Gostkowski: 'I'm not afraid to fail'

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Gostkowski: 'I'm not afraid to fail'

FOXBORO -- If a kicker is accurate in his work, you probably won't remember him. Specialists have to do something tremendously heroic, like win a couple Super Bowls, to really become famous. Otherwise, they simply try to avoid infamy.
Stephen Gostkowski addressed quite a crowd, probably the biggest of his career, after New England's 20-18 loss to Arizona on Sunday.
Because he missed one field goal out of five. The game-winner.
"Had a good game up until that point and I felt good going out there," he said of the final kick. "It's just one of those things where you get opportunities like that not very often and I've got to do a lot better job of coming through for the team. It came down to me and I didn't pull through. And it stinks, and I feel bad for my fans and my teammates. I can't take it back now. I went out and felt good about the kick, I just didn't execute."
Gostkowski's chance came with five seconds remaining in the game. Arizona was up 20-18 and had just one minute to kill before flying home with the upset. But the Patriots defense came through. Brandon Spikes knocked the ball loose from Cardinals running back Ryan Williams to regain possession. Tom Brady managed to get Gostkowski on the Arizona 24.
42 yards was all they needed. Patriots fans were going wild. The win was one boot away from soaring into the bag; Gostkowski was ready.
"I felt good going out there," he said. "It wasn't the smoothest hit and I looked up and saw it was left and I was like."
Here, he hung his head.
"Sometimes the ball doesn't fly your way. There's probably not another game where I'd be more confident going out for a kick like that. And it humbles you really quick."
The kicker fell far.
For three quarters Gostkowski was the only Patriot who could score. The guy was booming kicks during warmups, splitting the uprights from 58-yards out with room to spare. During the game he hit from 46, 34, 51, and 53 yards.
Turns out, the early efficiency doesn't mean much. Gostkowski said sometimes a kicker can indeed get in a rhythm, find a zone. But every kick is different. A golden leg two hours before the first snap doesn't guarantee three points when the final score is suddenly resting on your shoulders.
Which is something Gostkowski reconciled long ago.
"I'm not scared to fail," he said evenly. "It stinks when you do, but I wouldn't go out there every day if I was scared to screw up. I'll feel bad about this for a couple days. I'm sure I'll get ripped for it by the fans and stuff, and it's well deserved. My teammates have my back. Nobody feels worse about missing a kick than I do.
"You just have to move on, get over it It's the good ones you get over; it's the bad games that last a while. If I let this affect me negatively, I'm not doing my job. "

Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

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Blackhawks edge past Bruins with late goal in 1-0 win

BOSTON -- Anybody looking for an emotional, high-energy response from the Bruins after back-to-back putrid losses to the Islanders and Red Wings didn’t get it on Friday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.

Instead the Bruins had plenty of shots with zero goals to show for it, and then gave up a goal to Marian Hossa on a nifty tic-tac-toe passing play to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 regulation win over the Black and Gold. It was the third straight loss for a Bruins team that continues to sink down in the playoff picture at a time of years when the results are the only thing that matters.

The defeat could also very well cost B’s head coach Claude Julien his job as a lifeless Bruins organization looks for any way to get out of the mud they’ve been stuck in for the last six weeks.

The Bruins and Blackhawks couldn’t crack the scoreboard for the first 50 minutes in regulation, and the genuine scoring chances were few and far between for both sides.

Tim Schaller and Patrice Bergeron had scoring chances down low in the first period, and Joe Morrow had a breakaway turned away by Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling early in the proceedings. But the scoring chances and sustained attack really began to dry up in the second period, and it became a series of one-and-done shots on net for both sides.

As one would expect both goalies were stellar with Darling putting together a 16-save performance in the first period, and Tuukka Rask turning away several Blackhawks chances including an Artem Anisimov wrist shot off the rush with just a couple of minutes to go in the third period. Rask finished with 21 saves, and Darling finished with 30 saves in a big win for the Chicago backup netminder.