#SportsReport: Bruins Down Hurricanes; Canadiens Beat Islanders
The Boston Bruins continue to share the NHL's best point total with Washington after stretching their winning streak to eight games. Jaroslav Halak notched his second shutout of the season and 49th of his career by handling 24 shots in the Bruins' 2-0 win against the Hurricanes.
Neither team scored until Charlie Coyle beat James Reimer with 4:05 remaining. David Krejci doubled Boston's lead 68 seconds later as the Bruins improved to 20-3-5, good for 45 points. Reimer stopped 32 shots in Carolina's third loss in four games.
The Capitals kept pace by getting two goals apiece from Nick Hathaway and Jakub Vrana in a 5-2 victory at San Jose. John Carlson had a goal and two assists to reach 40 points for the season, tops among all NHL defensemen. Carlson had a hand in all three Washington goals during a span of 3:01 in the first period.
The Canadiens' eight-game winless skid is over after Phillip Danault and Shea Weber each had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 triumph over the Islanders. Danault put Montreal ahead to stay by beating Thomas Greiss with 0.3 seconds left in the first period.
Claude Giroux provided the go-ahead tally while the Flyers erupted for five goals in the third period of a 6-1 trouncing of the Maple Leafs. Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia, which scored three times in the final 2:06 to wrap up its fifth straight win.
Jonathan Marchessault scored three straight goals in the third period to rally the Golden Knights to their fourth straight win, 4-3 at New Jersey. Malcolm Subban had 32 saves and Chandler Stephenson scored in his first game since being acquired Monday from the Capitals.
Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists as the Jets handed the Stars their fourth straight loss since a seven-game winning streak, 5-1. Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Morrissey, Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and assist in Winnipeg's fourth win in five games.
The Lightning pulled out a 3-2 win at Nashville on Nikita Kucherov's goal at 2:35 of overtime. Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat also scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 30 shots as the Lightning snapped a three-game skid.
Carson Soucy broke a 2-2 deadlock early in the third period of the Wild's 4-2 victory at Florida. Luke Kunin, Mats Zuccarello and Jason Zucker also scored and Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 44 shots as Minnesota won its fourth in a row.
The Coyotes ended a two-game skid as Darcy Kuemper stopped 33 shots in a 4-2 victory at Columbus. Carl Soderberg had an empty-netter and had assists on goals by Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse.
Zack MacEwen's first NHL goal gave the Canucks a 4-0 lead in the first period of a 5-2 verdict over the Senators. Thatcher Demko turned back 40 shots in Vancouver's second win in five games.
In NHL news, the New Jersey Devils have fired coach John Hynes, one day after a 7-1 loss to Buffalo left the team 9-13-4 heading into tonight's game against Vegas. Hynes was 150-159-45 with one playoff appearance during his four-plus seasons behind the New Jersey bench. Alain Nasreddine is serving as interim coach and Devils pro scout Peter Horachek has been added to the coaching staff as an assistant.
Matt Stajan has retired after 14 seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames. Stajan had 146 goals and 413 points in 1003 NHL games.
In men's college basketball, Iowa topped Syracuse 68-54, and Cincinnati beat Vermont 82-73.
In other top-25 basketball, Louisville has passed its first test since becoming the No. 1 team in The Associated Press men's basketball poll on Monday. The Cardinals are 8-0 after Jordan Nwora had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 58-43 stifling of No. 4 Michigan. Steven Enoch had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Louisville, which held the Wolverines to a season-low 26% shooting. Jon Teske had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines, who had sought their first victory over a No. 1 team since beating Duke 81-73 at home 22 years ago.
Tenth-ranked Duke improved to 8-1 as Vernon Carey had 26 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the Blue Devils' 87-75 victory at No. 11 Michigan State. Blue Devils guard Tre Jones scored 20 points, matched a career high with 12 assists and made three steals as part of a defensive effort that forced 14 turnovers.
Alex Lomax scored 17 points and 15th-ranked Memphis managed to beat Bradley, 71-56 despite shooting just 36.1%. The Braves hit just 26.8% of their field-goal attempts, including just 2 of 23 tries outside the arc.
Devonte Green scored a career-high 30 points and Trayce Jackson-Davis added 15 in leading undefeated and unranked Indiana past No. 17 Florida State, 80-64. The Hoosiers are 8-0 for the first time since 2012-13 and have beaten three straight ranked opponents under coach Archie Miller.
Jared Butler nailed six 3-pointers and scored 20 points in No. 18 Baylor's wire-to-wire win over Maryland-Eastern Shore, 78-46. Devonte Bandoo added 14 points and Matthew Mayer added 12 in the Bears' first win since capturing the Myrtle Beach Invitational nine days earlier.
Obi Toppin scored 17 points and had a soaring, one-hand slam off one of his 10 rebounds to highlight No. 19 Dayton's 99-68 romp over Houston Baptist. Trey Landers added 16 points and eight rebounds for the 6-1 Flyers.
Kamar Baldwin scored 31 points and 24th-ranked improved to 8-0 with a 67-58 win over Mississippi. Baldwin shot 11 of 16 from the field, including 4 for 5 from 3-point range.
In college basketball news, Georgetown basketball starters James Akinjo and Josh LeBlanc will not play the rest of the season. Coach Patrick Ewing has announced the sophomores are off the roster "effective immediately." The written statement did not say why they are gone from the 4-3 Hoyas. LeBlanc and teammates Myron Gardner and Galen Alexander had restraining orders filed against them in November amid allegations they harassed a female student and stole several items from her home. No criminal charges have been filed.
The Miami Heat have ended Toronto's seven-game winning streak and became the first team to knock off the Raptors in Canada this season. Jimmy Butler had a triple-double of 22 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists as the Heat outlasted the Raptors, 121-110 in overtime. Butler scored eight consecutive points in 55 seconds to begin the extra session. He bailed out the Heat after they coughed up a seven-point lead in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. Duncan Robinson scored 22 points Bam Adebayo scored 18 points as Miami dropped Toronto to 9-1 at home. Norman Powell had a team-high 23 points and Pascal Siakam added 15 points with 12 rebounds for the Raptors.
The Lakers share the league's top record with Milwaukee at 18-3 after LeBron James had 25 points, nine assists and a crucial dunk off a miss late in the fourth quarter of a 105-96 victory over the Nuggets. Anthony Davis shook off flu-like symptoms to score 25 points and add 10 rebounds for the Lakers.
Montrezl Harrell scored 26 points and Paul George added 25 in the Clippers 117-97 thumping of the Trail Blazers. Kawhi Leonard added 11 points in helping extend the Clippers' franchise-best start at home to 13-1.
The Spurs overcame James Harden's 50 points by rallying from a late 10-point deficit to beat the Rockets, 135-133 in double overtime. Lonnie Walker IV had a career-high 28 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds in San Antonio's second straight home win.
Luka Doncic scored 15 of his 33 points in the third quarter and grabbed 18 rebounds in just 28 minutes to power the Mavericks to a 118-97 rout of the Pelicans. Doncic had 12 points the first quarter and then broke open a three-point game by scoring 15 of the Mavericks' 25 points in the final 9:18 of the third
D.J. Augustin added 16 of his 24 in the fourth quarter of the Magic's 127-120 verdict over the Wizards. Evan Fournier had a team-high 31 points against Washington, which lost for the fifth time in six games despite Bradley Beal's 42 points.
Blake Griffin was 6-for-7 from 3-point range while scoring 24 points in the Pistons' 127-94 victory over the Cavaliers. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Detroit, which has won two straight for the first time this season.
In NBA news, Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant has a stress reaction in his right foot and will be sidelined for at least three weeks before he's re-evaluated. Bryant is averaging 13.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was diagnosed Tuesday after experiencing pain in his foot following Sunday's 150-125 loss at the Clippers.
Five-time All-Star Kyle Lowry has returned to the Raptors' active roster after missing the past 11 games because of a fractured left thumb. Lowry was averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 assists before he was injured in the first quarter of a win Nov. 8 at New Orleans.
Grizzlies power forward Brandon Clarke has aggravated a sore left oblique muscle and now is week to week after getting hurt in the first half of Sunday's win at Minnesota. Clarke has been productive in his first NBA season, averaging 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 18 games.
Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley has been placed on injured reserve after playing in just two games this season. Mosley suffered a severe groin injury in New York's season-opening loss to Buffalo.
The Carolina Panthers feel a coaching change is in order amid a four-game losing streak that has dropped the team out of playoff contention at 5-7. Ron Rivera has been dismissed and replaced by secondary coach Perry Fewell on an interim basis. Rivera is the team's all-time winningest coach, going 76-63-1 in the regular season and 3-5 in the playoffs. He guided the franchise to one Super Bowl appearance, two trips to the NFC championship game and three NFC South titles. The Panthers are just 29-31 without a playoff victory since losing to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 four years ago.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has confirmed that quarterback Devlin "Duck" Hodges will make his second straight start Sunday at Arizona. Hodges was 14 of 21 for 212 yards, one touchdown and an interception in helping the Steelers beat the Browns, 20-13 on Sunday.
Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage has been placed on injured reserve after hurting his left leg in Sunday's victory over Philadelphia. The second-year pro finishes the season with just 135 yards in 74 carries.
Rams kick returner JoJo Natson has been placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. The Rams also signed rookie tight end Kendall Blanton from their practice squad.
The Browns have released defensive end Chris Smith, whose girlfriend was killed in a roadside accident earlier this season. He did not play in Sunday's loss at Pittsburgh despite the Browns being short-handed on the defensive line with Myles Garrett out due to an indefinite suspension.
Ohio State goes into championship weekend as the top team in the College Football Playoff selection committee's rankings, followed by LSU, Clemson and Georgia. The Buckeyes take on Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game on Saturday, while the Tigers battle the Bulldogs for the SEC crown. Clemson is preparing for an ACC title game matchup with Virginia. Utah is fifth in the CFP rankings, followed by Oklahoma, Baylor, Wisconsin, Florida and Penn State. The Sooners and Bears square off for Big 12 bragging rights. Alabama has dropped to 12th, its lowest ranking in the six years the committee has been doing a weekly top 25 over the final third of the season. The final rankings that set the pairings for the national semifinals come out Sunday.
Top free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole was set to meet with Yankees officials in California. Cole finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting after leading the league with 326 strikeouts and a 2.50 ERA while going 20-5. The Yankees took him in the first round of the 2008 draft, but he didn't sign a major league contract until the Pirates made him the first overall choice in 2011.
Left-handed reliever Jake Diekman has accepted a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Oakland Athletics. Diekman split last season between the Royals and A's, going 1-7 with a 4.65 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 62 innings. He's compiled a 15-22 record with seven saves and a 3.90 ERA in 441 big league games, all in relief.
Stanford University says a review found that the mastermind behind the college admissions bribery scandal had approached seven of its coaches about potential sports recruits over the past decade. University President Mark Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement Tuesday that former sailing coach John Vandemoer was the only one of the seven to go along with the scheme proposed by college consultant Rick Singer. Vandemoer has pleaded guilty to charges that he accepted $270,000 in contributions to the program for agreeing to recommend two prospective students for admission.
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