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Taylor takes AP Defensive Player honors (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_nfl_defensive_player"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.ny16001050743.nfl_defensive_player_taylor_football_ny160.jpg?x=130&y=111&sig=KZRSuIkz3q1HDHgTFnqSyQ--" align="left" height="111" width="130" alt="Miami Dolphins player Jason Taylor (99) celebrates as the Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, 13-10 in a football game in Miami, in this Nov. 12, 2006 file photo. Taylor was selected the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)" border="0" /></a>AP - Jason Taylor was one hard man to find on the Miami defense this season. Until, that is, the ball was snapped and he was making the play.</p><br clear="all"/>

Yanks, D-Backs agree on Big Unit trade (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bba_yankees_johnson"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070104/capt.ny16301042159.yankees_johnson_baseball_ny163.jpg?x=116&y=130&sig=cRjh3DPKZg8LZd07l3dDKg--" align="left" height="130" width="116" alt="New York Yankees starter Randy Johnson pitches in the first inning of Game 3 of the ALDS baseball game in Detroit, in this Oct. 6, 2006, file photo. The Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks reached a tentative agreement Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, on a trade that would send Randy Johnson to Arizona, a move that allows the Big Unit's agents to get him a contract extension. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson, file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Randy Johnson's time with the New York Yankees was short and unfulfilling. Moving to end a two-year stay that began with a nasty sidewalk confrontation and ended with a messy playoff loss, the Yankees reached a tentative agreement Thursday to send Johnson back to the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Luis Vizcaino and three minor leaguers.</p><br clear="all"/>

Bill Cowher expected to resign Friday (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_steelers_cowher_s_decision"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.ny16701050046.steelers_cowher_s_decision_football_ny167.jpg?x=100&y=130&sig=pZg95wLQQJYFltN6EqWgBw--" align="left" height="130" width="100" alt="Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher runs off the field following the Steelers' 23-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals in a football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, in Cincinnati. Cowher will hold an afternoon news conference Friday on whether he will return as coach next season. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)" border="0" /></a>AP - There was no chance Bill Cowher would walk away from the Pittsburgh Steelers without winning a Super Bowl. That became obvious during a long succession of frustrating near-misses that left him one of the most successful NFL coaches without a championship ring. Once he finally accomplished the goal he set for himself back in 1992, saying goodbye proved much easier.</p><br clear="all"/>

Mavericks on 2nd 12-game winning streak (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.dna11001050438.pacers_mavericks_basketball_dna110.jpg?x=78&y=130&sig=vPdEW7eJcYsfN8GeQ1Ys3A--" align="left" height="130" width="78" alt="Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) goes up for a shot as Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley, left, pressures in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Dallas. Dallas won 100-91. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Dallas Mavericks already have their second dozen, and the best record in the NBA. Not bad for a team that started 0-4 after it ended last season by blowing a two-game lead with four straight losses in the NBA finals.</p><br clear="all"/>

SoCal hands No. 16 Oregon its first loss (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_college_bkb_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.ordr10701050417.southern_cal_oregon_basketball_ordr107.jpg?x=130&y=110&sig=sMs6N14ijF.LrBCMSA0hqg--" align="left" height="110" width="130" alt="Southern California's Daniel Hacket, middle, celebrates with teammates Nick Young, left, and Dwight Lewis after beating Oregon, 84-82, during Pac-10 college basketball action in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Southern California ruined what would have been a special Saturday in Oregon. The Trojans handed No. 16 Oregon its first loss of the season Thursday night, two days before the Ducks host top-ranked and unbeaten UCLA.</p><br clear="all"/>

SUV located in Williams slaying case (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_broncos_williams_killed"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070104/capt.codz10101041553c.correction_broncos_williams_killed_codz101.jpg?x=130&y=80&sig=BI3_BtG6CXgoU4tSaEfsag--" align="left" height="80" width="130" alt="The front end of a late-model Chevrolet Tahoe four-door sports utility vehicle can be seen looking out of a stall used to store vehicles at the impound lot for the Denver Police Department on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. Police picked up the vehicle early Thursday abandoned in extreme east Denver and suspect that it may have been used in the drive-by shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams early New Year's Day. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)" border="0" /></a>AP - Police investigating the drive-by slaying of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams have found the truck they were looking for and are now asking if anybody saw who ditched the spray-painted SUV.</p><br clear="all"/>

Lakers rally to beat Kings 132-128 in OT (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_lakers_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.sca10401050742.lakers_kings_basketball_sca104.jpg?x=104&y=130&sig=eXF5yK3cTYeRi1PPNXmFLg--" align="left" height="130" width="104" alt="Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, center, the ball between Sacramento Kings defenders John Salmons, left, and Corliss Williamson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. The Lakers won in overtime, 132-128. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)" border="0" /></a>AP - With 4 seconds left in regulation and the Los Angeles Lakers down by two, the Sacramento Kings were sure Kobe Bryant would take the last shot. "Everyone expected him to take that shot," Sacramento guard John Salmons said. "No one thought he would pass it." Yet that's just what Bryant did, feeding Smush Parker for a game-tying layup with 0.1 seconds left and helping the Los Angeles Lakers go on to a 132-128 overtime victory Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Padres pitcher Jake Peavy arrested (AP)
AP - San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct Thursday at Mobile Regional Airport.

Chelsea ties Aston Villa 0-0 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070102/ap_on_sp_so_ga_su/soc_english_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070102/capt.bsd11301022206.britain_soccer_bsd113.jpg?x=110&y=130&sig=I1_Y_qdFLJRNw4dkrDxORQ--" align="left" height="130" width="110" alt="Chelsea's Ghanian midfielder, Michael Essien, right, battles for the ball with Aston Villa's Wilfred Bouma, centre, and midfielder Gavin McCann, during their English Premier League soccer match at Villa Park, Birmingham, England. Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2007. (AP Photo/Simon Dawson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Chelsea failed to gain ground on Premier League leader Manchester United on Tuesday, settling for a 0-0 tie at Aston Villa on Tuesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Coyotes' Joseph moves up NHL wins list (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070105/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070105/capt.nckd10701050322.coyotes_hurricanes_hockey_nckd107.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=uCsRRdgZOq5gg4pSKD7Hlw--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Phoenix Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph catches the puck in front of Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) during the third period of their NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Raleigh, N.C. Joseph recorded his 438th win in a 2-0 shutout, surpassing Hall of Famer Jacques Plante for sole possession of fifth place on the NHL's career wins list, (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker)" border="0" /></a>AP - Curtis Joseph is humbled by his place in NHL history. The Coyotes' goalie earned his 49th shutout and 438th victory with a 2-0 win over Carolina on Thursday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Charles Robinson: Making the grade
Super Bowl contenders Baltimore and San Diego earned "A's," but how did the rest of the teams fare this season?

Raiders' Shell out after one season (AP)
Art Shell, left, and Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis appear during a news conference at the NFL football team's Alameda, Calif., headquarters after Shell was named coach in this Feb. 11, 2006, file photo. Shell's second stint as coach of the Raiders will end after just one season, the franchise's worst in more than four decades, ESPN reported Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.

Art Shell's second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders ended after just one season, the franchise's worst in more than four decades. Shell met with owner Al Davis on Thursday, and afterward the team announced that he would not return as coach for the final season of his contract. "While Art will no longer serve as head coach, he and Mr.


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Cowher expected to leave Steelers (AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher runs off the field following the Steelers' 23-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals in a football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2006, in Cincinnati. Cowher will hold an afternoon news conference Friday on whether he will return as coach next season.

There was no chance Bill Cowher would walk away from the Pittsburgh Steelers without winning a Super Bowl. That became obvious during a long succession of frustrating near-misses that left him one of the most successful NFL coaches without a championship ring. Once he finally accomplished the goal he set for himself back in 1992, saying goodbye proved much easier.


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Taylor wins AP Defensive Player of Year (AP)
Jason Taylor was one hard man to find on the Miami defense this season. Until, that is, the ball was snapped and he was making the play. Taylor's superb all-around performance for the Dolphins earned him The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, announced Friday. While Miami finished just 6-10 in 2006, the dynamic Taylor was having the best season of his nine-year pro career.

Police locate SUV in Williams' slaying (AP)
Sonny Jackson, spokesperson for the Denver Police Department, addresses a news conference about  a vehicle the police impounded early Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, they believe might have been used in a New Year's Day drive-by shooting that killed Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams. Passers-by spotted the vehicle parked south of Denver International Airport and called police at about 6:30 a.m., Jackson said.

Police investigating the drive-by slaying of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams have found the truck they were looking for and are now asking if anybody saw who ditched the spray-painted SUV. The 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe that police believe might have been used in the killing was found abandoned early Thursday in a remote neighborhood of snow-covered empty lots and industrial buildings under...


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Tomlinson is runaway winner of NFL MVP (AP)
San Diego Chargers' running back LaDainian Tomlinson answers a question at a news conference held Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007 in San Diego. Tomlinson was chosen as the NFL's Most Valuable Player for the 2006 season on Thursday.

Toward the end of LaDainian Tomlinson's spectacular record-setting season, San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer ran out of superlatives to describe the super running back. That's saying something, since Schottenheimer was an English major in college. So Schottenheimer shifted directions as quickly as Tomlinson does.


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Pennington wins AP Comeback Player (AP)
New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington celebrates a second-quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots in a NFL game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., in this Nov. 12, 2006 file photo. Pennington was selected as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

Chad Pennington spent two nerve-racking weeks at home in Tennessee last fall wondering if his right shoulder would ever be the same. "That was the lowest point, not knowing what direction I would go in, whether it was good or bad or whether it was with football or without football," the New York Jets quarterback said.


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Many game-time decisions among Seahawks (AP)
Mike Holmgren got his wish on Thursday with more bodies practicing and fewer in the training room. That doesn't mean Seattle's coach is any clearer on who'll be in the lineup for Saturday night's NFC wild-card game against Dallas. Holmgren classified the majority of his injured players as game-time decisions for the Cowboys, including receivers Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson and D.J.

Dolphins to talk to Chargers' Cameron (AP)
The Miami Dolphins received permission to interview San Diego offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for their head coaching vacancy, Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said Thursday. Cameron is the first confirmed candidate since former coach Nick Saban left Wednesday for Alabama. Cameron also is expected to interview for jobs with the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons.

Source: Robiskie not returning to Browns (AP)
Cleveland Browns wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie on the sidelines during the second quarter against the New England Patriots in Cleveland, in this Dec. 5, 2004, file photo. Robiskie,  who served as Cleveland's interim head coach for the final five games in 2004, will not be retained next season, a person with knowledge of the decision said Thursday night, Jan. 4, 2007.

Terry Robiskie, the Browns' wide receivers coach who served as Cleveland's interim head coach for the final five games in 2004, will not be retained next season, a person with knowledge of the decision said Thursday night. Robiskie's expected departure is the first of what is likely to be an extensive overhaul on coach Romeo Crennel's offensive staff.


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Adrian Wojnarowski: Arenas for the people


Harris leads Mavs to 12th straight win (AP)
Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris (34) goes up for a shot as Indiana Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley, left, pressures in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Dallas. Dallas won 100-91.

Devin Harris didn't even think about taking jumpers. The skinny guard kept driving to the basket -- and scoring. With Jason Terry struggling, that was exactly what the Dallas Mavericks needed Thursday night to beat the Indiana Pacers 100-91 and extend the NBA's longest winning streak to 12 games. Harris scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter -- when he made all four of his shots on layups.


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Kobe starts slow, carries Lakers in OT (AP)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, center, the ball between Sacramento Kings defenders John Salmons, left, and Corliss Williamson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. The Lakers won in overtime, 132-128.

With 4 seconds left in regulation and the Los Angeles Lakers down by two, the Sacramento Kings were sure Kobe Bryant would take the last shot. "Everyone expected him to take that shot," Sacramento guard John Salmons said. "No one thought he would pass it." Yet that's just what Bryant did, feeding Smush Parker for a game-tying layup with 0.1 seconds left and helping the Los Angeles Lakers go on to a...


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Rothstein coaches Heat at troubled time (AP)
Ron Rothstein doesn't know how to fix the Miami Heat's problems. "There's no magic wands," Rothstein said. "I haven't found one. Been searching a long time." Too bad, because the Heat are in desperate need these days. Rothstein, the Heat's coach in their first three seasons, is back leading the team again, having been chosen Wednesday as the interim replacement for Pat Riley, who's taking a medical...

Hamilton, Pistons cruise without Billups (AP)
Detroit Pistons' Richard Hamilton, right, goes up for a shot in front of New Orleans Hornets' Tyson Chandler, left, and Marc Jackson, center, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. The Pistons won the game 92-68.

Richard Hamilton gave the Detroit Pistons the driving force they needed with their All-Star point guard on the bench. Hamilton set the tempo by scoring 15 of his 27 points during one first-quarter stretch, and the Pistons hardly missed Chauncey Billups in their 92-68 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night.


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Arenas hits winning 32-footer at buzzer (AP)
Washington Wizards' GIlbert Arenas peers out from his jersey during a break in the action against the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007, in Washington. Arenas hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, capping a 32-point game and giving the Wizards a 108-105 victory.

Gilbert Arenas got the ball with the score tied and 6 seconds to play. He dribbled downcourt, read Charlie Bell's retreating feet, stopped and stroked a perfect jumper 32 feet from the basket. "Once I let it go, I'm like, 'That's in,"' Arenas said. "I don't even need to look at this one." He didn't. He turned with a snarl and a strut, strolling away with his back to the basket as if it were another...


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Nash carries Suns past Raptors, 100-98 (AP)
Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (13) and Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon (8) tumble during a collision during first half basketball action in Toronto, Canada on Wednesday Jan. 3, 2007.

Steve Nash struggled for most of his first game in Canada this season before showing in the fourth quarter why he is a two-time MVP. Nash scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 100-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. Nash was only 1-for-7 from the field through three quarters, but he recovered in the fourth.


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Grizzlies set mark, top Warriors 144-135 (AP)
Golden State Warriors forward Matt Barnes (22) reels in a pass over Memphis Grizzlies' Stromile Swift (4) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007, in Memphis, Tenn. Barnes scored a career-high 36 points, but the Grizzlies won 144-135.

As long as the Memphis Grizzlies want to run, interim coach Tony Barone isn't going to bog them down with too many set plays. The racehorse Grizzlies used a season-high 33 points from Mike Miller, and Pau Gasol's 24 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday night to beat the Golden State Warriors 144-135. "We got tired halfway through the third quarter," Barone said.


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James scores 32, Cavs hold off Celtics (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers' Zydrunas Ilgauskas (11) reacts as he goes up for a shot against Boston Celtics' Delonte West, left, and Al Jefferson (7) during first quarter basketball, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007 in Boston.

LeBron James just loves playing against the Boston Celtics. James scored 32 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a season-high 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Celtics 107-104 Wednesday night. Cleveland won for the fifth time in six games and has beaten the Celtics seven straight times.


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Timberwolves beat Spurs 103-101 in OT (AP)
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey yells to his team during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Minneapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007.

This time the Timberwolves held on. Mark Blount scored 28 points, Kevin Garnett had 27 points and 17 rebounds, and Minnesota beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-101 in overtime Wednesday night. To earn its first win in six games against the Spurs, Minnesota made six straight free throws and Trenton Hassell grabbed a key rebound late in overtime.


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Marleau sets Sharks scoring mark in rout (AP)
San Jose Sharks right wing Mike Grier, right, celebrates as a shot from Christian Ehrhoff, not pictured, gets past Detroit Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek, left, of the Czech Republic in the second period of a NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.

The San Jose Sharks were three goals down, and their starting goalie had been lifted. Then Josh Gorges took a shot that was sailing wide -- and it somehow caught the top end of Dominik Hasek's stick and caromed into the net. One bizarre bounce triggered an avalanche of goals -- nine straight, to be exact -- on a revitalizing, record-setting night for the Sharks and Patrick Marleau, their steady...


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Steen, Maple Leafs rip Bruins, 10-2 (AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs' Bates Battaglia, left, battles for the puck against Boston Bruins' Jason York, during third-period hockey, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Boston. The Maple Leafs won, 10-2.

The Boston Bruins were ashamed after they were manhandled by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins lost their third straight game, losing 10-2 Thursday night, and have been outscored 20-3 in the last three contests. They have allowed 28 goals in the last five games. "We are embarrassed. It was almost like we gave up," Bruins defenseman Brad Stuart said.


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Lemieux, Pa. officials meet about arena (AP)
Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux makes a statement to the media after meeting with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell,  Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, to discuss their plan to build the NHL team an new arena, Thursday, Jan 4, 2007, in Pittsburgh.

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux emerged from a "very positive" meeting with Gov. Ed Rendell and local leaders Thursday night without hinting whether the team will stay or move to Kansas City. Hours after touring the under-construction Sprint Center in Kansas City, Lemieux returned to Pittsburgh for his first in-person meeting with government officials since a plan to fund a $290 million arena with...


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Straka carries Rangers by Flyers, 3-2 (AP)
Members of the New York Rangers ice crew pick up hats tossed onto the ice after the Rangers' Martin Straka scored three goals for a hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers in NHL hockey action Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Rangers won, 3-2.

Martin Straka never felt so good with the flu. Straka was weak before the opening faceoff, better after the first period, stronger through 40 minutes, and perfect when he sealed the New York Rangers' latest victory with a breakaway goal. The understated and overshadowed Straka posted his sixth NHL hat trick, reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time and carried the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over...


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Iginla injured in Flames' OT win (AP)
Calgary Flames' David Moss, front, celebrates his tying goal with teammate Stephane Yelle, top, as Florida Panthers' Bryan Allen skates past during third period NHL hockey action in Calgary,  Canada, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007. The Flames beat the Panthers, 5-4, in overtime.(AP Photo/Jeff McIntosh,CP) CANADA

The Calgary Flames overcame a pair of obstacles to earn their first overtime victory of the season. Mark Giordano scored 4:30 into overtime to give Calgary a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, a victory marred by an injury to leading scorer Jarome Iginla. Calgary scored when Stephane Yelle won a face-off from Jozef Stumpel and drew the puck back to Dion Phaneuf.


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Coyotes' Joseph fifth on wins list (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes' Scott Walker (24) eyes the puck in front of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph during the second period of their NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, in Raleigh, N.C.

Shutouts are nothing new for Curtis Joseph -- or for the suddenly slumping Carolina Hurricanes. Joseph made 29 saves in his second straight shutout and the Phoenix Coyotes beat Carolina 2-0 on Thursday night in the Hurricanes' second consecutive scoreless game. "As long as the puck's staying out, that's good news," Joseph said.


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Stars survive late gaffe, win in SO (AP)
Dallas Stars' Chris Conner (65)  and Mathias Tjarnqvist, right,  celebrate  Philippe Boucher's goal against the Edmonton Oilers' during the third period of NHL hockey action, at Edmonton's Rexall Place in Canada on Thursday, January 4, 2007.

The Dallas Stars saved face in a game they looked destined to squander. Thanks to a bizarre gaffe, the Edmonton Oilers did, too. Sergei Zubov and Jussi Jokinen scored in a shootout as the Dallas Stars overcame a late tying goal to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 Thursday night. Dallas rallied from 4-1 down with four unanswered goals, but needed the shootout heroics after Ales Hemsky tied the game for...


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Parise, Brodeur lifts Devils by Isles (AP)
New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro makes a save during third period NHL hockey against the New Jersey Devils, Thursday night, Jan. 4, 2007, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Devils beat the Islanders, 4-3.

The emergence of Zach Parise as a goal scorer has been a pleasant development this season for the New Jersey Devils. Parise scored two goals and Martin Brodeur made 40 saves to lead the Devils to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Sergei Brylin and Patrik Elias also scored for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils, who have won four of their last five.


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Lightning end Wild's home win streak (AP)
Tampa Bay Lightning head coach John Tortorella yells at his players during the final minutes of their 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.

After escaping with a victory in a difficult place for visitors, the Tampa Bay Lightning hoped this was the start of something good. The Minnesota Wild just wished they would have started better. Martin St. Louis and Vincent LeCavalier each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which ended Minnesota's eight-game home winning streak with a 3-2 victory Thursday night.


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Legace, Blues shut out Blackhawks (AP)
Chicago Blackhawks Jim Vandermeer, left, knocks St. Louis Blues' Jamal Mayers into the boards during the third period of their hockey game on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Vandermeer received a two-minute penalty for boarding in the Blackhawks' 2-0 loss to the Blues.

Goalie Manny Legace likes the way the St. Louis Blues have started games lately. Lee Stempniak and Dennis Wideman scored goals to lead the Blues to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. St. Louis has not given up a goal in the first period since Andy Murray became coach 12 games ago.


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Jerry Bonkowski: Trading Paint: Rolling with Rudd
The mailbag is back, and Ricky Rudd fans are raring to go.

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.

Supermodel Niki Taylor marries NASCAR driver Burney Lamar in wedding ceremony in California (AP)
Supermodel Niki Taylor and NASCAR driver Burney Lamar have tied the knot, Taylor's spokeswoman confirmed Friday. The couple were married Wednesday before 60 guests at the Grande Colonial Hotel in the La Jolla area of San Diego, publicist Lesley Burbridge-Bates told The Associated Press. The bride wore a Vera Wang Couture dress.

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.

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