The National Hockey League returned to the ice last night after the All-Star break with 12 games on the schedule. Connor McDavid returned to action for the Edmonton Oilers and scored a goal and picked up 2 assists in the Oilers 6-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sidney Crosby scored 3 goals and added an assists in the Pittsburgh Penquins 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Crosby had a natural hat tick meaning his 3 goals came in a row. In a battle of 1st place teams the Atlantic leading Florida Panthers beat the Metropolitan leading Washington Capitals 5-2. Jonathan Huberdeau scored 2 goals and had an assists in the Panthers victory.Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blies faced just 16 shots stopping them all as St. Louis picked up a 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Pekka Rinne stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced, but all St. Louis needed was that 1 goal to get the win. In the other games the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-3. The New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 3-2.The New York Islanders beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. The Philadelphia beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. The Dallas Stars beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. The Los Angeles Kings beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-2 and the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2. There are just 3 games on the ice tonight and the Canadiens are the only team that is playing back to back as they’re hosting the Buffalo Sabres. Also playing tonight the Detroit Red Wings are at the Tampa Bay Lighting and the Carolina Hurricanes are at the Calgary Flames. After tonight’s games the only team that hasn’t played a game after the All-Star break is the Vancouver Canucks.
The NHL has rescheduled the 3 games that where cancelled because of the snow storm that hit the east coast. The Pittsburgh/Washington game will be played March 1st in Washington. The other two games Anaheim at Washington and Philadelphia at New York (Islanders) will be played on April 10th and will end the regular season.
Behind 38 points from Kobe Bryant the Los Angeles Lakers ended their 10 game losing streak last night beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-115 at the Staples Center. Bryant played 33 minutes going 10-21 from the field. 11 of his attempts where 3 pointers and he made 7 of them. Bryant added 5 rebounds, a team leading 5 assists and 2 steals on the night. Louis Williams scored 20 points. D’Angelo Russell came off the Lakers bench to score 18 points. Jordan Clarkson scored 16 points while Julius Randle added 15 points and a team high 12 rebounds. The Timberwolves had 6 players score in double figures led by Andrew Wiggins with 30 in 41 minutes. Gorgui Dieng had 19 points. Zach LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points; Towns also had a team high 9 rebounds. Shabazz Muhammad had 12 points while Rickey Rubio scored 10 points and had a team leading 15 assists.
The win improved the Lakers record to 10-41 this season. Los Angeles will try to extend there winning streak Thursday night as they start a 4 games road trip against the New Orleans Pelicans. After New Orleans the Lakers road trip will see them face the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers and then they wrap up the road trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In other NBA action the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 97-89. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 20 points while Arron Afflalo had 18 points to lead the Knicks. The Houston Rockets beat the Miami Heat 115-102. James Harden led the Rockets with 26 points while Luol Deng had 17 points to lead the Heat. The Toronto raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 104-97. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors 26 points while Markieff Morris put up a double-double 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Suns. The Portland Trailblazers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-95. C.J. McCollum led the Trailblazers with 30 points while Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 21 points.
There are quite a few games on the NBA schedule tonight. There are 11 games on the court tonight and it’s an ESPN television night. The first game on ESPN has the Golden State warriors at the Washington Wizards while the night cap features the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Los Angeles Clippers. Interestingly Minnesota is playing back to back games on the road against different teams in the same arena. Alright; maybe that’s just interesting to me.
I have to tell you I’m still not all that excited about the Super Bowl. I guess there could be some solid story lines. If the Denver Broncos win and Peyton Manning could ride off into the sunset as a Super Bowl champion. On the other hand if the Carolina Panthers get the win will that establish Cam Newton as the top player in the NFL. The original line had Carolina as a 4 point favorite. The betting line has jump and now Carolina is a 6 point favorite. The over/under for the game is at 45 and I believe it started around 44 or 44 1/2; so there wasn’t much movement in that betting line. If your not interested in betting your money on either of those two lines there are 37 other prop bets you can wager on. You can bet on stuff like what will the coin flip be heads or tails. How about putting some money down on what Stephen Curry will be wearing if he’s shown on television. Since the game is in San Francisco or I guess technically it’s Santa Clara, but you can actual bet on if there will be an earthquake during the game. On the Sunday Sports Time Radio podcast I’ll have to pull up some of these prop bets and see where Mr. Fantasy stands on these. The Sunday podcast is from 10:00 a.m. until Noon on http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com As always will make our picks for the game, but will extend those a little as Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and myself will not only pick the winner of the game, but also what we think the final score will be and who we think will win the MVP. Mr. Fantasy and I will also try to put together a winning FanDuel line up for you as well as a breakdown of Super Bowl 50.
Who’s your pick to win?
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