Update on the latest in sports:


Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 3:31 AM


Rangers, Bruins, Blues take back home-ice edge

UNDATED (AP) — It was a night for road teams in the NHL's three playoff series last night. All won. And all regained that all-important home-ice advantage.

Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves for his fourth NHL playoff shutout, and Brian Boyle scored for the third straight game as the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0.

The Rangers, who lost Game 2 at home in overtime, lead the best-of-seven, first-round series 2-1. Game 4 will be Wednesday night in Ottawa before the series returns to New York.

In other first-round playoff series:

— Zdeno Chara (ZAY'-noh CHAH'-rah) scored the tiebreaking goal during 4-on-4 play with less than 2 minutes left, and the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins finally solved playoff rookie goalie Braden Holtby, beating the Washington Capitals 4-3 and take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

__In San Jose, the St. Louis Blues held off the Sharks 4-3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Patrik Berglund scored his third goal of the series for the Blues, who withstood two late goals by the Sharks at the end.


League dishes out fines to Senators

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL fined the Ottawa Senators $10,000 and forward Zenon Konopka (ZEH'-nohn kuh-NOHP'-kah) $2,500 for Konopka's conduct prior to Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers. Konopka was fined for his verbal abuse directed at a New York Rangers player conducting a live television interview nearby during pregame warm-ups. The $2,500 fine is the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

In other NHL news:

— After missing 12 games with an apparent concussion, Daniel Sedin (suh-DEEN') will be with his Vancouver Canucks at their next practice. Vancouver's top goal-scorer is showing up in Los Angeles just in time to witness either a stirring comeback or a shocking fall. The eighth-seeded Kings have a 3-0 series lead on the Canucks going into Wednesday night's Game 4.


LeBron's furious one-man rally...Spurs move into top spot in West

UNDATED (AP) — LeBron James turned in one of the NBA's great individual late-game performances on Monday night. James scored Miami's final 17 points in a furious one-man rally as the Heat pulled out a 101-98 victory over the New Jersey Nets last night. With fellow superstar Dwyane (dwayn) Wade sitting out the game resting an ankle injury, James scored those 17 of his game-high 37 points in the final 4:48.

The Heat never led until the final 51 seconds, James willed them to their 10th straight victory over the Nets. Chris Bosh had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat, carrying them early in the fourth until James checked back in midway through the period and turned what appeared a certain loss into a stunning victory.

Kris Humphries scored 29 points to lead the Nets.

In other NBA action:

__The San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 120-99 to move into the top spot in the Western Conference by eight percentage points ahead of Oklahoma City. Gary Neal scored 17 points to lead the Spurs.

___ Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench, Blake Griffin added 17 and Randy Foye 13 to help the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 92-77.

— Kevin Seraphin had 21 points and 13 rebounds, John Wall scored 16 points, and the Washington Wizards beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 87-84. The Bulls played without stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng). Rose was out with a sore right foot as he missed his 24th game of the season, and Deng sat out due to sore right ribs. The Bulls' lead over Miami in the Eastern Conference dropped to 2 1/2 games with five games left.

— Arron Afflalo scored 26 points, Ty Lawson had 25 and the Denver Nuggets continued their playoff push with a 105-102 victory over the fading Houston Rockets, who've dropped four in a row.

__In a triple-overtime thriller, the Utah Jazz outlasted Dallas 123-121. Al Jefferson scored 28 points and tied a career-high with 26 rebounds as the Jazz halted their seven-game losing streak against the Mavs to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

— Marcin Gortat (MAHR'-chin GOHR'-tot) had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash had 13 assists to pace the Phoenix Suns to a 125-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

— Greivis (GREE'-vuhs) Vasquez scored 20 points and the New Orleans Hornets handed the Charlotte Bobcats a franchise-record 17th straight loss, 75-67. That's the lowest-scoring game in the NBA this season.

— Ryan Anderson had 26 points and 16 rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 18 points and the Orlando Magic held off the Philadelphia 76ers 113-100. The Magic won their second straight game and played their fifth consecutive without Dwight Howard, who is out indefinitely with a herniated disc in his back.

— David West had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-88 on their fifth consecutive win.

— Jeff Teague had 19 points and 10 assists, Ivan Johnson scored 21 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat Toronto 109-87 for their seventh win in eight games against the Raptors.


NBA follows through on promise

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The NBA is awarding New Orleans the 2014 All-Star game, now that Tom Benson has agreed to buy the Hornets and sign a lease extension at New Orleans Arena.

Commissioner David Stern had already pledged that the Big Easy would get a midseason showcase game once a new owner and lease extension were in place. The two sides announced an agreement on the sale Friday


Decision day for the Wildcats...Pitino's son leaving Louisville for FIU

UNDATED (AP) — Five Kentucky underclassmen, including projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis, are expected to announce their draft intentions at a joint news conference.

Kentucky says freshmen Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, along with sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb will appear together today for the announcement in Lexington. Wildcats coach John Calipari is also scheduled to attend.

The five underclassmen made up Kentucky's starting lineup in the 2011-2012 season and helped Kentucky win its eighth national championship.

In other college basketball news:

__Richard Pitino has been hired to replace Isiah Thomas as basketball coach at Florida International. The 29-year-old son of Rick Pitino is leaving his dad's staff at Louisville to take over a program that hasn't had a winning season in 12 years.

— Johnny Jones was introduced LSU's 21st head coach. A former player and assistant coach for the Tigers, Jones was the head coach at North Texas for the past 11 seasons. He replaced Trent Johnson, who accepted the same position at TCU.

— After having most of his senior season at Minnesota wiped out by an injury, power forward Trevor Mbakwe (im-BAHK'-way) says he's returning to the Gophers for one more shot at a Big Ten title. The conference's leading rebounder during the 2011-12 season tore an ACL in his right knee seven games into last season and has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.

— Evan Smotrycz (SMAHT'-rihch) announced on his Twitter account Monday that he's heading to the University of Maryland. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward said he was leaving Michigan's program earlier this month. He averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds as a sophomore last season, starting the first 18 games and coming off the bench for the final 16 games.


First-place Nationals improve to 8-3...Twins finally win in the Bronx

UNDATED (AP) — Stephen Strasburg pitched six innings for his second win of the season, to lead the Washington Nationals to a 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday.

Strasburg looked nearly unhittable for five innings, allowing just three singles, but the Astros got to him in the sixth for two runs and three hits.

Strasburg walked one and struck out five. He hasn't allowed a home run in 50 1-3 innings — since Aug. 15, 2010.

In the rest of the NL:

— Ike Davis hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and Dillon Gee pitched four-hit ball over seven innings in the New York Mets' 6-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves. That ends the Braves' five-game winning streak.

— Roy Halladay outlasted Tim Lincecum (LINZ'-ih-kuhm) in a matchup of two-time Cy Young Award winners, leading the Philadelphia Phillies past the San Francisco Giants 5-2. Halladay is 3-0 on the young season after going eight innings.

— Cory Luebke (LOOB'-kee) threw seven efficient innings and Chase Headley tied a team record with three doubles, helping the San Diego Padres snap a four-game skid with a 7-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

— Chris Young had three hits including his team-best fifth home run and Joe Saunders pitched seven strong innings to help lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh.

In AL action:

— Justin Verlander beat Kansas City once again, surviving a shaky ninth inning to deliver the Detroit Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Royals. Verlander is 14-2 lifetime against the Royals.

__ The Baltimore Orioles tied it with two runs in the ninth and erupted with six runs in the 10th to beat the Chicago White Sox 10-4. Matt Wieters (WEE'-turz) tied his career high with five RBIs with two homers, including a 10th inning grand slam.

— Carl Pavano quieted a Yankee Stadium crowd with seven solid innings, Justin Morneau played in the field for the first time this season and hit a long homer, and the Minnesota Twins earned a rare victory in New York, 7-3. Minnesota won for just the sixth time in 34 regular-season games in the Bronx since Ron Gardenhire took over as manager in 2002.

— Kendrys Morales hit his first homer in nearly two years and drove in four runs, and Jered Weaver recorded his 1,000th career strikeout while pitching five-hit ball into the seventh inning of the Los Angeles Angels' 6-0 victory over the Oakland.

__ After getting outscored 31-12 while losing their first three games in Boston, the Tampa Bay Rays avoided a series sweep by nipping the Red Sox 1-0 in a Patriots Day game at Fenway Park. James Shields surrendered four hits over 8 1/3 innings to get the win and improve to 2-0. The Rays scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh issued by Sox starter Daniel Baird.


NFL still investigating Saints bounty program

NEW YORK (AP) — Saints quarterback Drew Brees, former New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita (foo-JEE'-tuh) and players union head DeMaurice Smith met with union officials at the NFL offices discussing, among other things, the team's bounty program.

Brees and Fujita, who is now with the Browns, are members of the NFL Players Association's executive committee. Fujita was with the Saints in 2009 when the pay-for-pain bounty pool grew as large as $50,000 and the team won the Super Bowl.

The league is refusing to comment on the meeting which also is including discussions of HGH testing.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') is expected to act soon in punishing players for their roles in the program that got Saints coach Sean Payton suspended until after next season's league championship game.


Manning goes to work with new teammates

UNDATED (AP) —Peyton Manning is joining his new teammates at the Broncos headquarters today for the start of offseason workouts.

The four-time MVP is learning a new playbook while trying to regain his arm strength following a series of neck operations that sidelined him for all of last season, leading to his release by the Colts.

The Broncos are installing a no-huddle offense like the one Manning ran in Indianapolis, where he won two AFC titles and a Super Bowl while rejuvenating the franchise.

Brandon Stokley, who made one of the most famous catches in Broncos history, is returning to Denver to play with Manning.

Stokley signed a one-year deal with the Broncos Monday. In June, he'll turn 36, the same age as Manning, whom he played with in Indianapolis from 2003-06.

Stokley's first stint with the Broncos was best known for his "Immaculate Deflection" catch that stunned the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2009 season opener.


Clemens back in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jury selection in the retrial of Roger Clemens got under way in Washington, D.C. with 90 potential jurors being asked questions about the case.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is back in court nine months after the first attempt by the government to prove he perjured himself when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone before Congress in 2008.

Only two witnesses had been called last July when U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial.


A Kenyan finishes first in Boston for 19th time in 22 years

BOSTON (AP) —Kenya-born United States resident Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon in a heat-slowed time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds. The second-slowest Boston race since 1985 comes a year after Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history to win the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Copley Square. Mutai dropped out after 18 miles with cramps as temperatures rose into the 80s.

For a fifth consecutive year, the women's race was settled by a sprint down Boylston Street to the finish line. Sharon Cherop beat fellow Kenyan Jemima Jelagat Sumgong by 2 seconds to win in 2 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds. It's the slowest women's time in Boston since 1985.


A real BCS buster in Tuscaloosa

UNDATED (AP) — The crystal football Alabama won for beating LSU in the BCS championship game in January was shattered over the weekend when it was accidentally knocked off a display by the father of a current player.

Athletic department spokesman Jeff Purinton said the Waterford Crystal trophy, valued at $30,000, was on display in the Mal Moore Athletic Facility as part of the festivities for the Crimson Tide's spring football game Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He says the man stumbled on a rug that was under the trophy display.

Purinton said the school is working with the American Football Coaches Association, which owns the trophy, on getting a replacement.

This isn't the first such incident. Florida's 2006 trophy was destroyed when it was accidentally knocked off a pedestal by a recruit in 2008. In 2004, Florida State had two trophies stolen.