Miller tops Crosby in cheers
Advertiser News Services
On an uncommon night when the biggest cheers were for an opposing player who didn't step on the ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins kept the Buffalo Sabres in their pre-Olympic slump.
Sidney Crosby? He didn't star in his first game since winning the Olympics for Canada, but the Penguins still had enough offense to beat the Sabres, 3-2, as Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and an assist and Sergei Gonchar scored his 200th career goal.
The Sabres remained one point behind Ottawa for the Northeast Division lead despite losing their seventh in eight games.
Crosby, playing two days after beating United States goalie Ryan Miller for the game-winning overtime goal for Canada in Vancouver, missed out on opposing Miller again when Sabres coach Lindy Ruff started backup Patrick Lalime.
Ruff said Miller deserved a night off after the emotionally draining two-week Olympic tournament. Crosby was a little tired following a late-night return to Pittsburgh on Monday.
"It's not bad, (despite) going on a long flight and getting here and getting right back in the swing of things," Crosby said. "I'll try to manage my rest as we go along here, but I felt all right considering all that."
TIGER REPORTEDLY BACK ON THE RANGE
Tiger Woods is back at home after a week of family counseling in Arizona and is trying to get back into a routine that includes golf and fitness, according to a person with knowledge of his schedule.
Woods returned to his home near Orlando on Saturday and has been hitting balls on the range at Isleworth, not far from where he ran his SUV into a tree in a middle-of-the-night accident on Nov. 27 that set off revelations of extramarital affairs.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because only Woods is authorized to release information about his schedule, said there is still no timetable for golf's No. 1 player to return to competition.
UNION, PLAYERS EXCHANGING BARBS
In their latest round of bickering, the NFL and its players' association have exchanged prickly statements disputing whether players will have to take pay cuts as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.
After the NFL wrote on its labor Web site last week that no player would take a cut as a result of its proposal, the NFLPA responded yesterday by saying — tongue in cheek — that it was ready to sign a deal guaranteeing that the salary cap won't be lowered and there will be no reduction in retired players' or other benefits under the CBA.
The current CBA expires in March 2011 and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has characterized the possibility of a work stoppage as a "14" on a scale of 1 to 10.