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Knicks win another overtime thriller (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061228/capt.nyjj10512280437.pistons_knicks_basketball_nyjj105.jpg?x=95&y=130&sig=Sim3wkV7W.sq8C3wp00YXw--" align="left" height="130" width="95" alt="New York Knicks' Channing Frye, right, celebrates after hitting a shot that tied the game late in double overtime against the Detroit Pistons in NBA basketball action Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks went on to win in triple overtime 151-145. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Miami Heat lost Dwyane Wade to a sprained wrist, while the New York Knicks overcame Richard Hamilton's 51 points to win another overtime thriller.</p><br clear="all"/>

Court: Feds can use MLB drug test data (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/athletes_steroids"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061227/capt.fx10112272055.athletes_steroids_fx101.jpg?x=130&y=96&sig=Ha_YnM8WITaiU3IeI8K.IQ--" align="left" height="96" width="130" alt="In this file photo taken Aug. 27, 2006, San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds waits for an at-bat against the Cincinnati Reds, during a baseball game in San Francisco. The names and urine samples of about 100 Major League Baseball players who tested positive three years ago can be used by federal investigators, a court ruled Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006, _ a decision that could have implications for Barry Bonds. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - The government's already broad investigation into athlete steroid use appears to have widened even more, with the names of 100 baseball players who tested positive for illegal drugs now in the hands of federal investigators.</p><br clear="all"/>

No. 12 Connecticut is ready for the road (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_college_bkb_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061228/capt.ctfb10912280242.coppin_st_connecticut_basketball_ctfb109.jpg?x=84&y=130&sig=WBsY3wabTu5ZKgz1oMiz9A--" align="left" height="130" width="84" alt="Connecticut's Jeff Adrien scores two of his team high 16 points while being defended by Coppin State's Ethan Kennedy (44) during Connecticut's 84-41 basketball victory at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. Adrien also had 11 rebounds and a blocked shot during the game. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)" border="0" /></a>AP - Starting three sophomores and two freshmen, and without an upperclassman on scholarship, the 12th-ranked Connecticut Huskies have used a season-opening homestand to run up an 11-0 record.</p><br clear="all"/>

Florida St. beats UCLA 44-27 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/fbc_emerald_bowl"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061228/capt.fxpb10812280430.emerald_bowl_football_fxpb108.jpg?x=130&y=102&sig=.t9khsJ.ObiNK9HFBfORvQ--" align="left" height="102" width="130" alt="Florida State wide receiver Chris Davis (5) and teammate Greg Carr (89) celebrate after Carr's 30-yard touchdown catch against UCLA during the fourth quarter of the Emerald Bowl college football game in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. UCLA cornerback Rodney Van, is at right. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)" border="0" /></a>AP - While UCLA hung tight with Florida State for three quarters, the Emerald Bowl seemed just as challenging to Bobby Bowden as any national championship game.</p><br clear="all"/>

Wimbley sets Browns rookie sack record (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_browns_wimbley"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061227/capt.cd10412271925.browns_wimbley_football_cd104.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=lOuYCWjFfhoskd9EwW.4.A--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="Cleveland Browns linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (95) celebrates after recovering a fumble by New York Jets running back Leon Washington in the third quarter of an NFL football game in this Oct. 29, 2006 file photo, in Cleveland. Wimbley's recovery led to a field goal in the Browns' 20-13 win. Wimbley has done everything right in his rookie season, from showing up on time to training camp to having an exemplary attitude off the field. He's been a rare bright spot for Cleveland in an otherwise dismal season. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)" border="0" /></a>AP - Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley is unlike any top draft pick the Browns have selected over the last eight years.</p><br clear="all"/>

Garcia, Eagles capitalize on 2nd chances (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_sports_showcase"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061227/capt.ny16012272029.sports_showcase_eagles_garcia_football_ny160.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=GKVHdnbh5D_9LTead8wA1A--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia (7) rolls to the right in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in their NFL football game in Irving, Texas, Monday, Dec. 25, 2006. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jeff Garcia saw his career winding down and few choices when he went job hunting during the offseason.</p><br clear="all"/>

Knicks beat Pistons 151-145 in triple OT (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_pistons_knicks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061228/capt.nyjj10312280159.pistons_knicks_basketball_nyjj103.jpg?x=127&y=130&sig=vPyie5cCoZW47An1iuUVsw--" align="left" height="130" width="127" alt="New York Knicks' Renaldo Balkman, left, reaches to knock the ball loose from Detroit Pistons' Chauncey Billups during the second quarter in NBA basketball action Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The longer the game, the better the New York Knicks are. The Knicks withstood their third overtime game in 10 days and their third this season of two or more overtimes, outlasting Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons 151-145 on Wednesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Igawa, Yankees finalize $20 million deal (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_yankees_igawa"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061227/capt.ny16912272250.yankees_igawa_baseball_ny169.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=y_2JfDAQfJI2kaKYmZPozQ--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="Left-handed pitcher Kei Igawa, of Japan, leaves Yankee Stadium after the meeting with New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in New York, in this Dec. 20, 2006 file photo. Igawa and the Yankees completed their $20 million, five-year contract on Wednesday,Dec. 27,2 006, a deal that was in the works for weeks. (AP Photo/Osamu Honda)" border="0" /></a>AP - As the Yankees kept talking about trading Randy Johnson, they finalized their $20 million, five-year contract with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa on Wednesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Inter Milan wins 11th straight (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061223/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_euro_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061223/capt.xlb10712231548.italy_soccer_xlb107.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=6GIiEdvu6XR6My13CCsahg--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Inter Milan forward Adriano, of Brazil, celebrates after scoring during an Italian major league soccer match between Inter and Atalanta, at the San Siro stadium, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)" border="0" /></a>AP - Inter Milan tied the Italian league record with its 11th consecutive victory by rallying past Atalanta 2-1 Saturday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Forsberg can't stop Flyers' slide (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061228/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20061228/capt.flls10512280337.flyers_panthers_hockey_flls105.jpg?x=130&y=89&sig=TUii5uXMz24D8ll.A6uJ9w--" align="left" height="89" width="130" alt="Philadelphia Flyers center Peter Forsberg (21) of Sweden moves the puck as Florida Panthers' Ruslan Salei (24) of Belarus falls to the ice in the third period of a hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.The Panthers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)" border="0" /></a>AP - The return of captain Peter Forsberg wasn't enough to help the hapless Philadelphia Flyers snap out of a franchise-record funk, while the Dallas Stars' first game without their injured captain was encouraging.</p><br clear="all"/>

Jason Cole: New Year's NFL resolutions
It's time to stop picking on the Raiders, Lions and Matt Millen since pointing out the obvious has gotten rather redundant.

Taylor: Steroid ban mars Merriman's year (AP)
Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor says the candidacy of his likely chief rival for NFL defensive player of the year, Shawne Merriman, was tainted by a four-game steroid suspension in November. "You really shouldn't be able to fail a test like that and play in this league, to begin with," Taylor said Wednesday.

Bucs QB Simms signs two-year extension (AP)
Rather than test free agency at the end of the season, injured Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms is remaining with the Buccaneers. Simms, sidelined since the third week of the season after having his spleen removed, signed a two-year contract extension Wednesday and looks forward to trying to regain his starting job in 2007.

Kurt Warner says he'll return in 2007 (AP)
Arizona Cardinals' Kurt Warner is shown during warmups before their NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006. Two months after raising the possibility of retirement, Warner on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 said he would return in 2007.

Two months after raising the possibility of retirement, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner on Wednesday said he would return in 2007. Although Warner left himself room to change his mind, it was his most definitive statement yet about his plans. In October, the 35-year-old Warner acknowledged he had begun considering retirement after losing the starting job to rookie Matt Leinart.


Dolphins QB Cleo Lemon gets first start (AP)
It's a week of breakthroughs for quarterback Cleo Lemon, who threw his first career touchdown pass and now looks forward to his first NFL start. The third-year pro will replace Joey Harrington in the Miami Dolphins' lineup Sunday against Indianapolis, coach Nick Saban said Wednesday. "It's important for us to see where this guy is," Saban said.

Vikings CB Smoot breaks jaw in car crash (AP)
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot is shown in this 2006 NFL handout photo. Smoot will miss the last game of the season because of a jaw broken in five places in a recent car accident.  The single-vehicle crash, revealed by coach Brad Childress at his Wednesday news conference, occurred Friday evening in Smoot's home state of Mississippi.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot will miss the last game of the season because of a jaw broken in five places from a recent car accident. The single-vehicle crash, first revealed by coach Brad Childress at his Wednesday news conference, happened in Smoot's hometown of Jackson, Miss. After the Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention with a 9-7 loss to the Packers last Thursday,...


Giants DE Strahan to miss rest of season (AP)
Seven-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan will miss the rest of the season for the New York Giants after aggravating a sprained right foot last weekend against the New Orleans Saints. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and could need surgery, the team said. The Giants (7-8) can almost surely clinch a playoff berth by beating the Redskins (5-10) in the regular-season finale at...

Saban won't address Alabama rumors (AP)
The latest from Nick Saban regarding the vacant Alabama coaching job: no comment. "I'm just making a rule to never comment on something like that again because every time you comment on it, it just makes for another story," Saban said Wednesday. "So I'm not going to comment on it five years from now, and I'm not going to comment on it next week." The Miami Dolphins coach was asked about the Alabama...

Bears DT Johnson back after one-game ban (AP)
Chicago Bear Tank Johnson arrives for court Friday on allegations that he violated his probation on a 2005 gun charge, Friday, Dec. 22, 2006 in Skokie, Ill., just over a week after he was arrested on misdemeanor weapons charges.

Tank Johnson sounds like a man ready to put his recent troubles behind him. The Chicago Bears defensive tackle thanked his teammates and the organization for their support and said he can't wait to play against Green Bay on Sunday night. Johnson returned to practice Wednesday after serving a one-game suspension against Detroit last week.


Raiders leave Shell's future up to Davis (AP)
Warren Sapp has no plans to walk into Al Davis' office at the end of the season and lobby for Art Shell to get another year as head coach. Shell's job security is in question in his first season back with the Raiders (2-13). Oakland has lost eight straight games and is one loss away from setting a franchise record for defeats in a season.

Steve Kerr: New Year's NBA resolutions
Each NBA team promises to do something in 2007 to make itself better. Yes, even the Knicks.

Knicks outlast Pistons, Hamilton in 3OT (AP)
New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas yells instructions to his players during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons in NBA basketball action Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Knicks won 151-145 in triple overtime.

The longer the game, the better the New York Knicks are. The Knicks withstood their third overtime game in 10 days and their third this season of two or more overtimes, outlasting Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons 151-145 on Wednesday night. Channing Frye forced the third overtime with a buzzer-beating jumper, Jamal Crawford took over from there and the Knicks improved to 4-0 in OT this...


Gordon's 40 get Bulls by Heat, Wade hurt (AP)
Miami Heat coach Pat Riley looks down while Chicago Bulls' Ben Gordon shoots free throws during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game  in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. The Bulls won, 109-103.

After beating each other up in the 2006 playoffs, the Bulls and Heat have carried their fierce rivalry into this season. Ben Gordon scored a career-high 40 points off the bench to lead Chicago to a 109-103 victory Wednesday night over the short-handed Miami Heat, who lost Dwyane Wade to a sprained wrist in the first quarter.


Kidd fined for 'three blind mice' remark (AP)
Jason Kidd was fined $20,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for a postgame rant in which he referred to officials Jim Clark, Tom Washington and Eric Lewis as "three blind mice." The New Jersey Nets' star was angry about the officiating during a 92-91 loss at Detroit on Tuesday night. NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson handed down the fine.

Bucks win sixth straight, rip Grizzlies (AP)
Memphis Grizzlies'head coach Mike Fratello watches the final moments of his team's 112-96 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks during an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. This was the Grizzlies' fifth loss in a row.

The frustration of a losing season is starting to show on the Memphis Grizzlies. Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd each scored 20 points, and Milwaukee beat Memphis 112-96 on Wednesday night for its sixth straight victory, the Bucks' longest winning streak in almost five years. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have lost five in a row and 14 of 16, and hold the worst record in the NBA at 6-24.


Rockets' defense stifles Nets 96-71 (AP)
Houston Rockets' Shane Battier (31) makes a move to the basket as he is guarded by New Jersey Nets' Richard Jefferson during first quarter NBA basketball Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 in East Rutherford, N.J. Battier led all scorers with 23 points as the Rockets beat the Nets, 96-71.

For one night, Shane Battier's shooting and some very good defense helped the Houston Rockets forget they will be playing without Yao Ming for a while. Battier hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points, and the Rockets limited the New Jersey Nets to 33 percent shooting in a 96-71 victory Wednesday night.


Bryant, Parker lead Lakers past Magic (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, fouls Orlando Magic guard Grant Hill while trying to steal the ball during the second half of their basketball game in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.  The Lakers won, 106-93.

The Los Angeles Lakers didn't need Kobe Bryant's jumper during crunch time. They had Smush Parker. Parker scored a season-high 20 points -- 18 of them in the third quarter -- and Bryant had 27 points and seven assists to help the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 106-93 Wednesday night. The Lakers picked up their third win on a tough six-game road swing that ends at Charlotte on Friday.


Arenas' Wizards outduel Wallace, Bobcats (AP)
Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas (0) drives past Charlotte Bobcats players Bernard Robinson, left, and Emeka Okafor, back, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. Arenas had 39 points as Washington defeated Charlotte 114-107.

The All-Star and the up-and-comer went toe-to-toe, and experience won out in the end. Gilbert Arenas scored 39 points and outdueled Gerald Wallace down the stretch as the Washington Wizards beat the Charlotte Bobcats 114-107 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory. Arenas had a 3-pointer, a backdoor layup and drew a charge that fouled out Raymond Felton in the final four minutes for...


Cavaliers hand Hawks fifth straight loss (AP)
Atlanta Hawks guard Speedy Claxton (12) grabs a high pass against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes (32) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The Cavaliers won 89-76.

Trips to Atlanta have a way of making the Cleveland Cavaliers forget that they usually struggle on the road. The Cavaliers have won only four of 12 road games this season, but two of those wins have come in Atlanta -- including Wednesday night's 89-76 victory over the slumping Hawks. LeBron James scored 27 points while Atlanta's usual scoring leader, Joe Johnson, struggled for the second...


Ford powers Raptors over Timberwolves (AP)
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Craig Smith, left, battles for the ball with Toronto Raptors forward Kris Humphries during the second half of the Raptors 100-97 win in NBA basketball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.

T.J. Ford has the Toronto Raptors in first place in the Atlantic Division, even without Chris Bosh. Ford scored 28 points and Anthony Parker added 19 to lead Toronto to a 100-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. The Raptors are 6-4 without Bosh (sore left knee), their leading scorer.


Flyers club-record losing streak hits 10 (AP)
Philadelphia Flyers center Peter Forsberg (21) of Sweden moves the puck as Florida Panthers' Ruslan Salei (24) of Belarus falls to the ice in the third period of a hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.The Panthers won 3-1.

Rostislav Olesz put the hapless the Philadelphia Flyers behind before most of his Florida teammates had even played a shift. Olesz scored 30 seconds into the game and added an assist, and the Panthers extended Philadelphia's franchise-record losing streak to 10 games with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.


Salo, Canucks edge Flames in OT (AP)
Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin, right, and brother Daniel celebrate as the Canucks defeat the Calgary Flames 6-5 in overtime during an NHL hockey game in Vancouver Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.

With a little luck, Sami Salo gave the Canucks a lead they couldn't give away. The Vancouver defenseman scored with 2:14 left in overtime and the Canucks recovered from blowing a pair of two-goal advantages to beat Calgary 6-5 on Wednesday night, completing a home-and-home sweep of the Flames. Salo's one-timer from the right point deflected off the stick of Calgary forward Chuck Kobasew in the slot...


Hasek, Wings extend Wild's road woes (AP)
Detroit Red Wings' Kirk Matlby, right, clears the puck away from the defense of Minnesota Wild's Kim Johnsson, of Sweden, during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 3-1.

The Detroit Red Wings jumped out to a lead and Dominik Hasek took care of the rest -- as he usually does against the Wild. Hasek made 32 saves and remained unbeaten in his career against Minnesota, leading Detroit to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night. Johan Franzen had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings in their third consecutive game against Minnesota.


Kozlov, Thrashers push win streak to 5 (AP)
Atlanta Thrashers coach Bob Hartley works behind the bench against the Pittsburgh Penguins in third period NHL hockey action at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. The Thrashers won 4-2.

Slava Kozlov and Marian Hossa must wish the Pittsburgh Penguins were in the same division as the Atlanta Thrashers. Kozlov scored the decisive goal in the third period to beat Pittsburgh for the second time in a week, and the Thrashers ran their winning streak and the Penguins' losing streak to five games with a 4-2 victory Wednesday night.


Bad groin has Ducks G Giguere day-to-day (AP)
Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere was listed as day-to-day with a groin strain Wednesday and defenseman Francois Beauchemin is out indefinitely with a lacerated spleen for the NHL-leading Ducks . The Ducks are off to one of the best starts in NHL history, but have been beset by injuries lately. Center Todd Marchant (abdominal strain) and backup goalie Ilya Bryzgalov are also listed as...

Halpern, Zubov rally Stars past Avs (AP)
Dallas Stars defenseman Sergei Zubov, left, of Russia, celebrates his goal with left winger Loui Eriksson, of Sweden, in the third period of the Stars' 5-4 victory in an NHL hockey game in Denver on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.

Stars rookie Chris Conner woke up Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa, traveled to Denver for an NHL game and planned to sleep in a hotel bed when he got to Dallas. At least he hoped to sleep in a hotel. "I think they set us up?" Conner said after he scored his first NHL goal in the Stars' 5-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.


Stars captain Morrow out indefinitely (AP)
Stars captain Brenden Morrow had surgery to repair severed tendons in his right wrist after he was stepped on by a skate, and will be out indefinitely. Morrow was injured during the Stars' 2-1 loss to Chicago on Tuesday and underwent surgery later that night. The left winger was in his first season as captain, replacing Mike Modano.

Emery, Senators blank Islanders 2-0 (AP)
Ottawa Senators' Dany Heatley (15) fights for control of the puck with New York Islanders' Brendan Witt (32) and Alexei Yashin (79) during second period NHL action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006.

Ray Emery began a shutout streak of his own as Rick DiPietro's came to an end. Emery stopped 18 shots in his second shutout of the season and Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly scored, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. Fisher scored his ninth goal at 18:12 of the first period off DiPietro, who was coming off consecutive shutouts against Columbus and...


Dandenault, Downey spur Habs to win (AP)
Washington Capitals' Brooks Laich (21) battles for the puck against Montreal Canadiens' Michael Komisarek (8) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006, in Washington. Montreal won 4-1.

Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet wasn't too upset about falling short of his 14th career shutout. Huet made 30 saves, Mathieu Dandenault and Aaron Downey scored first-period goals and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 Wednesday night for their sixth win in seven games. Alexander Semin knocked in his own rebound at the left post on a power play with 2:56 to go, ruining Huet's...


Fitzpatrick down to 3rd in All-Star vote (AP)
The Rory Fitzpatrick write-in campaign took a hit Wednesday. After a strong start, the journeyman Vancouver Canucks defenseman fell to third among Western Conference blue-liners behind Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom. Fan voting determines the starters for the game, which will be held in Dallas on Jan.

Jerry Bonkowski: Offseason caps: Rudd, Bodine, Wood
Ricky Rudd is back in Nextel Cup, but how much of an impact will he have?

Auto Racing 2006: Johnson, Hornish win big but quietly (SportsTicker)
For a sport known for its outspoken, colorful characters, the champions of the two major racing series in the United States let their actions do the talking.

Plan for Washington track lacks legislative support (AP)

Yates team pulls Rudd out of retirement (AP)
Robert Yates is bringing Ricky Rudd out of retirement to keep his sinking race team afloat, signing him Thursday to drive the full Nextel Cup schedule in 2007.

Rudd comes out of retirement to rejoin Yates Racing (SportsTicker)
HACKETTSTOWN, New Jersey (Ticker) - Robert Yates Racing filled a new spot with an old friend.

Marcos Ambrose to drive in up to 10 Nextel Cup races in 2007 (SportsTicker)
Australian Marcos Ambrose has joined the foreign invasion of NASCAR.

Anheuser-Busch to end NASCAR sponsorship in 2007 (AP)
Anheuser-Busch will end its title sponsorship of NASCAR's No. 2 series after the 2007 season.

Ekstrom defeats Loeb to win Race of Champions (AP)
Mattias Ekstrom beat three-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb Saturday to win the Race of Champions at Stade de France. Loeb raced for the first time since breaking his arm in September and reached the final for the third straight year. The Frenchman won last year and lost to Finland's Heikki Kovalainen in 2004.

Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital Opens (AP)
Jeff Gordon saw firsthand the strain and heartache childhood illnesses bring early in his career when Ray Evernham's young son was diagnosed with leukemia.

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