Dan Cleary was close to being an ex-NHL player when the league emerged from the lockout four years ago.
The Detroit Red Wings gave him another shot. The gritty forward took advantage, and the defending Stanley Cup champions are glad he did.
Cleary matched a playoff career high with two goals against the team that drafted him, leading the Red Wings to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday in Detroit.
Cleary was drafted 13th overall by the Blackhawks in 1997, but had just nine points in 41 games before being traded to Edmonton.
“I wasn’t in Chicago very long, so no hard feelings,” he joked.
Cleary’s second goal came midway through the third period, 1:27 after Mikael Samuelsson’s go-ahead score for the Red Wings.
Detroit’s Chris Osgood made 30 saves, and Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 38 shots for the Blackhawks, who allowed an empty-net goal to Henrik Zetterberg.
Adam Burish gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead 5:25 in, but Cleary tied it a few minutes later. Johan Franzen put Detroit in front 2-1 late in the second period.
Oh holds on at Sybase
Ji Young Oh shot 2-under 70 on a raw, cold, windy day and benefited from a couple of mistakes by Suzann Pettersen on the back nine to capture the $2 million Sybase Classic in Clifton, N.J., by four shots with a 14-under total.
It was her second win on the LPGA Tour, coming less than a year after winning the State Farm Classic in Illinois.
Oh started the round tied with Pettersen for the lead with Brittany Lincicome one shot back, and Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer three behind.
A bad drive by Pettersen on the dogleg, 408-yard 12th hole led to a bogey and gave Oh the lead for good.
Three-time defending champion Lorena Ochoa, who was trying to join Annika Sorenstam and Laura Davies as the only LPGA players to win an event four straight years, finished at 1-under.
•Fergus wins wet one: Keith Fergus won the rain-shortened Regions Charity Classic in Hoover, Ala., shooting a second straight 6-under 66 to beat Gene Jones by three strokes.
Fergus waited out the second long rain delay in as many days and then finished the second round in a steady drizzle for his second win of the year. Tournament officials decided before the restart not to try to get in the final 18 holes.
It was the first time a Champions Tour event had been limited to 36 holes because of weather since the Administaff Small Business Classic in 2006.
Wimbledon’s Centre Court roof makes timely debut
Wimbledon picked the perfect day for showcasing its new retractable roof on Centre Court.
The sliding, canvassed roof barely had time to shut Sunday for the All England Club’s grand opening – or closing – of the new structure before the rain started pouring down over south London. In the same kind of weather that has forced so many rain delays in the past, the Centre Court then hosted a televised tennis spectacle in perfect conditions.
“It’s a real treat to be able to play in these conditions inside, when it’s been so miserable, cold, windy and wet outside,” said Tim Henman, who teamed with Kim Clijsters to play married couple Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in doubles and singles matches.
Agassi said the closed surrounding will take the atmosphere to a new level.
“The sound was magnificent,” he said. “That’s an environment that lends itself to some spectacular tennis.”
•Safina wins Madrid Open: Top-ranked Dinara Safina won the Madrid Open, beating Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 to earn her second straight title on clay heading into the French Open.
Safina overpowered the 18-year-old Dane with 24 winners and three break points. The Russian’s 11th career title follows her victory in Rome last week. She is 14-1 on clay this season
•Visa refusal results in fine: The Dubai Tennis Championships will pay a record $300,000 fine for the United Arab Emirates’ refusal to grant a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer. Tournament director Salah Tahlak says he and fellow organizers agreed Sunday to pay the penalties imposed by the WTA Tour board, which rejected Dubai’s appeal last week.
Duke advances to NCAA lacrosse semifinals
Ned Crotty had two goals and six assists as third-seeded Duke held off North Carolina 12-11 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA lacrosse tournament in Annapolis, Md.
Zach Howell scored three goals for the Blue Devils, who advanced to the semifinals for the fourth time in the last five years.
The Blue Devils did not participate in the playoffs in 2006 after their season was cancelled due to rape allegations that were eventually proven false.
Duke will face second-seeded Syracuse, the defending champion, Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.
Virginia also advanced to the semifinals, routing Johns Hopkins 19-8. The Cavaliers will face Cornell on Saturday.
•Busch wins combo: Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Camping World Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, easily holding off 2008 winner Brian Ickler. The event, the Long John Silver’s 200, is the only combination race between the NASCAR Camping World Series East and West with championship points at stake.
•Schumacher wins Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher raced to his third Top Fuel victory of the season, beating Doug Kalitta in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.) Dragway. Del Worsham (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also won their divisions.
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