Quotestart: Winnipeg Steals One, Andy Reid Speaks, & Injury Updates Galore

Quotestart: Winnipeg Steals One, Andy Reid Speaks, & Injury Updates Galore

Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn on ending his 60-game goal scoring drought in last night's 2-1 shootout victory over the Flyers: "You know what? I haven't had that feeling in a while. I tell you what, there's not many feelings like that. I actually turned to the corner for my celebration and no one came to me. It kind of felt odd. It was great, it was awesome. [Ed Tait, Winnipeg Free Press]

Sydney Crosby on the possibility a soft-tissue injury in his upper neck is a cause of concussion-like symptoms: "I hope so. I think the biggest thing to take from it is that [the neck injury] is something I can work on. There's a pretty big possibility that it could be causing some of the issues. I really hope that's the case and hope that with some treatment it will improve and that's, hopefully, the end of it." [Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Spencer Hawes on when he'll be able to return from a strained Achilles': “When I can really run. If we could just play in the half court, I could be OK and probably cover it up. But when I have to run and get up on my toes and change directions, those are the things I have to continue to work on and be diligent about.” [Dei Lynam, CSN]

The Bulls could be without guard and Coatesville native Richard "Rip" Hamilton tonight against Sixers: Hamilton responded to playing 36 minutes against the Heat on Sunday by sitting Monday in Washington ... [and] now has missed more games than he has played, 12 to 11. Hamilton guarded Dwyane Wade effectively Sunday, giving a glimpse of his importance come playoff time. But he admitted to feeling like he was "playing on one leg" after that game. [K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune]

Andy Reid on what happened with Steve Spagnuolo: "Steve Spangnoulo, I know, was another topic and one that I understand. He's a fine football coach. Steve and I are good friends and we talked throughout the season as we do every year. When Steve was released from the Rams I did offer him a spot here to coach, if he needed one, a place to land with open arms. And my feeling was that you can have two great coaches on defense and that's even better than just having Juan himself, so that's about as far as it went there. We didn't talk about titles. We didn't go into any of that. He had opportunities to look at other places. He wanted to do that, which I completely understand. And he ended up going to New Orleans." [PE.com]

Bill Belichick on Jason Pierre-Paul's "wow" factor on film: "Probably about five times a game he has plays like that. He comes out of nowhere
and makes a tackle. Or jumps ten feet in the air and bats down a ball.
Or makes an athletic move at the line of scrimmage while keeping his
balance. He’s a rare athlete." [ProFootballTalk]

Aaron Rodgers on the NFC's 1,951-1,347 victory in the Pro Bowl: "I was just surprised that some of the guys either didn't want to play or when they were in there didn't put any effort into it." [ESPN.com]

A recruiting analyst's take on how the New England Patriots' Super Bowl run impacts Penn State and head coach Bill O'Brien: "It's not a good thing for Penn State. I don't know the inner workings. I don't know if he said, 'Yeah, I'll take the job, but I need this.' And Penn State was desperate. It's not like people were lining up for the job. It's a tough job. But if you're Penn State, selfishly, you had to be hoping New England would get knocked out in the first round. I've said this before -- Penn State fans should've been rooting against the Patriots, to get their coach on campus." [Albert Breer, NFL.com]

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

Best of NBA: Wall, Wizards top Knicks for 4th straight win

NEW YORK -- John Wall had 29 points and 13 assists, scoring Washington's final four points in the last 32 seconds as the surging Wizards beat the New York Knicks 113-110 on Thursday night.

Otto Porter Jr. made six 3-pointers for the second straight night and added 23 points, but the Wizards needed big plays from Wall down the stretch to win their fourth in a row.

He made two free throws to put Washington back on top after New York had rallied to take a 110-109 lead, then rebounded Carmelo Anthony's miss and left all the Knicks in his dust as he raced down the floor for a dunk with 13.7 seconds to play.

Anthony finished with 34 points but Wall stole the ball from Brandon Jennings to prevent the Knicks from attempting a 3-pointer that could have tied it (see full recap).

Leonard scores 34 to lead Spurs over Nuggets
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, rookie Dejounte Murray added a season-high 24 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a pregame injury to Pau Gasol in beating the Denver Nuggets 118-104 on Thursday night.

Denver's three-game winning streak was snapped despite a career-high 35 points from Nikola Jokic.

Leonard had his fifth straight 30-point performance, right after learning he will start for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game for the second consecutive season.

The Spurs were unexpectedly without Gasol, Tony Parker and then coach Gregg Popovich. Gasol and Parker were both late scratches due to injury, and Popovich was ejected for the first time this season.

Gasol broke the ring finger on his left (non-shooting) hand by jamming it against Kyle Anderson's shoulder during pregame warmups while attempting a running hook. The 16-year veteran center immediately clutched his hand and left the court.

X-rays revealed the break, and the Spurs said there is no timeline for Gasol's return.

Irving, James lead Cavs over Suns
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, All-Star teammate LeBron James had 21 points and 15 assists, and the Cleveland Cavaliers looked more like themselves at home in a 118-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

The Cavs were back in Quicken Loans Arena following a six-game road trip (their longest of the season) that concluded with an embarrassing 35-point loss at Golden State. But on their home floor, they had better offensive balance and ball movement while improving to 30-11 -- the same record Cleveland had at the halfway point of its 2016 NBA championship season.

Channing Frye scored 18, Iman Shumpert 17 and James Jones 14 while filling in for star forward Kevin Love, still bothered by back spasms.

Tyson Chandler had 22 points and 16 rebounds, but the Suns lost for the fourth time in five games (see full recap).

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

Best of NHL: Surging Capitals rock Blues in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Andre Burakovsky, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist to lead the Washington Capitals to a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Jay beagle, Brett Connolly, Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams also scored, and Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Winnik each had two assists to help Washington earn at least a point in its 12th straight game (10-0-2) for an NHL-best 66 points.

Braden Holtby bounced back from his roughest outing of the season with 22 saves. Holtby was pulled after giving up a season-high five goals on 26 shots in an 8-7 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. He improved to 22-8-4 and 5-0 lifetime against St. Louis (see full recap).

Grabner scores 2 goals, Rangers top Leafs
TORONTO -- Michael Grabner scored two goals against his former team, helping the New York Rangers snap a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei and J.T. Miller added goals for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves following a series of rough outings.

Tyler Bozak and Zach Hyman scored for Toronto, which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Maple Leafs had earned 21 of a possible 26 points in their previous 13 games (10-2-1). Frederik Andersen gave up four goals on 40 shots (see full recap).

Tavares leads Islanders to shutout of Stars
NEW YORK -- Getting a new coach this week didn't change things much for the Islanders -- and oddly enough, that's a good thing for New York.

John Tavares narrowly missed out on his second hat trick in a week, Thomas Greiss got his second straight shutout and the Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night in their first game since firing longtime coach Jack Capuano.

New York canned Capuano in the middle of his seventh season Tuesday, replacing him on an interim basis with Doug Weight (see full recap).

Niederreiter, Wild dodge letdown, edge Coyotes
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Nino Niederreiter had two power-play goals and an assist, including the go-ahead score for the Minnesota Wild with 7:06 remaining in a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Thursday night after the Coyotes came back from a two-goal deficit.

With Shane Doan in the penalty box for hooking, Niederreiter knocked in a nifty redirect of Mikael Granlund's slap shot for the winner. Devan Dubnyk stopped 20 shots for the Wild, who are 18-2-2 in their last 22 games.

Louis Domingue made 21 saves for the Coyotes, who lost their fourth in a row and fell to 2-12-1 in their last 15 games starting with a 4-1 loss to Minnesota in Arizona on Dec. 17 (see full recap).