Field Level Media
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild rode a dominant special teams performance to a 7-1 rout of the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The Wild were a perfect four-for-four on power play opportunities. Charlie Coyle also converted a short-handed goal 12:33 into the second period, pulling in front of the net for a backhand shot. Matt Dumba scored twice on the power play, giving him 12 goals on the season. Dumba leads all NHL defensemen in scoring.
The NFL announced Tuesday that the salary cap will rise to about $190 million in 2019, a jump from $177.2 million this season. The league informed teams that the projected range is from $187.0 to $191.1 million. That marks a 40-percent increase since the 2014 season ($133.0 million) and the sixth consecutive year the cap has climbed by at least $10 million. "Total projected player costs, including benefits, will be more than $7.3 billion in 2019," the league said in a statement. The exact salary cap figure will be determined before free agency opens on March 13.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Draymond Green returned from an 11-game absence with a solid all-around performance, and Stephen Curry led a barrage from 3-point range with a game-high 38 points Monday, lifting the Golden State Warriors to a 116-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Oakland on Monday, Dec. 10. Green, who had seen the Warriors go just 6-5 while he recovered from a bruised toe, contributed seven points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to Golden State's fourth straight win. Karl-Anthony Towns paced Minnesota with 31 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
SEATTLE — Adam Thielen is now in company with Randy Moss and Cris Carter. With a 10-yard reception in the fourth quarter Monday night at Seattle, the Vikings wide receiver joined Moss and Carter as the only players in team history to have 100 catches in a season. Moss and Carter each did it twice. Carter became the first Minnesota receiver to have 100 in a season since Moss had 111 grabs in 2003. Moss had 106 catches in 2002.
CHICAGO -- In a marquee matchup of flashy offense against tough defense, it was all defense. The Chicago Bears held the Los Angeles Rams to 214 total yards and kept them out of the end zone Sunday night, Dec. 9, logging a 15-6 win at Soldier Field that might play a major role in shaping the NFC playoffs when they start next month. Chicago (9-4) moved another step closer to the NFC North title. If Minnesota (6-5-1) loses on Monday night in Seattle, the Bears can wrap up the division crown next week at home against Green Bay.
PORTLAND -- Damian Lillard scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Portland Trail Blazers downed the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-105 Saturday night, Dec. 8. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 22 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals as the Trail Blazers, who scored the final 10 points after trailing 105-103, won their second straight game.
ATLANTA -- Josef Martinez scored and had an assist to cap an incredible season and help Atlanta United win the 2018 MLS Cup with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Portland Timbers on Saturday night, Dec. 8. Martinez, who set an MLS record with 31 regular season goals while earning the league's Landon Donovan MVP award, added four more in the postseason to go with his one assist in the cup final. He was also selected as MVP of Saturday's match.
NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive season, an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy when Kyler Murray was announced as the winner Saturday night, Dec. 8, at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. Murray beat out two other quarterbacks -- Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins -- for the award. Murray finished with 2,167 voting points, ahead of Tagovailoa (1,871) and third-place Haskins (783 points). He received 517 first-place votes compared to 299 for Tagovailoa and 46 for Haskins.
MINNEAPOLIS — Daniel Oturu scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Minnesota defeated visiting Arkansas State 72-56 Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8, in a nonconference game. Dupree McBrayer added 14 points and Amir Coffey scored 12 for the Golden Gophers (8-2), who improved to 5-0 at home. They also improved to 13-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist and Connor McDavid added a goal and three assists as the Edmonton Oilers continued their resurgence under coach Ken Hitchcock with a 7-2 victory Friday night, Dec. 7, against the visiting Minnesota Wild. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson and Darnell Nurse also scored for the Oilers, who have won five of their past six games and are 6-2-1 since Hitchcock was hired Nov. 20 to replace Todd McLellan. Goaltender Cam Talbot made 31 saves.