National Sports Briefs
NEW YORK ó Andrei Markov and Robert Lang scored power-play goals 2:08 apart to break open a tight game in the third period and lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
There had only been one penalty called before New York’s Aaron Voros went off for hooking 2:29 into the third. Tomas Plekanec won the ensuing faceoff over to Markov, who whistled in his sixth goal.
The Rangers ó tied in points with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division ó took the next two penalties as well, setting up a 5-on-3 advantage that Lang converted into a 4-2 Canadiens lead at 4:40 with the first of his three goals.
– ENGLEWOOD, Colo. ó Olympics? Joe Sakic might not even make it through the season.
The 39-year-old center, who broke three fingers in a snow blower accident last month, underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk on Wednesday. If his rehab goes as planned, he might be able to salvage the final month of the season.
– OTTAWA ó Canada won its fifth straight gold medal at the world junior hockey championships, beating Sweden 5-1 in the final.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Standing in mud and dust, often straining to be heard above the rat-a-tat-tat of concrete drills, Kansas City Royals officials said Wednesday they’re confident that Kauffman Stadium will be ready for opening day.
Whenever the massive $250 million renovation project does get finished, fans will hardly recognize the place.
Wraparound seating, extensive changes in the outfield and upper deck, wider concourses and added amenities are going to lend a nearly brand-new look and feel to the park the Royals have called home since 1973.
They begin their home schedule April 10 against the New York Yankees.
– DENVER ó The Colorado Rockies added depth to their rotation, acquiring durable right-hander Jason Marquis from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Luis Vizcaino.
The 30-year-old Marquis was 11-9 with a 4.53 ERA last season for the NL Central champion Cubs.
– CLEVELAND ó The Cleveland Indians and free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano, a four-year bust with the New York Yankees because of injuries, agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
– NEW YORK ó Mark Teixeira and the New York Yankees completed their $180 million, eight-year contract, announcing the deal in perhaps the final event at the old Yankee Stadium.
– CINCINNATI ó Jerry Hairston Jr. stayed with the Cincinnati Reds, agreeing Wednesday to a $2 million, one-year contract.
PHILADELPHIA ó Former Temple basketball coach John Chaney is already in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but he will finally be inducted into the school’s hall of fame later this month.
Chaney led the Owls to the NCAA tournament 17 times in his 24 seasons at Temple and was the National Coach of the Year in 1988. He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2001.
Chaney won 741 games in his career, including 510 at Temple.
– CHARLOTTE ó Charlotte forward Charles Dewhurst will miss the rest of the season with two torn ligaments in his right knee. PRO HOOPS
MIAMI ó Former NBA player Antoine Walker was charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach early Monday morning, further hurting his chances of playing again this season.
Walker was a three-time All-Star forward for the Boston Celtics and helped the Miami Heat win the NBA championship in 2006. He was also a starting forward on Kentucky’s 1996 national title team.
– DENVER ó Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony will miss at least three weeks with a broken bone in his shooting hand, but he won’t need surgery.
– MIAMI ó The Miami Heat traded guard Shaun Livingston and cash to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday for a conditional 2012 second-round pick.
– KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Candace Parker is expecting her first child this spring, and the WNBA star will keep working out leading to the 2009 season.
Her husband is former Duke star Shelden Williams of the Sacramento Kings.
DOHA, Qatar ó Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer won in straight sets to advanced to the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday.
Nadal beat Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2, and Federer defeated Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-3.
DENVER ó The days of walking into Home Depot and having an Olympic gold medalist help you pick out paint could be coming to an end.
The big-box home store said Wednesday it was ending its multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee and discontinuing a program that offered jobs and benefits to American athletes.