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Kings' Sean O'Donnell is suspended by the NHL for five games

Defenseman is penalized for cross-checking Matt Martin in a fight-filled game against the New York Islanders.

September 24, 2009|Helene Elliott | Staff and Wire Reports

The NHL on Wednesday suspended Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell for the team's final three exhibition games and first two regular-season games for cross-checking Matt Martin of the New York Islanders Tuesday at Kansas City, Mo.

O'Donnell got a match penalty at 16:37 of the second period of a fight-filled game. General Manager Dean Lombardi said O'Donnell was retaliating for runs the Islanders took at Drew Doughty and other young Kings players.

"Martin threw what we thought was a blatant elbow and O'Donnell basically said, 'Enough is enough,' " Lombardi said. "We thought the response was appropriate, but the issue came down to whether [O'Donnell] got him with his stick."

The Kings contended O'Donnell's stick struck Martin in the shoulder rather than the head, but Lombardi said there was no tape of the incident to support their version.

"Two years ago we had to sit back and watch the team not respond. That's not going to happen again," Lombardi said.

Also on Wednesday, the NHL suspended Phoenix forward Francis Lessard for the rest of the exhibition season and the Coyotes' first three regular-season games for a game misconduct penalty he committed against the Ducks' Ryan Donally on Friday. Lessard had received a major penalty for boarding. Donally was shaken up by the hit.

-- Helene Elliott

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Peter Harrold and Trevor Lewis scored goals, but the Kings dropped a 3-2 exhibition decision to the Colorado Avalanche at Denver. . . . Veteran goaltender Olaf Kolzig, 39, is retiring after 14 seasons in the NHL.

PRO BASKETBALL

Russian group has deal for Nets

Russia's richest man has a deal to buy a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group announced the deal with Forest City Ratner Companies and Nets Sports and Entertainment. They say they have signed a letter of intent to create a partnership for the development of the Atlantic Yards Project.

Prokhorov would be the first non-North American NBA owner.

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Shavonte Zellous scored 23 points and Deanna Nolan had 22 as the Detroit Shock easily cruised to a 72-56 victory over the Indiana Fever in Game 1 of the WNBA Eastern Conference finals at Auburn Hills, Mich.

COLLEGES

Kansas basketball player injured

Two fights in two days between Kansas football and basketball players sent one basketball star to the hospital and left officials on the normally placid Midwestern campus red-faced with embarrassment.

Tyshawn Taylor, a sophomore guard on the basketball team that could be ranked as high as No. 1 in preseason polls, was taken to a hospital Tuesday night for treatment of a hand injury that could sideline him up to a month.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, there had been no arrests or charges.

ETC.

Finchem says golf sponsors wavering

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem says its highly unlikely that golf will make it through the end of next year without losing corporate sponsors and possibly some tournaments.

Finchem said that marketing budgets remain small even as the economy is showing signs of a recovery.

The tour has about a dozen sponsors that have contracts through 2010, and negotiations are ongoing.

"I think it's possible we could lose a couple of events," Finchem said. "It's probable that we're going to lose some sponsors. They're two different things, really. . . . It most likely will be some more sponsorship loss."

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Todd Redmond threw 8 1/3 innings and Buck Coats was three for three with a run batted in to lead the United States to a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico at the baseball World Cup in Rome. The Americans improved to 5-0.

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