffs that’s great, but we’re focusing on our own game. We want to finish strong personally and we want to finish strong as a team.”

ESPN’s Lisa Salters reported on Saturday that Leonard and the Spurs were targeting Thursday’s game if he continued to progress in his recovery from a quadriceps injury that has caused him to miss all but nine games this season.

A source told Shelburne that Leonard’s target date has always been “mid March,” suggesting that his return to the court will be more likely next week, as the Spurs have home games Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would not put a timetable on Leonard’s return, saying on Monday that he would speak with Leonard on Tuesday to evaluate the situation. Leonard and Cheap Bike Jerseys Popovich touched base again Tuesday; the two have remained in daily contact, with the forward Cheap China NFL Jerseys inching closer to a possible return.

Popovich revealed Tuesday that the next step rests with Leonard’s doctors.

Emotion shouldn’t be a problem for the Dallas Stars when they visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

The Stars (28-25-6) should be fired up as they fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are holding the first wild-card position with 82 points, two more than the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the second wild card, and three more than the Los Angeles Kings, who are on the outside looking in.

Ekman-Larsson said Kuemper has been an easy fit.

It makes it easy when he’s a great guy and you want to battle for him, Ekman-Larsson said. I think everybody’s doing a really good job, too. We’re playing better as a team, too. It makes it easy on everyone.

With the victory, Arizona pulled within one game of Buffalo, and two of Ottawa, to escape the bottom of the NHL standings. The Coyotes are four points behind Vancouver in last place in the Pacific Division.

Toffoli gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 1:57 into the second period with his 22nd of the season. Jake Muzzin made a long pass from deep in the Kings own zone to the red line that sprung Toffoli on a breakaway, which he finished with a wrist shot over a kneeling Nilsson.

Ty on a breakaway there, he’s not going to miss those too often, Pearson said.

Muzzin had an assist for the second straight game, leaving him one short of matching his career high of 31 in the 2015-16 season.

Kempe had the secondary assist, ending his six-game point drought.

Kopitar made it 2-0 at 14:54. His centering pass deflected off Troy Stecher’s stick and went fluttering in over Nilsson. It was Kopitar’s first goal during his four-game point streak, to go along with four assists.

Derek Forbort and Drew Doughty had assists on Kopitar’s 28th goal.

What’s next after moving on from Cousins: The acquisition of Tyrod Taylor and Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike his $16 million in salary cap commitment takes the Browns out of the running for Cousins and AJ McCarron. The Browns will not pay Cousins the $25 million to $30 million it will take to sign Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys him in addition to paying Taylor. They might turn to another lower-priced veteran for depth — perhaps Josh McCown — but they won’t be paying top dollar for another free-agent quarterback. Taylor is the Browns’ starter heading into 2018. — Pat McManamon, ESPN Browns reporter