Sunday, December 21, 2014
STUDIO S MONDAY EYE-OPENER
Patrick Kane had a power-play goal and two assists, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Antti Raanta made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season. The Blackhawks played with a "C-R'' on their helmets after assistant equipment manager Clint Reif died earlier in the day. The team said it was "deeply saddened'' by the loss and declined further comment while asking for respect for the privacy for Reif's family and friends.
WJHC: Canada got goals from five different skaters en route to a 5-2 victory over Sweden in a warmup game before the world junior hockey championship. Max Domi, Josh Morrissey, Anthony Duclair, Shea Theodore and Sam Reinhart scored for Canada in Ottawa. Eric Comrie made 17 saves in the Canadian net.
NFL: The Dallas Cowboys are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Tony Romo threw four of the Cowboys' five touchdown passes in a 42-7 laugher against Indianapolis. Romo was almost perfect this afternoon, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 218 yards and no interceptions before sitting out the fourth quarter. He broke Troy Aikman's team record for passing yards as the Cowboys clinched the NFC East while ending Philadelphia's playoff hopes.
DeMarco Murray played just six days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand. Murray had a one-yard scoring run to make it 28-0 midway through the second quarter, but he had just 58 yards on 22 carries.
The Cowboys improved to 11-4 and stayed in contention for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
The Cowboys weren't the only team to clinch playoff berths in week 16 of the NFL schedule.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 318 yards and a touchdown to lead Green Bay to a 20-3 win over Tampa Bay that clinched a wild-card playoff spot for the Packers. The victory sets up a match-up between Green Bay and Detroit in the season finale next week with the winner capturing the NFC North title.
Rodgers found Jordy Nelson nine times for 113 yards and a score to help the Packers improve to 11-4.
Pittsburgh makes it back to the post-season for the first time in three years with a 20-12 win over Kansas City. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) threw for 220 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, who will face Cincinnati next week for the AFC North title.
In other NFL finals:
- It was a big night for LaSalle, Ontario native Luke Willson. The Seahawks tight end had 139 yards and two touchdowns to help Seattle in a 35-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday Night Football action. Running back Marshawn Lynch also had two touchdowns.
- Joique Bell scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Lions edged Chicago 20-14 to stay atop the NFC North heading into their showdown with Green Bay. Calvin Johnson helped Detroit with six catches for 103 yards, while Matthrew Stafford threw for 243 yards. Stafford topped the 4,000-yard passing mark for the fourth straight year.
-Cam Newton returned from a game off after suffering two fractures in his back to lead Carolina to a 17-13 win over Cleveland. Newton threw for a touchdown and ran for another a week after being injured in a car accident. The victory improves the Panthers record to 6-8-1 and puts them in sole possession of first place in the NFC South. They'll play Atlanta with the division title on the line next weekend.
- Julio Jones made seven catches for 107 yards in Atlanta's 30-14 win over New Orleans. Matt Ryan completed 30 of 40 passed for 322 yards and a touchdown for the 6-9 Falcons who eliminated the Saints from playoff contention.
- Houston kept its fading playoff hopes alive with a 25-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens, whose playoff hopes took a hit. Running back Arian Foster threw a touchdown pass and Randy Bullock made a franchise-record six field goals for the 8-7 Texans. Joe Flacco was a dismal 21-of-50 for just 195 yards and three interceptions for the Ravens, who now need help to make it to the post-season.
- New England clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 17-16 win over the Jets. Jonas Gray's 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter was the difference. The 12-3 Patriots could earn home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if Denver loses to Cincinnati Monday night.
- Buffalo's playoff hopes died in Oakland as Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals to help the Raiders beat the Bills 26-24. Carr was 17 of 34 for 214 yards and no interceptions. Meanwhile, the Raiders held the Bills to just 13 yards on 13 carries. Kyle Orton threw for three touchdowns while completing 32 of 49 throws for 329 yards. Orton also had two interceptions as the Bills fell to 8-7 and stretched their playoff drought to 15 seasons.
- Rookie Terrence Fede blocked a punt for a safety with 41 seconds to go to give Miami a wild 37-35 win over Minnesota. The teams combined for 41 points in the fourth quarter, 15 coming from the Vikings during an 11-second span.
- Odell Beckham Jr. had eight receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring grab as the New York Giants outscored the Rams 37-27 in St. Louis. He set a franchise rookie record with his 10th and 11th TD catches, shattered another rookie mark for receptions and topped 1,000 yards while shrugging off a pair of late hits in the second quarter. The second led to a brawl and three ejections, none of them to starters. The Giants had a season-best 514 total yards and moved to 6-9 with their third straight win. The Rams fell to 6-9.
NBA: The Toronto Raptors are red hot before hitting the road. Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry each scored 22 points, and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks 118-108 for their sixth consecutive win. Toronto leaves for a six-game road trip that begins tomorrow night in Chicago against the Bulls.
NCAAF: It looks like Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is off the hook. Documents acquired by The Associated Press say he was cleared of the accusations he faced at a student code of conduct hearing involving an alleged sexual assault two years ago.