NHL: Dustin Penner scored with 3:14 left in the third period to help the Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2 in the opener of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night at Vancouver, British Columbia.
Penner capitalized after Mike Richards’ pass went off Jeff Carter’s skate, and Penner whipped the puck past Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Dustin Brown added an empty-net goal in the final minute for the final margin. Richards and Willie Mitchell also scored for the Kings, who secured a playoff berth with three games left in the regular season.
Alex Burrows and Alex Edler scored for the Canucks.
• Flyers win in overtime: Jakub Voracek beat Marc-Andre Fleury from in close 2:23 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 4-3 comeback victory over the host Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Fleury stopped Matt Read’s shot from the corner, but Voracek pounced on the rebound to cap a furious rally from a 3-0 deficit. Daniel Briere scored twice, and Brayden Schenn added a goal in his playoff debut. Ilya Brzygalov settled down after a shaky start to finish with 25 saves.
Sidney Crosby, Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis scored for the Penguins, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots, but Pittsburgh struggled after dominating the first period.
• Bourque hits twice for Nashville: Gabriel Bourque scored two goals in his postseason debut, and the Nashville Predators held onto home-ice advantage by beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to open their Western Conference playoff series at Nashville, Tenn.
Paul leads Clippers past Oklahoma City
NBA: Chris Paul scored 31 points, including the game-winning shot on a layup with 8.8 seconds left, lifting the visiting Los Angeles Clippers to a 100-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder that kept them in position for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Kevin Durant missed a 3-pointer that could have won it, hitting the back rim on a shot over Clippers center DeAndre Jordan from the left wing.
The West-leading Thunder have lost four of their last six games.
• Pierce, Rondo power Celtics: Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift the surging Boston Celtics to an 88-86 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks.
Kevin Garnett had 22 points and grabbed 12 boards before fouling out with just under 3 minutes left in OT, and Brandon Bass, who also hit a jumper in OT, scored 21 points.
• Bynum pounds boards for Lakers: Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds, the most in an NBA game this season, and the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t need Kobe Bryant to blow out the host San Antonio Spurs 98-84.
Metta World Peace scored 26 points and the Lakers, playing their third straight game without the injured Bryant, manhandled the Spurs underneath to hand the West’s second-place team one of their most embarrassing losses this season.
Petrino, mistress had 4,300 texts
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and his mistress exchanged more than 4,300 text messages and nearly 300 phone calls over the past seven months – on game days, before dawn and even as the police report that hastened his downfall was being released to the public, according to a review of his business cellphone records by the Associated Press.
The messages, among some 300 pages of records released under a Freedom of Information Act request, appear to include picture and video files, though there was no way to verify the content. But the records clearly show a married father of four in frequent contact with Jessica Dorrell, a 25-year-old former Razorbacks volleyball player.
Petrino was fired Tuesday night for failing to disclose his relationship with Dorrell, whom he hired last month without disclosing his conflict of interest or the fact he had once paid her $20,000. Athletic director Jeff Long said he had determined their relationship had been ongoing for a “significant” amount of time, but he did not say for how long.
Top recruit Noel headed to Kentucky
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Top prospect Nerlens Noel announced he’s joining Kentucky, bolstering the Wildcats’ hopes of defending their recent national championship and finishing with a fourth consecutive No. 1 recruiting class. The 6-foot-10 center from the Tilton School in New Hampshire selected the Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown.
• Bruins land top recruit: One of the nation’s top high school basketball players is headed to UCLA.
Shabazz Muhammad announced he would play for the Bruins next year. The 6-6 wing had narrowed his list of finalists to include Kentucky and Duke. Muhammad is a senior at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
Unser pleads guilty to DUI and racing
MISCELLANY: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and racing on a New Mexico freeway.
The retired racer entered the plea a day before he was set to go to trial on aggravated DWI, drag racing and reckless driving charges. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but a judge deferred that in favor of 364 days of supervised probation.
Unser was arrested in September after he was accused of racing another car and driving over 100 mph near Albuquerque. Authorities say Unser smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit of 0.08.
• Briggs stays with Bears: The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract extension with Lance Briggs, keeping the Pro Bowl linebacker through the 2014 season.
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