December 19, 2014

Tables turn on Blues as Kings rally to take back end of home and home

blues logoJeff Carter, Jake Muzzin and Dwight King each scored in the third period, as the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the St. Louis Blues 6-4 on Thursday night.

The Kings surrendered four goals in the third period of Tuesday’s 5-2 loss at St. Louis, but earned a split in the home-and-home set with their own third- period surge.

Anze Kopitar had a goal and four assists for a career-high five points against the Blues. Carter registered three assists and Marian Gaborik scored twice and set up another one for the Kings, who put an end to a three-game losing streak.

Jonathan Quick finished with 24 saves in the Kings’ 11th straight win over the Blues at Staples Center (including playoffs).

David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin and Kevin Shattenkirk scored in a 2:48 span in the first period for St. Louis, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.

“We were careless at times and that’s a big part of it,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “We did a really poor job of managing the puck as the game went on so we turned it into a track meet.”

Martin Brodeur was beaten six times on 37 shots. [Read more…]

Royals adding pitching agreeing to contracts with Medlen and Volquez

royalsThe Kansas City Royals have signed pitcher Kris Medlen to a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season, with the hope that the Tommy John surgery recipient will be able to contribute during the second half of the upcoming year.

Medlen put together a strong 2013 campaign for the Atlanta Braves, winning a career-best 15 games with a 3.11 earned run average in 32 games (31 starts). The right-hander missed all of last season, however, after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow during a spring training outing.

The Braves declined to offer Medlen a contract earlier this month, in large part due to his injury history. The 29-year-old also underwent a Tommy John procedure that sidelined him for the majority of the 2011 season.

Medlen has been a quality pitcher when healthy. His .674 winning percentage (31-15) since 2010 ranks only behind a pair of Cy Young Award honorees, Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, over that stretch, and he sports a 2.95 ERA over 152 appearances (61 starts).

According to the Kansas City Star, Medlen will receive $8.5 million guaranteed over the life of the deal. He is slated to earn $2 million next season, but can earn an additional $4 million based on games started and innings pitched.

Medlen will make $10 million in 2017 if he and the Royals both exercise the option year. Kansas City will pay a $1 million buyout if either side declines. [Read more…]

Mizzou jumps out to big lead but has to hold on in the end to knock off Elon

Missouri Men's Basketball vs. Elon - December 11, 2014 Photo by: Clayton Hotze

Kim Anderson huddles with his team during a timeout (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Johnathan Williams III tallied 16 points and eight rebounds as the Missouri Tigers held off the Elon Phoenix for a 78-73 victory in non-conference action at Mizzou Arena.

Keith Shamburger also made an impact for the Tigers (5-4) offensively with 16 points and five assists, while D’Angelo Allen provided a spark off the bench with 12 points and seven rebounds. Montaque Gill-Caesar chipped in 10 points to help Missouri pick up its third win in four outings.

Elon (5-4) had its three-game winning streak come to an end despite a stellar showing by Luke Eddy, who poured in a career-high 24 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Kevin Blake recorded 14 points and six rebounds, while Tanner Samson finished with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting from the floor.

The Tigers dominated the first stanza, as they hit on 59.1 percent of their field goal tries, including a 6-of-9 clip from 3-point range, en route to a 46-27 halftime lead. The Phoenix were limited to 24.2 percent efficiency from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Elon refused to go away used an 11-0 run to reduce the deficit down to 70-69, with only 54 seconds remaining in regulation. The Tigers drained their final 10 free-throw attempts, including eight over the final 43 seconds to keep the Phoenix at bay. [Read more…]

Offense sputters as neither teams scores a touchdown in Rams loss to Arizona

St. Louis Rams E.J. Gaines upends Arizona Cardinals Jaron Brown in the first quarter at the Edward Jones in St. Louis on December 11, 2014.    UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Rams E.J. Gaines upends Arizona Cardinals Jaron Brown in the first quarter at the Edward Jones in St. Louis on December 11, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Chandler Catanzaro made four field goals as the Arizona Cardinals moved closer to clinching a playoff spot despite not scoring a touchdown in a 12-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday.

The Cardinals (11-3) now own the league’s best record and can secure a postseason berth this Sunday as long as the Dallas-Philadelphia game doesn’t end in a tie. Arizona can also clinch with a Detroit loss against Minnesota and a Green Bay win or tie in Buffalo.

Arizona, however, suffered another injury at quarterback at the hands of the St. Louis defense as Drew Stanton left the game with a right knee injury in the third quarter. He was carted off to the locker room and did not return.

Stanton, who was 12-of-20 for 109 yards before exiting, started his fifth straight game after Carson Palmer tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a 31-14 win over the Rams on Nov. 9.

Ryan Lindley took over for Stanton and completed four of his 10 passes for 30 yards. Larry Fitzgerald (31 years, 102 days old) became the youngest player in NFL history to compile 900 career receptions after finishing with seven catches for 30 yards.

“I’m glad we don’t have to play the Rams anymore,” Fitzgerald said. “Both times we played them they banged our quarterbacks up.”

Arizona’s 11 wins ties a franchise record which was also set in 1925 and 1948.

Shaun Hill threw for 229 yards and an interception on 20-of-39 passing and Stedman Bailey caught five passes for 74 yards for the Rams (6-8). [Read more…]

Blues squander 2-0 lead; explode for 4 goals in third period to down Islanders

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen blocks the puck on a shot by New York Islanders Kyle Okposo in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 11, 2014.   UPI/Rob Cornforth

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen blocks the puck on a shot by New York Islanders Kyle Okposo in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on December 11, 2014. UPI/Rob Cornforth

Alexander Steen had two goals and one assist in his return, helping the St. Louis Blues post a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders at Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Steen, who missed the previous two games with a lower-body injury, provided an immediate spark and his second tally ignited four-goal third period that carried the Blues to their third straight win.

“I thought (Steen) was real good. I thought that line was real good. Set the tempo early in the game. Set the tempo in the third period,” said St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock.

T.J. Oshie had a goal with two assists and Jake Allen made 25 saves.

John Tavares and Mikhail Grabovski scored in the second period for the Islanders, who have lost three games in a row. Former Blue Jaroslav Halak allowed five goals on 32 shots.

“We didn’t really grasp it.” said Tavares. “Sometimes we just have to make the plays a little quicker.”

Steen gave the Blues a 3-2 lead at 4:32 of the third when he came in as a trailer on a rush fired a rebound past Halak. [Read more…]