The Latest – October 19, 2011 19 Oct 11

Here is the latest sports news: Wild fall to Pittsburgh. Vikings ready to turn to Ponder. NBA talks go deep into night.

Pens Double Up Wild
(St. Paul, MN) — Pascal Dupuis [[ doo-PWEE ]] registered a goal and an assist to lead the Penguins to a 4-2 victory over Minnesota. James Neal, Jordan Staal [[ stall ]] and Chris Kunitz [[ KOO-nits ]] also scored for Pittsburgh while Matt Cooke added two helpers. Brent Johnson made 24 stops between the pipes as the Pens snapped a three-game slide. Cal Clutterbuck and Guillaume Latendresse [[ gui-YOME LAH-tahn-dress ]] both lit the lamp for the Wild, who have dropped two-straight and four-of-five. Niklas Backstrom made 21 saves in defeat. The Wild are back on the ice tomorrow night in Edmonton when they skate with the Oilers.

Vikes Reportedly To Start Ponder At QB
(Eden Prarie, MN) — It appears the Minnesota Vikings are moving in a new direction at quarterback. NFL Network reports rookie Christian Ponder will start Sunday when the 1-and-5 Vikings host the 6-and-0 Green Bay Packers. Head coach Leslie Frazier is expected to comment on the quarterback decision tomorrow. He told reporters Monday that he and his staff were evaluating the QB position and would likely have more to say about their direction on Wednesday. Ponder replaced an ineffective McNabb in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s blowout loss to the Chicago Bears.

NBA, Players Meet For Lengthy Session
(New York, NY) — NBA labor talks went nearly 16-hours on Tuesday, finally ending well after 2:00 a.m. Eastern time. George Cohen, who serves as director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and was an early staple of NFL negotiations, met with both sides to try to work out a deal. The failure to reach a new collective bargaining agreement has already cancelled a total of 100 games. NBA commissioner David Stern has said the entire season, or at least games through the popular Christmas schedule, are in jeopardy if current talks fail. At the center of the disagreement is the split of basketball-related income. Both sides are also at odds over a hard salary cap, which players oppose. The NBA lockout began July 1st after the most recent labor deal expired.