National Sports Briefs
RALEIGH ó Tom Kostopoulos and Jussi Jokinen scored first-period goals off turnovers in Florida’s end, and Cam Ward made 25 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Panthers 7-2 on Friday night.
Tuomo Ruutu also scored in the opening period for the Hurricanes, who dominated early and then cruised to a second straight victory against a Southeast Division rival. Carolina beat Tampa Bay in a shootout for its first win Tuesday night.
Ray Whitney, Matt Cullen, Rod Brind’Amour and Jay Harrison also scored for Carolina. Shawn Matthias and Michael Frolik scored for Florida.
SAN FRANCISCO ó Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker dominate no matter what the format. Phil Mickelson wins no matter whom he has for a partner. It still isn’t enough for the Americans to shake the pesky International team in the Presidents Cup.
For the second straight day, the Americans were poised to take a comfortable lead.
But the International team rallied to win two late matches to split the fourballs session and keep the Americans’ lead at one point, 61/2-51/2.5-and-3 victory.
– MADRID ó Spain’s Sergio Garcia shot a 5-under 67 in the second round of the Madrid Masters for a share of the lead with Scotland’s David Drysdale.
NEW YORK ó An eight-part television series documenting the rise and fall of quarterback Michael Vick will debut on BET next year.
Tentatively titled “The Michael Vick Project,” it also shows attempts to redeem himself after serving an 18-month prison sentence for operating a dogfighting ring.
BET says in a release Friday that the series will “give viewers an unfiltered and personal experience of Vick” that is “both serious in tone and nature.”
Vick says he began filming the show with his own crew before BET got involved, chronicling his time in prison and bankruptcy case. Vick says he doesn’t expect to film during the NFL season, but the reality TV-style series could resume next year.
Vick debuted for Philadelphia this season after a two-game suspension.
– NEW YORK ó Six defensive players have been fined by the NFL, including four for hits on quarterbacks.
Tennessee defensive lineman Tony Brown drew the biggest fine Friday, $10,000 for roughing the passer. He made helmet-to-helmet contact with Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.
– ALLEN PARK, Mich. ó Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz has made one thing clear from the start of his short tenure: He isn’t going to help the opposition write its game plan.
This week, that means a complete shutdown on news about rookie quarterback Matt Stafford’s injured right knee and his status for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.
“I’ll announce a starting quarterback on Sunday,” Schwartz said after Friday’s practice.
BOSTON ó Kevin Garnett had 10 points and eight rebounds in his first game at the Boston Garden in more than seven months, and the Celtics beat the New York Knicks 96-82 in an exhibition game on Friday night.
Rasheed Wallace played his first game for the Celtics in Boston and had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
– PHILADELPHIA ó Elton Brand hit a 12-foot jumper with 7 seconds remaining to lift the Philadelphia 76ers past the New Jersey Nets 93-92.
FONTANA, Calif. ó NASCAR is reducing the size of the restrictor plates used by Sprint Cup cars at Talladega in hopes of making it safer for drivers.
NASCAR director of business affairs Bob Smith said the move will reduce horsepower and take a little bit of top-end speed off the cars.
The track announced earlier this week it is raising the fence at the massive 2.66-mile oval from 14 to 22 feet following a safety analysis after Carl Edwards’ last-lap crash during the spring race sent him flying into the fence.
Debris from the accident injured seven fans in the stands, the most serious a broken jaw suffered by a teenage girl.
The frontstretch fence at Talladega will be raised before the Nov. 1 race, and the backstretch will be completed during the offseason. Daytona will have its fences raised before its first big event in January.