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#SportsReport: Islanders Among NHL Top Four; Wetteland Charged

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The top of the NHL's Metropolitan Division is a little tighter right now, with just three points separating the top four teams. The Islanders are within three points of the Capitals and Blue Jackets. 

The Islanders won for the ninth time in 11 games by topping the Blues, 2-1 on Valtteri Filppula's goal 1:37 into overtime. Jordan Eberle also scored and Robin Lehner made 18 of his 30 saves in the second period as New York gave St. Louis its first loss in four games.

The Columbus Blue Jackets pulled even with the division-leading Capitals by downing the Devils, 4-1. Top-liners Artemi Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson each had a goal and an assist in the Jackets' fourth straight win. Joonas Korisalo stopped 29 shots and blanked New Jersey until Blake Coleman scored late in the second period.

The Caps lost sole possession of first place by allowing Viktor Arvidsson to register his second career hat trick in the Predators' 7-2 thumping of Washington. Nick Bonino added a pair of goals as Nashville stopped a two-game slide.

Pittsburgh has fallen into a virtual third-place tie with the Isles in the division. Tomas Hertl registered a hat trick and Joe Thornton celebrated his 1,000th game for San Jose by adding another goal in the Sharks' seventh consecutive win, 5-2 against the Penguins. Marcus Sorensen also scored and Martin Jones made 22 saves as the Sharks improved to 16-3-2 in their past 21 games.

Elsewhere on NHL ice, the Hurricanes lost for just the second time in nine games as Mika Zibanejad provided two goals and two assists in the Rangers' 6-2 win over Carolina. Pavel Buchnevich and Tony DeAngelo each scored twice and Mats Zuccarello added three assists as the New York won for only the second time in eight games.

Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his second shutout in a week by handling 335 shots in the Lightning's 2-0 decision over the Stars. Ondrej Palat and Mikhail Sergachev scored for Tampa Bay, which bounced back from Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Islanders and improved to 19-2-1 in its last 22 games.

Kyle Connor had two goals and an assist and the Jets extended their point streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Golden Knights. Laurent Brossoit stopped 43 shots for Winnipeg, which swept a three-game homestand and improved to 5-0-1 in its past six to stay two points ahead of Nashville atop the Central Division.

Jason Zucker's shootout goal was the difference in the Wild's 3-2 victory over the Kings. Nino Niederreiter and Eric Staal scored in regulation, and Alex Stalock stopped 31 shots as Minnesota's halted a two-game skid.

Antti Niemi turned back 52 shots and Shea Weber furnished a power-play goal and an assist  in the Canadiens' third straight win, 5-1 against the Panthers. Niemi faced at least 16 shots in each period, stopping 21 in the third and blanking Florida after Mike Hoffman tallied 14:11 into the game.

Anaheim's team-record losing streak has stretched to a dozen games after Gustav Nyquist scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:16 remaining in the Red Wings' 3-1 comeback over the Ducks. Detroit trailed until Anthony Mantha, Nyquist and Darren Helm tallied in the third period.

In NHL news, the Philadelphia Flyers have placed forward Dale Weise on waivers with another full season left on his four-year, $9.4 contract. Weise has underperformed during his time with Philadelphia, registering just 34 points in 152 games. If he's unclaimed, the Flyers could send him to Lehigh Valley of the AHL and clear about $1 million of that off their books.


Former major league pitcher John Wetteland been charged in Texas with continuous sex abuse of a child under age 14. Denton County jail records show the 52-year-old Wetteland was arrested Monday and freed on $25,000 bond. Authorities have not released details of the investigation into Wetteland, who is in the Texas Rangers team Hall of Fame. Wetteland was MVP of the 1996 World Series with the Yankees. The All-Star closer was 48-45 with 330 saves and a 2.93 ERA from 1989-2000 for the Yanks, Rangers, Expos and Dodgers.

In other MLB news, Steve Blass' 60th season with the Pirates organization will be his last in the broadcast booth. The former pitcher has announced that 2019 will be his 34th and final year as a color analyst. Blass will step away as the longest-tenured broadcaster in team history, although he will remain with the club as an alumni ambassador.


The 76ers poured in 83 points by halftime of a 149-107 thrashing of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jimmy Butler scored 19 points on 8 of 10 shooting in his first meeting with the Wolves since being traded to Philadelphia early this season. Joel Embiid delivered 31 points and 13 rebounds, while Ben Simmons added 20 points and 11 boards.

Checking out the NBA's other Tuesday action, the Golden State Warriors put together an NBA-record first quarter performance before winning a matchup of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Warriors set a league mark by scoring 51 points in the first quarter of a 142-111 trouncing of the Nuggets in Denver. Golden State shot a blistering 60 percent from the field overall, had 38 assists and hit 21 3-pointers in leading wire-to-wire. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each scored 31 points to help the Warriors take over the conference lead by a half-game over the Nuggets. Kevin Durant finished with 27 points in Golden State's fifth consecutive victory. Malik Beasley finished with 22 points for the Nuggets, whose 12-game home winning streak came to a crashing halt.

The Bucks crushed the Heat, 124-86 as Giannis Antetokounmpo produced 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season. Eric Bledsoe had 17 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 in Milwaukee's 13th win in 16 games since Dec. 14.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points and Myles Turner returned from a three-game injury absence to added 18 with six rebounds in the Pacers' 131-97 pounding of the Suns. Bogdanovic scored Indiana's first 10 points en route to a 38-19 lead after one quarter.

Trae Young had 24 points and 11 assists for the Hawks in a 142-126 shootout win over the Thunder. John Collins made 12 of 14 shots from the field and had a team-high 26 for Atlanta, which hit 18 of its 37 3-point attempts.

Lonzo Ball scored 19 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17 to help the Lakers beat the Bulls, 107-100 and improve to 4-7 since LeBron James strained a groin on Christmas Day. Ball provided 13 points after intermission and finished with eight boards and six assists as Los Angeles dealt Chicago its eighth straight loss.


Jeremy Harris had 22 points and 11 rebounds as No. 16 Buffalo held off Western Michigan, 88-79. Nick Perkins added 14 points for the 16-1 Bulls, who trailed by 11 in the first half after winning their first three conference games by a combined 70 points.

In other top-25 finals, fourth-ranked Virginia had little trouble keeping its perfect start intact. The Cavaliers are 16-0 overall and 4-0 in the ACC after blowing out state rival and ninth-ranked Virginia Tech, 82-59. De'Andre Hunter had a team-high 21 points for Virginia, which is one of two Division One men's basketball teams with a spotless record so far this season. Ty Jerome finished with 14 points and a career-high 12 assists, while Kyle Guy chipped in 15 points to help Virginia state its case to move up the AP poll next Monday. Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 19 points and Ahmed Hill 14 to lead the 14-2 Hokies.

Tennessee is off to its best start in 11 years after Lamonte' Turner and Jordan Bowden combined to score 40 points off the bench in the Vols' 106-87 pounding of Arkansas. Turner scored 21 points on 6 of 8 shooting, and Bowden was 5 of 6 from 3-point range en route to 19 points. The Volunteers improved to 15-1 overall and 4-0 in the SEC.

Cody Martin drained a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining to give 10th-ranked Nevada a 72-71 victory against Boise State. Cody Martin finished with 16 points for the 17-1 Wolfpack, while Jordan Caroline added 15 and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Ashton Hagans scored a season-high 23 points in leading No. 12 Kentucky's 69-49 romp at Georgia. The Wildcats held the Bulldogs to 30 percent shooting and improved to 13-3 with their third straight win.

Nassir Little scored all 11 of his points in the final 11 minutes to send 13th-ranked North Carolina past Notre Dame, 75-69. Coby White had 17 points while Luke Maye added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels.

Sam Hauser scored a career-high 31 points and Theo John tied a career-high with 14 points in 15th-ranked Marquette's 74-71 win against Georgetown. The Golden Eagles improved to 15-3 despite Markus Howard, who played just three scoreless minutes due to lower back tightness.

Wake Forest blew a 22-point lead before recovering in time to top No. 17 North Carolina State, 71-67. Freshman Jaylen Hoard had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and graduate transfer Torry Johnson added 11 points as the Demon Deacons evened their record at 8-8.

Tremont Waters scored 20 points and had nine assists in LSU's 83-69 upset over No. 18 Mississippi. Kavell Bigby-Williams had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Tigers, who used an 8-0 run early in the second half to take a 48-39 lead.

No. 24 Mississippi State pulled out a 71-68 win over Florida on Quinndary Weatherspoon's three-point play with 3.4 seconds left. Lamar Peters scored all 16 of his points in the first half, and Tyson Carter added 12 to help the Bulldogs move to 13-3.

In college basketball news, top-ranked Duke says starting point guard Tre Jones is out indefinitely because of a right shoulder injury suffered in Monday's loss to Syracuse. The freshman got hurt early in the first half of the Blue Devils' 95-91 overtime setback. Jones has started each of Duke's first 16 games, averaging 8.1 points and 5.7 assists.


Eagles coach Doug Pederson reiterated that Carson Wentz will be the team's starting quarterback in 2019. Wentz missed the final three games of the regular season and two playoff games because of a back injury. Nick Foles led Philadelphia to four straight wins and was 27 yards away from taking the Eagles to the NFC championship game before his final pass bounced off Alshon Jeffery's hands and was intercepted to seal a 20-14 victory for the Saints.

In other NFL news, the coaching staffs of the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys have been selected to lead the Pro Bowl teams. Anthony Lynn and his Chargers' staff will coach the AFC team while Jason Garrett and his Cowboys' staff coach the NFC team. The Chargers finished 12-4 in the regular season and lost to the Patriots 41-28 in the divisional round on Sunday. The NFC East champion Cowboys were 10-6 in the regular season and were defeated 30-22 by the Rams on Saturday night.

A day after air travelers waited nearly 90 minutes in security lines at the world's busiest airport, Atlanta's mayor is concerned about the lines that could result when the city hosts the 2019 Super Bowl. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday the partial government shutdown is "uncharted territory" amid planning for one of the world's biggest sporting events.

Referee John Parry will lead the seven-person crew of on-field game officials working the Feb. 3 Super Bowl in Atlanta. This will be the third Super Bowl that Parry has worked. Three officials will make their second appearances in the NFL's title game. It will be the first Super Bowl for the other three.

Panthers owner David Tepper says it's important for the team to have a contingency plan in place at quarterback next season given the uncertainty surrounding Cam Newton's bothersome right shoulder. Newton struggled most of the season throwing the ball more than 15 yards downfield because of a lingering shoulder issue.


Former Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush says he is transferring to UCF, where he will be eligible to play next season as a graduate transfer. Wimbush started 16 games for the Fighting Irish over the last two seasons, including the first three of 2018 before losing the job to Ian Book. He passed for 2,606 yards and 20 touchdowns and ran for 1,155 yards and 16 scores at Notre Dame.


Defending champion Roger Federer's strong run against qualifiers at Grand Slam tournaments continued with a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Daniel Evans in the second round at the Australian Open. Federer also maintained his 100 percent record of reaching the third round at the Australian Open — 20 times in a row. The six-time Australian Open champion has lost just once in 27 matches against qualifiers in majors, and that came to Mario Ancic at Wimbledon 17 years ago.

Also, American Sloane Stephens has advanced to the third round of the Australian Open by beating her former junior doubles partner. The fifth-seeded Stephens needed just 95 minutes to complete a 6-3, 6-1 win over Timea Babos. The match would have had a quicker conclusion had Babos not saved 18 of 23 break points.

Angelique Kerber is through to the third round at Melbourne Park after a 6-2, 6-3 win over Beatrix Haddad Maia to open night play on Rod Laver Arena.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has reached the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Irina-Camelia Begu.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to the third round of the only Grand Slam tournament she's won, beating Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-3 at Melbourne Park.

American teenager Amanda Anisimova has advanced to the third round at the Australian Open with a 6-0, 6-2 win over 24th-seeded Lesia Tsurenko.

© The Associated Press 2019. All Rights Reserved. 

Jesse King is the host of WAMC's national program on women's issues, "51%," and the station's bureau chief in the Hudson Valley. She has also produced episodes of the WAMC podcast "A New York Minute In History."
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