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Wednesday's Sports in Brief

Wednesday's Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) No one was elected to the Hall of Fame this year. When voters closed the doors to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, they also shut out everybody else.

For only the second time in four decades, baseball writers failed to give any player the 75 percent required for induction to Cooperstown, sending a powerful signal that stars of the Steroids Era will be held to a different standard.

All the awards and accomplishments collected over long careers by Bonds, Clemens and Sosa could not offset suspicions those feats were boosted by performance-enhancing drugs.

Voters also denied entry Wednesday to fellow newcomers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling, along with holdovers Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Lee Smith.

Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, appeared on 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, the highest total but 39 votes shy. The three newcomers with the highest profiles failed to come close to even majority support, with Clemens at 37.6 percent, Bonds at 36.2 and Sosa at 12.5.

At ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 28, the only inductees will be three men who died more than 70 years ago: Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, umpire Hank O'Day and barehanded catcher Deacon White. They were chosen last month by the 16-member panel considering individuals from the era before integration in 1947.

PRO FOOTBALL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Eagles interviewed Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly for their coaching vacancy, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press.

Kelly was the third college coach Philadelphia interviewed since firing Andy Reid on Dec. 31. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information, said the Eagles met with Kelly on Tuesday.

Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Oregon's Chip Kelly interviewed with the Eagles last week, but chose to stay at their schools.

The Eagles have interviewed six candidates and plan to meet with four others.

Kelly recently called coaching Notre Dame his ``dream job,'' but he wouldn't be the first to explore his options, perhaps even to get a raise to stay put.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Robert Griffin III had reconstructive knee surgery and faces a challenging rehab if he is to return for the start of next season.

The Washington Redskins quarterback had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his ACL in his right knee reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field this fall.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Jets are expanding their search for a new general manager, setting up interviews with Miami assistant GM Brian Gaine and Pittsburgh executive Omar Khan.

The Daily News also reported, citing an anonymous source, that the Jets will meet with former Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo on Thursday. NFL Network reported that Seattle vice president of football administration John Idzik will interview for the job on Friday.

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers hired Tom Telesco from the Indianapolis Colts to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith.

Telesco, 40, spent the last 15 seasons with the Colts, most recently as vice president of football operations.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The agent for Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said that his client has been released from an Indianapolis hospital and that they are finalizing details to begin interviewing for head coaching jobs.

Earlier in the day, a league source familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that doctors were still trying to determine the extent of a health problem that forced one interview to be pushed back.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as their new general manager.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton signed a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season.

The team announced the extension but did not release financial details of the deal. Payton had agreed to the deal in principle on Dec. 29.

PRO HOCKEY

NEW YORK (AP) - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman secured unanimous ownership support for the pending labor deal, then apologized to everyone hurt by the long lockout and said he isn't going anywhere.

The league's board of governors met in a Manhattan hotel and overwhelmingly approved the agreement that was reached early Sunday on the 113th day of the lockout.

Bettman felt the full brunt of anger, especially from fans, during the four-month dispute that kept hockey off the ice and was contrite in announcing the latest step by the owners. He said he wants to look forward and not back at the mess created by the work stoppage.

``Most importantly to our fans, who love and have missed NHL hockey, I am sorry,'' Bettman said. ``I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless.

TORONTO (AP) - Brian Burke's brash and outspoken style wasn't a good fit for the new corporate owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs fired their general manager with the NHL season set to resume this month following a tentative settlement ending the lockout.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony was suspended one game by the NBA for confronting Kevin Garnett after the New York Knicks' loss to Boston on Monday.

Anthony, who was angry about Garnett's choice of words during a fourth-quarter altercation, went toward the Celtics' locker room after the game and later waited for Garnett outside Boston's team bus.

Anthony didn't believe he would be suspended because he said he was just looking to talk to Garnett, not fight. But NBA executive vice president of operations Stu Jackson ruled otherwise.

``There are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game,'' Jackson said in a statement.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kevin Love will miss the next eight to 10 weeks after needing surgery to repair a right hand that is broken for the second time this season.

It's the latest major injury to a team that has suffered them all season long.

SEATTLE (AP) - Investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Sacramento Kings, setting up the possibility of the NBA's return to Seattle.

Hansen's interest was confirmed by people with knowledge of the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no deal has been reached.

One person said the Kings could sell for more than $500 million. The Kings' future in Sacramento has been uncertain because the Maloofs and the city haven't been able to come up with a long-term arena solution.

CYCLING

Lance Armstrong recently met with the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to explore a ``pathway to redemption,'' according to a report on ``60 Minutes Sports'' dealing with the investigation that cost the cyclist his Tour de France titles.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart, in an interview that aired during the show's premiere on Showtime, didn't discuss the meeting on camera and provided no details, including when it was held and where. The only mention, with no elaboration, came at the end of the segment.

Tygart didn't respond to messages left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Duke says senior forward Ryan Kelly is out indefinitely with a right foot injury.

The 6-foot-11 Kelly was hurt late in the first half of the top-ranked Blue Devils' 68-40 win over Clemson on Tuesday night. He had 12 points in the first half but did not play in the second.

SOCCER

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Stephane Peterhansel boosted his lead in the Dakar Rally to 10 minutes after teammate Nani Roma won the fifth stage on Wednesday.

TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - John Isner has withdrawn from the Australian Open with bone bruising in his right knee, leaving No. 22 Sam Querrey as the highest-ranked U.S. man at the season's first Grand Slam tournament.

HOBART, Australia (AP) - Eighth-seeded Sloane Stephens advanced to the Hobart International semifinals Thursday with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 win over fellow American and qualifier Lauren Davis.

Stephens will play Elena Vesnina of Russia in one of Friday's semifinals. Vesnina played better in windy conditions Thursday to beat wild-card Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-3, 6-2.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) - Sam Querrey's booming serve carried him past Jesse Levine 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Thursday and into the semifinals of the Heineken Open.

AUTO RACING

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Stephane Peterhansel boosted his lead in the Dakar Rally to 10 minutes after teammate Nani Roma won the fifth stage on Wednesday.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

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USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE

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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.