With one swat, Moore goes from goat to hero

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With one swat, Moore goes from goat to hero

INDIANAPOLIS -- Athletes understand that moments occur in high-profile games that can change their legacy forever.
Patriots cornerback Sterling Moore almost had one two weeks ago.
New England was up 23-20 with 27 seconds left in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore. But on second down from the Patriots 14, Joe Flacco found Lee Evans in the end zone for the game-winner . . .
Except Moore was there. Before Evans could make a legal catch, Moore batted at the ball, knocking it loose.
The relief he felt to come through: Tremendous.
"Just how close it came to the loss being on me, the season ending on my name," Moore says. "That play . . . a lot of people like to go back and watch that play, but I don't like to watch. It kind of shows me how close I was to ruining the season. I was so close to not having the play."
That thin line between heroism and failure made Moore uncomfortable. Driving him even closer to madness was the fact he'd botched an earlier play, missing a third-quarter, third-down tackle on Torrey Smith. Smith took the ball 29 yards for a touchdown.
"That was on my mind almost through the whole game," Moore recalls. "I was telling myself, 'Get it out of your mind. Don't worry about it.' But it keeps coming back into your mind."
Moore did something interesting after the NFC Championship game.
The Giants were playing in San Francisco. The game was in overtime, tied 17-17. The 49ers forced the Giants to punt, and Kyle Williams went back for the return. He made the catch but fumbled, his second punt-return flub of the game. New York scored after the first one and, since it recovered this one in optimal field position, was almost certain to score again. Sure enough, a field goal sent the Giants to Indianapolis.
Niners fans took to Twitter, sending Williams a barrage of insults, laments . . . and death threats.
Some, like Buffalo cornerback Aaron Williams, tried to prop the fallen Niner up.
@Aaron Williams I hear every one gettin on @KyleWilliams_10 SMH get off that man. He's human too everyone makes mistakes trust me he beating himself up.....
And Sterling Moore retweeted it. He didn't add anything to it, he just tacked his name to the list of supporters.
"I think a lot of athletes felt like, 'Get off the guy. It's a mistake.' I gave up a touchdown in a big game. It's one of those things where you can sympathize with him," Moore explains.
"Around the league, we know how much work goes into a season. We know how much work it takes to get to an AFC or NFC championship. For it to come down to a moment like that, for a guy like that . . . it's tough. You don't want to see it go down like that."

Rakell gets two goals, Ducks snap Bruins' streak with 5-3 win

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Rakell gets two goals, Ducks snap Bruins' streak with 5-3 win

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time.