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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
RALEIGH ó Cam Ward made 42 saves for his second shutout in a month, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat Detroit 3-0 on Wednesday to remain alive for a playoff spot.
Jeff Skinner and Derek Joslin scored in the second period and Erik Cole added a goal in the third. The Hurricanes have won seven of nine to move to 89 points and remain in the hunt for just their second postseason berth since they won the 2006 Stanley Cup.
They need some help to get there, with the best path requiring them to win both of their final two games while the New York Rangers, eighth with 91 points, lose one of their last two.
Eric Staal added three assists to help Carolina beat Detroit for the first time since 2006.
Capitals 5, Panthers 2
WASHINGTON ó Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera scored power-play goals in the first period and Washington won its fourth straight to put the Capitals on the brink of clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Bruins 3, Islanders 2
BOSTON ó Dennis Seidenberg and Gregory Campbell scored in a 78-second span in the second period and the Boston Bruins moved within two points of the second playoff spot.
Devils 4, Maple Leafs 2
NEWARK, N.J. ó Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 30th goal and added an assist to lead New Jersey.
BONDS TRIAL
SAN FRANCISCO ó Barry Bonds’ confident defense team rested its case Wednesday without calling a single witness, just minutes after a federal judge accepted the government’s request to dismiss one of the five counts against the home run king.
Prosecutors called 25 witnesses to the stand over 21/2 weeks, but the defense needed just one minute to present its side. The jury of eight women and four men barely had time to get settled in the courtroom before being told to return Thursday morning for closing arguments.
NFL LOCKOUT
ST. PAUL, Minn. ó As she wrapped up the five-hour hearing on the legality of the NFL lockout, the federal judge overseeing the case said she’d take “a couple of weeks” to rule on the players’ request to return to work.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, however, urged the two sides not to wait that long.
BASEBALL ATTACK
LOS ANGELES ó A San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten at Dodger Stadium after last week’s opening game shows signs of brain damage and remains in critical condition, a doctor said.
Meanwhile, detectives were looking into unconfirmed reports that the same suspects struck other Giants fans minutes before the attack that left Bryan Stow in a coma.
Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two from Santa Cruz, suffered a severe skull fracture and bad bruising to his brain’s frontal lobes, said Dr. Gabriel Zada, a neurosurgeon.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia was suspended indefinitely from the football program, less than two weeks after the quarterback guaranteed he would not get in trouble again.

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