oull find that Michael will do very well."

ST. Cheap Authentic Jerseys . PAUL, Minn. - After failing to protect a lead two nights ago against one of the NHLs worst teams, the Minnesota Wild held on late against a fellow playoff contender. Zach Parise broke a tie early in the third period, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots to break the franchise rookie victory record in Wilds 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night. After Jason Pominville had several whacks at the puck from in close, Parise stuffed it past Rangers backup goalie Cam Talbot 1:03 into the third. "Yeah, its going to be important from here on out to learn how to protect leads and win games the hard way," Parise said. "Tonight, it was a hard game, the way they played. They were in our face all the time through the neutral zone." Two nights after Kuemper failed hold a three-goal lead against Edmonton, he bounced back for his 12th victory. Nino Niederreiter also scored to help the Wild snap a three-game losing streak. Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers, who buzzed around the net in the final seconds, but couldnt get one past Kuemper. New York lost its second straight and for only the seventh time on the road in its last 24 games. "After they scored their second goal in the third period, they sort of backed off a little bit on their forecheck, and we were able to get some chances there but werent able to finish," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. Kuempers highlights included a save from close range on Derick Brassard with 8 seconds left and a key stop on Rick Nash when the Rangers were on the power play late in the third. After the game, Kuemper was asked if he felt any added pressure after Tuesday nights collapse. "No, you know what, maybe a little bit before the game. But once you get out there its just another game and you just want to do what youve done all year," he said. "I think as a whole we did a good job of that." Niederreiter scored from the slot in the first after confusion between Nash and John Moore led to a turnover deep in the New York zone. Stepan tied it on the power play at 3:19 of the second with a wrist shot that Kuemper never saw. Stepan hit the post on a shot 15 seconds earlier. It was the second straight game New York was held to a single goal. "I dont think it was so much them, I think were more worried about ourselves," Nash said. "We have to establish more offence, more shots. Its just not going our way right now. Weve got to work through this." Talbot — starting the first game of a back-to-back in place of Henrik Lundqvist — made 24 saves. Both teams are trying to hold down playoff spots as the season winds down. The Wild are in the top wild-card slot in the Western Conference, while the Rangers are in a battle to finish among the top three teams in the Metropolitan Division in the East. "What I liked was the two goals that we scored were goals that we can score in the playoffs," said Wild coach Mike Yeo, whose team has played in six straight one-goal games, going 3-1-2. "Those are the kind of goals that we have to score going forward. That was one of our keys to the game, we need a playoff offence mentality. I still think we can be a little bit more aggressive to the net." NOTES: While calling the game from between the benches in the first period, Wild television analyst Mike Greenlay took an accidental stick to the face from New Yorks Mats Zuccarello. Greenlay got stitches during the intermission and called the rest of the game with a small bandage under his left eye. "Upper body injury," Yeo joked after the game. ... Stepan has 10 points in his last eight games. New York lost for only the second time when Stepan scores. ... Parises goal was his 23rd, one behind Pominville for the team lead. Cheap Jerseys . Both of Padakins goals came in the second period while Zane Jones added a single in the first period for Calgary (13-6-4). Hitmen goaltender Chris Driedger finished with 30 saves for the shutout. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . JOHNS, N.NEW YORK -- Years before Michael Sam was born, gay-rights activists Kate Kendell and Paul Guequierre were already die-hard National Football League fans. Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, grew up in Ogden, Utah, far from any NFL city, and became a fan of the Los Angeles Rams because shes an Aries and liked their uniforms. For Guequierre, raised in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and now a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, it was a family affair. Treasured season tickets for the Green Bay Packers were acquired by his grandfather, passed on to his father, and now are his. The cover photo of his Facebook page shows the towering statue of a Packers wide receiver. For Kendell, Guequierre and other gay fans of the NFL, their passion for pro football was rewarded May 10 with a moment they describe as thrilling: the decision by the Rams -- now of St. Louis -- to make Sam the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. "I feel like my support for the NFL now doesnt have an asterisk come with it," Kendell said. "Its now truly Americas game." The milestone has made gay fans more enthusiastic and already is drawing newcomers into the fold. Many may become Rams fans or -- like Guequierre -- henceforth consider St. Louis "my second favourite team." The NFL says it hasnt done any marketing research to gauge the size of its gay and lesbian fan base. Gay sports fans surveyed by Outsports said pro football was their favourite sport by far. Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler said that Sam -- if he makes the Rams roster -- will further boost the NFLs popularity among gays. "People who have never liked football are buying Michael Sam jerseys," he said. "People who have never watched a game watched the draft." As of midweek, Sams Rams jersey was the No. 2 seller among rookies at NFLShop.com, trailing only Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Sam -- although drafted 249th out of 256 players -- also was among just 10 draftees selected by the league to be featured on special bronze and silver commemorative coins, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. Howard Bragman, a public relations expert who has been working with Sam, expects the NFL and advertisers to capitalize on fans excitement over Sams debut. "The first time he plays, youre going to have huge numbers watching," said Bragman, the vice chairman of Reputation.com. "The NFL is a business," Bragman added. "It understands very well that LGBT fans are passionate, they have good incomes, theyre concentrated in NFL cities." Sam already has done a nationally televised ad for Visa. "The tide has turned," Bragman said. "Martina Navratillova said she lost endorsements after she came out. Cheap NFL Jerseys. Youll find that Michael will do very well." That doesnt mean the NFLs advertisers will shift their focus away from heterosexual young males, nor are sexy female cheerleader squads likely to disappear. But gay fans may be all the more at peace with such things. "We know who theyre marketing to with those ads," said Guequierre. "Most (gay) people I know are OK with that. We dont feel like were being left out." Now based in Washington, D.C., Guequierre, 36, tries to attend at least one Packers home game per year, and makes his tickets for the other games available to relatives and friends, including a lesbian couple who are devoted fans. Guequierre said gay fans, like gay athletes, increasingly feel less pressure to conceal their sexual orientation while at games. He recalled an incident at a Packers game a few years ago, when he stood up and vocally scolded a fan behind him who had called a Chicago Bears player a homophobic slur. "No one else gave me a hard time," Guequierre said. "The guy looked embarrassed. ... He came across as the bad guy." Guequierres passion for football extends to the playing field -- hes an avid competitor in the D.C. Gay Flag Football League, which has 20 teams and about 275 players. One of the main sponsors is Nellies Sports Bar, one of a wave of gay sports bars that have opened up in cities nationwide. Doug Schantz, co-owner of Nellies, says there are now 25 TVs in the bar, all tuned to sports, with pro baseball and the NFL neck-and-neck as the most popular. "With the Redskins, it doesnt matter if theyre bad or good," Schantz said. On the other side of the country, Kate Kendell has settled into San Francisco, and is a zealous 49ers fan -- though her girlhood love of the Rams is now rekindled. She has raised her 17-year-old son to share her football passions. "On Monday nights, we break with tradition of sitting around the table as family," Kendell said. "We all watch the game. I leave office early to make sure were there for kickoff." Kendell expressed delight that gay youths would now be able to grow up with openly gay sports stars as role models. "Many of my gay male friends are not sports fans -- not because of lack of interest, but because their earliest introduction to sports made them feel stigmatized and shamed," she said, evoking epithets such as "You throw like a girl." "While surely there will continue to be homophobic remarks, there is a sense of a corner being turned," she said. "What I feel more than anything is a sense of elation and joy, that the game I loved since I was a kid I can now embrace without reservations." 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