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Whitney scores winner in overtime

Sat., April 28, 2012, midnight

NHL: Former Spokane Chief Ray Whitney scored 14:04 into overtime and the Phoenix Coyotes survived another late goal in regulation to open the Western Conference semifinals with a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Friday night in Glendale, Ariz.

Phoenix was 33-1 when leading after two periods during the regular season, but has struggled to close out playoff games. The Coyotes allowed four tying third-period goals against Chicago in the first round and did it again, giving up Martin Erat’s goal on a power play with 4:42 left.

Despite spending most of the third period and overtime in their own zone, the Coyotes won their first second-round NHL playoff game when Whitney slipped a backhander between Pekka Rinne’s pads after Martin Hanzal won a faceoff in Nashville’s zone.

Mike Smith made 39 saves, Rostislav Klesla had a goal and an assist, Radim Vrbata and Mikkel Boedker also scored, and Phoenix won despite being outshot 25-7 after the second period. The Coyotes are the first team in NHL history to have six of its first seven playoff games go to overtime.

“When we are up by a goal we seem to sit back and let teams come at us,” said Whitney, who also had an assist on Vrbata’s goal. “It is frustrating. It is something we discussed and tried to fix, tried to change.”

Dufner in front at Zurich Classic

Golf: Jason Dufner moved into position for another bid to win his first PGA Tour title, shooting a 7-under-par 65 to take one-stroke lead after the second round of the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La.

Dufner lost a playoff to Keegan Bradley last year in the PGA Championship for one of his three runner-up finishes in 163 winless starts on the PGA Tour. He capped his bogey-free round with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to reach 12 under at TPC Louisiana.

• Lewis up by stroke in LPGA tourney: Stacy Lewis birdied five of her final nine holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in Mobile, Ala.

Lewis, the Kraft Nabisco winner last year, had three straight birdies and a two-stroke lead, but missed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole en route to her first bogey of the week. She had a 9-under 135 total on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.

Wendy Ward of Edwall, Wash., shot a 73 for a 150 total and missed the cut.

Pak sidelined by injury: Hall of Fame golfer Se Ri Pak said that she will be sidelined indefinitely after injuring her left shoulder when she slipped on stairs Tuesday. The 25-time LPGA Tour winner has a slight tear in the labrum in the shoulder. “Right now, there is no timeline for my return to the LPGA, but I know the next two months of rehab will be important for my recovery,” said Pak, from South Korea.

Feds investigating NBA players’ union

NBA: The federal government is investigating the business practices of the NBA players’ association.

The union confirmed it has received a subpoena for documents from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and says it will cooperate with the investigation.

The NBPA also said in a statement that it has appointed a special committee to oversee an internal inquiry, including a financial audit.

Recent reports have questioned the NBPA’s finances and spending practices, largely having to do with the hiring of family members and firms that employ relatives of executive director Billy Hunter. Hunter says he will cooperate with the internal inquiry, but will not be in involved in the effort so it remains independent.

Giants sign Kiwanuka to 3-year extension

NFL: The New York Giants signed linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2015 .

Kiwanuka will earn more than $21 million, including an $8.5 million signing bonus, under terms of the deal, which was posted on the NFL Players Association website. His base salary will only be $950,000 next season but his salaries over the final three years will be $2.95 million, $4.375 million and $4.775 million. The deal also includes incentives.

The signing further clouds whether the Giants will give defensive end Osi Umenyiora a new contract.

The 29-year-old Kiwanuka appeared in all 20 games last season, playing strongside linebacker on first and second downs and as a lineman in passing situations. The seven-year veteran finished fourth on the team with 84 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, 13 tackles for losses, nine quarterback hits, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

• Police arrest brother of NFL players: The younger brother of NFL players Vernon and Vontae Davis is accused of hitting a woman in the head with a hammer, and Washington, D.C., police are investigating if the assault is linked to other attacks in the area, including the slaying of a man visiting from Colorado.

Michael Davis, who was arrested after a foot chase Thursday night, has been charged with a count of aggravated assault, police said.

Michael Davis is the brother of San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Miami Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis.

Azarenka, Sharapova advance in Stuttgart

Miscellany: Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka needed nearly three hours to overcome big-serving Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-5 for a place in the Porsche Grand Prix tennis semifinals that feature the top four players in the world rankings in Stuttgart, Germany.

Azarenka will face fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska, a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over Li Na.

Second-ranked Maria Sharapova rallied to outlast Sam Stosur of Australia 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 7-5 in a match that went a minute over 3 hours. Sharapova will face third-ranked Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion who beat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4 in the last quarterfinal.

MLS extends Farfan’s suspension: Philadelphia Union defender Gabriel Farfan’s suspension has been extended to three games by Major League Soccer.

Farfan received an automatic one-game suspension for his red card last Saturday against Chivas USA, when his late challenge against James Riley in the 85th minute led to a scuffle.

• Wisconsin signs basketball coach to extension: Wisconsin approved a five-year contract extension for Bo Ryan, who has taken the Badgers to the round of 16 the past two seasons.

The University of Wisconsin Athletic Board approved the deal. Ryan’s contract will run through 2017. Terms were not disclosed.


 

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