National Sports Briefs
PITTSBURGH ó Matt Cooke scored twice in a 43-second span and the Sidney Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins handed the Anaheim Ducks their fourth loss in five games, 3-1 on Friday night.
Hal Gill also scored, and Evgeni Malkin had two assists for the Penguins, who had lost eight of their previous 10 and were without Crosby for the first time this season.
Crosby was injured ó apparently his left knee ó late in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.
Rangers 3, Blackhawks 2, OT
CHICAGO ó Chris Drury scored his second power-play goal of the game at 2:23 of overtime, tipping in Wade Redden’s shot from the top of the slot to give New York its thrird straight victory.
Devils 2, Blue Jackets 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio ó John Madden scored a controversial goal, and Kevin Weekes made 26 saves in New Jersey’s second straight victory.
Flyers 3, Panthers 2, SO
SUNRISE, Fla. ó Simon Gagne scored the only goal in the shootout, and Philadelphia’s Antero Niittymaki stopped all three Florida shooters.
Thrashers 4, Maple Leafs 3, OT
ATLANTA ó Rich Peverley scored with 1:09 left in overtime, and assisted on both of Ilya Kovalchuk’s goal for the Atlanta.
BOSTON ó Steve Logan has decided not to return as offensive coordinator for Boston College, which promoted defensive coordinator Frank Spaziano to head coach earlier in the week.
Logan had also been among the internal candidates to succeed Jeff Jagodzinski as head coach. He was the head coach at East Carolina from 1992-2002 and later spent three seasons as an assistant coach in NFL Europe.
– SALT LAKE CITYó Unbeaten Utah celebrated like champions.Salt Lake City honored the Utes with a parade on Friday, giving fans one last chance to cheer the Sugar Bowl winners for a perfect season that wasn’t good enough to earn a national title.
The Utes paraded along State Street to a downtown rally, where they were greeted by a throng of red-clad fans who chanted “We’re No. 1!”
Utah went 13-0 and was the only unbeaten team in the country.
MELBOURNE, Australia ó Roger Federer isn’t going to give Andy Murray too much street cred until the young Scot has earned it.
Federer had trouble containing an incredulous laugh this week when he heard that British bookmakers had made 21-year-old Murray the favorite, or at least equal favorite, to win the Australian Open.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Rafael Nadal had ended the Swiss star’s five-year Wimbledon reign last season and his record 237-week stretch at No. 1. Or that Novak Djokovic had beaten him in the last Australian Open ó the only one of the last 15 Grand Slam tournaments not won by either Federer or Nadal.
Murray “has never won a Slam. Novak is the defending champion here. Rafa (Nadal) had an incredible season last year,” said Federer, who is bidding to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles. “I won the last Slam of last season. It’s surprising to hear.”
Serena Williams enters the Australian Open as the women’s No. 2 seed and as the reigning U.S. Open champion.
WASHINGTON, D.C. ó Tiger Woods, who has tried to stay out of politics during his ascent to one of the world’s most famous athletes, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday as part of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities.
– HONOLULU ó Facing a forecast of 50 mph gusts, Nathan Green wasn’t even sure if he would be playing Friday. He made the most of a windy day at Waialae for another 4-under 66 and a one-stroke lead among early starters at the Sony Open.