National sports briefs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Associated Press

CLINTON, S.C. — Presbyterian coach Tommy Spangler has decided to step down and take an assistant coaching job at a Division I school.

Spangler’s departure Tuesday leaves the Blue Hose looking for a new coach as they get ready to move from Division II to Division I-AA this fall.

“I was disappointed to learn of Coach Spangler’s decision to leave PC,” Presbyterian athletics director William “Bee” Carlton said. “He has built our program into a consistent legitimate contender for the South Atlantic Conference championship and has set the stage for our successful transition into the Big South Conference.”

Spangler would not say which school he was going to because his new job has not been finalized.

Spangler has been at Presbyterian for 10 years, six of those as head coach. His 42-24 record gave him a winning percentage of .571 — highest among the school’s 14 football coaches.

In 2005, Spangler led the Blue Hose to a 10-2 record, a SAC title and the Division II playoffs.

A national search for a new coach will begin immediately, Carlton said.

* MIAMI — Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban needs another day to consider a job offer from Alabama.

Saban met with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga at the team complex for 10 minutes Tuesday and asked for more time to decide.


PITTSBURGH — The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the few NHL teams that was having success in slowing down Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby. They must have known that couldn’t last.

Crosby scored twice and set up another goal to become the first NHL player with 60 points this season, and the Penguins relied on Crosby’s playmaking and Marc-Andre Fleury’s strong goaltending to beat Carolina 3-0 Tuesday night.

Red Wings 2, Ducks 1

DETROIT — Henrik Zetterberg scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night after Steve Yzerman’s No. 19 jersey was retired.

Yzerman retired last summer after 22 seasons in Detroit and stayed with the organization as a vice president. He led the Red Wings to Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He finished with 1,755 regular-season points.

Flyers 3, Islanders 2

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mike Knuble had a goal and an assist, and suddenly surging Philadelphia held off the hard-charging New York Islanders.

Rangers 3, Devils 2, SO

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Marcel Hossa scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the New York Rangers a victory over New Jersey.

Canadiens 5, Lightning 2

MONTREAL — Tomas Plekanec scored his second goal of the game 6:01 into the third period, sending Montreal to a win over Tampa Bay.

Blackhawks 4, Blues 1

ST. LOUIS — Nikolai Khabibulin made 38 saves and Chicago erased a third-period deficit with a three-goal flurry, ending St. Louis’ eight-game point streak.

Wild 5, Thrashers 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and two assists, Mark Parrish scored twice and Minnesota extended its dominance at home with a victory over Atlanta.


SAN FRANCISCO — Pitcher Barry Zito will make a base salary of $10 million from the San Francisco Giants in 2007, then receive raises of $4 million in each of the next two seasons.

Zito, a star left-hander and former AL Cy Young Award winner, agreed last week to a record $126 million, seven-year contract with San Francisco — the largest contract ever for a pitcher.

* ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Devil Rays obtained infielder Brendan Harris from the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday for a player to be named later or cash.


MIAMI — Shaquille O’Neal, recovering from knee surgery, could return to the lineup Jan. 15 against the Los Angeles Lakers when the Miami Heat complete a six-game road trip.

The 34-year-old center will accompany the Heat on their Western swing beginning Friday, coach Pat Riley said. O’Neal hasn’t practiced since tearing cartilage in his left knee Nov. 12. He had surgery a week later and was then projected to be sidelined until at least late December.