NHL playoffs: Patrick Marleau scored twice in the first period and Antti Niemi made the early lead stand up with 27 saves to get the San Jose Sharks back into the Western Conference final with a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 on Friday night at San Jose, Calif.
Ryane Clowe and Dan Boyle also scored and Joe Thornton had three assists for the Sharks, who still trail the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday in San Jose.
Vancouver got third-period goals from Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa to make things interesting, but couldn’t equalize in the final four minutes.
Players’ unions want NFL lockout lifted
Miscellany: The unions for hockey, baseball and basketball are siding with the players in the NFL lockout court battle, saying the league’s lockout should be lifted.
The players associations for MLB, the NHL and the NBA filed a brief in a federal appeals court in Minneapolis, saying the case presents “vitally important issues” for the unions and their members.
The unions say professional athletes’ careers are short, and the loss of even part of a season causes personal and professional injures that can’t be compensated.
• Royal Delta wins Pimlico’s Black-Eyed Susan: Royal Delta rallied to beat Buster’s Ready by 21/2 lengths in the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore.
The Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies is the companion event to the today’s Preakness, and kicks off the biggest weekend in Maryland racing.
Royal Delta won with a time of 1:49.60 for the 1 1/8-mile race. Hot Summer finished third.
• Saint John beats hosts in Memorial Cup opener: Michael Kirkpatrick tallied a goal and two assists as the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL held off the host Mississauga St. Michaels Majors 4-3 in the first game of the Memorial Cup.
Today’s game in the four-team, round-robin championship pits the Kootenay Ice of the WHL against the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack at 4 p.m. Pacific.
• UConn to lose two scholarships: The national champion Connecticut men’s basketball program will lose two scholarships for the upcoming season as a result of a poor Academic Performance Rating from the NCAA.
The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I student-athlete, composing a score for each team.
Rujano wins stage 13; Contador grows lead
Cycling: Jose Rujano of Venezuela won the 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia by edging overall leader Alberto Contador at the finish.
The pair completed the 103-mile stage from Spilimbergo, Italy, to Grossglockner, Austria, in 4 hours, 45 minutes, 54 seconds.
Contador extended his overall lead to 3:09 over Vincenzo Nibali of Italy.
The riders remain in the mountains for the next two stages starting with today’s 130-mile trek from Lienz to Monte Zoncolan.
Zabriskie wins stage, Horner still leads in California: Dave Zabriskie rode to a dominating individual time trial victory and three-time race winner Levi Leipheimer was second to cut teammate Chris Horner’s overall lead to 39 seconds after the sixth stage of the Tour of California in Solvang, Calif.
Zabriskie completed the 15-mile course in 30 minutes, 35.92 seconds. Leipheimer finished in 30:49.80, and fellow American Teejay Van Garderen was third in 31:15.94.
Today’s seventh stage is a 75.8-mile mountain leg from Claremont to Mount Baldy.
McIlroy, McDowell advance after wins
Golf: Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell will meet in the final 16 at the World Match Play Championship after winning their groups in Casares, Spain.
McDowell won Group D with two straight victories, while McIlroy finished runner-up in Group E following a 3-and-2 defeat to Denmark’s Nicolas Colsaerts.
Top-ranked Lee Westwood, second-ranked Luke Donald and No. 3-ranked Martin Kaymer also advanced, all with wins coming before the 18th hole.
• Another 62 gives Toms 7-stroke lead at Colonial: David Toms shot his second straight 8-under 62 at Colonial, matching the PGA Tour record for the first 36 holes to open a seven-stroke lead in Fort Worth, Texas.
Toms tied the mark of 124 set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic. Steven Bowditch (64) and Charlie Wi (67), Mark Wilson (66) and John Senden (66) are tied for second at 131.
Alex Prugh (Ferris, UW) shot a 73 for a two-day total 147 and missed the cut.
• Six Americans advance at Sybase Match Play: Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie won second-round matches to lead six Americans into the third round of the Sybase Match Play Championship in Gladstone, N.J.
Angela Stanford, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang were the other Americans to advance. Stanford defeated Wendy Ward (Edwall, Wash.) 5 and 4.
Top-seeded Na Yeon Choi, world No. 1 Yani Tseng, No. 3 Suzann Pettersen and No. 6 seed Ai Miyazato also won as seven of the top 10 seeds moved to the round of 16.
Almagro, Hanescu reach Nice final
Tennis: Nicolas Almagro beat Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 to line up an Open de Nice final against Victor Hanescu.
The third-seeded Almagro slammed an ace to take the first set, and then broke the second-seeded Berdych in the next set at 2-2 before holding serve to seal a place in today’s final in Nice, France.
In the earlier semifinal, Hanescu upset fifth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-3.
• Wozniacki to play Peng in Brussels Open final: Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki outlasted French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the final of the Brussels Open.
She will play for the title today against Peng Shuai of China, who upset No. 3-ranked Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-3.
Kyle Busch wins pole for All-Star race
NASCAR: At Concord, N.C., Kyle Busch recovered from an early spin to pass Clint Bowyer with seven laps to go and pulled away to win his third consecutive Trucks Series race.
Hours after capturing the pole for today’s All-Star race, Busch outdueled fellow Sprint Cup regular Bowyer and rookie Cole Whitt, who took over the season points lead with his third-place finish.
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