Thursday, January 28, 2016

Chris Bosh On All-Star Team

     Miami Heat center Chris Bosh has been named as an all-star team reserve for the Eastern Conference. It will be the 11th consecutive year that Bosh will be eligible to play in the All-Star Game. It will reunite Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and him for the first time since they played for Miami in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals.
     There is a special connection for Bosh with the contest being held in Toronto on February 14. Bosh was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2003 and played for them until the end of the 2009-10 season.
     He left them and joined the Miami Heat as a free agent in 2010 and became part of The Big Three with James and Wade. Bosh has helped the Heat win two NBA championships along with four Eastern Conference titles.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Strikers Lose To FC Shakhtar

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers fell to FC Shakhtar 1-0 in an international friendly game on Tuesday night at Lockhart Stadium. The scoreless tie was broken during the 80th minute by the team from Ukraine.
     The Strikers had played to a 0-0 tie with Corinthians of Brazil on Saturday. Fort Lauderdale will open their spring season on April 2 when they host NASL expansion franchise Miami FC.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Panthers Rout Maple Leafs

     The Florida Panthers finished a four-game homestand with a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers won their third straight game and 15 of their last 19 games. This was the last game to be played by the Cats prior to the All-Star Game break.
     In the first period, Toronto(17-21-9) did not have a shot on goal for the first 13 minutes of the contest. They did get the only tally of the frame when Nazem Kadri streaked into the Panthers zone through the right circle, faked a shot, went around Roberto Luongo in the crease area and scored on a forehand shot with 2:25 left for his 10th goal of the season.
     Florida(29-15-5) tied the game on their second power play at 3:49 of the second period. Brian Campbell had the puck in the middle of the neutral zone and threaded a pass ahead to Aleksander Barkov at the Maple Leafs blue line. He skated through the slot area, faked a forehand shot and lifted a backhand shot by James Reimer for his 13rd goal of the campaign.
     The Panthers added another power-play goal at 7:40 to take their first lead of the game 2-1. Vincent Trocheck entered the offensive zone and passed off to Jussi Jokinen on the left wing. Jokinen returned a cross-ice pass to Trocheck in the crease area and he redirected it into the Toronto cage.
     The Cats made it 3-1 with 5:47 remaining in the second. Reilly Smith had a 2-on-1 breakaway on the left wing and passed across to Jokinen who connected with a one-time shot from the right circle.
     Florida scored a fourth unanswered goal and extended their margin at 3:52 of the third period. Erik Gudbranson fired a slapshot from the right point which was blocked by traffic in the slot area. It bounced to Smith in the low slot and he snapped in a shot from close range for his team-high 16th goal of the season.
     Alex Petrovic followed with his first NHL goal at 7:43 which was unassisted. He got the loose puck on the right point and sailed a shot that went between the pads of Reimer.

Panthers Resign Aleksander Barkov

     The Florida Panthers have signed center Aleksander Barkov to a six-year contract. He was in his third year of an entry-level contract with the club.
     Barkov was drafted second overall by Florida in the 2013 NHL Draft and never played a game in the minor leagues. He has 12 goals and 18 assists in 30 games this season for the Panthers. Barkov has compiled 36 goals and 58 assists for 90 points in 163 career NHL games.

Sid Rosenberg Returns To New York City

     Former South Florida sports talk host Sid Rosenberg has returned to New York City to co-host a late morning show on WABC-AM with Bernard McGuirk. Their show will debut on Wednesday. They both have filled in on the Geraldo Rivera show on that same station during 2015.
     Both had previously worked together on the Imus In The Morning show from 2000 until 2005 where Rosenberg was the sports anchor and McGuirk was the producer. The program was broadcast on Sports Radio 66 WFAN-AM, nationally televised on MSNBC and syndicated nationally on Westwood One.
     Rosenberg had hosted sports shows on South Florida airwaves for over ten years. He started at 790 The Ticket in 2005 as a fill-in host and was eventually paired up with O.J. McDuffie for a midday show. He was elevated to morning show host and held that position until he was released in May 2009.
     His next stop was at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as the midday host in August 2009. He was promoted to afternoon host at that station in June 2010. He held that spot until early April 2012 when he was let go.
     Rosenberg joined 640 Sports WMEN-AM in May 2012 and was held off the air due to a non-compete clause. He finally got to host a morning show there several months later in August 2012. He held the job for over three years and lost his position due to budget cuts in December 2015.
     He has been heard on several occasions on the radio in New York City. He co-host The Drive morning show with Scott Kaplan on WNEW-FM in 2000. Along with being a morning sports anchor on WFAN-AM, he co-hosted a midday show at that station first with Jody McDonald followed by Joe Beningo from 2001 until 2005. Rosenberg was a morning sports anchor on WINS-AM for one year in the early 2010s.
     McGuirk is the executive producer for the syndicated show hosted by Don Imus. He has been the producer for the Imus In The Morning program since before the turn of the century. McGuirk has made numerous appearances as a guest on several shows on Fox News Channel.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Strikers Tie Corinthians

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers tied Corinthians 0-0 in an international friendly match at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday. The Strikers will host Shakhtar in a international friendly game on Tuesday night.
     The match had a connection between both clubs due the ownership of the Strikers franchise by South Americans which includes retired Brazil soccer player Ronaldo. Coronthians are the defending champions in the Compeonato Brasileiro Serie A domestic league. They have captured that title six times and were the FIFA Club World Cup champions in 2012,

Panthers Outlast Lightning

     The Florida Panthers tied their biggest outburst of goals in a period this season as they stopped the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 at BB&T Center on Saturday night. The Lightning had their seven-game win streak snapped by the Cats. The Panthers have been victorious in 14 of their last 18 games.
     Following a scoreless first period, Florida(28-15-5) compiled four goals in the second. Jonathan Huberdeau gave them the lead at 8:50. Nick Bjugstad ended a 0-for-28 drought that the Panthers had on the power play as he scored with the man advantage at 12:36.
     Reilly Smith followed with an unassisted goal at 15:56 for his 15th tally of the season then Vincent Trocheck made it a four-goal margin with 2:27 left in the frame.
     In the third period, Victor Hedman cut the lead down for Tampa Bay(26-18-4) to 4-1 on a power-play goal at 5:39. The Lightning began the unusual scenario of pulling their goalie for an extra skater at the ten-minute mark. Florida eventually found the open net as Brian Campbell scored from the left wing of the offensive zone with 4:08 remaining.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Panthers Crush Blackhawks

     The Florida Panthers shut out the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Friday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers snapped a four-game winless streak while the Blackhawks lost their second straight game following 12 consecutive victories.
     It was the first win for the Cats over the Hawks in nine meetings going back to 2011. Roberto Luongo compiled his 72nd career shutout and passed Harry Lumley along with Lorne Chabot for 10th all-time in NHL history.
     Chicago(32-15-4) was held to no shots on goal in the first eight minutes of the contest. Florida(27-15-5)) got up 1-0 at 10:19 of the first period. Jussi Jokinen carried the puck through center ice and connected a outlet pass to his left. Smith received it, sprinted to the low left circle and beat Scott Darling to the near side for his 14th goal this season.
     The Panthers extended their margin to 2-0 with 2:42 left in the frame, Jonathan Huberdeau pass from the right point was deflected to Aleksander Barkov in the right corner. He fed a diagonal pass to Brian Campbell at the top left circle as he blasted home a slapshot. Florida is now 13-2-0 when he records a point in a game.
      The Cats made it a three-goal gap with 2.1 seconds to go. Quinton Howden carried the puck into the Blackhawks zone, skated to the low left circle and snapped a shot that trickled through Darling for an unassisted goal.
     Florida continued their momentum early in the second period as Aaron Ekblad scored an unassisted goal at 2:51 and gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead. He picked up the loose puck at the top right circle and rifled a slapshot into the Chicago cage for his 10th goal of the campaign.

Scott Salomon New Strikers Reporter

     The South Florida Sun-Sentinel has named Scott Salomon as their new Fort Lauderdale Strikers beat writer. He replaces Dave Brousseau who left the newspaper in late November 2015. Brousseau had covered the team for the last couple of seasons.
     Salomon, a University of Miami and St. Thomas University grad, has been a high school sports reporter at the Sun-Sentinel for a decade. He has also been a contributing writer for several websites that cover University of Miami athletics.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dwyane Wade Named To All-Star Team

     Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team for the 12th consecutive time in his career. He became the 15th player in NBA history to be named a starter at least 10 times. He did not get selected during his rookie season.
     Wade has played his entire NBA career with the Miami Heat and was drafted by the team in 2003. He has helped the club win three NBA championships and five Eastern Conference titles during his 13-year career.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Miami Ratings Holiday 2015

     The holiday season saw a tie in the ratings for the top spot of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. This period is known to be based on a couple of weeks instead of an entire month and has a limited impact.
     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM slipped from a 1.1 in December to a 0.9 during the holiday season. It is unusual considering that the Florida Panthers had their longest winning streak in team history and with the Miami Hurricanes basketball team were highly ranked in the nation.  
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM slightly increased from a 0.8 to a 0.9 during the holidays. The audience is now use to the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz being aired at two different times during the day.   
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM dropped from a 0.5 to a 0.4 in the holiday season. The conclusion of the Miami Dolphins being eliminated from playoff contention in the final month of the season changed matters.

Rachel Nichols To Host ESPN Show

     Former South Florida sports writer Rachel Nichols will begin to host NBA The Jump program weekdays on ESPN as of February 18. She began her second stint at ESPN in December 2015 and her first tenure in the organization was from 2004 until 2013 as a television sports reporter and sports columnist.
     She recently was at Turner Sports from January 2013 to late last year as a sideline reporter for NBA and college basketball games. Nichols also hosted a studio show on CNN called Upgraded With Rachel Nichols from September 2013 until October 2014.
     Nichols, a Northwestern University grad, previously worked as a sports reporter for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel from 1995 to 1996. She then went to the Washington Post and was employed as a sports columnist until 2004.

Gutierrez Joins Sedano For ESPN Radio Show

     ESPN Radio will unite longtime South Florida sports media members Jorge Sedano and Israel Gutierrez for a late evening weekday program beginning February 8. Both have recently combined to co-host the NBA Lockdown podcast at ESPN Audio. They had previously worked together when Sedano hosted a show at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM from 2007 until 2012 and Gutierrez appeared as a guest to talk about the Miami Heat and the NBA.
     Sedano, a Florida International University grad, has hosted a talk show on ESPN Radio since late September 2013 and has also been on ESPN television hosting studio shows. He did host sports shows in Miami at 1700 The Fan WAFN-AM, Fox Sports Radio 940 WRFX-AM, Fox Sports Radio Network, 790 The Ticket and Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM during a time span from 2000 to 2012.
     He had prior television work as a sports anchor at WFOR-TV Channel 4 in the early 2010s and was a studio host for Miami Heat games televised on Sun Sports during their 2012-13 NBA championship season.
     Gutierrez, a University of Florida grad, was the Miami Heat beat reporter for the Miami Herald during the 2000s. It led him to several opportunities at ESPN where he served as a panelist on The Sports Reporters and Around The Horn. He then became an NBA columnist for ESPN.com and later added duties as a sideline reporter for NBA games on the television network.
     He began to co-host an NBA show on Sunday mornings at ESPN Radio in January 2015. Gutierrez joined 790 The Ticket in early 2015 as a guest co-host on the morning show with Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor. He was promoted to the afternoon program alongside Ethan J. Skolnick in September and Gutierrez left the station in late November.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Oilers Beat Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned home following a six-game road trip and fell to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at BB&T Center on Monday night. It was the first game of a four-game homestand for the Atlantic Division leader who dropped their third consecutive game and are winless in their last four games.
     It also ended a seven-game winning streak at home for the Cats. They last lost a game in Sunrise on December 8th against the Ottawa Senators. The Oilers defeated the Panthers for the seventh straight time in this building.
     Edmonton(19-23-5) jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 5:50 of the first period. Taylor Hall stormed through the Panthers zone on a breakaway and scored on a forehand shot by Al Montoya.
     The Oilers moved ahead to a two-goal margin with 2:08 left in the frame on a Florida(26-15-5) turnover in their own zone. Benoit Pouliot passed from the blue line down to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the left of the crease. He then sent a cross-ice pass to Jordan Eberle in the crease area and he put in a snap shot.
     In the second period, Florida fell behind by three goals as the Oilers put in a tally on their seventh shot on goal in the contest at 4:19. Teddy Purcell had the puck at the right point and passed ahead to Hall at the top right circle. He dashed to the high slot and ripped a wrist shot for his second goal of the game and 18th goal of the season.
     Edmonton had trouble getting the puck out of their own defensive zone early in the third period and the Panthers capitalized on the situation. Reilly Smith picked up the biscuit at the top right circle and fired a slapshot past Cam Talbot for his 13th goal of the season at 2:45.
     Florida responded quickly to close the margin to 3-2 at 5:35. Brian Campbell fed a pass to Shawn Thornton in the low left circle. He flicked a cross-ice pass to the front of the Edmonton cage and Quinton Howden tipped the puck in.
     The Cats attempted to pull the goalie and put out an extra attacker in the final two minutes of the game and they were caught with 1:28 to go. As Montoya was almost at the bench, Hall controlled the puck at his own blue line. He spotted Purcell on the right wing and he scored into an empty net when Montoya scrambled to get back in the crease.

Juan C. Rodriguez Passes

     South Florida Sun-Sentinel sports writer Juan C. Rodriguez passed away on Monday. He had worked at that newspaper for since 2002. Rodriguez became the Florida Marlins beat writer in 2003 as the team won their second World Series title that year.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lightning Strike Panthers

     The Florida Panthers finished a six-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night at Amalie Arena. The Cats are now 0-2-1 in their last three games following a 12-game winning streak. The Bolts increased their winning streak to five games.
     In the second period, Tampa Bay pulled ahead 1-0 at 4:21. Nikita Kucherov stopped at the right circle and scored on a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Roberto Luongo.
     Andrej Sustr increased the Lightning lead to 2-0. Jason Garrison fired a shot from the top of the zone which hit the back glass. It rebounded to the side of Panthers cage where Sustr put in a backhand shot at 18:30.
     Florida closed the gap to one goal at 8:06 of the third period. Jussi Jokinen had the puck in the right corner and passed to the slot area. Nick Bjugstad took an initial shot which was saved by Ben Bishop, but Bjugstad stuffed in the rebound from close range.
     Kucherov clinched the victory on an empty-net goal with 1:24 remaining in the frame. It was the his second goal of the contest and 18th of the season.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

John Henry Smith To Lose Position

      Former South Florida television sportscaster John Henry Smith will lose his position as a sports anchor and sports reporter at Al Jazeera America. The organization announced that they will cease operations in a couple of months.
     Smith once was a sports anchor at WPLG-TV Channel 10 in Miami during the 2000s. He moved on to WVUE-TV in New Orleans as a sports director and sports anchor. Smith followed that as a sports anchor at Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area in San Francisco. He had a stint as a sports anchor at News 14 Carolina in Raleigh prior to his arrival in Miami.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Flames Slam Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played their fifth game of a six-game road trip and lost to the Calgary Flames 6-0 at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Panthers are winless in their last two games after they were victorious in their prior 12 games and snapped a 13-game point streak for the club.
     Things started on the wrong foot for Florida as Calgary scored 56 seconds into the contest. Jiri Hudler brought the puck from the end wall to the left wing. He backhanded it to the inner left circle and Sam Bennett blasted a one-time slapshot past Roberto Luongo.
     The Flames expanded their lead to 2-0 at 5:52 of the stanza. Johnny Gaudreau streaked through the right side and passed to the low slot. It was knocked away by Jonathan Huberdeau, however Gaudreau got the puck and scored his 19th goal of the season on a wrist shot from the right of the crease.
     Calgary moved out to a three-goal margin with 7:59 left in the first period. Mikael Backlund carried the puck into the Panthers zone and made a drop pass in the high slot. Bennett drove through the slot area. fanned on a soft shot from the low slot and the puck scooted by Luongo.
     Bennett completed a hat trick as he scored his third goal of the game with 2:59 remaining. The Flames had a two-on-one breakaway and Deryk Engelland snapped a shot from the right-circle dot. Luongo made the save but Bennett lifted a backhand shot from the crease area into the top of the Panthers cage. Al Montoya replaced Lunogo in net for the Panthers to begin the second period.
     Florida fell behind 5-0 with 6:40 to go in the second. Mark Giordano whacked the puck around the boards from the neutral zone to David Jones on the right wing. His shot was tipped in by Mason Raymond at the top of the crease.
     Bennett added his fourth goal of the game with 24.2 seconds left in the third period. Steven Kampfer gave the puck away at the top of their zone to Hudler. He made a square pass to Bennett on his right and he skated to the slot then released a backhand shot.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Canucks Come Back On Panthers

     The Florida Panthers had their 12-game winning streak snapped as they lost to the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in overtime on Monday night. It ended the tenth longest win streak in NHL history. Roberto Luongo had his career-high nine-game win streak in net end. 
     It took less then two minutes for the Cats to get up 1-0. Reilly Smith stopped the puck on the left wing and put it to Jussi Jokinen in the slot and he put in a tally on a snap shot.
     They made it a two-goal gap with under a minute to go in the stanza. Jaromir Jagr passed from the left point and the puck went off the left skate of Aleksander Barkov in the high slot. Jonathan Huberdeau put a shot by Jacob Markstrom and extended his goal streak to three games.
     The Canucks mounted a comeback in the second as Daniel Sedin connected five minutes in on backhand shot by Luongo at the left of the crease.
     In the thi period, Vancouver tied the contest with two minutes left. Jake Virtanen scored in the slot following a face-off win by Bo Horvat.
     Jagr was called for a penalty in overtime and the Canucks got a power-play game-winning goal. Daniel Sedin put in his second goal of the game on an assist by Henrik Sedin.

Kenny Walker Joins The Beach WMXJ-FM

     Kenny Walker has joined The Beach WMXJ-FM as the new morning host. He was let go by CBS Radio Miami at the end of December following seven years as the morning host at Kiss Country WKIS-FM. He once had a decade stint as he co-hosted a morning show with Footy on Y100 WHYI-FM from 1995 to 2005.
     Walker one time co-hosted a morning show on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM alongside Kim Bokamper for less than one year during the mid-2000s . He is still employed by the Miami Dolphins as the public address announcer for their home games at Sun Life Stadium. Walker was employed at WFLC-FM 97.3 The Coast for two years following his status as a sports talk host.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Panthers Escape Edmonton

     The Florida Panthers began the second half of the season with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night at Rexall Place. The Cats extended their winning streak to 12 games as they played the third game of a six-game road trip. It was the final appearance for the club in that arena as the Oilers will play in another arena across town next season.
     It took under four minutes of the opening period for the Panthers to get ahead 1-0. Jaromir Jagr stole the puck from Darnell Nurse at the left point and went on a breakaway. He slipped the puck between the pads of Cam Talbot and into the Edmonton cage. Jagr is now four goals behind Brett Hull for fourth place all-time in NHL goals.
     The Cats extended the lead to two goals just five minutes later. Brian Campbell backhanded the puck around the left corner to Aleksander Barkov on the end wall. He centered it to Jonathan Huberdeau in the low slot and he lifted in a shot.
     Edmonton closed the gap to one goal with seven minutes left. Matt Kendricks kicked the puck on the end wall to Lauri Korpikoski at the side of the net. He found Mark Letestu in the slot and he put a snap shot by Al Montoya.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Michael Wallace On ESPN Radio

     Former Miami Heat beat reporter Michael Wallace has joined ESPN Radio as a Saturday afternoon co-host and will debut January 30. He will be joined on-air by New York City sports host Dave Rothenberg and former Notre Dame football player Mike Golic Jr.
     Wallace previously covered the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He joined ESPN first as their Miami Heat reporter when LeBron James played down here. He became an NBA columnist after James left the Heat.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Panthers Slip By Senators

     The Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to 11 games as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre. The Panthers were victorious for the 17th time in the last 20 games. It was the second game of a six-game road trip for the Cats as Roberto Luongo won a career-high ninth straight game in net.
     Florida had no shots on goal in the first 12 minutes of the contest. That changed when Reilly Smith scored at the eight-minute mark on a shot from the right wing off a feed by Aaron Ekblad and was touched in mid-air by Jonathan Huberdeau.
     The Panthers got a gift and scored on a turnover eight seconds later. Fredrik Claesson made a lead pass from deep in his own zone and was intercepted by Vincent Trocheck. He blasted a slapshot from the slot area by Craig Anderson.
     In the second period, the Sens climbed back into the game on a giveaway. An Alex Petovic pass up the middle was stopped by Max McCormick in the high slot and he beat Luongo on a snap shot for his first NHL goal.
     The lead by Florida increased by two goals seven minutes into the third period. Jaromir Jagr crossed the Senators blue line on the left side and dropped a pass to Huberdeau. He returned the puck to Jagr in the left corner and he centered it toward the crease. It deflected off a stick of a defenseman and Aleksander Barkov scooped in a backhand shot.
     The Senators chopped the margin down to one goal at 10:06. Erik Carlsson gathered the puck at the top of the zone and passed ahead in the slot and it was redirected into the Panthers cage by Milan Michalek.

Florida Panthers Named To All-Star Team

     The Florida Panthers had several players named to the Atlantic Division All-Star Team for the NHL All-Star Game to be held in Nashville later this month. Right wing Jaromir Jagr was named the team captain of the team by fan balloting. He will be joined by teammates goalie Roberto Luongo and defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
    Only the Panthers and Washington Capitals had three played named to the All-Star Game. Florida head coach Gerard Gallant was appointed the head coach of the Atlantic Division team. Each division team is made up of six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies for the new three-on-three format between four divisional clubs to be implemented.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mike Piazza Elected To Baseball Hall Of Fame

     Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Griffey Jr. picked up the largest percentage of votes in an election ever from the Baseball Writers Association of America which surpassed Tom Seaver. Piazza had a connection for a brief time in South Florida.
     Piazza becomes the second player to wear a Florida Marlins jersey to be elected into the Cooperstown shrine. He was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to Florida, played for only one week in five games with the Marlins and then dealt to the New York Mets. Andre Dawson was the other player to play for the Marlins.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Panthers Win Tenth Straight

     The Florida Panthers won their tenth consecutive game with a 5-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at First Niagara Center. It was the first game of a six-game road trip for the club who extended their franchise record winning streak. The Cats have been victorious in 10 of their last 11 games.
     Florida pulled out to a 1-0 lead with 10:15 left in the first period on a goal by Jaromir Jagr. Jonathan Huberdeau brought the puck into the Buffalo zone, passed it to his right to Jagr and he scored on a one-time slapshot. Jagr stands five goals behind Brett Hull for third all-time in NHL history.
     Buffalo tied the contest on their second power-play attempt three minutes into the second period. Jamie McGinn pushed the puck ahead to Jack Eichel at the bottom left circle. His blind backhand cross-ice pass connected with Ryan O'Reilly on the right of the crease and he scored on a wrist shot by Roberto Luongo.
     The Panthers got a go-ahead goal with 11:06 left in the second. They broke out on a two-on-one breakaway through center ice and Derek MacKenzie finished it as he scored on a snap shot over the left shoulder of Linus Ullmark from the right-circle face-off dot.
     In the third period, Corban Knight made it a two-goal margin for Florida five minutes into the third period as he got a backhand feed by Quinton Howden from the end wall and scored in the slot area. Aleksander Barkov sent a lead pass up the middle to Huberdeau and he finished off a one-on-one breakaway at the four-minute mark for his fifth goal of the season.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Raineri And Zemach Nevv WMEN Morning Show

     Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach became the new morning co-hosts on 640 Sports WMEN-AM Monday. They replaced Sid Rosenberg who was let go by the radio station last week after three years in the position.
     Raineri began at 640 Sports as an afternoon host when he took over for Steve White in November 2014. He was shifted to middays six months later in May 2015 as Hank Goldberg was elevated to afternoon host. The station dropped Goldberg in August and Raineri returned to afternoon drive. Raineri previously had a stint at WRMF-FM as a morning co-host for three years.
     Zemach joined WMEN over three years ago and became an associate morning producer for the Sid Rosenberg Show. He would eventually be promoted to morning show producer. He previously worked as an afternoon associate producer for Sid Rosenberg on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM. He also handled duties there as the Miami Marlins reporter. Zemach currently works as a boxing writer for OueensberryRules.com and did prior reporting for BoxingAsylum.com.

Heat Come Back On Pacers

     The Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers by three points in overtime on Monday night at American Airlines Arena. Miami had lost their two previous meetings earlier this season to Indiana.
     The Heat were behind by 18 points vvith over five minutes left in the third quarter. Miami chopped at the deficit until they took their first lead of the game by one point with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
     Both clubs traded the lead in the closing moments of regulation time. Chris Bosh hit a three-point shot for the Heat at the one-minute mark as the Heat got up by one point. Monta Ellis followed with a go-ahead field goal for the Pacers with l6 seconds to go. After Rodney Stuckey made a free throw shot with two seconds left, Dwyane Wade drove in and scored on a left-hand lay-up at the buzzer to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Panthers Outlast Wild

     The Florida Panthers extended their franchise record win streak to nine games as they topped the Minnesota Wild 2-1 at BB&T Center on Sunday night. The Panthers, who were able to sweep a six-game homestand, have won nine of their last ten games and 15 of their last 18. They play their next six games on the road which covers a two-week period.
     Florida(23-12-4) was able score on their first shift 27 seconds into the game. Jonathan Huberdeau picked up the loose puck on a giveaway at the left point and passed across to Dmitry Kulikov. He passed ahead to Jaromir Jagr in the slot area and he scored on a backhand shot by Devan Dubnyk.
     Minnesota(20-11-7) evened it up at 1-1 just 48 seconds into the second period. Ryan Suter took a shot from the left point which was blocked in the slot area. Mikko Koivu had the puck in the left circle and centered it to Jason Zucker. His initial shot was saved however he scored on the rebound with a backhand shot past Al Montoya.
    In the third period, Jagr would collect his second goal of the game and his team-high 13th goal of the campaign at 8:52 for the Cats to regain the lead 2-1. Brandon Pirri made a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone to Jagr on the right wing. He entered the Wild zone, cut to the middle and snapped a shot from the high slot through traffic. Jagr compiled his 735th NHL goal which is six goals behind Brett Hull for third all-time.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Panthers Win Franchise Record Eighth Straight

     The Florida Panthers set a franchise record with their eighth consecutive victory on Saturday night as they beat the New York Rangers 3-0 at BB&T Center. Their previous high was seven straight wins back in March 2008. The Panthers have won eight of their last nine and 14 of their last 17 games. The Cats also stopped a seven-game winless streak to the Rangers.
     Roberto Luongo compiled his third shutout of the season and his 71st shutout of his career. He tied Harry Lumley and Lorne Chabot for 11th place all-time in NHL history.
     Florida scored first with 24.8 seconds left in the first period. Corban Knight captured the puck on a turnover in the neutral zone and carried it into the Rangers zone. He raced into the left circle, dropped it off to Logan Shaw and he followed with a wrist shot by Henrik Lunqvist for his fourth goal this season.
     In the second period, the Panthers extended their lead to 2-0 at 4:41. Brian Campbell fed a pass from the left point to Alex Petrovic on the right point. His slapshot went off the blocker of Lunqvist then off the right skate of Vincent Trocheck in the crease before it found the Rangers cage.
     The Cats converted on their third power-play attempt as all five attackers touched the puck in the offensive zone. Jussi Jokinen passed the puck from the high slot to Reilly Smith in the left circle. He connected a cross-ice pass to Brandon Pirri in the right circle for a one-time slapshot at 10:44 for his eighth goal.

Panthers Resign Gerard Gallant

     The Florida Panthers have extended the contract of head coach Gerard Gallant for another two seasons. He had 18 months left on his original contract and is signed through the end of the 2018-19 season. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon also signed a contract extension with the club until the end of the same time period.
     Gallant joined the Florida Panthers prior to the 2014-15 regular season following a stint as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens. He once was a head coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2000's.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Clemson Stops Oklahoma In Orange Bowl

     The Clemson University Tigers defeated the University of Oklahoma Sooners 37-17 in a CFP National Semifinal at the Captial One Orange Bovvl in Sun Life Stadium on Thursday. Clemson will face the University of Alabama Crimson Tide for the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 11.
     The first half was competitive between both schools as their were several lead changes before Oklahoma led at halftime by one point. The Tigers dominated the second half as they scored 21 unanswered points for the victory.

Panthers Resign Dale Tallon

     The Florida Panthers have extended the contract of general manager Dale Tallon for three more years until the end of the 2018-19 season. Tallon was in the final season of a five-year deal with the team.
     Florida is currently in first place of the Atlantic Division and third place in the Eastern Conference. The club has won seven consecutive games which matched a franchise record. They also have won seven of their eight and 13 of their last 16 games. The Panthers did make the playoffs four seasons in 2011-12 when they captured the Southeast Division.