CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Cubs lavished Jon Lester with a $155 million contract in the winter of 2014 precisely for moments like the one he faced Tuesday night.On the road. Under the lights. In Game 1 of the World Series, with a chance to take a big step toward ending 108 years of franchise futility.And for the first time on baseballs biggest stage, Lester faltered. While his performance in Chicagos 6-0 loss to the Indians was hardly a meltdown, the left-hander managed just 5 2/3 ordinary innings when something significantly more was required to keep up with Cleveland ace Corey Kluber.Jonny pitched -- wasnt on top of his game, but really gave us a chance to win, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.The Indians didnt so much knock Lester around while sending him to his first World Series setback in four starts so much as they took advantage of the limited opportunities he gave them during a shaky first inning. Cleveland opened a two-run lead that felt considerably larger the way Kluber was dealing.When youre going against a guy like Kluber whos locked in from pitch one, to give up two in the first, its tough, Lester said.Lester took the mound having allowed just one run in 21 innings in the World Series during a career that includes a pair of championship rings he earned with the Boston Red Sox. By the time he got the final out of the first, Cleveland had doubled that total.Things began innocently enough. He struck out Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis before Lesters postseason dominance briefly vanished.Francisco Lindor singled and took a massive lead off first, knowing all about Lesters inability to hold runners due to a tic that prevents him from making pickoff attempts with any kind of consistency or accuracy. At one point, Lester stepped off and Lindor found himself a good 25 feet off the bag. Yet rather than throw over, Lester stood and watched as Lindor scampered back to safety.It was hardly the first time opposing runners have toyed with Lester. Yet it seemed to be one of the rare occasions when it rattled him. He had trouble working out of the stretch and walked Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana to load the bases. Jose Ramirezs swinging bunt then brought Lindor home to stoke an already electrified crowd. When a 1-1 pitch hit Brandon Guyer on the leg, Chicago trailed 2-0.The first inning was tonights game, Lester said.Though he settled down -- thanks in part to catcher David Ross throwing out Lindor trying to steal in the third -- Lester again ran into trouble in the fourth when No. 9 batter Roberto Perez lined a solo shot that clanged off the railing above the wall in left field for the first of his two home runs.Yet its not the home run but the walks that are going to stick with Lester regardless of how comfortable -- or uncomfortable -- he felt when pitching with runners on base.I just didnt execute some things out there tonight, he said. Maybe if they get out of the first with nothing, maybe things are different.Lester, who came in 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA during the 2016 playoffs, handed the ball to manager Joe Maddon with two outs in the sixth and trudged to the dugout after giving up three runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.And when Perez clocked a three-run shot off reliever Hector Rondon in the eighth, the Cubs found themselves turning to Jake Arrieta for Game 2 on Wednesday night hoping to avoid heading back to Wrigley Field down 2-0 following a rare stumble by their ace who typically oozes October cool.Tomorrow we can get right back in it, Lester said. Everybody counted us out after Game 3 (of the NLCS) and called us the worst best team in baseball. ... Ill look to Jake to pick us up. 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LOUIS -- St. NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist slammed his stick in disgust when an overtime loss in Washington put the New York Rangers on the brink of elimination. Two days later, the star goalie pumped his arm and let out an emphatic yell when his shutout kept the Rangers alive and set up a Game 7 in the nations capital. Lundqvist was the difference Sunday in stopping 27 shots for his seventh NHL playoff shutout. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was perfect in making Derick Brassards second-period goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over the Capitals that forced a deciding game in the first-round, Eastern Conference series. "We needed it. There was desperation out there," Lundqvist said. "We showed a lot of character and worked really hard. It was that type of game where you pay the price -- big saves, physical. Great win." Despite having little room for error, the Rangers stayed composed and played a disciplined game in which they took no penalties until a big scrum after the final buzzer. Now the Rangers hope that can carry over to Game 7 on Monday night in Washington, where they have lost three times in this tight series. The home team has won all six games. "They play really well at home and theyre confident," Lundqvist said. "The games weve played in that building, special teams have played a big part. We played a really disciplined game, and thats going to be key for us because they have a really good power play, so you have to respect that. "Play hard, but play smart." The Rangers earned Game 7 wins at home in last years playoffs over Ottawa and Washington. If they pull out this victory, it would give them just their second series win after falling behind 0-2. "We are just going to have the same mentality we had coming into this game," Brassard said. "We just played our game, had fun. The guys were relaxed, and thats what we need to do (Monday)." Special teams were a factor Sunday, but only in keeping the Capitals in it because of the Rangers ineffective power play that went 0-for-5 and is 2-for-26 in the series. New York had a failed 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 44 seconds in the first period. "Some were deserved. Some werent deserved," Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said of his teams penalties. "We killed our momentum." Washington didnt get a chance to improve on its 3-for-14 output in the first five games. Two Rangers power plays in the third cut out precious time the Capitals could have had to net the tying goal. "We battled the whole way," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said. "Disappointing, but we move along. Our (penalty-killing) is doing great, holding us in the series. Our guys kept their composure. We kneww this could go seven.dddddddddddd" Brassard handed Lundqvist the lead at 9:39 of the second period, with a goal that was originally credited to struggling forward Rick Nash. Defenceman Mike Green left Washington short-handed when he took a retaliation cross-checking penalty on Derek Dorsett with 6:14 remaining. "There are a lot emotions. You can expect scrums and things like that," Dorsett said. "Youve got to play your game. You cant just go out and think youre going to scrum it up and win the game." Just after Greens penalty expired, Lundqvist denied Eric Fehrs drive with a snaring glove save. He then covered the puck in front with 48.4 seconds left, keeping Marcus Johansson at bay after the Capitals pulled Holtby for an extra attacker. Lundqvist was at his best earlier in the third when the Capitals came at him in waves. He turned aside Mike Ribeiro, who scored in overtime to win Game 5, with just over 11 minutes remaining, and stopped Fehr three minutes later on a rush up the middle. "Especially late in the game, he made some great saves," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Last year, and now he has another Game 7, I think that builds. The ultimate goal for Hank in his mind is to win the Stanley Cup, but you need to go through these types of situations to get there." Holtby was sharp, as well, in making 28 saves. Brassard, who has had a breakout series, scored his second goal of the playoffs when he faked a shot and then ripped a drive from the Stanley Cup logo just inside the blue line. The puck clipped the glove of Capitals defenceman Steve Oleksy and sailed through a screen set by Nash in front. The goal was originally credited to Nash, who is still looking for his first of the series. Nash was more of a presence in front, making more drives to the net in an effort to create more traffic in front of Holtby. Brassard, a pickup from Columbus in the deal that sent Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, also had five assists in the first five games of the series. Lundqvist faced only 15 shots through two periods, but needed to be sharp to keep the Capitals off the board. He made a big pad save with under 5 minutes left in the second to keep the Rangers ahead. Despite having just a one-goal edge heading into the third, the Rangers carried the confidence that they could protect it. New York went 16-0 during the regular season when leading after two periods and has earned at least one point in those situations since Feb. 4, 2010. NOTES: Rangers LW Chris Kreider, who hadnt played since the opening game of the series, replaced injured LW Ryane Clowe. ... Holtby has allowed just 11 goals in the series -- only two at home. Cheap NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Jerseys Online Cheap Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China China NFL Hoodies Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Womens Jerseys Camo China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Stitched Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet ' ' '