the 8-ball for the final weeks
(SportsNetwork. Deone Bucannon Jersey .com) - The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are ready to put all the talk and hype surrounding their meeting at Dodger Stadium behind them. The two Pacific Division rivals kick start the NHLs "Stadium Series" on Saturday night when they complete a home-and-home series outside at Dodger Stadium. The clubs will meet for the second outdoor game of this NHL schedule. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings began the extended slate of games outside on Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium, with the Leafs notching a 3-2 shootout victory in the Winter Classic. The success of previous versions of that event, as well as the Heritage Classic in Canada, prompted the NHL to expand its schedule of games outside. Saturdays game is the first of four in the "Stadium Series" as the New York Rangers will play the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium before returning to the famous grounds for a game against the New York Islanders on Wednesday. Later in the season, the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will square off at Soldier Field in the Windy City on March 1 before the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators battle the following day in the Heritage Classic. That game will be played at BC Place, which features a retractable roof. Californias first ever outdoor NHL game is also the first played by the league in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River during the regular season. The Kings, though, have played outdoors before as they faced off against the Rangers in the parking lot of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Sept. 27, 1991 in a preseason game played despite an 85-degree temperature. Wayne Gretzky had a goal in that game for Los Angeles. While this contest will be of larger scale and of more importance, it has also required a ton of attention for both teams. Anaheims Ryan Getzlaf noted after a loss to Winnipeg on Wednesday that the outdoor game has caused a lot of distractions. Getzlafs words came after the Ducks lost their first game at home in regulation this season, but they bounced back on Thursday to beat the Kings 2-1 and improve to 21-1-2 as the hosting team this season. That ties the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks as the second-best home record through 24 games in NHL history, with both teams going 21-1-2 to trail only the Montreal Canadiens 1943-44 home start of 21-0-3. The King struck first on Thursday thanks to a first-period tally by Anze Kopitar, but Dustin Penner tied the contest on the power play with 6:09 to go in the second period before Patrick Maroon notched the winning goal with 2:07 to play in the frame. Frederik Andersen stopped 30 shots for the Ducks, who have won 20 of their last 23 games and lead the NHL with 81 points. That is nine more than the second-place Sharks and 17 up on the Kings, who lead Vancouver by just three points for the third and final automatic playoff bid in the division. "One game in January doesnt mean were a better team than them," said Ducks forward Ben Lovejoy. "They played a great game tonight. We were one goal better than them, barely. Were two very evenly matched teams, and we need to bring it on Saturday in order to be successful." The Ducks will play five in a row at home after this game and have lost their last five games as the visitor in this series. The two clubs have split two meetings this season, with the Kings notching a 3-2 shootout win in Anaheim on Dec. 3, and Los Angeles has won eight of the previous 12 encounters overall. Jonathan Quick made 19 saves for the Kings, who won the opener of a five-game road trip on Jan. 16 in St. Louis before dropping the final four games of the trek. "We came up short," Kopitar said. "Thats something we have to learn from. We cant just give up soft goals and easy goals." Quick is 13-6-2 with a 2.41 goals against average in 23 games during his career versus the Ducks, who are likely to go back to Jonas Hiller in net tonight. Hiller has allowed six goals total in back-to-back losses after winning 14 straight and is 8-8-3 with a 2.43 GAA lifetime versus the Kings. Larry Fitzgerald Jersey . The 27-year-old forward has informed the Leafs that he will be unable to play in Monday nights home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Justin Bethel Jersey . - The situation looked bleak at best for the coach Doc Rivers Clippers — down by four points with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter.(SportsNetwork.com) - It cant possibly go worse, can it? The much-anticipated starting debut of Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was a bigger bomb than 47 Ronin, the Keanu Reeves fantasy action film regarded by Hollywood as the biggest Box Office bust in history. Johnny Football will get his second opportunity on Sunday against a 5-8-1 Carolina Panthers team still in the thick of the NFC South race. The harshest of Manziels critics didnt expect what happened last weekend when the lightning rod proved to be an abject mess in his first NFL start, completing 10-of-18 for 80 yards with two first-half interceptions as Clevelands playoff hopes nosedived in a similar trajectory to Manziels stock with a 30-0 setback to the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals. There were flashes but they were brief, Browns coach Mike Pettine said in a laughably kind review of Manziels performance. Seemingly every Bengals defender got a chance to flash the former Heisman Trophy winners signature money-sign celebration to the FirstEnergy Stadium crowd, essentially mocking Manziel for his inability to get anything done offensively. Of course, he kind of brought that on himself, Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry quipped. The Browns made the switch from the limited Brian Hoyer to Manziel to provide a spark in an effort to keep their fading playoff hopes alive. However, that spark was never fanned. In his first 30 minutes, Manziel was 4-for-9 for 22 yards and a 12.0 passer rating and things never really turned around as Cleveland, which has lost three in a row, ran only 38 offensive plays (the fewest by any team in a game this season), totaled 107 yards of total offense and had six three-and-outs. I saw the field fine today, but when it came down to it, I just need to throw the ball and let it rip, and I didnt do a very good job of that, Manziel understated. About the only positive you could take from Manziels performance was the fact he didnt make any excuses. Nobody wants to win (in the locker room) more than I do, and its tough to come out there and lay an egg like that, Manziel said. Im not using the rookie excuse. I needed to play better. The Panthers, meanwhile, kept hope alive in Week 15 by topping lowly Tampa Bay, 19-17, to win for the first time in seven games despite being without star quarterback Cam Newton, who was injured in a car accident earlier in the week. Derek Anderson filled in for Newton and threw for 277 yards and a touchdown. Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his lower back in a two- car accident on Dec. 9 near the teams stadium. Anderson, who also started for Newton in the Panthers Week 1 win at Tampa Bay, completed 25-of-40 passes. Everything was not as clean as we wouldve liked it. Anderson said. It wasnt perfect by any means ... overall Im very happy with the win. Greg Olsen matched a career-high with 10 receptions for 110 yards and Kelvin Benjamin added 104 yards on eight receptions for Carolina, which is percentage points behind the New Orleans Saints (6-8) for first place in the division with two games to play. After Cleveland the Panthers will finish their schedule at Atlanta, which is 5-9 and also in the mix in the NFC South. The Saints and Falcons play each other in New Orleans on Sunday, and the Saints will close the reggular season at Tampa Bay in Week 17. David Johnson Jersey. The Panthers need to win their final two games and have the Saints lose once to repeat as division champions. Carolina leads its all-time series with the Browns by a 3-1 margin but the two teams havent met since Nov. 28, 2010 when Cleveland got its only win, a 24-23 triumph in the Buckeye State. The clubs havent met in the Queen City since 2006, a 20-12 Panthers win. WHAT TO WATCH FOR The Panthers are playing a wait-and-see game with Newton but signs point to him giving it a go on Sunday. Newton was able to practice by Wednesday and reports said he was moving well and looking relatively pain free, just eight days since his accident. He looked like he threw the ball well, but again, a lot depends on how he feels tomorrow, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. He went through all the team drills. He went through all the individual drills. He did all we had slated for him.This is a young man who is very strong-willed and very tough. The hope is that Newton continues to progress without any setbacks. Rivera hopes to make a final decision on his status by Friday. The biggest factor will be whether or not (team doctors) tell me he can protect himself, Rivera said. I dont want to put a guy out there if he cant protect himself. By that I mean being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way to stay alive, keep the play alive, by being able to get out of the way. Whether its Newton or Anderson under center, expect them to keep feeding Olsen, who has 20 catches in his last two games and is tied for the NFL lead among tight ends with 81 receptions and ranks second with 960 yards. If I see him one-on-one with a guy that I know cant cover him, I have a lot of confidence in what (Olsens) going to do, Anderson said. Making things tougher for the Cleveland defense are injuries to cornerbacks Joe Haden (shoulder) and Justin Gilbert (concussion), who are both iffy for this contest. Manziel, meanwhile, called his first chance at solving an NFL defense very humbling and the Browns are hoping his struggles serve as a wake-up call when it comes to off-the-field preparation. I think its too small a sample size, Pettine said when asked to project Manziels future. When you look at how we played around him, I think its very unfair to judge what somebodys career is going to be like off of their first start. That type of game humbles all of us. Manziel, however, is trying to stay away from the negativity. Im not really listening to any outside noise or what anybody else has to say, he said. I know that I need to play better and if I dont, people are going to continue to say things like that. OVERALL ANALYSIS The Panthers get a big break here in a must win game with Manziel starting, which strikes many as a general manager forcing a first-round pick on a first- year coach with little cachet. Pettine understands Manziel is simply not ready to play an NFL game yet so the Browns ate behind the 8-ball for the final weeks. Whether Newton or Anderson starts, Carolina should do enough to stay in the NFC South race for at least one more week. Its a race, but we play Cleveland next. That will be the focus, Rivera said. Weve got to get things going in the right direction. Sports Network predicted outcome: Panthers 20, Browns 13 Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys NFL Jerseys China ' ' '