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Sharks lose top goal scorer, 2-goal lead (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_nhl_playoff_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.c58047a0a03840b19487e4c262c58f09.sharks_predators_cheechoo_hockey_tnnb105.jpg?x=130&y=87&sig=VbkShlE4AouFgzuSbzzpZw--" align="left" height="87" width="130" alt="San Jose Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo (14), center, is assisted off by Craig Rivet (52) left, and Joe Thornton in the second period of an NHL hockey playoff game against the Nashville Predators in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, April 11, 2007. Nashville's Scott Hartnell collided with him knee-on-knee and drew a major penalty and ejection for the hit. The Sharks said Cheechoo was being evaluated, and his return to the best-of-seven series opener was uncertain.(AP Photo/Neil Brake)" border="0" /></a>AP - The San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators each carried 51 wins into the postseason. If their first playoff game is any indication, they could be in store for a long and riveting series.</p><br clear="all"/>

Hernandez outshines Dice-K at Fenway (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_al_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.d144d61091c944c6a3f449c7a08aa5e4.mariners_red_sox_baseball_maea106.jpg?x=130&y=115&sig=rKa_ntdb3Cnpu7nX_gNPAA--" align="left" height="115" width="130" alt="Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez points to second base after giving up his first hit of the game to Boston Red Sox's J.D. Drew, during the eighth inning of their baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)" border="0" /></a>AP - Fenway Park was the place to be, and not just because of the first matchup in the major leagues between Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ichiro Suzuki.</p><br clear="all"/>

Josh Hamilton powers Reds past D'backs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_nl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.5493d16279ce4fb19f8a4bdccd61cf5d.reds_diamondbacks_baseball_azrs108.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=xBWNrUcgLGTH5WZFem0VBA--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Cincinnati Reds' Josh Hamilton crosses home plate after hitting an eighth inning solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a National League baseball game on Wednesday, April 11, 2007, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)" border="0" /></a>AP - Josh Hamilton is enjoying every minute of his new major league career. Opposing pitchers are hoping his enthusiasm will soon wane. The Cincinnati outfielder, who sat out three seasons as he struggled with cocaine addiction, homered for the second straight game, leading the Reds to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Pistons and Heat win division titles (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_nba_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.4b51474959d6482789f2264c8ac5406f.magic_pistons_basketball_dtp107.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=cQZw9rLK_7YxAi1z7gvcSQ--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, right, drives against Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson in the second half of a basketball game Wednesday, April 11, 2007, in Auburn Hills, Mich. Billups led all players with 28 points in a 104-99 win. The Pistons locked up home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs with the win. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Detroit Pistons clinched the Central Division and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but skipped the celebration after beating the Orlando Magic 104-99 on Wednesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Duke rape case collapses a year later (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_re_us/duke_lacrosse"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070411/capt.84df1439eba747938bb0b74b09d6f927.correction_duke_lacrosse_ny119.jpg?x=130&y=65&sig=ZFL011zO1RqZGHedF5XWiA--" align="left" height="65" width="130" alt="FILE ** From left are Duke lacrosse players Reade Seligmann, of Essex Fells, N.J., David Evans, of Bethesda, Md., and Collin Finnerty, of Garden City, N.Y., arriving at court in Durham, N.C., in these Dec. 15, 2006 file photos. The Duke University lacrosse team members could learn as early as Wednesday April 11, 2007 whether state prosecutors will drop the remaining charges accusing them of sexually assaulting a stripper at a team party. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)" border="0" /></a>AP - Nearly a year after calling the rape accusations he and two Duke lacrosse teammates faced nothing but "fantastic lies," David Evans again stood before the cameras and proclaimed his innocence.</p><br clear="all"/>

Quarterback Bledsoe retires after 14 seasons (Reuters)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070412/sp_nm/nfl_bledsoe_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070412/2007_04_12t024022_318x450_us_nfl_bledsoe.jpg?x=91&y=130&sig=lw2ZQUNvSEvq0Oi2g3PjHw--" align="left" height="130" width="91" alt="A file photo of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe walking the sidelines at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas January 1, 2006. Bledsoe is retiring after 14 seasons in the NFL, the 35-year-old said on Wednesday. (Jeff Mitchell/Reuters)" border="0" /></a>Reuters - Veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe is retiring after 14 seasons in the NFL, the 35-year-old said on Wednesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

T-Mac, Rockets get 50th win (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_bk_ga_su/bkn_rockets_trail_blazers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.b83cfb0d8206419094634303d288e5ed.rockets_trail_blazers_basketball_pda102.jpg?x=109&y=130&sig=OOsCJ9G_zJKuleHCd4L7hw--" align="left" height="130" width="109" alt="Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, of China, reacts after he is called for a foul during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, April 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)" border="0" /></a>AP - Tracy McGrady got 32 points, another win for the Rockets, and a scare. In the final minute of Houston's 99-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, McGrady tumbled underneath Brandon Roy. The seven-time All-Star stayed prone on the floor for several tense moments before he rose and walked gingerly on the sidelines.</p><br clear="all"/>

Penny helps Dodgers shut out Rockies 3-0 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_rockies_dodgers"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.cb45c72353a84638932befbd0d315141.rockies_dodgers_baseball_lad107.jpg?x=99&y=130&sig=.w4IyR2dNWYBMcagtWJMiA--" align="left" height="130" width="99" alt="Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Los Angeles, Wednesday, April 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)" border="0" /></a>AP - Brad Penny continued his dominance over the Colorado Rockies because he was able to maintain his concentration &#151; something that couldn't be said about his mound opponent.</p><br clear="all"/>

Longtime soccer rivals: police, fans (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_extra_time"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070409/capt.th10204091508.soccer_extra_time_th102.jpg?x=130&y=87&sig=a0GYc_oMtE2D0ZsjgUHTkg--" align="left" height="87" width="130" alt="Italian police clash with Manchester United fans during their Champion's League quarter-finals first leg soccer match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy, in this Wednesday April 4, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Jon Super)" border="0" /></a>AP - The two opponents face each other, neither showing signs of fear. One side is filled with passion, strength in numbers and maybe too much attitude. The other is united, powerful and prepared for anything. When the action starts, bad things happen. And it happened twice last week: soccer fans and police fighting in the stands.</p><br clear="all"/>

Canucks edge past Stars 5-4 in 4OT (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_sp_ho_ga_su/hkn_stars_canucks"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070412/capt.326fe97466dd4d76ada897981c5aa90e.nhl_canucks_stars_vcrx112.jpg?x=130&y=95&sig=cxK_D823SV3B18aN_cunUg--" align="left" height="95" width="130" alt="Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo (center) celebrates his victory with teammates Markus Naslund (right) and Rory Fitzpatrick after defeating the Dallas Stars 5-4 in the fourth overtime period in Vancouver Wednesday April 11, 2007.(AP Photo/Chuck Stoody)" border="0" /></a>AP - Roberto Luongo got more than two games worth of playing time in his first career postseason start. Luongo made 72 saves before Henrik Sedin scored 18:06 into the fourth overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars in the opening game of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Good, bad and ugly
Check out which games figure out to be the best and worst from week to week throughout the 2007 season.

QB Drew Bledsoe retires after 14 seasons (AP)
Drew Bledsoe retired Wednesday, ending a 14-season career in which he made two Super Bowls. The top overall pick by New England in the 1993 draft out of Washington State, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback played for the Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. He was a starter for all three teams, but ended up as a backup with the Cowboys.

Patriots-Colts, Saints-Bears meet in '07 (AP)
The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, who have developed one of the fiercest rivalries in the NFL, will meet in Indianapolis on Nov. 4 in what should be one of the highlights of the 2007 NFL season. That game will be a rematch of January's AFC title game, won by the Colts 38-34 after they fell behind 20-3.

Quinn thinks he can turn a team around (AP)
Brady Quinn already has taken a down-and-out football team and turned it around. He figures he can do it again. That's why the Notre Dame quarterback believes he is highly qualified to immediately help a troubled NFL franchise -- and why he should be the first Fighting Irish player taken with the opening pick in the NFL draft in 35 years.

Pacman banned for '07, Henry 8 games (AP)
Roger Goodell isn't alone. Almost the entire NFL supports the commissioner's get-tough stand on off-field misbehavior. "I think the commissioner is trying to make a statement, and I think it's good," Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy said Tuesday after Goodell suspended Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones for the 2007 season and Cincinnati's Chris Henry for the first half of it.

Packers sign LB Barnett through 2012 (AP)
The Green Bay Packers signed Nick Barnett to a contract extension Tuesday, assuring the middle linebacker will not become a free agent after next season. The extension replaces the final year of Barnett's five-year rookie contract and runs through 2012. Terms were not disclosed. "It was definitely an option to hit the market," Barnett said.

Goodell toughens personal conduct policy (AP)
NFL teams will be disciplined when their employees, including players, violate the league's personal conduct policy. Moments after announcing the one-year suspension of Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, and an eight-game ban for Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released his strengthened conduct policy Tuesday.

Warren Moon arrested on DUI charge (AP)
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was arrested for investigation of drunken driving after a trooper stopped him for allegedly speeding. Moon was stopped in downtown Kirkland, State Patrol Trooper Courtney Stewart said Tuesday. The former Seattle Seahawks quarterback was arrested early Friday, taken to the Kirkland Police Department and later released.

Role model citizen
In Rookie of the Year favorite Brandon Roy, the Blazers have a talent they can build around and a player Portland can embrace.

Pistons clinch top seed in East with win (AP)
For one half Wednesday, it looked like the late 1990s at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Grant Hill was attacking the basket and scoring at will, just as he did in his prime with the Pistons a decade ago. In the second half, though, it was the current Pistons who took over the game. Detroit held Hill to four points in the second half, and they went on to a 104-99 victory over his Orlando Magic.

Heat clinch Southeast Division title (AP)
Just as they have so many times over the course of the season, the Miami Heat saw their depth pay big dividends. And the result was another Southeast Division crown -- not the ultimate goal, but a nice prize nonetheless. Antoine Walker scored 19 points and took two crucial charges late in the fourth quarter, Dwyane Wade added 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the defending NBA champion...

Marion, Suns down SuperSonics 109-91 (AP)
Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni is tinkering with his starting lineup in the last week of the regular season. The results are the same -- a Suns victory. Shawn Marion had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Phoenix stayed two games ahead of San Antonio in the fight for the No. 2 playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 109-91 victory Wednesday night over the depleted Seattle SuperSonics.

Mavs set team record with 30th road win (AP)
There's no letup in these Dallas Mavericks. Even with the top seed in the Western Conference all sewn up and four regulars sitting out, they kept their foot on the gas on Wednesday night. With Dirk Nowitzki and Jerry Stackhouse resting at home, Josh Howard and Jason Terry each scored 16 points to lead the Mavericks to a 105-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Timberwolves F Garnett out indefinitely (AP)
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett is out indefinitely with an injured right quadriceps. Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Wednesday night that the injury has bothered the former MVP for months, and that Garnett and his agent decided it was time to shut it down and seek a second opinion before going forward.

Indiana draws closer to eighth in East (AP)
Despite all their struggles, the Indiana Pacers are still right in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Mike Dunleavy scored 25 points, including four free throws in the final 7.7 seconds, and the Pacers pulled within a game of eighth-place Orlando in the East on Wednesday night with a 104-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Spurs complete sweep of Kings with win (AP)
Another 60-win season is possible for the San Antonio Spurs thanks to the fourth-quarter play of Tim Duncan and Michael Finley. Duncan scored 26 points, Finley added 19, and San Antonio rallied for a 109-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Duncan scored 13 in the fourth quarter and Finley added 10 to help the Spurs rally from a five-point deficit in the third.

Nuggets send Jazz to fifth straight loss (AP)
The Utah Jazz have the Northwest Division title. The second-place Denver Nuggets have something more important heading into the postseason -- the confidence that comes from playing their best basketball of the season. Denver extended its winning streak to seven straight by beating the slumping Jazz 115-106 Wednesday night to clinch a playoff berth.

McGrady helps Rockets notch 50th win (AP)
Tracy McGrady got 32 points, another win for the Rockets, and a scare. In the final minute of Houston's 99-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, McGrady tumbled underneath Brandon Roy. The seven-time All-Star stayed prone on the floor for several tense moments before he rose and walked gingerly on the sidelines.

Roberto's long night
Wednesday was supposed to be about Sidney Crosby's coming-out party, but instead Roberto Luongo's playoff debut stole the show.

Canucks outlast Stars in 4OT thriller (AP)
Roberto Luongo got more than two games worth of playing time in his first career postseason start. Luongo made 72 saves before Henrik Sedin scored 18:06 into the fourth overtime to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars in the opening game of their first-round playoff series on Wednesday night.

Sens spoil Crosby's playoff debut 6-3 (AP)
Sidney Crosby found little to celebrate after his first NHL playoff game. Andrej Meszaros and Chris Kelly scored 5:01 apart early in the first period and the Ottawa Senators ruined Crosby's postseason debut with a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Rissmiller, Sharks top Predators in 2OT (AP)
A year ago, Tomas Vokoun was in shock, worried more about his life than the NHL playoffs because of blood clots that put him in the hospital. He couldn't even fly to the game to cheer on his teammates. The resulting first-round loss for the Predators? Easy to put into perspective. "I definitely was dealing with stuff a lot more important to me," Vokoun said.

Penner's late goal lifts Ducks by Wild (AP)
Dustin Penner's patience -- and positioning -- paid off. Penner scored with 5:20 remaining to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series. Penner poked the puck in after Minnesota defenseman Kim Johnsson crashed into Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, sending him sprawling backward into the net.

Coyotes clean house in front office (AP)
The Phoenix Coyotes cleaned out their front office Wednesday, firing general manager Mike Barnett and two other executives after the franchise's worst season since it moved from Winnipeg in 1996. Wayne Gretzky, who owns a share of the team and is its managing partner, will return for a third season as coach next fall.

Devils' Brodeur now focuses on Lightning (AP)
After spending the past seven months chasing and breaking Bernie Parent's single-season NHL record for wins, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has turned his attention to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Whether it's at practice or team meetings or simply driving home, Brodeur is reviewing every aspect of Tampa Bay's game before Thursday's opener of the best-of-seven, first-round, Eastern Conference...

Islanders coach Nolan back in Buffalo (AP)
Ted Nolan waited nine years to land another NHL head-coaching job, then led the New York Islanders to the playoffs in his first season back in the league. And look where it got him. Nolan is in Buffalo of all places, preparing to face the top-seeded Sabres, the team that fired him right after he took coach of the year honors in 1997.

Iginla says Flames can beat Red Wings (AP)
The Detroit Red Wings are confident they will avoid another early exit in the playoffs because they're deeper, stronger and have better goaltending. Calgary star Jarome Iginla respects the Red Wings, but likes his team's chances, particularly because he helped the Flames upset Detroit in the second round of the 2004 playoffs.

Thrashers set for first playoff series (AP)
The last thing Bobby Holik wanted to talk about was Kari Lehtonen's new do: a bright blue spiked mohawk, flanked by platinum blonde hair. "Please, I ask you one favor, do not ask me about that," Holik pleaded. "You have to ignore the situation." Unable to grow the traditional playoff beard, the 23-year-old Lehtonen found another way to commemorate the Atlanta Thrashers' first playoff appearance --...

Trading Paint: Rolling and smoking


Witness: "I didn't think anybody was alive in there" after Waltrip accident (AP)
The witness who discovered Michael Waltrip's overturned car initially thought no one survived the accident until the NASCAR driver wiggled out the back window.

Report: Waltrip cited for reckless driving (PA SportsTicker)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) - Michael Waltrip is having a tough year behind the wheel - and not just on the racetrack.

Busch's crew chief takes leave (AP)
Kurt Busch's crew chief has taken a leave of absence to be with his wife as she battles cancer.

Junior still wants majority ownership in DEI (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has not backed down from his demand for majority ownership in his late father's company, his sister said Tuesday.

Edwards speeding off toward Busch Series title (AP)
Carl Edwards never came close to winning the Busch Series title last season, when Kevin Harvick humiliated the competition with a near-flawless run to the championship.

Australia's Power wins opening Champ Car auto race of season (AFP)


Edwards extends Busch Series lead with Nashville win (AP)
Carl Edwards raced to his second consecutive NASCAR Busch Series victory, easily winning the Pepsi 300 in chilly conditions Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway to extend his lead in the season standings.

Champ Car series moves Zolder race to August (AFP)
The Champ Car motor raceing series Saturday announced their race scheduled for Zolder on September 9 has been moved up to August 26.

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