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Friday, February 8, 2013 - Page updated at 10:30 p.m.

Canucks win 4th straight | A.M. Briefing


Canucks win 4th straight

Corey Schneider made 22 saves and Mason Raymond had a power-play goal and an assist in the second period to lead Vancouver past the host Minnesota Wild 4-1 Thursday, the fourth straight win for the Canucks.

Niklas Backstrom gave up two scores in each of the first two periods for the Wild, and Josh Harding was in the net for the final frame. Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen also had goals for the Canucks, whose shutout was spoiled by Tom Gilbert's power-play slap shot with 12:35 left.

Bruins trade Thomas

Veteran goalie Tim Thomas, who has said he won't play this season, was traded by the Boston Bruins to the New York Islanders for a conditional second-round draft choice either next year or in 2015.

Thomas chose to take this season off after the NHL lockout and was suspended by the Bruins when he didn't report to training camp last month. The 38-year-old goalie is in the final season of a four-year deal that counts for $5 million against the salary cap.


Celtics rout Lakers

Paul Pierce scored 24 points and led a third-quarter surge as the host Boston Celtics routed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-95, improving to 6-0 since losing point guard Rajon Rondo with a torn knee ligament.

The Lakers had cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter. Then the Celtics went on a 23-8 run and led 95-69 going into the fourth.

Kobe Bryant scored 27 points to lead the Lakers, who suffered their worst loss of the season despite the return of center Dwight Howard after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder.


Cleveland avoids arbitration

For the 22nd straight year, Cleveland stayed out of salary arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $6 million contract with infielder Mike Aviles. The deal includes a club option for 2015. Cleveland has not had a player go to arbitration since Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne in 1991.

In another move, Sergio Romo's new contract with the San Francisco Giants can increase from $9 million to $10.2 million if he closes regularly. Romo's two-year deal calls for salaries of $3.5 million this season and $5.5 million in 2014.

College football

Collins' father signs letter

South Plantation, Fla., running back Alex Collins finally signed with Arkansas after his father, Johnny Collins, signed his national letter of intent. The five-star recruit's signing had been delayed because his mother, Andrea McDonald, had refused to sign his national letter of intent.


Messi signs extension

Lionel Messi signed a two-year contract extension with Barcelona, tying him to the Spanish club until 2018. The 25-year-old forward has won four FIFA Player of the Year awards. His annual salary has increased to around $17.6 million.


Krzyzewski might return

Two people familiar with the situation said there is still a chance Mike Krzyzewski will return for a third stint as U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach. Krzyzewski said he was through with the job after leading the U.S. to a second straight gold medal in London.


Nadal reaches semifinals

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Juan Monaco of Argentina reached the doubles semifinals at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile, with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory over Guillaume Ruffin of France and Filippo Volandri of Italy.


UMKC joining WAC

Missouri-Kansas City is leaving the Midwest-heavy Summit League for the Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1.

The eight schools already in the WAC are Seattle U, Cal State-Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Idaho, New Mexico State, Texas-Pan Am and Utah Valley.


• Atlanta Hawks guard Lou Williams had reconstructive surgery on his right knee and will now begin a long rehabilitation period that could leave his status in question for the start of next season.

• The NCAA said it wants a judge to throw out the federal antitrust lawsuit Pennsylvania's governor filed against it over Penn State's $60 million fine and other penalties resulting from the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal.

Michael Llodra of France had 13 aces and did not concede a break point, beating second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to reach the Open Sud de France quarterfinals in Montpellier. Three other Frenchmen also advanced to the quarters: third-seeded Richard Gasquet, fourth-seeded Gilles Simon and sixth-seeded Julien Benneteau.

• Top-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia moved a step closer to a third title in his home event, beating Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 6-3, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Zagreb Indoors.

• Defending WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry re-signed with the Atlanta Dream.

• SCA Promotions of Dallas sued Lance Armstrong, demanding he repay $12 million in bonuses and fees it paid him for winning the Tour de France.

• Penske Racing will test AJ Allmendinger for its IndyCar team, with an eye on running him in the Indianapolis 500. The former NASCAR driver was reinstated from a drug suspension in September.

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