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Seahawks beat Cowboys 21-20 in stunner (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_cowboys_seahawks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.sea13601070533.cowboys_seahawks_football_sea136.jpg?x=108&y=130&sig=_ItWfJSqXisnS4gL6hT06Q--" align="left" height="130" width="108" alt="Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo lowers his head while sitting on the bench following his fumble to the Seattle Seahawks' during the final minutes of their NFC wild card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Seattle.The Seahawks defeated the Cowboys, 21-20.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" border="0" /></a>AP - All Tony Romo had to do was put the ball down and let Martin Gramatica make an easy kick &#151; just 19 yards, even closer than an extra point. That's where it all slipped away from the Dallas Cowboys. The Pro Bowl quarterback who saved their season ended it, too.</p><br clear="all"/>

Colts' D steps up in 23-8 win over K.C. (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_fo_ga_su/fbn_chiefs_colts"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.nad13001070115.chiefs_colts_football_nad130.jpg?x=122&y=130&sig=G0S3B0E6ikyCLIxnPuSNKQ--" align="left" height="130" width="122" alt="Indianapolis Colts safety Bob Sanders (21) celebrates an interception with teammates Cato June (59) and Antoine Bethea (41) during the fourth quarter of a AFC wild-card playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Colts won 23-8. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)" border="0" /></a>AP - Peyton Manning knows all about falling apart in the playoffs. Though he struggled early Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts' stunningly stingy defense came to the rescue. Manning and the Colts beat the inept Kansas City Chiefs 23-8 Saturday, and while the star quarterback's numbers were good &#151; 30-of-38 for 268 yards &#151; his performance was mediocre. At least it was for the most prolific passer of his generation.</p><br clear="all"/>

USC kicker found dead at bottom of cliff (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_co_ne/fbc_t25_usc_kicker_death"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.ny15001070512.usc_kicker_death_football_ny150.jpg?x=130&y=89&sig=6mEs3fAJuFOyMxaFxikhgg--" align="left" height="89" width="130" alt="Southern California placekicker Mario Danelo, right, kicks a field goal against University of Washington during the second half of football in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006. Danelo was found dead Saturday, Jan. 6, 2006, about 120 feet down a rocky cliff near Point Fermin lighthouse in San Pedro, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles,file)" border="0" /></a>AP - Southern California kicker Mario Danelo was found dead Saturday about 120 feet down a rocky cliff near Point Fermin lighthouse in the city's San Pedro section.</p><br clear="all"/>

Broncos turn out in force for Williams (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_broncos_williams_funeral"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070106/capt.txrh11801062032.broncos_williams_funeral_football_txrh118.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=DxsOQYUebCp.jIJLEb4ByQ--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan speaks at the funeral service for slain Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. Williams was fatally shot in Denver on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Nathan Hunsinger,Pool)" border="0" /></a>AP - Darrent Williams came home Saturday to the tough streets he embraced and escaped, where he first flashed his awesome athletic skills and infectious smile. Thousands of friends, family members, teammates and fans attended the funeral for the charismatic Denver Broncos cornerback who was killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day.</p><br clear="all"/>

Oregon sends top-ranked UCLA to 1st loss (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_co_ga_su/bkc_t25_ucla_oregon"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070106/capt.ordr10401062136.ucla_oregon_basketball_ordr104.jpg?x=83&y=130&sig=to1F12MM1dEpNa2sYJ_8Gg--" align="left" height="130" width="83" alt="UCLA's Darren Collison pulls his jersey over his head after being called for a three-point foul late in the second half of Pac-10 college basketball action against Oregon in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. Top-ranked UCLA lost to No. 16 Oregon 68-66. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)" border="0" /></a>AP - In 1974, Ernie Kent played for an Oregon team that upset No. 1 UCLA. Thirty-three years later, Kent sobbed when his Ducks again knocked off the top-ranked Bruins. "This is a together basketball team," the Oregon coach said after the 16th-ranked Ducks handed UCLA its first loss of the season, 68-66 on Saturday. "Their spirit is unbelievable."</p><br clear="all"/>

Saints' Payton is AP NFL Coach of Year (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_nfl_coach_of_year"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070104/capt.nua10201040120.sugar_bowl_football_nua102.jpg?x=130&y=104&sig=vuargTzVsjbw9uuxWFtreQ--" align="left" height="104" width="130" alt="New Orleans Saints head football coach Sean Payton, left, and LSU head coach Les Miles shake hands prior to the Sugar Bowl football game between LSU and Notre Dame at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Wednesday Jan. 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Sean Payton might have had the toughest coaching job in football this season, making his selection Saturday as The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year that much more impressive.</p><br clear="all"/>

Big Ben beats former mates as Bulls win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_pistons_bulls"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.cxa10201070246.pistons_bulls_basketball_cxa102.jpg?x=130&y=113&sig=j.MDOh2zQLLxZXi.BTk8Cw--" align="left" height="113" width="130" alt="Chicago Bulls' Ben Gordon, left, makes a pass around Detroit Pistons' Rasheed Wallace, center, and Will Blalock, right, during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)" border="0" /></a>AP - Ben Wallace did his best, then relented for the first time all night. He had just helped the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 106-89 on Saturday night, and he had to admit this wasn't just another regular-season game.</p><br clear="all"/>

Unit's agents still discussing extension (AP)
AP - Randy Johnson's agents were still negotiating with the Diamondbacks on Saturday, trying to work out a contract extension that would clear the way for Arizona to acquire the five-time Cy Young Award winner from the New York Yankees.

Davis, Hendricks among United buyers (AP)
AP - A group that includes Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks and former Duke basketball player Brian Davis is buying four-time MLS champion D.C. United's operating rights.

Kings snap losing streak vs. Red Wings (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070107/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_red_wings_kings"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070107/capt.las10701070636.red_wings_kings_hockey_las107.jpg?x=93&y=130&sig=Ksp_GGyFVOoQqSLYaA30eA--" align="left" height="130" width="93" alt="Los Angeles Kings center Michael Cammalleri celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings pn Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 4-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Los Angeles Kings finally found a way to beat Detroit, and the needed some help from the Red Wings to do it.</p><br clear="all"/>

James C. Black: Bobble 'Boys


Seahawks survive after Cowboys botch FG (AP)
Seattle Seahawks' Jerramy Stevens, left,  catches a 37-yard touchdown pass in front of Dallas Cowboys' Roy Williams in the fourth quarter in NFL football action in an NFC wild card playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Seattle.

All Tony Romo had to do was put the ball down and let Martin Gramatica make an easy kick -- just 19 yards, even closer than an extra point. That's where it all slipped away from the Dallas Cowboys. The Pro Bowl quarterback who saved their season ended it, too. Romo's bobble on the field-goal try with 1:19 left led to a scramble that ended 2 yards shy of the end zone and a yard short of a first down,...


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Maligned Colts defense shines in victory (AP)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, left, is tackled by Indianapolis Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson during the first quarter of an NFL playoff football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. Indianapolis won, 23-8. Johnson finished with 32 yards rushing.

Peyton Manning knows all about falling apart in the playoffs. Though he struggled early Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts' stunningly stingy defense came to the rescue. Manning and the Colts beat the inept Kansas City Chiefs 23-8 Saturday, and while the star quarterback's numbers were good -- 30-of-38 for 268 yards -- his performance was mediocre.


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Saints' Payton named AP Coach of Year (AP)
Sean Payton might have had the toughest coaching job in football this season, making his selection Saturday as The Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year that much more impressive. Payton, in his first year as a head coach, didn't just lead the New Orleans Saints to a 10-6 record, the NFC South championship and a first-round playoff bye.

Seahawks WR Jackson in starting lineup (AP)
Seattle wide receiver Darrell Jackson was listed as the starter for the NFC wild-card game against Dallas on Saturday night despite missing practice for nearly a month because of a toe injury. Jackson strained a toe ligament in his left foot in the fourth quarter of Seattle's Dec. 10 loss at Arizona. Jackson was at practice for the first time this week, but didn't participate in team drills.

Broncos pay respects to Darrent Williams (AP)
Denver Broncos owner at Pat Bowlen speaks at the funeral service for Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. Williams was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in downtown Denver on New Year's Day.

Darrent Williams came home Saturday to the tough streets he embraced and escaped, where he first flashed his awesome athletic skills and infectious smile. Thousands of friends, family members, teammates and fans attended the funeral for the charismatic Denver Broncos cornerback who was killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year's Day.


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Steelers' next hire could be in-house (AP)
The last three times the Pittsburgh Steelers chose a new head coach, they went outside the organization to hire an NFL assistant coach. Bill Austin's hiring in 1966 didn't work out so well, producing only 11 wins in three seasons. Chuck Noll (1969, 209 wins) and Bill Cowher (1992, 161 wins) turned out a little better.

Eagles prefer to be underdogs vs. Giants (AP)
Philadelphia Eagles' Brian Dawkins (20) comes down with a tipped pass in front of  Lito Sheppard, left, and New York Giants' Plaxico Burress for an interception in the second quarter during NFL football action in this Dec. 17, 2006 file photo, in East Rutherford, N.J. Since the start of December, Dawkins has been a playmaker, keying a five-game winning streak that helped the Eagles capture the NFC East title for the fifth time in six years. On Sunday, they will host the New York Giants in a first-round playoff game.

No matter the point spread, records or opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles consider themselves an underdog every week. The New York Giants seem to have embraced that role. It's no surprise these division rivals can't even agree on the simplest point. "Don't pick us," Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown said.


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Belichick's influence on Mangini clear (AP)
New York Jets running back Cedric Houston, left, tackle Adrian Jones, rear, and kicker Mike Nugent (1)stretch  during football practice at the Jets training facility in Hempstead, N.Y. Friday, Jan. 5, 2007.  The Jets will play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007, in a AFC wild-card playoff football matchup in Foxborough, Mass.

Eric Mangini spent quite a few late nights at the office helping Bill Belichick draw up championship-winning game plans during six years as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots. The rookie head coach is running his own bleary-eyed meetings these days with the New York Jets, but Belichick's influence is clear.


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L.T. named AP Offensive Player of Year (AP)
With a bushel full of records and an MVP award already in his 2006 collection, LaDainian Tomlinson added The Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year to his resume Friday. Could there have been any doubt after L.T. made everything look EZ in sparking the San Diego Chargers to the NFL's best record (14-2)?

Adrian Wojnarowski: Big Ben's bitterness


Wallace helps Bulls beat Pistons 106-89 (AP)
Chicago Bulls' Thabo Sefolosha, center, of Switzerland, tries to find away around Detroit Pistons' Carlos Delfino (20), of Argentina, as the Pistons' Ronald Dupree, rear, looks on during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007 in Chicago. The Bulls won the game, 106-89.

Ben Wallace did his best, then relented for the first time all night. He had just helped the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 106-89 on Saturday night, and he had to admit this wasn't just another regular-season game. There were too many memories, too many good times. "It felt a little strange," he said.


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Brown returning to 76ers as executive VP (AP)
Philadelphia 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks, left, greets New York Knicks coach Larry Brown before the start of their game in this Oct. 25, 2005 file photo, in Philadelphia. Brown was introduced as an executive vice president for the 76ers on Saturday. He will assist team president Billy King and the basketball operations department and work on special projects. Cheeks was an assistant under Brown when Brown coached the 76ers.

The only Hall of Fame coach the Philadelphia 76ers have is going to spend his days in the front office instead of on the bench. Larry Brown was rehired by Philadelphia as an executive vice president on Saturday, a return to the organization he coached to its last NBA finals. The move stoked speculation that he'll eventually replace coach Maurice Cheeks.


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Cavs beat Nets to cap successful week (AP)
New Jersey Nets' Richard Jefferson (24) knocks the ball loose from Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) in the third quarter, in an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won, 96-91.

The Cavaliers are hitting the road packed with confidence. LeBron James scored 19 points and added a season-high 13 rebounds as Cleveland finished off its most successful week in nearly 14 years with a 96-91 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night. By beating San Antonio, Boston, Milwaukee and New Jersey since Tuesday, the Cavaliers have won four games in five nights for the first time...


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Williams, Boozer lead Jazz over Nuggets (AP)
Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams, top, battles for control of a loose ball with Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson in the third quarter of Utah's 96-84 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007.

Deron Williams kept reminding teammate Carlos Boozer to "hang in there." Denver's zone was keeping such a close eye on Boozer -- Utah's leading scorer and rebounder -- that he had no operating room. "It was hard to get him the ball," Williams said. So Williams did something about it, hitting four 3-pointers and tying a career high with 28 points to lead the Jazz over the Nuggets 96-84 Saturday...


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O'Neal sparks Pacers' rally past Hornets (AP)
Indiana Pacers' Stephen Jackson goes up for a shot in front of New Orleans Hornets' Marc Jackson, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Pacers won 100-93. Stephen Jackson had 27 points.

The Indiana Pacers are still a long way from where Jermaine O'Neal wants them to go. At least they are headed in the right direction. O'Neal was a big part of it, making two key layups to help the Pacers to a 100-93 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night in his first game since issuing a challenge to his Indiana teammates.


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Randolph, Blazers outlast Kings in OT (AP)
Sacramento Kings' Mike Bibby (10) misses a 3-point shot over Portland Trail Blazers' Jarrett Jack, right, as Portland's Brandon Roy (7) watches in the final seconds in overtime of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Blazers won 110-105.

Rookie Brandon Roy sent the game into overtime and veteran Zach Randolph delivered in the extra period for the Portland Trail Blazers. Roy's shot at the buzzer saved Portland from another loss and Randolph scored six of his 32 points in overtime to lift the Blazers to a 110-105 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.


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Warriors stay hot at home, beat Sonics (AP)
Golden State Warriors' Baron Davis reacts after hitting a shot late in the fourth quarter against the Seattle SuperSonics in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Oakland, Calif. The Warriors won 108-104.

Don Nelson tried almost every trick he had to slow down Ray Allen. Big man, little man. Single coverage, double team. No matter what combination the Golden State Warriors tried, Allen had an answer. Until the final seconds. Matt Barnes made a tiebreaking layup with 1:05 to go, extended the lead on a goaltending call and distracted Allen enough on a potential game-tying 3-pointer to preserve the...


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Hawks snap eight-game skid, top Clippers (AP)
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy yells to his players in the fourth quarter of the Clippers 86-74 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in an NBA basketball game in Atlanta Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007.

Eight straight losses are bad enough, but dropping six in a row at home was even more painful for the struggling Atlanta Hawks. Thanks to one of their top defensive performances, both streaks ended with the Hawks' 86-74 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. Joe Johnson scored 27 points and Zaza Pachulia added 22 as Atlanta won for the first time since a Dec.


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Nowitzki helps Mavs win 13th straight (AP)
Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Howard, right, grabs a rebound next to San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. Dallas won 90-85.

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks won a game that Manu Ginobili said the Spurs needed but "just couldn't take." San Antonio is getting used to that feeling when Dallas comes to town. Nowitzki scored a season-high 36 points to lead the Mavs to their 13th straight victory, 90-85 over the Spurs on Friday night.


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Rangers extend winning streak to four (AP)
Montreal Canadiens goaltender David Aebischer loses sight of the puck as it heads for the net on a goal by New York Rangers' Martin Straka as Canadiens defenceman Michael Komisarek looks on during second-period NHL action Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Montreal. The Rangers beat the Canadiens, 4-3.

The New York Rangers were well aware of how many sick players the Montreal Canadiens had, and used that knowledge to their benefit. Matt Cullen scored his second goal of the game 13:55 into the third period and the Rangers extended their winning streak to four with a 4-3 victory over the flu-ridden Canadiens on Saturday.


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Gionta, Brodeur lead Devils by Senators (AP)
Ottawa Senators' Chris Neil, right, checks New Jersey Devils' Paul Martin during third period hockey action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Devils won3-2.

Martin Brodeur acknowledged the New Jersey Devils were looking to get even for an embarrassing loss in their last trip to Ottawa. Brian Gionta scored twice and the Devils got strong goaltending from Martin Brodeur in a 3-2 victory over the Senators on Saturday. The Devils lost 8-1 at Scotiabank Place in the teams' first meeting on Oct.


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Arnott, Preds extend mastery over Blues (AP)
Nashville Predators center Jason Arnott (19) celebrates with defenseman Ryan Suter, left, after Arnott scored a goal in the third period against the St. Louis Blues in an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Predators defeated the Blues 3-2.

The St. Louis Blues give the Nashville Predators a fight every time they play. Now, if they could only hand them a loss. The Blues lost 3-2 to their Central Division rivals on Saturday night. It was the 13th straight win for the Predators over the Blues and the fifth time this season the game was decided by one goal.


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Kings end 12-game skid to Red Wings, 4-2 (AP)
The Los Angeles Kings finally found a way to beat Detroit, and the needed some help from the Red Wings to do it. Michael Cammalleri and Lubomir Visnovsky each had a goal and an assist, and Rob Blake also scored to lift the Kings to a 4-2 victory Saturday night. Coming off a 3-0 win against Columbus on Wednesday, the Kings have posted consecutive regulation victories for the first time since beating...

Bruins avoid longest skid of season (AP)
Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (30) lies on the ice as Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Knuble (22) celebrates his goal with Simon Gagne (12), after the Flyers pulled their goalie in the third  period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Boston. The Bruins won 4-3.

The Boston Bruins held a rare team meeting after an embarrassing loss and responded with a strong effort despite missing their best defensive player. Marc Savard had two goals and assisted on two others Saturday, helping the Bruins avoid their longest losing streak of the season with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.


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Briere, Sabres hold off Maple Leafs 4-3 (AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs Hal Gill, left,  and Buffalo Sabres Thomas Vanek fight for the puck during third period NHL action in Toronto, Saturday Jan.6, 2007.

The Buffalo Sabres ended their rare losing skid and regained the top spot in the NHL. Daniel Briere, Ales Kotalik and Chris Drury had a goal and assist each, and Sabres held on for a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.


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Clowe, Sharks too much for Blue Jackets (AP)
San Jose Sharks right wing Ryane Clowe, right rear, is contratulated by teammates including Joe Pavelski, left, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) and Jonathan Cheechoo, right, after scoring his third goal of an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, in the third period in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. San Jose won 5-2.

One part of the scoresheet showed five power-play goals for the San Jose Sharks. Another part showed only four, thanks to a still-unresolved officiating error that had Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock steaming. Whether the final number turns out to be jaw-dropping or just plain impressive, the Sharks' potent power play was much too good for yet another opponent.


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Boyd's first goal a winner for Flames (AP)
Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco, right, and teammate Trevor Daley react after the Calgary Flames scored the winning goal during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Canada,  Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. The Flames beat the Stars, 4-2.

Dustin Boyd and Byron Ritchie made Jarome Iginla's absence hurt a little less. Ritchie scored twice and Boyd netted his first NHL goal with 2:17 left Saturday night, snapping a tie and carrying the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Andrew Ference's slap shot from the blue line missed the net but caromed off the boards and out the other side where Boyd sent the puck in from a sharp...


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Hejduk's SO winner lifts Avalanche (AP)
Colorado Avalanche right wing Milan Hejduk, left, of the Czech Republic, looks back toward Minnesota Wild goalie Manny Fernandez after scoring in a shootout in an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in St. Paul, Minn. The Avalanche won 2-1.

Close in the standings all season, division rivals Colorado and Minnesota staged another close game. The Avalanche pulled out a valuable victory over the Wild in a crowded Western Conference race that all but promises to come down to the end. Milan Hejduk scored the shootout winner, lifting goalie Peter Budaj and Colorado to a third straight victory -- 2-1 over Minnesota on Saturday night.


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'Canes send Isles to sixth straight loss (AP)
Carolina Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour (17) comes to celebrate with teammates Erik Cole, second right, and Ray Whitney (13), Coles goal, with New York Islanders' Brendan Witt (32) at left, during the second period of this NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, in Raleigh, N.C. Cole had two goals in the 4-2 win.

All the Carolina Hurricanes needed to break out of their scoring slump were a few power plays on home ice against the New York Islanders. Erik Cole scored two goals and Carolina scored twice on the power play in a 4-2 victory over the Islanders on Saturday night. "The way they kill works out best for our power play or for our personnel," Cole said.


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Bob Margolis: Offseason caps: Gilliland, Mayfield, Waltrip
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '07 Cup field as February's season-opening Daytona 500 approaches.

Boris Said is king of the mountain again (AP)
Who rules? Boris rules.

Portuguese racer Sousa wins first stage of Dakar Rally (AP)
Portuguese car racer Carlos Sousa won the first stage Saturday of the Dakar Rally, a grueling off-road event of nearly 5,000 miles through Europe and Africa. Sousa was timed in 1 hour, 20 minutes, 38 seconds, leading a first through fifth finish for Volkswagen drivers. The route covered 288 miles, with 73 miles timed.

Gordon 13th after first day of Dakar Rally (AP)
Robby Gordon is the only NASCAR driver competing in the Dakar Rally, an off-road road race from Portugal to Dakar that covers 4,918 miles. In 2005, he became the first American to win a stage of the grueling event. This year's edition, the 29th, has a record number of competitors, with 525 teams and 42 nationalities represented, including 250 motorcycles, 187 cars and 88 trucks.

NASCAR's Parsons hospitalized in intensive care unit (AP)
Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons remained in intensive care Friday at Carolinas Medical Center after entering the hospital nearly two weeks ago because of complications stemming from lung cancer.

Former NASCAR champion Benny Parsons hospitalized (SportsTicker)
Former NASCAR champion and popular broadcaster Benny Parsons is hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

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)


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