October 7, 2011 in Sports

Flyers spoil Bruins’ banner-raising celebration

Associated Press photo

Boston raised its championship banner Thursday before losing its NHL season opener to the Philadelphia Flyers.
(Full-size photo)

Hockey: Jaromir Jagr returned after three years in Russia and scored his 1,600th career NHL point on Thursday night, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to a 2-1 victory over host Boston and spoiling the Bruins’ Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 22 saves in his first game for the Flyers since signing a nine-year, $51 million contract.

Reigning Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas stopped 27 shots for Boston.

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek scored 47 seconds apart in the final minute of the first period for the Flyers, who overhauled their roster after being swept out of the playoffs by Boston in the second round. The Bruins went on to win their first Stanley Cup title since 1972, taking out the Vancouver Canucks in seven games.

Canucks also drop opener: Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin scored in the shootout and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame blowing a two-goal lead to open the season with a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at Vancouver, British Columbia.

Letang, who also had two assists, beat Roberto Luongo with a nasty backhand deke and, after Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Mikael Samuelsson and Alex Burrows, Malkin sealed it with a strong move to the forehand that stranded Luongo.

Matt Cooke scored once on a power play and once short-handed, and James Neal also scored on the power play for Pittsburgh.

Maple Leafs begin with shutout: James Reimer made 32 saves for his fourth NHL shutout, and Matthew Lombardi scored in his first game in almost a year to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-0 season-opening victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Woods stumbles in return to competition

Golf: Anyone expecting a new and improved version of Tiger Woods saw much of the same old thing.

An early birdie to raise hopes. A sudden tumble. And he couldn’t make a putt.

In his first tournament in seven weeks, Woods went 13 holes between his only two birdies at the Frys.com Open at San Martin, Calif., and had a 2-over-par 73 that put him in danger of missing consecutive cuts for the first time.

“That’s probably one of the worst putting rounds I’ve ever had,” Woods said. “I can’t putt the ball any worse than I did today.”

Texas Open winner Brendan Steele opened with a 4-under 67 on a cool day at CordeValle with a few bursts of showers. He was joined in the lead by Briny Baird, Garrett Willis and Matt Bettencourt.

Woods fell out of the top 50 in the world rankings this week for the first time in 15 years, and it showed. The best golf in his group came from UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay, the No. 1 amateur in the world, who opened with a 2-under 69.

Woods was tied for 86th, although he was still only one shot out of the top 70 and ties that advance to the weekend. It marked the sixth straight round in which he failed to break par, and another occasion of having to scroll far down the leaderboard to find him.

Fomer Pullman resident Kirk Triplett carded a 74. Spokane native Alex Prugh shot a 76.

Big 12’s leaders vote to add Horned Frogs

College sports: After more than a year of watching their conference get picked apart, leaders of Big 12 Conference finally made a proactive move by voting to add TCU as early as next season.

It was the first aggressive act by a conference desperate to secure its membership amid dramatic shifts in conference affiliation. And if the Horned Frogs join the Big 12, it would be another sharp blow to the Big East, which was expecting to welcome TCU next season.

TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. suggested TCU is all but ready to join the Big 12.

“These discussions with the Big 12 have huge implications for TCU,” Boschini said. “It will allow us to return to old rivalries, something our fans and others have been advocating for years. As always, we must consider what’s best for TCU and our student-athletes in this ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics. We look forward to continuing these discussions with the Big 12.”

TCU, which is leaving the Mountain West Conference, has a rising football program that won the Rose Bowl last season and will play in a sparkling new stadium next year. TCU also was a member of the old Southwest Conference that once included current Big 12 members Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor.

Prosecutors drop Camby’s drug charge

NBA: Prosecutors dropped a marijuana possession charge against Portland Trail Blazers veteran Marcus Camby after his arrest during a traffic stop in suburban Houston.

Camby was arrested last month after police in Pearland said they found less than 2 ounces of the drug inside a Porsche he was driving. Also arrested was Camby’s cousin, Kendal Johnson, who was in the vehicle.

Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne said that Camby’s charge was dropped this week after Johnson said the marijuana was his.

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