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Panthers set NHL Record – 20 Round Shootout vs Capitals

The Florida Panthers WIN IN A 20 ROUND SHOOTOUT! Winning goal from Nick Bjugstad!

The Florida Panthers BREAK an NHL record set on 11/26/05 when the New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals in 15 rounds.

Miami Heat Notch First Victory in 5 Games

The Miami Heat secured a much needed win last night, beating the Phoenix Suns 103-97. The Heat were desperate to get back on track after a season-worst four game losing streak. For the first time in the month of December, Miami looked strong and poised in the 4th quarter and managed to put away the high-powered Phoenix offense behind Chris Bosh’s 34 points.

Keys To Victory:

1. Big Shot Bosh: Chris Bosh led the way all night long, providing basket after basket when the Heat needed them most. He followed a strong third quarter with a dominant 4th in which he scored 10 of his 34 points. He now leads the team in points for the season, proving he is worth every penny he is earning from that major  offseason contract signing.

Chris Bosh

2. Defense: The Heat have had their fair share of miscues on the defensive side of the ball this season, particularly in the 4th quarter. Miami forced 22 turnovers versus the Suns and were more than stout in the final period of last night’s matchup.

3. Team Contributions: Miami will need the entire squad to contribute consistently if they wish to stay in ball games versus top-tier opponents. The Heat got a healthy 23 points from Forward Luol Deng and another 10 from Josh McRoberts last night. In addition, Deng, Mcroberts and long-time team captain Udonis Haslem made key defensive stops late in the game to help Miami secure a win.

4. Dwyane Wade: D-Wade pulled some vintage Flash type plays last night. He scored a handful of crucial buckets in the 4th and came up big on defense late in the game. He was suffering from a bad headache throughout most of the matchup but managed to tough it out and make several key jumpers to help ice the Suns.

Dwyane_Wade_hanging_on_the_rim

5. Clutch 3-point Shooting: The 4th quarter of last night’s matchup turned into an old fashioned shootout. Suns Forward Marcus Morris hit three 3-pointers in the 4th to keep things interesting. Luol Deng managed to hit what seemed like a dagger from beyond the arc with one minute left but the Suns just kept coming. Eventually, Miami had the last laugh after D-Wade managed to rebound his own missed shot and put the ball back in for the bucket and the foul.

KEY STATISTICS:

The Miami Heat are 9-0 when heading into the 4th quarter with a lead.

Last night marked the 3rd game of the season in which Chris Bosh scored 30+ points.

The Heat shot 53.8 percent from the floor, a season high for a Phoenix opponent.

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The Miami Heat look to keep the ball rolling when they face off against the Denver Nuggets (9-12) tonight at 10:00 pm Eastern.

Grant Cohen ( @GrantCohen )

Miami Dolphins Control Playoff Destiny

It wasn’t pretty, but the Miami Dolphins put away their AFC East rivals on Monday Night Football to place them firmly in the driver’s seat of their own playoff destiny. With a win over the New York Jets, the Dolphins are right in the wild card picture with a solid chance to make the playoffs. If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Fins would be in. Of course, they don’t start tomorrow and Miami is currently focusing all their attention on a win next week versus Baltimore. The Ravens come to town with an equal record 0f 7-5, same as the Dolphins, with Miami leading the tie breaker due to a better division record. That won’t mean much, if anything, if Baltimore finds a way to win in Miami on Sunday.

Current Playoff Picture:

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 1.41.18 PM

In 2014, the Miami Dolphins are looking better in all phases of the game. Tannehill is finally improving as a pocket passer, the offensive line is stout and the secondary may just be second to none. However, if the Fins really hope to secure a playoff spot, it’s no secret that there are facets of the game they must improve upon. The first improvement must come on defense. When it comes to stopping the run, Miami ranks 21st in the league, allowing opponents to rush for over 118 yards per game. Stopping Justin Forsett, who has already eclipsed 1000 rushing yards on the season, will certainly be a key to success this Sunday. In addition, the Fins need to find a way become more versatile on offense.

While 3rd year quarterback Ryan Tannehill has improved, he has yet to connect on many deep balls over the top. “We don’t want to just keep pulling the dink and dunk short passes. We want to make plays,” stated Tannehill after the narrow victory on Monday night. Tannehill knows it will take more than the Fins have been producing to make and ultimately win in the playoffs. In addition to stopping the run and airing it out on offense, the Fins simply need to cut down on the mistakes and produce in the 4th quarter like they did on Monday. Late interceptions and dropped passes have been a killer for this team all year.

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a few heartbreaking final drives away from having a much better record this season. First it was Aaron Rodgers and the fake spike/touchdown pass. Then came the late game heroics by Matthew Stafford in Detroit, and of course, being outlasted by Peyton Manning in Denver to lose a thriller by a mere two points. This Dolphins team is better than their record suggests and they aim to prove that on Sunday and establish themselves as a legitimate playoff contender.

Written by Grant Cohen

Twitter: @GrantCohen