Columbus scores 3 in 1st, top Rangers
NEW YORK (AP) - Matt Calvert, Artem Anisimov and David Savard scored in the first 11:10 and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Rangers 4-2 on Thursday night, sending New York to its fourth straight loss.
The Rangers, 0-3-1 on its nine-game homestand, closed within 3-2 in the third period, but Ryan Johansen pushed Columbus' lead back to two goals with 1:32 left.
The Blue Jackets goalie tandem of Curtis McElhinney and Mike McKenna, who are subbing for injured reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, stopped 32 of 34 shots.
Columbus (14-15-3) has won two in a row.
Dominic Moore and Dan Girardi scored for New York. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after he stopped only 10 of 13 shots in the first period.
Cam Talbot relieved and made 13 saves the rest of the way, allowing only Johansen's goal between his pads.
LB Harrison ill heading into Pittsburgh homecoming
CINCINNATI (AP) - Linebacker James Harrison is the latest Bengals trying to get healthy in time for the next game. And this one means a little more to the former Pittsburgh Steelers star.
Harrison was one of three Bengals who missed practice on Thursday because of an illness spreading through the team. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis missed a second day of practice, and linebacker Vontaze Burfict also was out.
It'll be a homecoming for Harrison when the Bengals (9-4) play in Pittsburgh (5-8) on Sunday night. He left Pittsburgh after he and the Steelers failed to get an agreement over a restructured contract. His role in Cincinnati has been expanding late in the season.
Harrison has two sacks and one interception.
Group wants Columbus arena payment issue on ballot
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A group wants Columbus residents to vote on whether the city should be paying for its professional hockey team's home arena, and it has collected enough signatures to get the issue on the May ballot.
That means voters will be asked whether to end the city's purchase contract for Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Columbus Dispatch reports elections officials confirmed the citizens group collected more than the roughly 5,000 verified signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot.
The president of the group says it doesn't object to the arena but thinks the public should have had a say in the purchase agreement. The city and county agreed in 2011 to use casino tax revenue to help buy and maintain the facility for decades.
MLS-SOUNDERS FC-CREW TRADE
Seattle acquires Marshall from Columbus in trade
TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) - The Seattle Sounders' busy offseason continues with the team acquiring defender Chad Marshall from the Columbus Crew in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick and allocation money.
The trade was announced on Thursday morning.
Marshall has spent the past 10 seasons with Columbus and was a two-time MLS defender of the year in 2008 and 2009. He also earned MLS Best XI honors those seasons. He ranks 21s among active players with 253 MLS appearances and has 11 caps for the U.S. national team.
It's the third trade Seattle has made in three days, having acquired goalkeeper Stefan Frei from Toronto and sending midfielder Mauro Rosales to Chivas USA for forward Tristan Bowen earlier this week.
Timbers select Zakuani in MLS re-entry draft
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Portland Timbers selected midfielder Steve Zukuani in the first stage of the MLS re-entry draft after trading up for the No. 2 pick.
Portland sent the No. 17 selection and defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste to Chivas USA on Thursday for the No. 2 pick and midfielder/defender Jorge Villafana.
Zakuani has played for the rival Seattle Sounders since he was the top pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He has appeared in 80 regular-season matches, with 17 goals and 14 assists.
Zakuani played for Timbers coach Caleb Porter at the University of Akron and led the nation in scoring with 20 goals and 47 points as a sophomore.
Teenage LPGA star Lydia Ko signs with IMG
CLEVELAND (AP) - Lydia Ko, who earned an exemption to join the LPGA Tour in October as a 16-year-old, has signed with management company IMG.
Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Ko is already No. 4 in the rankings and won the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters last week in Taiwan in her second start as a professional.
She won the Women's Canadian Open at 15 last year to become the youngest winner in tour history and defended the title this year.
Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie are among the golfers represented by IMG.
Guy Kinnings, global head of golf at IMG, says in a statement on Thursday that Ko "is an incredibly impressive young lady and an astonishing player."
Rochester stadium to host 10-day hockey festival
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Rochester's downtown minor league baseball stadium is set to host the first outdoor game ever played by the city's professional hockey team.
Crews have been working for weeks to transform Frontier Field into the Frozen Frontier, home of the 10-day outdoor hockey festival that starts on Friday night with the Rochester Americans hosting the Lake Erie Monsters in an American Hockey League matchup.
The weekend schedule includes games featuring men's and women's college teams from Rochester and elsewhere in upstate New York and a Buffalo Sabres-Rochester Amerks alumni game.
A 3-on-3 pond hockey tournament, open skate sessions and a full slate of local high school games are scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 20-22.
For ticket and schedule information, check out www.frozenfrontier2013.com .
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