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#SportsReport: Flyers Beat Rangers; Sheriff Says Woods Crash Is 'Purely An Accident'

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James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere each scored a power-play goal and the Flyers overcame Chris Kreider's hat trick in a 4-3 win over the Rangers. Claude Giroux had three assists in his return after a two-week absence due to COVID-19.

Elsehwere on the ice:

Just two points separate the top four teams in the NHL's highly-competitive Central Division following a shutout win by Tampa Bay and a shutout loss by Florida. Ross Colton scored in his NHL debut and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 25 shots in the Lightning's 3-0 win at Carolina. Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow also scored, and Alex Killorn had two assists in the third of four straight games between the two teams. Vasilevskiy had his 22nd career shutout and first since March 2020 against Montreal.

The Stars' six-game winless streak is over after Anton Khudobin stopped 43 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Panthers. Khudobin has shut out Florida three times in nine career starts and has 10 career shutouts overall. John Klingberg put the Stars ahead for good just 53 seconds into the game. That was all the scoring until Esa Lindell tallied 2:17 into the third and Joel Kiviranta added an empty-netter. Florida tops the division with 26 points, one more than the Lightning and Hurricanes. The idle Blackhawks are two back.

The Maple Leafs are a league-best 15-4-2 after William Nylander furnished the tying and winning goals in a 2-1 overtime win against the Flames. Nylander tied it with 1:28 left in regulation and scored 1:06 into overtime to give Toronto a split of its two-game set with Calgary.

Nico Sturm tallied twice and Kaapo Kahkonen was sharp in making 30 saves in the Wild's fourth win in a row, 6-2 at Colorado. Mats Zuccarello, Zach Parise, Marcus Foligno, and Ryan Hartman also scored as the Wild completed a 4-1 road trip.

It's now a six-game winning streak for the surprising Kings after Alex Iafallo and Andreas Athanasiou scored in the second period of a 2-1 verdict over St. Louis. Cal Petersen made 35 saves and Los Angeles dropped St. Louis to 1-5-1 in its last seven home games.

The Coyotes rallied from a three-goal deficit for the second straight game and beat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-3 on shootout goals from Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak. Tyler Pitlick and Jakob Chychrun tallied less than two minutes apart in the third period to make it 3-2 before Phil Kessel tied it with 3:21 left in regulation.

In NHL news:

Coaching the Montreal Canadiens has become a very tenuous position as the club enters a franchise-record 28th consecutive year without a Stanley Cup. The Habs were off to a good start this season, but their current struggles have led to the dismissals of head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller. The marks the second time Julien has been fired by the Canadiens. Assistant coach Dominique Ducharme was appointed interim coach with the team and former NHL forward Alex Burrows was added to the coaching staff. Ducharme inherits a team that has dropped three straight and six of eight since a 7-1-2 start.

Thursday's scheduled game between the Sharks and Golden Knights has been postponed after a San Jose player entered the NHL's COVID protocol. It's the 36th NHL game this season to be postponed for virus-related issues and 40th counting the Texas snowstorm that affected Dallas.


Danilo Gallinari set an Atlanta franchise record with 10 3-pointers and finished with 38 points in a 127-112 rout of the Celtics. Trae Young added 33 points as the Hawks built a 27-point lead in the first half before dropping the Celtics two games under .500.

In other NBA action: 

The Golden State Warriors are coming home after salvaging the last two games of a four-game road trip. Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Draymond Green fell just short of a triple-double as the Warriors dumped the Pacers, 111-107. Green had 12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals for Golden State, which bounced back after beginning their road swing with losses to the Magic and Hornets by a total of six points. The Warriors led just 99-98 with 4:36 left before scoring the next six points to regain control. Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers with 24 points and Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and 16 rebounds for his his 24th double-double of the season.

Jimmy Butler furnished 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Heat picked up their fourth win in a row, 116-108 over the Raptors. Butler also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for Miami and hit two of his 3-pointers down the stretch.

Malik Monk scored 29 points off the bench and LaMelo Ball added 20 with eight assists as the Hornets cooled off the Suns, 124-121. Gordon Hayward added 20 points and Charlotte handed Phoenix just its second loss in 11 games.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 42 points and Lu Dort hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Thunder a 102-99 win over the Spurs. Gilgeous-Alexander made 13 of 20 field goals, 10 of 11 free throws and 6 of 11 from beyond the arc.

Zion Williamson scored 32 points in his first game since being named a first-time All-Star, guiding the Pelicans to a 128-118 victory over the Pistons. Brandon Ingram added 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed most of the first three quarters before edging in front.

Zach LaVine celebrated his first All-Star selection with 35 points against his original NBA team, helping the Bulls beat the Timberwolves, 133-126 in overtime. Coby White contributed 20 points for Chicago, which shot 59% from the field and had seven players score in double figures during its fifth win in six games.

Jarrett Allen tied his career high with 26 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked four shots as the Cavaliers dealt the Rockets their ninth straight loss, 112-96. The league's most accurate shooter made 10 of 11 from the floor as Cleveland won its second straight since a 10-game skid.

In NBA news: 

Snubbed a day earlier, Devin Booker became an All-Star for the second straight year. The Phoenix Suns guard has been selected to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis on the Western Conference team for the March 7 game in Atlanta. The move would seem to satisfy Lakers forward LeBron James, who tweeted on Tuesday that Booker "is the most disrespected player in our league!!! Simple as that." Davis is sidelined by a strained right calf. Booker is averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds while shooting a career-high 50.1% from the field.

The Rockets have released DeMarcus Cousins after just 25 games. Cousins was waived this week after signing a $2.3 million contract with Houston in the offseason. The 30-year-old Cousins was averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds this season playing in a reserve role after missing all of last year with an Achilles' issue.

Backup guard Quinn Cook has been waived by the Lakers shortly before his contract would have been guaranteed. Cook averaged 2.1 points while appearing in 16 games this season.

The leadership of the National Basketball Coaches Association is voicing its "concern and level of disappointment" with the way the Minnesota Timberwolves changed head coaches. The Timberwolves fired Ryan Saunders on Sunday night and formally introduced Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch as the replacement on Monday. Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool has support from several NBA players, many of whom expressed anger that he did not get the job or, at minimum, the appearance of being considered for it. Vanterpool is Black. Finch is white.


In men's college basketball, Holy Cross topped Boston University 86-75. 

In top-25 men's basketball: 

North Carolina State is making a nice push toward a berth in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The Wolfpack have their first four-game, ACC road winning streak in almost four decades following a 68-61 victory over 15th-ranked Virginia. Cam Hayes led the Wolfpack with 16 points and DJ Funderburk scored nine of his 14 points in the second half. NC State opened with a 17-4 run, outscored the Cavaliers 30-16 in the paint and trailed for just 48 seconds. Sam Hauser had a game-high 21 points for the Cavs, who have dropped three in a row for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Freshman Jaylin Williams scored 10 of his season-high 13 points during a 17-2 run that allowed No. 20 Arkansas to turn a six-point deficit into an 81-66 thumping of sixth-ranked Alabama. Moses Moody led all scorers with 24, 16 of which came from the free-throw line to help the Razorbacks beat a ranked team at home for the first time in three years.

Marcus Zegarowski, Christian Bishop and Denzel Mahoney scored 13 points apiece for 13th-rated Creighton in a 77-53 pounding of DePaul. The Bluejays opened the second half on an 11-2 run en route to their fourth straight win and seventh in their last eight games.

No. 11 Florida State coasted to an 88-71 win over Miami as Sardaar Calhoun scored a career-high 16 points. RaiQuan Gray had 12 points and 13 rebounds to help the ACC-leading Seminoles win for the ninth time in 10 games.

Victor Bailey Jr. made 5-of-8 3-pointers and finished with 21 points as No. 25 Tennessee beat in-state rival Vanderbilt, 70-58.

In college sports news:

The latest federal bill related to college sports would allow athletes to earn money from endorsements, loosen restrictions around transfers and permit players to return to school after entering a professional league's draft. The proposed legislation also would require the wealthiest athletic programs to increase spending on long-term medical care for athletes. The bill is the fourth to emerge from the Senate since December and second from a Republican.

A diversity study for racial and gender hiring across college sports found little change in scores that continue to lag behind the professional ranks. Wednesday's report card from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida assigned an overall C-plus grade, a B for racial hiring and a C-plus for gender hiring for the 2019-20 sports season. Those were the same grades as last year.

The West Coast Conference men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clark County in Nevada would have allowed a limited number of fans, but the conference decided it would be safer for athletes and staff with no one else in the arena.


The Los Angeles County sheriff is characterizing the crash that seriously injured Tiger Woods as "purely an accident." Sheriff Alex Villanueva appeared to rule out any potential criminal charges even as authorities were still investigating. Deputies did not see any evidence that the 15-time major champion was impaired by drugs or alcohol after Tuesday's rollover wreck on a downhill stretch of road known for crashes. A post on Woods' Twitter account said the crash caused "significant" injuries to his right leg, and he underwent a "long surgical procedure."


Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women’s professional tour are the first group elected together to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Lleyton Hewitt and Dennis Van der Meer are the other members of the Hall's Class of 2021. Hewitt was the only one of five nominees in the Player Category voted in. He won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002 and reached No. 1 in the rankings. Van der Meer advocated for a universal teaching method in tennis and was elected in the Contributor Category. He died in 2019. The induction ceremony is scheduled for July 17 at the Hall in Newport, Rhode Island.


The pandemic has sidelined the Chicago White Sox's top player. American League MVP José Abreu has tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain away from the White Sox for at least the next few days. General manager Rick Hahn says the Cuban slugger is "completely asymptomatic." Hahn says testing also showed the presence of COVID antibodies and Abreu believes he had a mild case of the coronavirus in January. Abreu powered the White Sox back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The three-time All-Star hit .317 with 19 home runs and a major league-leading 60 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season.

In other MLB news:

Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán gave a public apology Wednesday for actions that led to a lengthy suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, a day after he spoke with New York teammates and admitted he had engaged in dangerous conduct. The 28-year-old has been welcomed by teammates but also has faced wariness as he attempts to regain a place in the starting rotation. Germán was sidelined from September 2019 through last season. Luke Voit says Germán “is skating on thin ice.”

The Braves have claimed outfielder Guillermo Heredia off waivers from the Mets and added him to their 40-man roster. He was designated for assignment on Sunday when the Mets finalized a deal with center fielder Kevin Pillar.

Twins shortstop Royce Lewis has a torn ACL in his right knee that will sideline him for the upcoming season. Lewis is considered the organization's top prospect but wasn't expected to be in the majors this year after finishing last season at Double-A.


It's not often you hear of a team that's prepared to offer an extension to a 40-something athlete. Then again, Tom Brady's not an average athlete. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are open to giving the seven-time Super Bowl champion a contract extension. General manager Jason Licht reiterated Wednesday that the Super Bowl champions would like to keep the 43-year-old quarterback in uniform for as long as Brady wants to play. Licht declined to characterize any conversations the team's had about that prospect. Brady just led the Bucs to their second Super Bowl title.

Meanwhile, the Raiders have released receiver Tyrell Williams following two injury-plagued seasons with the team. Williams initially signed a four-year, $44.3 million deal as a free agent to join the Raiders in 2019. He struggled with injuries to his feet his first season and then missed all last season with a torn labrum.

© The Associated Press 2021. All Rights Reserved.