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#SportsReport: Islanders Top Blue Jackets; Knicks Beat Hawks

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The surprising New York Islanders have held onto their three-point lead in the NHL's Metropolitan Division after blanking the Columbus Blue Jackets. Casey Cizikas scored a pair of breakaway goals and Thomas Greiss stopped 31 shots as the Islanders beat the Jackets, 3-0.

Josh Bailey added a goal and an assist for New York, which bounced back from Tuesday's 3-1 loss at Buffalo to split their two-game road trip. Greiss also picked up an assist while posting his fourth shutout of the season. The Isles have won four of their last five and are 10-2-2 in their last 14 games. The Blue Jackets ended a four-game winning streak and stayed tied with Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan.

The Blackhawks won for the eighth time in nine games as Patrick Kane scored his 34th goal and added two assists to lead a 5-2 decision over the Devils. Brandon Saad and Artem Anisimov each had a goal and an assist to back Cam Ward's 41-save performance. Devils goalie Cory Schneider finished with 31 saves to extend his regular-season winless streak to 24 games at 0-17-7.

The Capitals kept pace as Alex Ovechkin provided his league-leading 39th goal in a 5-1 rout of the Sharks at San Jose. T.J. Oshie scored twice and had an assist to help Washington rebound from Tuesday's 3-0 loss at Columbus. Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson each had a goal and an assist in the Caps' fifth win in seven games since a seven-game losing streak.

Elsewhere on NHL ice, Steven Stamkos provided two goals and an assist, while Nikita Kucherov picked up four points with a goal and three helpers in the Lightning's 6-0 rout of the Stars. Mikhail Sergachev and Tyler Johnson scored 14 seconds apart in the first period to put Tampa Bay ahead 3-0. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 32 shots in his fifth shutout of the season as the Lightning improved to 43-11-4 and became the league's first team with 90 points.

Auston Matthews scored two goals, including the 100th of his career, as the Maple Leafs doubled up the Golden Knights, 6-3. Morgan Rielly scored his fifth game-winner by breaking a 3-3 deadlock in the third period. Vegas has lost three in a row and a franchise-record five straight at home.

Pekka Rinne made 34 saves and the Predators ended a three-game skid by downing the Canadiens, 3-1. The game was tied 1-1 until Ryan Hartman and Brian Boyle scored 2:24 apart in the third period. It was Hartman's 10th goal of the season and first since Dec. 13, snapping a 27-game skid.

Nashville is within two points of the Central Division lead after the first-place Jets dropped a 4-1 decision to Colorado. Dominic Toninato opened the scoring with his first NHL goal before the Avalanche ended an 0-5-3 skid. Gabriel Landeskog netted his team-leading 30th goal for the Avs, who dealt the Jets their first regulation loss in 10 home games.

The Panthers blew a pair of one-goal leads in the third period before Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trochek scored in the shootout to send Florida past Calgary, 3-2. Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist as the Panthers stopped a two-game skid and won for the seventh time in 11 games. Elias Lindholm scored with 2:24 left in regulation to give the Flames a point as they battle the Sharks for the Pacific Division lead.

Jordan Binnington matched a franchise rookie record with his seventh straight victory and Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice in the Blues' 4-0 shutout of the Coyotes. Joel Edmundson scored early in the first and had an assist on Tarasenko's goal late in the period. The Blues have won eight in a row, their longest winning streak in 18 years.

Elias Petterson and Brock Boeser each scored once in regulation and once in the shootout to send the Canucks past the Kings, 4-3. Jacob Markstrom handled 35 shots and Adam Gaudette force overtime by scoring with 1:38 left in regulation.

Frans Nielsen's second-period goal broke a 2-2 stalemate in the Red Wings' 3-2 win against Ottawa. Andreas Athanasiou reached the 20-goal mark for the season with a pair of first-period tallies, including a penalty shot.


Dennis Smith Jr. scored 19 points and the Knicks snapped a franchise-worst, 18-game losing streak with a 106-91 victory in Atlanta.  New York never trailed and only was tied twice in its first victory since Jan. 4 against the Lakers. Kadeem Allen and John Jenkins each added 14 points, Damyean Dotson finished with 13 and DeAndre Jordan had 13 rebounds as the Knicks won for just the second time in their last 28 games.

In the NBA's other Thursday action, there could be a roster opening for Sunday's NBA All-Star game. Forward Anthony Davis suffered a shoulder injury during the first half of the Pelicans' 131-122 victory over the Thunder. Davis was in the game when the first half ended, but kept his left arm still as he walked to the locker room shortly after fouling Nerlens Noel on an attempted shot block in the final second of the second quarter. When the second half began, the Pelicans announced that he was out of the remainder of the game. Julius Randle capped a 33-point, 11-rebound performance with three clutch baskets in the final minutes to help New Orleans end Oklahoma City's four-game winning streak. Jrue Holiday had 32 points and seven assists, including a driving feed to Randle in the paint with 1:30 to go. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook increased his NBA-record triple-double streak to 11 games with 44 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. But he missed a late 3-point attempt when the Thunder trailed by five in the final minute.

The Magic have their first five-game winning streak in more than three years after Terrence Ross came off the bench to score 21 points in a 127-89 thrashing of Charlotte. Nikola Vucevic had his fifth straight double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Aaron Gordon added 10 points and 10 rebounds in Orlando's first win over the Hornets in 14 meetings. Malik Monk had a team-high 15 points for the Hornets, who never got closer than 29 after halftime.

In NBA news, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing and confronting a referee during Wednesday's 127-107 loss at Portland. Kerr screamed at referee Ken Mauer, smashed his clipboard, and was given two technical fouls with 3:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, leading to an automatic ejection. He became incensed once a foul called on Warriors forward Draymond Green was upgraded to a flagrant foul 1.


In women's basketball, Fairfield downed Siena, 66-40. 

In top-25 basketball, DeJon Jarreau had 18 points and seven assists as the Cougars topped Connecticut for their ninth straight win, 71-63. He hit a driving layup to give Houston a 17-point lead with just over 7 1/2 minutes to go. UConn cut it to 61-55 before Jarreau came through again with another drive to the basket. Armoni Brooks added 12 points for the 24-1 Cougars, who opened the second half with a 17-4 run before holding off UConn.

Rui Hachimura scored 22 points, Brandon Clarke added 17 and No. 3 Gonzaga beat Loyola Marymount 73-60. The Lions were within 54-53 with 8:45 remaining before the Bulldogs went on a 16-4 run to take control in their 15th consecutive victory.


Jordan Spieth was part of a two-way tie for the lead when the first round of the PGA's Genesis Open was suspended by darkness. Spieth was at 5 under through 12 holes when the round was stopped. He's tied with Sung Kang, who has completed 14 holes. Tiger Woods never made it to the course. He was to play in the afternoon and faces a long day of as many holes as he can get in Friday in what now becomes a long, disjointed week trying to catch up. The opening round was halted by rain with only 30 players from the 144-man field on the golf course. As the rain became heavier, PGA Tour officials decided to scrap the round and start over when the rain stopped and Riviera dried out enough to resume. It was the first time a round was scrapped on the PGA Tour since the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston in 2013.


Trevor Bauer says he's not upset with the Cleveland Indians following a rough finish to his salary arbitration hearing. The All-Star pitcher said Thursday that the final 10 minutes was "character assassination" against him, although he views the process as a very intellectual pursuit and is unemotional about it. He mentioned that lawyers argued on behalf of the front office and says it didn't sour his feelings about the Indians. Bauer received a $13 million contract this season after the Indians offered $11 million. The 28-year-old right-hander finished sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting after going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA.

Two people with direct knowledge of the deals tell The Associated Press that the Minnesota Twins have worked out five-year deals with right fielder Max Kepler and shortstop Jorge Polanco. Kepler's deal is worth $35 million and includes a $10 million club option, while Polanco's package is valued at $25.75 million with the possibility of a guaranteed option for 2024 and a 2025 club option. Polanco hit .288 in 77 games last season, while Kepler batted .224 with 20 home runs, 30 doubles and 58 RBIs in 156 games.

The Royals and reliever Jake Diekman have agreed to a one-year, $2.75 million contract that includes a mutual option for the 2020 season. The 32-year-old Diekman spent last season with the Rangers and Diamondbacks, going 1-2 with two saves and a 4.73 ERA.

Left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno and the Cubs have agreed to a non-guaranteed one-year, $900,000 package. The 32-year-old went 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 48 appearances for the White Sox and Brewers last season.

Angels right-hander Matt Harvey will be sidelined about 10 days as a precaution because of a glute strain he felt during agility drills. Harvey signed a one-year, $11 million deal with Los Angeles in December after going 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA in 32 games with the Mets and Reds last year.


Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 qualifying races in a pair of Ford sweeps. Harvick won the first of the 150-mile qualifying races that set the field for NASCAR's showcase event. Logano used a last-lap pass for the lead in the second one.Peter Kligerman has claimed one of the transfer spots into the 40-car field for Sunday's Cup-opening race. Kligerman got some late help from fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch to finish 12th in the first of two qualifying races Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway. The NBC pit reporter will be making his second Daytona 500 start, and first in five years. Brendan Gaughan earned the final slot in the 40-car field. Joey Gase and Ryan Truex both missed qualifying for their first Daytona 500. Casey Mears and Tyler Reddick secured two of the other open spots in the Daytona 500 during qualifying. New England Patriots receiver and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman has been named the honorary starter for Sunday's Daytona 500.


A California judge has signed an arrest warrant for Nebraska running back Maurice Washington on charges related to his possession and distribution of a video of his former girlfriend being sexually assaulted by two other people in 2016. Washington is accused of obtaining a video of the assault from one of the perpetrators, storing it on his cellphone and sending it to the girl last March. Washington was a star at King's Academy in Sunnyvale, California, where he met the girl and the two dated.


Missouri has filed a notice of appeal with the NCAA's committee on infractions following sanctions levied against three of its programs for academic misconduct involving a former tutor. The NCAA banned the Tigers' football, baseball and softball teams from the postseason for a year and placed the entire athletic department on probation late last month. The school immediately vowed to fight the punishments, and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt even called upon the NCAA to take another look at the case. The notice of appeal begins a back-and-forth between the school and the NCAA that is expected to take at least six months. Generally speaking, any penalties would be put on hold while the case is winding toward a conclusion, meaning all three programs in question retain their postseason eligibility.


The World Anti-Doping Agency says it ruled North Korea's testing program non-compliant for failing to meet international standards. The judgment casts doubt on how North Korea's athletes are tested as the International Olympic Committee explores options to field combined Korean teams at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. WADA says its concerns will be raised when the IOC meets Friday with sports and government officials from North and South Korea. Doping control tests will now be supervised by China's anti-doping agency at North Korea's expense.

© 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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