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Nashville Wins Another in a Shootout (AP)
St. Louis Blues defenseman Christian Backman (55) of Sweden fights Nashville Predators left wing Scott Hartnell, right, for the puck in the first period on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP - While the Nashville Predators have mastered the art of the shootout, the Atlanta Thrashers have become all too familiar with the humility of the shutout.


Dish Network Pulls Outdoor Life Network (AP)
Vancouver Canucks' Nolan Baumgartner, right,  tries to take Pheonix Coyotes' Geoff Sanderson off the puck during first-period of NHL action in Vancouver , Thursday, October 20, 2005.  (AP Photo/Chuck Stoody)AP - The owner of The Dish Network said Thursday it pulled the Outdoor Life Network from its system after the cable channel failed to provide NHL games to the nation's second-largest satellite television provider.


ChiSox Find Right Mix to Get to Series (AP)
Chicago White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia, who is expected to start Game 4 of the World Series, prepares for practice Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. The White Sox will play the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series, Saturday, Oct. 22 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)AP - Freddy Garcia scans the Chicago White Sox clubhouse, sees teammates from different backgrounds, and shrugs.


Astros Have Perfect Setup for First Series (AP)
Houston Astros pitcher Roger Clemens, left, is congratulated by Astros Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Drayton McLane in after the Astros defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 in Game 6 to win the  National League Championship pennant in St. Louis, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. The Astros will play in the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP - The Houston Astros have their pitching lined up perfectly for their first World Series. They have Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt to start the games, with a physically and mentally refreshed Brad Lidge to finish them.


Poll Finds Baseball Umps Doing Good Job (AP)
Houston Astros Jason Lane hits a solo home run off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder in the fourth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005, in St. Louis. Cardoinals catcher Yadier Molina, left, and umpire Gerry Davids watch the action. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)AP - Never mind the griping about blown calls on the baseball diamond. Most fans say the umps do a pretty good job.


Wilma Leaves Chiefs, Fins Scrambling (AP)
AP - With Hurricane Wilma projected to strike South Florida this weekend, the NFL switched the Dolphins' game against Kansas City to Friday night, two days earlier than originally scheduled.

Colangelo to Give Up Seat on NBA Board (AP)
AP - Former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo will step down as chairman of the NBA's board of governors next week, a move Colangelo asked for because he felt it was time to give someone else a chance at the job.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - No game scheduled. Game 1 of the World Series between Houston and the Chicago White Sox is Saturday.

Crew Picks Schmid As New Coach (AP)
Sigi Schmid holds up a Crew jersey with his name on the back Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005 during a press conference in Columbus, Ohio. Schmid, who led the Los Angeles Galaxy to three Major League Soccer Cup appearances and the championship in 2002, was hired on Thursday to coach the Columbus Crew. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)AP - Sigi Schmid, who led the Los Angeles Galaxy to three MLS Cup appearances and a championship, was hired Thursday as coach of the Columbus Crew.


Hockey Today (AP)
AP - Ottawa at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EDT). Vincent Lecavalier leads the Lightning against Daniel Alfredsson and the Senators.

Earning their stripes
The Bengals must beat Big Ben and the Steelers to be included among the AFC's elite teams.

Wilma moves Chiefs-Dolphins to Friday (AP)
An approaching hurricane left Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas with no time to talk to reporters. ``I've got two days of film work to do in one,'' an apologetic, frantic Thomas said Thursday through a team spokesman. With Hurricane Wilma projected to strike South Florida this weekend, the NFL switched the Dolphins' game against Kansas City to Friday night, two days earlier than originally...

Superdome may be ready for Saints in '06 (AP)
Superdome officials say the stadium should be largely cleaned up from Hurricane Katrina and ready for the New Orleans Saints to play at least some of their games there in 2006. The announcement Thursday came as San Antonio officials said they were working with Saints owner Tom Benson to keep the team in Texas.

Vick criticizes NBA dress code (AP)
While it doesn't apply to him, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick criticized the NBA's new dress code Thursday. ``It's a crazy situation,'' Vick said. ``I don't know why people with power would make them dress the way that they want them to dress. Those guys are professionals, but at the same time we are all grown (men).'' When the NBA season kicks off next month, players will be required to...

Bruschi returns to Patriots practice (AP)
Tedy Bruschi was back on the practice field for the New England Patriots, eager to complete his comeback from a stroke that hospitalized him eight months ago. ``The next step is tomorrow's practice,'' the Patriots' star linebacker said Wednesday after his first practice with his teammates since his stroke on Feb.

Seahawks' Hamlin out of intensive care (AP)
Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin cleared his first big medical hurdle while still lying in his hospital bed. Hamlin, severely beaten outside a Seattle nightclub early Monday morning, was moved out of intensive care and into a private room at Harborview Medical Center late Wednesday, according to the player's agent.

Lions still undecided on starting QB (AP)
Jeff Garcia dropped back and perfectly lofted a touchdown pass to Scottie Vines in practice Thursday. The Detroit Lions still do not know whether Garcia will have a chance to do the same in Sunday's game at Cleveland. Coach Steve Mariucci said he was still deciding between sticking with Joey Harrington or switching to Garcia as his starting quarterback.

Randy Moss doubtful for Sunday (AP)
Oakland receiver Randy Moss returned to practice in a limited fashion Thursday but is still listed as doubtful to play this week against Buffalo. Moss is nursing bruised ribs, a strained groin and a bruised pelvic area after getting hurt in a hard fall while trying to make a leaping catch late in the first quarter of Sunday's 27-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

No practice for McNair, personal reasons (AP)
Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair missed a second straight practice Thursday, this one for personal reasons. McNair watched practice Wednesday and has been listed as questionable for Sunday's game with Arizona because of a sore back and ankle. Coach Jeff Fisher said McNair's back was better Thursday but he was excused from practice for personal reasons.

Burleson expected to return for Vikings (AP)
The Minnesota Vikings are hoping the return of wide receiver Nate Burleson can provide a boost after a poor start and off-the-field distractions. Burleson has been out of the lineup since spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Cincinnati on Sept. 18. He returned to full practice Wednesday and said afterward his knee was feeling fine.

NBA preview: Northwest
With a deeper, stronger squad, George Karl's Nuggets have much bigger plans than just winning the division.

Jordan admits his gambling got 'stupid' (AP)
Michael Jordan admits being ``stupid'' in his gambling, but never jeopardized his livelihood or his family, he told CBS' ``60 Minutes'' in an interview to be broadcast Sunday. Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in the 1990s, said his gambling is related to his fierce competitiveness.

Bird fan asks for 33-year sentence (AP)
A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to -- all because of Larry Bird. The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

LeBron scores 30 as Cavs beat Sixers (AP)
LeBron James had another strong game in Trenton, scoring 30 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Philadelphia 76ers 106-102 Thursday night. James was back at Sovereign Bank Arena for the first time since scoring 50 points there in a high school game. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 21 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Damon Jones added 14 points for Cleveland (4-2).

O'Neal makes preseason debut for Pacers (AP)
Jermaine O'Neal had 16 points and five rebounds in his preseason debut Thursday night, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 93-76 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. O'Neal had missed the Pacers' first four exhibition games because of a bruised thigh. Austin Croshere added 13 points for Indiana, which beat the Timberwolves for the second time in less than a week.

Anthony lifts Nuggets over Lakers (AP)
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Kenyon Martin added 16 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 105-94 exhibition victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Kwame Brown led Los Angeles with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Kobe Bryant had 15 points and three assists in 30 minutes and was 6-for-16 from the field for the Lakers, who shot 42.5 percent,...

Spurs spoil Hornets' return to Louisiana (AP)
Manu Ginobili scored 19 points, Tim Duncan added 15 and Beno Udrih 14 as the San Antonio Spurs beat New Orleans 97-90 Thursday night in the Hornets' first game in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. The defending champion Spurs (1-5), losers of their first five preseason games, held a lead of as many as 26 points.

Power Rankings
Montreal and Buffalo shot up the rankings, while Calgary and Pittsburgh are falling fast in the latest installment of the Power Rankings.

Predators shoot their way to 6-0 start (AP)
Paul Kariya has been to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, but he's never seen a start like the one the Nashville Predators are putting together. Tomas Vokoun turned away both shots he faced in the shootout and the Predators won their sixth straight to open the season by beating the St. Louis Blues 3-2 Thursday night.

Parrish gives Isles sweep of Rangers (AP)
All the New York Islanders needed to snap out of their early-season funk was back-to-back games against the rival New York Rangers. After winning Wednesday night in a shootout at Madison Square Garden, the Islanders completed a sweep of the home-and-home series. Mark Parrish scored twice and Arron Asham had a short-handed goal and an assist as the Islanders beat the Rangers 5-4 Thursday night...

Gionta, Devils keep Penguins winless (AP)
Mario Lemieux the owner is becoming as impatient as Mario Lemieux the player with the worst start in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 39-season history. Brian Gionta scored two goals for the second time in two games against Pittsburgh this season, and the New Jersey Devils ran the Penguins' start-of-season winless streak to a franchise-record seven games by winning 6-3 Thursday night.

Wilma could postpone Panthers-Senators (AP)
The Florida Panthers' game Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators could be postponed because of the threat of Hurricane Wilma, with a decision to made Friday by the teams and the NHL. Already, the NFL game between Miami and Kansas City has been switched from Sunday to Friday night, and a college football game between Georgia Tech and Miami has been postponed from Saturday afternoon to Nov.

Maple Leafs edge Hurricanes on PPG in OT (AP)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have learned that no lead is safe in the new NHL. Ken Klee scored a power-play goal 4:44 into overtime and the Maple Leafs won their fourth straight game with a 5-4 victory over Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Toronto goalie Ed Belfour allowed Carolina to tie it by giving up two third-period goals.

Rangers receive scare at L.I. hotel (AP)
The New York Rangers were forced to evacuate their Long Island hotel Thursday, just hours before their 5-4 loss to the rival New York Islanders, when a man wearing a surgical mask dumped a chemical on the floor and then drove away. The 23-year-old man, former Garden City Hotel employee Scott Wallace, entered about 3 p.m., deliberately spilled the chemical on the floor of the rotunda area and then...

Sabres turn power play on, edge Bruins (AP)
The Buffalo Sabres finally got a power-play goal. The Boston Bruins are still looking for a win at home. Daniel Briere scored to snap Buffalo's 0-for-27 slump on the power play, and J.P. Dumont added another to break a third-period tie on Thursday and lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Lightning rip defenseless Thrashers, 6-0 (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers keep losing games -- and they're building a pretty long list of enemies, too. Fredrik Modin scored two goals, John Grahame needed to make only 15 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Tampa Bay Lightning handed the Thrashers another brutal loss, 6-0 Thursday night. Atlanta has lost four straight games by a combined score of 22-2, but the angriest coach after the...

Kobasew scores twice, Flames beat Oilers (AP)
Chuck Kobasew found the perfect way to make amends to his teammates after taking a bad penalty. Kobasew scored two goals, including the winner, to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. ``That's being part of being on a team,'' said Kobasew, who took a double minor for high-sticking early in the second period with the Flames trailing 1-0.

Busch and Craftsman Trucks report
NASCAR trucks into Martinsville and goes short-trackin' at Memphis this weekend.

Wallace: Cup teams stronger for Busch races (AP)
Kenny Wallace, sixth in the NASCAR Busch Series points heading into the race Saturday at Memphis Motorsports...

Engineer Newman is not big on showing emotion (AP)
Ryan Newman doesn't like to show any emotion. He's an engineer, a Purdue graduate with a bent for cool, clear...

Anniversary of Hendrick plane crash won't stall Johnson (AP)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It will be difficult for Jimmie Johnson to focus on racing this weekend, to not allow his...

A glance at drivers in NASCAR's championship chase (AP)
The 10 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, in order of points standings: DRIVER...

Commission upholds two-race suspension for Berrier (AP)
A National Stock Car Racing Commission panel on Wednesday unanimously upheld the two-race suspension and other penalties handed down by NASCAR to Todd Berrier, Kevin Harvick's crew chief.

Four-time Indy 500 champ is recovering from pancreatitis (AP)
Al Unser remained hospitalized Wednesday with pancreatitis, and his wife said the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion will stay through next week for gall bladder surgery. ``He's not a happy camper. He doesn't like being in the hospital,'' Susan Unser said. ``But he's got a lot of friends calling to check on him and that makes it a little more bearable.'' The 66-year-old Unser was admitted to...

American Speed to drive for Red Bull in Formula One (AFP)
American Scott Speed was named as a regular driver for Red Bull Racing, which will field two Formula One teams next season after acquiring Minardi in September.

IRL to probe Patrick's dustup with Lazier (AFP)
Indy Racing League officials plan to probe an altercation after Sunday's Toyota Indy 400 race in which Jaques Lazier claims fellow driver Danica Patrick struck him on the head.

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