National Sports Briefs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2007

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE — Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons remained in intensive care Friday at Carolinas Medical Center after entering the hospital nearly two weeks ago because of complications stemming from lung cancer.

The 1973 Winston Cup champion was diagnosed with cancer in his left lung in July and declared in October that he had beaten it. But he was unable to attend a ceremony in November in New York to accept the Myers Brothers Award for contributions to the sport.

Parsons, a NASCAR television commentator, has a weekly show on the radio network. He was selected one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998, 10 years after his retirement. He won 21 races in 526 starts, including the 1975 Daytona 500.

NHL

ATLANTA — Yanic Perreault scored 2:29 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 Friday night, stretching their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Penguins 4, Sabres 2

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Whitney and Jordan Staal each had a goal and assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves in Pittsburgh’s victory over Buffalo.

Predators 8, Blackhawks 3

CHICAGO — Paul Kariya had a goal and three assists, and Scott Hartnell scored twice in the Nashville Predators’ 8-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

GOLF

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Vijay Singh pulled his tee shot in the native grasses on the par-5 18th hole, hit a remarkable recovery and escaped with a par, giving him his second straight 4-under 69 and a one-shot lead over Trevor Immelman and Will MacKenzie in the Mercedes Championship.

COLLEGE HOOPS

ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s Lewis Clinch was suspended for the rest of the season Friday after violating school policy, costing the Yellow Jackets their third-leading scorer heading into the bulk of the ACC schedule. Georgia Tech did not reveal the nature of Clinch’s violation, but said he wants to work with the school to remain in class.

* BALTIMORE — Jamar Smith scored four of his nine points in the final three minutes while Ronald Timus scored a team-high 13 points and had seven rebounds as Morgan State held off Winston-Salem State 53-50 Friday night.

WSSU fell to 1-18.

BASEBALL

HOUSTON — Infielder Mark Loretta and the Houston Astros agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract.

The 35-year-old, who is likely to play at several infield positions, has a .299 career average and was an All-Star in 2004 and 2006. He hit .285 with 33 doubles, five homers and 59 RBIs last season with the Red Sox.

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