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In brief: Capitals’ Brashear gets six-game suspension

Washington Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear (left) was suspended by the NHL for six games – five for what the league called a “blind-side hit”.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear (left) was suspended by the NHL for six games – five for what the league called a “blind-side hit”. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

The NHL has suspended Capitals forward Donald Brashear for six games, beginning with Game 7 of Washington’s first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers.

Brashear is being punished for two separate actions – one before and one during Washington’s 5-3 victory in Game 6 at New York on Sunday.

He was suspended for one game for making contact with Rangers forward Colton Orr in pregame warmups.

Brashear will miss five additional games for what the NHL is calling a “blind-side hit” on Rangers forward Blair Betts midway through the first period.

Betts will miss Game 7 with a broken orbital bone.

•Ducks remove top-seeded team: Teemu Selanne and Francois Beauchemin scored their first playoff goals 43 seconds apart in the second period, and the eighth-seeded Anaheim Ducks ousted the Presidents’ Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks from the first round with a 4-1 victory in Anaheim, Calif.

Jonas Hiller made 36 saves to finish his phenomenal playoff series debut for the Ducks, who won a fight-filled Game 6 clincher in a remarkable playoff upset two years after winning the franchise’s only Stanley Cup.

•Blackhawks put out Flames: The Chicago Blackhawks won their first playoff series in 13 years, eliminating Calgary by beating the Flames 4-1 in Game 6 of their first-round Western Conference matchup in Calgary.

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for Chicago, with Adam Burish and Brian Campbell also scoring. Dustin Byfuglien added an empty-net goal and had two assists. Rookie Kris Versteeg, a Calder Trophy nominee, also contributed two assists.

•Rockets advance to WHL final: Mikael Backlund scored a hat trick for Kelowna, including the game-winning goal in overtime, as the Rockets rallied to defeat the Vancouver Giants 5-4 in Western Hockey League playoff action at Kelowna, British Columbia.

With the win, Kelowna claimed its first Western Conference championship since 2005, and third in franchise history, winning the best-of-7 series 4-2.

Kelowna will meet the Calgary Hitmen in the WHL final.

•U.S. tops Austria: The United States broke open a close game with four goals in the third period, beating Austria 6-1 to reach the second round of the ice hockey world championship in Bern, Switzerland.

•Vezina finalists named: Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild, Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.


Former champ Page dies

Greg Page, a former heavyweight champion who suffered a severe brain injury in a 2001 fight, has died at his Louisville home. He was 50.

His wife, Patricia Page, said she found the one-time World Boxing Association champion in his bed Monday morning. Patricia Page said he died of complications related to injuries he suffered in the fight.

The March 9, 2001, fight left Page in a coma for nearly a week. He then had a stroke during post-fight surgery. He was paralyzed on his left side and received intensive physical therapy.


Nuggets crush Hornets

Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets looked like the only ones having fun in this party town.

Anthony scored all of his 26 points in the first three quarters, and Denver thoroughly dismantled the Hornets 121-63 in New Orleans to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Hornets’ Chris Paul managed only four points and six assists in one of the worst games of his career.

Lakers move past Jazz: Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are moving on in the NBA playoffs – as if that was really in doubt.

With Bryant making everything from 3-pointers to a fadeaway jumper while falling on his backside, the Lakers ran away from the Utah Jazz, winning 107-96 to finish the opening-round series in five games.

Bryant scored 31 points and Lamar Odom had 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who earned several days of rest before meeting the winner of the Portland-Houston series.

Hawks stifle Heat: Zaza Pachulia had 12 points and 18 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks raced out to a huge first-half lead and frustrated Dwyane Wade endlessly in beating the Heat 81-71 in Miami to tie the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at two games apiece.

Wade scored 22 points, doing so on 9-of-26 shooting and wincing at times from a back injury.

•Bulls’ Gordon day-to-day: Chicago Bulls star Ben Gordon is listed as day-to-day after an MRI confirmed he has a strained left hamstring.

•Walton out at least a week: Luke Walton of the Lakers will miss at least one week of the playoffs with a partial ligament tear in his left ankle.


Swine Flu cancels tourney

Concerns about swine flu prompted CONCACAF to cancel the rest of its under-17 soccer championship in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the United States had clinched spots in the semifinals of the tournament, being played in Tijuana. But after the Mexican government announced it was closing schools nationwide, CONCACAF said it would abandon the tournament “to safeguard the health of players, officials and fans.”


Armstrong unable to race

Lance Armstrong is going to miss this week’s Tour of the Gila cycling race in New Mexico. Organizers blame what they say is a rarely enforced International Cycling Federation rule.

Race director Jack Brennan says the UCI plans to enforce a rule that prohibits top-level professional teams from competing in national-level events such as the 23rd Tour of the Gila.

The decision means Armstrong, who had planned to enter, won’t participate. The race runs Wednesday through Sunday in Silver City.

•Lazier, Duno to compete: Former Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Lazier and Milka Duno have been added to the entry list for the May 24 race.


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