The Chicago Cubs have had an up and down season, but in the end, they are now sitting in the same spot as they were last season. They are set to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS for the second consecutive year following a 9-8, Game-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. The game lasted four hours, 33 minutes, which set a record for the longest nine-inning game in MLB Postseason history. Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, while Addison Russell drove in four to lead the offense, as the Cubs will be participating in their third NLCS in a row. Russell had the go-ahead two-run double in the fifth, and Chicago would not let go of the lead. They added three more runs in the following two innings, extending their lead and hanging on late. Davis ended his longest outing since 2012 by striking out Bryce Harper swinging to end the game, as the Nationals remain without a postseason series win since moving to Washington D.C. They have suffered four NLDS losses in the past six seasons after winning the NL East Division Title. They did hold an early 4-1 lead on Thursday night behind home runs from Daniel Murphy and Michael Taylor, a lead that lasted all of two innings. Chicago will begin their NLCS with the Dodgers on Saturday night in Los Angeles, where Clayton Kershaw will be dealing for baseball's best team.
Luongo, Panthers Hand Blues First Loss
The Florida Panthers had themselves a successful night on Thursday, all centered around their veteran goaltender. Roberto Luongo tied Curtis Joseph for fourth all-time with his 454th career win, as the Panthers handed the St. Louis Blues their first loss, 5-2. Luongo made 37 saves on the night in his first home game since a February 28th win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The 38-year-old missed the end of last season due to hip injuries. Florida got five goals from five different players, as Vincent Trocheck had the go-ahead tally on the night. The Panthers now have 13 goals in the first three games of the season, setting a franchise record, which was previously 11 in the 2015-16 campaign. Ian McCoshen had his first career NHL goal, while Jared McCaan, Aaron Ekblad, and Nick Bjugstad also found the back of the net in the win. Jake Allen made 33 saves in the loss for St. Louis, who got goals from Paul Stastny and Vince Dunn. Thursday night was the first time the Blues had trailed in a game since the first period of the season opener. They will continue their road trip as they look to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. The Panthers will also hit the road to visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
Wentz, Eagles Top Panthers on TNF
On paper, it was one of the most intriguing Thursday night matchups in the NFL this season. On the field, it was the Philadelphia Eagles continuing their torrid start. Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes, two of which went to Zach Ertz, as the Eagles improved to 5-1 on the year with a 28-23 win over the Carolina Panthers. Wentz connected with Ertz for a one-yard score in the second quarter and then a 17-yard touchdown in the third, while adding a 24-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor in the fourth. He finished 16-of-30 for 222 yards overall and did not turn the ball over. On the other hand, Cam Newton struggled with the football, throwing just one touchdown pass and three interceptions in the loss. Carolina did have a shot to take the lead with a drive late in the fourth, but they turned the ball over on downs at midfield. Newton did lead the Panthers in the rushing attack with 71 yards on the ground, including his 51st career rushing touchdown. The Panthers other running backs Jonathan Stewart, Christian McCaffrey, and Fozzy Whitaker combined for one yard on 13 carries. The first-place Eagles will return home next week for a Monday night matchup with the Washington Redskins. Meanwhile, the Panthers will be on the road next week against the Chicago Bears.