New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist got his 20th win and 1st shutout of the year last night stopping 27 Penguins shots en route to a 4-0 Rangers win. It was Lundqvist’s 18th career shutout. The Rangers who have struggled of late especially on the power play got off to a good start with 2 power play goals in the 1st two periods. Nigel Dawes got the 1st period pp goal while Paul Mara added the 2nd in period 2. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez added 3rd period insurance goals as the Rangers regained their lead in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers will host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday 1/7 at Madison Square Garden before hitting the road for games against the Sabres, Senators, Islanders, Blackhawks, and Penguins. New York Rangers tickets are available for all remaining 2009 games.
Al Skinner’s Boston College basketball team pulled off a stunning upset of undefeated and unanimously no. 1 ranked North Carolina. BC had a slim 4 point leave at the half, and hung on to beat the Tar Heels on their home turf. BC guard Tyrese Rice put up 25 points, sophomore Rakim Sanders scored 22, and freshman Reggie Sanders had 17 points off of the bench. BC held NC superstar Tyler Hansbrough to only 21 points, and kept the NC bench in single digits. The Tar Heels were held to just 25% shooting in the second half.
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With Tom Brady’s 2009 season still a question mark, the New England Patriots are looking to get some insurance at the quarterback position. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Pats will franchise tag Cassell. This will guarantee him $14 million next year (just $1 million less than Tom Brady). The NFL salary cap is set to be raised, so the Pats will still have $94 million to work with for the rest of the team.
Cassell had a solid season, who threw for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions while leading the Patriots to a 11-5 record; barely missing the playoffs.
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The first round of the NFL Playoffs are over, and the divisional round match-ups are set.
Saturday, January 3rd
Arizona 30, Atlanta 24
The slumping Cardinals beat the surging Falcons to move to the divisional round for only the second time in a decade.
San Diego 23, Indianapolis 17 (OT)
Peyton Manning and the Colts have been knocked off in the first round of the playoffs for the sixth time in their last eight appearances.
Sunday January 4th
Baltimore 27, Miami 9
Chad Pennington threw four interceptions right to the solid Baltimore defense. The Ravens even managed to block the PAT on Miami’s only touchdown.
Philadelphia 26, Minnesota 14
Brian Westbrook’s highlight-reel 71 yard reception put the Eagles out of reach.
Divisional Week Matchups
Saturday January 10th
4:30pm – Baltimore at Tennessee8:15pm – Arizona at Carolina
Sunday January 11th
1:00pm – Philadelphia at Giants4:45pm – San Diego at PittsburghNFL Playoff Tickets are available now!
For the third time in his career, Peyton Manning has been chosen by the Associated Press as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Manning put the struggling Colts on his back and helped them to secure a playoff spot with a spectacular run in the second half of the season. During their current nine-game winning streak, Manning has a passer rating of 109.7, has thrown for 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions; helping overcome their NFL second-worst running game.
Indianapolis Colts Playoff Tickets are available now!
The Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road and at home to extend their winning streak to ten games. On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Marc Savard led the Bruins to a win in a very physical game. First Star Savard racked up a goal a two assists on the way to a 5-2 victory. Milan Lucic and Tim Wallace dropped the gloves in an exciting third period fight.On New Year’s Day, the Bruins hosted the Penguins at the Garden. Pittsburgh rookie Dustin Jeffrey got the scoring started with his first NHL goal, but the Bruins answered back quickly. Red hot David Krejci scored the first Boston goal, and PJ Axelsson scored on a power play to give the B’s the lead. Boston netminder Manny Fernandez made 30 saves to remain perfect at home.Boston’s next six games are at home, where the Bruins have won their last 13 straight. Forward Patrice Bergeron has been put on injured reserve, and center Martin St. Pierre has been called from Providence.
On January 1st, 40,818 fans piled into Wrigley Field to watch the Blackhawks take on the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. Unlike last year’s bitterly cold and snowy affair, the skies were clear and the temperature was a relatively balmy 32 degrees. The Blackhawks jumped out to the early lead, leading 3-1 after the first period. Jiri Hudler, who jump-started the Red Wings offense by scoring two of the three Detroit goals in the second period, was impressed by the atmosphere at Wrigley. “I kind of had my mouth open in the beginning,” Hudler told the AP’s Rick Gano. “We were all looking at each other during the anthem—‘Wow, this is awesome.” The Wings’ 6-4 win gives them an eight point lead over the Blackhawks in the Central division.
The Pats may have temporarily taken some heat when they selected Jerod Mayo with the 10th pick in this year’s NFL Draft, but it certainly paid dividends. Mayo led the team with 137 tackles, and was a constant presence on a depleted New England defensive unit. “He’s smart, makes a lot of defensive adjustments and calls for us there” Pats coach Bill Belichick told the AP’s Barry Wilner. “He runs well. He’s tough. He’s a good all-around football player, very mature, very professional. For a rookie, he’s probably as professional as anybody I’ve coached.” Mayo had an experienced group of veterans to learn from, including fellow linebacker Tedy Bruschi. “Ever since I came in on the first day Tedy has taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes,” Mayo said. “He’s like an older brother to me.”
Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci reports that even before the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, the Red Sox contacted the Marlins about the availability of shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The former Sox prospect has been an offensive force in the MLB averaging about 125 runs, 50 stolen bases, and 30 home runs a season, with a career batting average of .308 and a career on-base percentage of .379. Despite his slightly lower stolen base total in 2008, he hit his career high in home runs (33) and doubled his walk total of the year before. The Sox reportedly offered outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, pitcher Clay Buchholz, and other possible prospects. Talks appear to have stalled, and the Sox would need to offer the Marlins a lot of value to snag the SS and his comparatively tiny (at least to Teixeira’s) 6-year $70 million contract.Boston Red Sox Tickets are available now!
The New York Rangers won in dramatic fashion at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Down 4-1 in the third period, the Rangers battled back to drop 4 points on the Islanders, and help hold on to their lead in the Atlantic Division. Petr Prucha, who has not seen much ice time this year, scored one of the key goals jst 49 seconds into the final period. “I got lucky,” Prucha told AP writer Ira Podell. “It’s tough being out of the lineup for so long, and it was frustrating. I got the chance to play again and scored, so hopefully I will be in the lineup for the next game.” Left wing Nigel Dawes put the nail in the coffin on a shot assisted by Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan with just 19 seconds to go in the game. On January 3rd the Rangers will face the Capitals in Washington at 7:00pm.
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