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Monday, 16 December 2013 11:06

Bishop leads Lightning past Red Wings, 3-0

DETROIT (AP) - Ben Bishop made 28 saves for his sixth career shutout and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 on Sunday. Tyler Johnson, J.T. Brown and Alex Killorn scored. Petr Mrazek stopped 24 shots for Detroit, which lost its fifth in a row. Johnson opened the scoring 3:13 into the third period, tipping in a loose puck from the front of the net for his eighth goal. Brown scored at 9:16, beating Mrazek on a tip off Nate Thompson's pass from the corner. Killorn added an empty-net goal.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Mateen Cleaves is doing his best Santa Claus impression this holiday season. The former Michigan State basketball star is the driving force behind an effort to give holiday gift packages to 1,000 families in need. As part of Cleaves' "1 Goal, 1 Passion: Hope for the Holidays" initiative, families struggling to meet the financial demands of the season are getting a package that includes meals and gifts. Gift-giving events are planned for Boys & Girls Clubs in Lansing on Monday, Flint on Tuesday and Detroit on Friday and Saturday. Gifts are being made possible with the support of sponsors, but a fundraising effort is ongoing. Initiative organizers are encouraging members of the public to give a tax-deductible donation through Saturday.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard has won the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back. Dennard was presented with the award Thursday during the 23rd College Football Awards Show at Disney. The senior from Georgia finished the season with four interceptions and had two games with nine tackles, leading a dominant defense that carried the fourth-ranked Spartans to the Big Ten title. They will play No. 5 Stanford in the Rose Bowl. The other finalists were Florida State's Lamarcus Joyner and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson intends to use his "old man strength" to teach Ravens free safety Matt Elam a lesson about showing respect to his elders. Elam said Wednesday that Johnson "is pretty old" and that Baltimore would try to get physical against the talented star to "make him uncomfortable." Elam is only six years younger than the 28-year-old Johnson, who responded to the rookie's comments during a conference call with Baltimore media Thursday. After calling the Ravens' safeties "young," Johnson said, "I'm getting old, man. I'll show him what that old man strength is about, though." He added, "Anything that comes at me throughout the week, you just take it and put it in that box over there and use it as motivation." Johnson leads the NFL with 12 touchdown catches and 1,348 yards receiving. Of Elam, Johnson said, "He plays back. I don't see him every play unless I run past him."

DETROIT (AP) - A person familiar with the negotiations says the Detroit Tigers and right-handed pitcher Joba Chamberlain have agreed to terms on a one-year contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Thursday because the deal hadn't been announced. The AL Central champion Tigers accomplished another goal during their busy offseason by adding Chamberlain to its bullpen. Chamberlain was 2-1 with one save in 45 games and a career-high 4.93 ERA last season for the New York Yankees. The converted starter was 23-14 with five saves with a 3.85 ERA in 260 over seven seasons with the Yankees.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Martin St. Louis scored in the sixth round of the shootout, and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Thursday night. St. Louis netted the lone shootout goal when he beat Jonas Gustavsson to the stick side. Detroit, which has lost all six of it shootouts this season, failed this time against Ben Bishop. Nikita Kucherov scored for the Lightning in regulation. Kyle Quincey had the Red Wings' only goal of the night. Quincey put the Red Wings up 1-0 with his first goal in 51 games, a rebound backhander from along the goal line just past the post at 15:04 of the first. The defenseman also snapped a 16-game point drought. Kucherov tied it when he beat Gustavsson from the high slot with 43.7 seconds remaining in the second.

Thursday, 12 December 2013 14:45

OF Rajai Davis and Tigers agree to 2-year deal

DETROIT (AP) - Outfielder Rajai Davis and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $9-10 million. The Tigers announced the deal Wednesday. The 33-year-old Davis spent the last three seasons with Toronto and hit .260 this year with six homers, 24 RBIs and 45 steals in 331 at-bats. He made $2.5 million. He gives the Tigers a speedy presence that the team has been lacking. The Tigers stole just 35 bases last season, fewest in the major leagues. An eight-year major league veteran, Davis has 268 career stolen bases. He also has played for Pittsburgh (2006-07), San Francisco (2007-08) and Oakland (2008-10). The right-handed swinging Davis would join an outfield with Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. He could platoon with lefty Andy Dirks.

Thursday, 12 December 2013 14:45

Narduzzi withdraws from UConn search

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi says he has withdrawn from consideration for Connecticut's coaching job. Narduzzi says in a statement Wednesday night that he was honored to be considered by UConn but is devoting his full attention to the fourth-ranked Spartans as they prepare for the Rose Bowl. Led by Narduzzi's defense, Michigan State won the Big Ten title and will make its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988. Narduzzi received the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant.

Thursday, 12 December 2013 14:44

Tigers' Cabrera making progress after surgery

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is making good progress in his rehabilitation program following offseason surgery for a groin tear. "All the reports are good," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday at baseball's winter meetings. "I've talked to our head trainer a number of times about it and he said he's getting his rehab in and as far as reports go, everything is going well. Knock on wood." Cabrera could be ready for the start of spring training. He missed several games last season after the break because of a bad back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower abdomen, shin trouble and the groin tear. The AL Central champion Tigers are planning to move Cabrera from third base to first next season after trading Prince Fielder to Texas for Ian Kinsler. Cabrera won his second straight American League Most Valuable Player award this past season. One year after winning baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years, the slugger came back to lead the majors in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 RBI's.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:30

Lions shooting blanks on offense in 4th quarter

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford says it's tough to win with too many turnovers. The Lions have found that out the hard way. Detroit has won only one game in the last month because it has turned the ball over 15 times in four games. Stafford has had a lot to do with that, throwing seven interceptions and losing two fumbles during the stretch. He has been particularly shaky in the fourth quarter. Stafford has completed less than one-fourth of his passes with one touchdown, two interceptions and has lost a fumble in the final quarters of the last four games. That has led to the offense being held scoreless in those fourth quarters as the team lost leads and three games. The Lions host the Baltimore Ravens Monday night with pre-game at 7:30 p.m. on 97.7 WTGV-FM. Kick off at 8:40 p.m. at Ford Field.

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