Blues ride Elliott, beat Coyotes 2-1 in shootout
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Brian Elliott stopped all three chances in a shootout for the second straight game, bouncing back after a late goal denied him a fourth shutout this month, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night to step closer to a playoff berth.
Radim Vrbata's power-play goal tied it with 1:07 to go. The Coyotes, who were blanked 4-0 on Monday by the Sharks, capitalized on a boarding penalty against Blues captain David Backes.
Andy McDonald was the first to go in the shootout and got the only goal, beating Chad Johnson.
David Perron scored his first goal in 17 games for the offensively challenged Blues, who have scored two or fewer goals in 12 of their last 16 games. They've won 10 of those games thanks to tight defense and strong play in goal. They are 5-1 in shootouts.
Beltran, Wainwright lead Cards past Phillies 4-3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth, Adam Wainwright pitched seven solid innings and the St. Louis Cardinals escaped a ninth-inning jam for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.
Philadelphia put runners at first and third with nobody out against Edward Mujica, but the fill-in closer retired three straight batters to preserve the victory.
Yadier Molina went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Cardinals, who had seven hits one night after getting held to Beltran's seventh-inning double in a 5-0 loss to A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Wainwright (3-1) wasn't as sharp as his previous start, when he pitched a four-hitter and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts Saturday in an 8-0 win over Milwaukee, but he was still effective.
Rams get first Monday night game since 2006
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Coming off a six-win improvement last season, the St. Louis Rams will play their first Monday night game since 2006 with a Week 8 matchup at home against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 28.
The Rams, who were 7-8-1 under new coach Jeff Fisher, also get a Thursday night home game in Week 4, Sept. 26, against the San Francisco 49ers.
St. Louis opens at home against Arizona on Sept. 8 before getting the next two on the road at Atlanta and Dallas, and for the third time in four seasons plays at Seattle in the season finale. The bye comes in Week 11.
Chiefs' Reid heads back to Philly on Sept. 19
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid will make his return to Philadelphia when Kansas City visits the Eagles for a Thursday night game in mid-September.
Kansas City opens the season Sept. 8 at Jacksonville, plays its home opener Sept. 15 against Dallas, and then visits the Eagles — where Reid spent 14 years as head coach — on Sept. 19 for a prime-time game.
The Chiefs return home against the Giants on Sept. 29, visit Tennessee the next week, and then have three straight at Arrowhead Stadium against Oakland, Houston and Cleveland.
They visit Buffalo before a bye week Nov. 10, and then visit the Broncos before two more at home against San Diego and Denver.
The Chiefs play three of their last four on the road: at Washington and Oakland, against Indianapolis on Dec. 22, and at San Diego to finish the season.
Chiefs: No permission given to Dolphins for Albert
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid denied a report Thursday that the team has given permission to the Miami Dolphins to speak with left tackle Branden Albert.
Reid said the report was not true, denying any suggestion the Chiefs granted permission to help facilitate a trade of the franchise tackle for a second-round pick in next week's draft.
Albert has not attended any of the Chiefs' voluntary offseason workouts after expressing his displeasure with getting the franchise tag. Albert said he wants a long-term commitment, and has indicated he's unwilling to move to the right tackle.
Nevertheless, Albert has already signed the tender, which means he will make about $9.3 million if he plays for Kansas City under the franchise tag next season.
Chiefs' Alex Smith getting warm-up with next team
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Alex Smith has been relishing his chance to get on the field with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even if it's April, and only for three days — all without pads.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been itching for the moment ever since he learned of the trade that sent him to Kansas City. The Chiefs finished a voluntary, three-day minicamp Thursday, which is allowed for teams that underwent an offseason coaching change.
They've certainly been helpful for a team that also experienced a quarterback change.
Smith has been able to bore into the Chiefs' playbook, begin building chemistry with his wide receivers and offensive line, and get some hands-on work with coach Andy Reid and new offensive coordinator Doug Pederson.
WOMEN'S SOCCER LEAGUE-TV
New pro women's soccer league on FOX Sports TV
CHICAGO (AP) — The new women's professional soccer league has landed a TV deal with FOX Sports.
Six regular-season matches will be shown in July, followed by two playoff matches and the championship on Aug. 31.
The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and FOX Sports Media Group announced the one-year deal on Thursday, five days after the start of the new eight-team league.
Beginning July 8, FOX Soccer will televise one game per week in the final six weeks of the season, leading up to the NWSL playoffs. The league features Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and other members of the U.S. national team, along with players from Canada and Mexico.
NWSL executive director Cheryl Bailey calls the TV deal "important for the growth of the league."
Teams play in Boston, Chicago, Rochester, N.Y., Piscataway, N.J., and Washington, D.C., plus Kansas City, Portland and Seattle.
Drivers, track to honor victims of Boston bombings
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Speedway and several drivers plan to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings during this weekend's NASCAR races.
The track is working with NASCAR on a moment of silence before Sunday's Sprint Cup race to remember the three people killed and more than 170 wounded in Monday's blasts.
Michael Waltrip, who ran the Boston Marathon in 2000, plans to honor them with special door numbers painted on his three Sprint Cup entries. The numbers will replicate the style of bib numbers pinned on the nearly 30,000 runners in this year's marathon.
Waltrip said, "It was a great moment of pride when they pinned the Boston Marathon bib on me, so it would be great to pin bib numbers on our races cars this week in Kansas."