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National Sports Briefs: Broncos fire Shanahan

Associated Press
DENVER ó Mike Shanahan became the latest and most stunning victim of the NFL coaching purge, fired Tuesday by the Denver Broncos after a late-season collapse knocked the team out of the playoffs for the third straight year.
Shanahan joined Eric Mangini, Rod Marinelli and Romeo Crennel on the unemployment line after going 24-24 over the last three seasons, including three straight losses in 2008 that turned a three-game division lead to an 8-8 record.
Despite that, and the 52-21 loss to the Chargers that ended Denver’s season Sunday, this was a shocker: The ouster of a 14-year coaching veteran who won two Super Bowl titles for Denver and was considered my many in this town to be a lifer.
Shanahan’s record was 146-89, but the Broncos remained stuck at only one postseason victory since John Elway retired in 1999 after Denver’s second championship.
– SANTA CLARA, Calif. ó Mike Martz, the headstrong coach who took St. Louis to the 2002 Super Bowl, was fired Tuesday after one season as the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive coordinator.
BILLS
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Bills coach Dick Jauron will return next season after team owner Ralph Wilson decided a shake up wasn’t necessary despite a third consecutive 7-9 finish that left unhappy fans demanding change.
BROWNS
CLEVELAND ó The Cleveland Browns have scheduled an interview with fired New York Jets coach Eric Mangini, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press.
Mangini, dismissed Monday by the Jets after they collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs, will meet with Browns owner Randy Lerner in the New York area.
FAVRE
NEW YORK ó Jets quarterback Brett Favre reportedly has a torn biceps tendon in his right arm that will not need major surgery to repair, ESPN said Tuesday.
The 39-year-old Favre routinely underthrew receivers and appeared to lose some velocity on his throws late in the season as the Jets went 1-4 down the stretch and failed to make the playoffs.
NHL
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and assist, and Jose Theodore made 31 saves to help the surging Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Red Wings 4, Blackhawks 0
DETROIT ó Ty Conklin made 36 saves for his seventh NHL shutout, and Johan Franzen scored twice as Detroit snapped Chicago’s team-record, nine-game winning streak.
Canadiens 2, Lightning 1, SOTAMPA, Fla. ó Maxim Lapierre scored the winning shootout goal to lift Montreal over Tampa Bay.
Bruins 5, Penguins 2
PITTSBURGH ó Marc Savard scored a power-play goal, then set up Boston’s next two goals, and the streaking Bruins ran their longest winning streak in nearly 26 years to nine games by beating Pittsburgh.
Devils 4, Blues 3
ST. LOUIS ó Zach Parise scored twice and New Jersey earned its fifth win in seven games by beating St. Louis.
Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 3, OT
TORONTO ó Curtis Joseph made 29 saves to earn his first win of the season and the 450th of his NHL career, and Toronto rallied to beat Atlanta in overtime.
TRANSFERRING
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Quarterback Robert Marve is transferring from Miami, ending weeks of speculation.
Marve started 11 of 13 games this season for the Hurricanes, but also served a pair of suspensions.
He said he asked coach Randy Shannon for a release from his scholarship and it had been granted.

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