March 21, 2012 in Sports

Crosby passes first home test for Penguins

Associated Press photo

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, who had four assists, takes a slap shot during Penguins’ 8-4 win over visiting Winnipeg.
(Full-size photo)

NHL: James Neal recorded his second NHL hat trick and Sidney Crosby had four assists in his first home game in more than three months as the Pittsburgh Penguins ripped the Winnipeg Jets 8-4 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin added two goals – including the 200th of his NHL career – and dished out three assists to lift his point total to an NHL-leading 93.

Kovalchuk connects on 400th: Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 400th NHL goal, and backup goalie Johan Hedberg made it stand up in the visiting New Jersey Devils’ 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Florida wins fifth straight: Stephen Weiss and Sean Bergenheim both scored, and Scott Clemmensen stopped 35 shots to lead the Florida Panthers to their fifth straight win, 2-1 over the host Philadelphia Flyers.

Knicks keep rolling under Woodson

NBA: Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Jeremy Lin added 18 points and 10 assists, and the New York Knicks made it four straight easy victories under new coach Mike Woodson by beating the visiting Toronto Raptors 106-87.

• Rockets rally to beat Lakers: Goran Dragic hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left and finished with 16 points and 13 assists in the Houston Rockets’ 107-104 comeback victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.

Down by nine with 5 minutes left, the Rockets had a 12-0 run to take the lead.

Bosh hits 29 for Heat: Chris Bosh scored 29 points, LeBron James survived two scary falls and the Miami Heat used a 17-0 fourth-quarter run to erase a 10-point deficit and beat the visiting Phoenix Suns 99-95 for their 14th straight home victory.

James was chasing a long pass and never saw Grant Hill, crashing into him. James went down, failing on his first attempt to get up and stayed on the court holding his head for about a minute. He remained in the game after a time-out.

Jazz win fourth straight: Paul Millsap scored 20 points, Al Jefferson had 16 and Devin Harris added 15 to lead the Utah Jazz to their fourth straight victory, 97-90 over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Salt Lake City.

Roy returns to watch Blazers lose: Drew Gooden scored 19 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat Portland 116-87 in the Trail Blazers’ first home game since coach Nate McMillan was fired last week.

The only other bright spot for Portland was Brandon Roy, who made his first appearance at the Rose Garden since his abrupt retirement at the start of training camp. Roy was unexpectedly sitting courtside and was wildly cheered when he was shown on the Rose Garden’s video scoreboard.

PGA changes path for tour qualifying

GOLF: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, saying it was “time to get better,” announced sweeping changes that will end nearly 50 years of Q-school as a way to get to golf’s biggest tour.

The policy board approved two significant components to the overhaul – the PGA Tour season will start in October, and the developmental Nationwide Tour will be the primary path to get a PGA Tour card.

Cards would be awarded at a three-tournament series blending the top 75 money winners from the Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour players who finished 126 through 200 on the money list. The top 50 will receive cards for the next season.

Instead, Q-school will award cards for only the Nationwide Tour.

Junior hockey coach sentenced to prison

MISCELLANY: Disgraced junior hockey coach Graham James was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually preying on two of his former players.

James stood in the prisoner’s box in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and showed no emotion as he learned his fate.

James pleaded guilty in December to repeatedly sexually abusing NHL star Theo Fleury and his cousin, Todd Holt, when they played for him in the Western Hockey League in the 1980s and ’90s.

Army linebacker wins Sullivan: Army linebacker Andrew Rodriguez won the James E. Sullivan Award, given by the Amateur Athletic Union to the top amateur athlete in the United States.

Rodriguez has a 4.14 GPA as a mechanical engineering major, and is ranked third academically in a class of 1,052 cadets. After missing the 2010 season because of a back injury, he had 59 tackles and an interception in 12 games in 2011.

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