NEW YORK—Jonas Gustavsson is giving the Toronto Maple Leafs every opportunity to ignore the return of their starting goaltender.
Gustavsson made 30 saves, including 12 in the third period as he repeatedly turned away the Rangers on the power play, as Toronto snapped New York’s five-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory last night.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.—NHL officials approved a radical realignment plan yesterday that will give the league four conferences instead of six divisions and guarantee home-and-home series among all teams.
The board of governors authorized commissioner Gary Bettman to implement the proposal pending input from the NHL Players’ Association.
VANCOUVER—The Vancouver Canucks made Roberto Luongo’s first start in eight games a memorable one last night.
Luongo held the fort during a difficult first period, and Chris Higgins and David Booth had a goal and two assists each, as the Canucks dumped the Calgary Flames 5-1.
“It was nice to get back in there with a win,” said Luongo, who finished with 21 saves.
Play it again, LSU and Alabama.
The Crimson Tide edged out Oklahoma State in the final round of voting yesterday and will play the top-ranked Tigers in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans.
Undefeated LSU is the only team to beat Alabama this season, and the head BCS official sees a do-over as a perfectly good title game.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Tied with less than a minute to play and 80 yards from the end zone, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t going to wait until overtime.
It was the perfect choice for a team pushing perfection.
STILLWATER, Okla. — After an annual football game they call Bedlam, thousands of Oklahoma State fans jumped, ran and pushed their way onto the field in joy. The Cowboys had just taken apart the Oklahoma Sooners, their bitter and often more successful rivals. The Cowboys’ first national championship suddenly seemed within reach.
WINNIPEG—A night that started with boos for Winnipeg’s old team ended with a well-deserved standing ovation for the new Jets.
Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves, and Brian Little scored the only goal, as the Jets nipped Phoenix 1-0 last night in the Coyotes’ first game back in Winnipeg since leaving for the desert in 1996.
SEATTLE—Marshawn Lynch loves the prime-time stage—even if he’s rarely given such a spotlight.
But he wasn’t about to accept any praise on a night when he certainly deserved it.
“It was all about the offensive line. We managed the game, we came out victorious, everybody’s happy and now we’re on to our break,” Lynch said during a very brief locker-room appearance.
MILWAUKEE — Want to own a piece of the Green Bay Packers? The Super Bowl champions are about to give you a chance.
The Packers, the NFL’s only publicly owned team, announced details Thursday about their first stock sale in 14 years and fifth in team history. The money will help pay for US$130 million in renovations at historic Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
TORONTO—The Boston Bruins were in no mood to celebrate.
After polishing off the franchise’s first month without a regulation loss in more than four decades, the defending Stanley Cup champions acted is if they’d been there before.
It’s one of the main reasons they should be considered among the favourites again.