BOSTON -- Jose Theodore saw his share of the Bruins when he was with the rival Montreal Canadiens. So he needed no extra motivation against Boston, even though the defending Stanley Cup champions were the hottest team in hockey and one point ahead of the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference. "Theres always something that gets you going," Theodore said after making 40 saves to beat Boston 2-0 on Thursday night and snap Tim Thomas winning streak at 10 games. "And when you play against the best, you want to raise your game." Tomas Kopecky broke a scoreless tie with 2:32 left, and Theodore notched his second shutout of the season to lead the Panthers. "It was just one of these games I was seeing the puck well, and I knew right away that it was going to be tough for them to score goals," said Theodore, who faced the Bruins in the playoffs in 2002 and 04 and beat them both times. "When I feel like Im on top of my game, Im tough to beat. And tonight we just played well, stuck with the game plan, didnt panic and got away with a win." Thomas made 28 saves in his first loss since Oct. 27. In the 11 games since, he has allowed just 18 goals while posting three shutouts. He was on his way to a fourth when Shawn Matthias took the puck wide and shot on net. Thomas made the save but left the puck in front; Sean Bergenheim skated over it and missed, but Kopecky followed up and put it in. "I just wanted to make sure I got everything I had on it, because hes a really goalie," Kopecky said. "We knew hes going to be playing hard, we knew its going to be a tight game. So after the second period we just said, We need to stay patient." Kris Versteeg added an empty-net goal with 42 seconds left, outracing the Bruins to a loose puck and backhanding it into the net to give Florida its third consecutive victory. With the win, the Panthers moved ahead of the Bruins and into second place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins went all of November without losing a game in regulation, but they are 2-2 in December. They have lost two in a row for the first time since back-to-back losses to Montreal at the end of October. "We did a good job of getting shots and scoring chances, but thats all they are if you dont get results," forward Milan Lucic said, noting that the Bruins hit the post three times in the first 10 minutes. "Weve got to get back and remember what got us those 14 wins in 15 games (in November)." The Bruins dominated the scoring chances for most of the game, but Florida put pressure on Thomas with 5 minutes left and then struck quickly after Lucic whiffed on a puck in the Florida zone to allow the game-winning break. "You could see they were just waiting for a mistake to take advantage of," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And thats just what they did." The Bruins hadnt been shut out since the third game of the season. But they suffered from sustained bad luck, hitting the post a handful of times and failing to capitalize on chances even as they outshot Florida 40-30. NOTES: It was the 101st consecutive sellout for the Bruins. ... Eight of the top 10 plus-players in the NHL were in the game, five on Boston and three on Florida. Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin of the Bruins entered with a league-best plus-19. ... Seguin returned from a one-game benching for missing a team meeting in Winnipeg. He played in his 100th career game, and Theodore played in his 600th. ... The Bruins announced before the game that they signed first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton, a defenceman who was the ninth overall choice this summer. ... Bruins forward Daniel Paille left the game after one shift and didnt return. Julien said he was "dinged up." http://www.nikesapatosvendaportugal.com/Nike-Free-3-0-Amphibious-ht-89.html
. Louis Cardinals, who will be looking to bounce back from last nights 8-1 defeat to the Red Sox in the World Series opener. http://www.nikesapatosvendaportugal.com/Air-Force-1-ck-95.html
. Osasuna beat Atletico at its own game, both in its tough, physical approach and its set piece strategy to take a three-goal lead at the break after one of Atleticos worst first halves in three years under coach Diego Simeone. http://www.nikesapatosvendaportugal.com/Nike-Free-5-0+-mf-46.html. A lawyer for MLB, Matthew Menchel, confirmed Wednesday the league dropped its case against Biogenesis of America, its owner Anthony Bosch and several other individuals. The lawsuit had accused Biogenesis and Bosch of conspiring with players to violate their contracts by providing them with banned performance-enhancing substances. http://www.nikesapatosvendaportugal.com/Nike-Free-Run+-2-sm-32.html
. New York general manager Glen Sather said Biron, the backup to workhorse goalie Henrik Lundqvist, will be out indefinitely. http://www.nikesapatosvendaportugal.com/
. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy isnt sure if quarterback Aaron Rodgers will start the teams winner-take-all NFC North matchup with the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field. Fans hear the words "neck fusion" and wonder why Peyton Manning is even considering playing again, fearful hell risk a career-ending injury -- or worse -- the next time he takes a hit. But safety isnt Mannings issue, several spine specialists said. Arm strength is. Mannings surgically repaired neck will be able to take a hit just fine once the fusion is healed, with the bone actually stronger than others in his neck. Nerves are delicate, however, and only time will tell if theyll recover enough for the 35-year-old four-time NFL MVP to be the quarterback he once was. "His risk really is very low," said Dr. Robert S. Bray Jr., who has worked with NHL star Sidney Crosby and whose DISC Sports & Spine Center provides medical services for the U.S. Olympic team. "If I was a team, Id ask, Did (the fusion) heal? Do you have a CAT scan that showed it healed? Is the rest of neck in pretty good shape?" Bray asked. "If those two answers are yes, then it gets down to, OK, get out on the field and show me you can perform, because it will only get better from here with time." Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a damaged nerve that caused weakness in his right arm and required multiple neck surgeries, including a single-level fusion in September. He has brushed off questions about retirement, insisting that -- after parting ways with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday -- he still wants to play. And theres no risk to him doing so, say several doctors in the field who have not examined Manning. Dr. Robert Watkins, Mannings surgeon, is not commenting on the quarterback, his office said Thursday. Manning had at least two procedures between February 2010 and September 2011 to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve, the cause of the weakness in his throwing arm. When those didnt work, Watkins did the fusion, removing the troublesome soft disk tissue between two vertebrae and fusing the bones together. The fusion normally takes four to six months to heal and, much like any other broken bone, it becomes even stronger afterward. But just as someone who tries playing with a still-broken arm risks additional injury, so did Manning if hed returned before the fusion was solid.dddddddddddd But Manning was "working with the best," Bray said, and theres no way Watkins would have allowed the quarterback to play without being certain the fusion had healed. Watkins announced Feb. 2 that he had cleared Manning to play football again. "In the field of spine surgery and professional athletes, we have a fairly strong consensus that if you have a one-level cervical fusion, you can recover and go back and safely play," said Dr. William Tobler, a neurosurgeon at the Mayfield Clinic in Cincinnati who has done four fusions on NFL players, including four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Chris Spielman, all of whom returned to the field. "If the fusion heals, the neck is stable so, presumably, you can take all the hitting and impact." Then its a matter of the nerve regenerating. "Nerves are just wires and the muscle is where the wire plugs into," said Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University, team doctors for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox. "Obviously hes got all the intelligence and the skill set. Its a matter of strength. Can he get his arm to do what his mind and eyes want him to do?" And that takes time. Unlike a sponge, which springs right back after someone stops pressing down on it, a nerve is more like a piece of cooked spaghetti, Tobler said. Press on it, and the indentation remains after the finger is lifted. "It isnt like a light switch," Bray said. "But if you get the pressure off, then the nerve kicks in progressively over time." While theres no guarantee Manning will ever fully recover, Bray said nerves tend to heal more and for a longer period of time when patients are young and healthy. Manning said Wednesday he is not completely recovered, but insisted hes closer than ever. "Im throwing it pretty well. I still have some progress to make, but Ive come a long way," Manning said. "Thats been the most fun part is being back out there on the field. Im doing better, I continue to work hard and hope to continue making progress." ' ' '