Benn scores OT winner, Stars beat Blues
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jamie Benn scored 3:42 into overtime, giving the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, one night after teammate Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench.
Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Roman Polak ended lengthy goal droughts for the Blues, who lost for the first time in five games with new goalie Ryan Miller.
Colton Sceviour, among two call-ups by the Stars with Peverley out indefinitely and teammate Alex Chiasson also hospitalized due to emotional distress after his teammate's "cardiac event," scored on a power play in the first period.
Miller robbed the other call-up, Chris Mueller, with a glove save from point-blank range with 2:16 to go in the third. But he couldn't corral a shot by Benn, the Stars captain, that gave Dallas its fourth win in five games.
Haren effective for 4 innings; Dodgers beat Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Dan Haren pitched four effective innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 7-5 Tuesday.
Haren yielded seven singles, walked one and struck out one.
Noel Cuevas hit a three-run homer in the ninth and Scott Van Slyke a two-run drive in the eighth.
Justin Maxwell went 3 for 5 for the Royals, including a two-run single in the eighth.
Royals left-hander Jason Vargas allowed a run on four hits in four innings, the first run off him in nine innings over three starts.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fourth off Vargas, but came away empty when A.J. Ellis hit a flyball to center field to end the threat.
Mets' Niese struggles in first start of spring
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Jon Niese struggled in his first spring start that was delayed by shoulder trouble, allowing four runs in two innings of the New York Mets' 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
The Mets' opening-day starter last season, Niese pitched until June before being sidelined by a partially torn rotator cuff. He returned in August, going 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA the rest of the way. He allowed six hits and walked two Tuesday.
The Cardinals tagged Niese for four runs in the second. Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer in the inning, hours after manager Mike Matheny expressed his support for the struggling second baseman.
Fighting strep throat, Adam Wainwright made only one big mistake in 3 1-3 innings: Josh Satin hit a 2-1 pitch over the center field wall, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead in the second.
Cardinals to take replay ruling to New York
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals are going to replay school.
Manager Mike Matheny believes a contested play late in the Cardinals' 9-8 loss to the Mets would have been overturned had the new review process used the same video feed the team saw so he's planning on discussing the call with officials in the commissioner's office.
Matheny says he wants to get an idea of how the system will work under the established guidelines.
During the regular season, rulings under new expanded replay system will be made in New York. This spring, the league gas been testing it by using video trucks parked outside ballparks. Fewer television angles are being used for exhibition games.
Umpires in Jupiter needed about two minutes to uphold a call on a play at third base.
Top-ranked Florida, bubble madness at SEC tourney
ATLANTA (AP) - For No. 1 Florida, it's nothing more than a warm-up for the bigger games to come.
For struggling Kentucky, it's a chance to regain a little swagger.
For everyone else, the Southeastern Conference tournament looks like the last chance to earn a spot in the NCAAs.
The Gators (29-2) roll into Atlanta as a huge favorite after becoming the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play. The tournament begins Wednesday night with a doubleheader among the four lowest-seeded teams: Auburn vs. South Carolina, followed by Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State.
Much of the attention will be on Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and Georgia, who are all firmly on the NCAA bubble and need to shine during the final SEC tournament at the Georgia Dome.
COACHES SEC AWARDS
SEC coaches give top honors to Wilbekin, Donovan
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - No. 1 Florida nearly swept the coaches' Southeastern Conference individual awards.
The league announced Tuesday that Florida's Billy Donovan is coach of the year and Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin is player of the year.
Coaches also selected Florida's Patric Young as the top defensive player and scholar-athlete. He's won the academic award for the past three years.
Kentucky's Julius Randle is the pick as the top SEC freshman and Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith is sixth man of the year.
It's the second straight coach of the year honor for Donovan, who led the Gators to an 18-0 regular-season SEC mark.
Wilbekin averages 12.9 points, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals for the Gators.
Randle is averaging 15.4 points and 10.5 rebounds. Finney-Smith is averaging 9.4 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds.
T25-BIG 12 TOURNAMENT
Brutal Big 12 tournament promises to be wide open
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Big 12 coaches are having a hard time choosing a favorite to win the league tournament, which begins Wednesday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
That's because just about everyone has a chance.
One of the toughest conferences in the country has produced a postseason tournament packed with intrigue. Top-seeded Kansas has been rewarded with a first-round bye, but could face eighth-seeded Oklahoma State in the Thursday's quarterfinals. Baylor and West Virginia are two teams that know a win or two could be crucial to their NCAA tournament hopes.
It all begins Wednesday night, when the Cowboys play No. 9 seed Texas Tech. Seventh-seeded Baylor plays No. 10 seed TCU in the nightcap.
Iowa State-Kansas State and Texas-West Virginia are already set for Thursday.
Chiefs' free agents find big deals elsewhere
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Chiefs were quiet on the opening day of free agency, even as several players who were instrumental in their turnaround found big deals elsewhere.
The Falcons agreed to five-year contracts with defensive tackle Tyson Jackson and offensive guard Jon Asamoah on Tuesday. Both of them were draft picks of former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who has since joined the front office in Atlanta.
Meanwhile, Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert agreed to a five-year deal with the Dolphins, Pro Bowl punt returner Dexter McCluster was headed to the Titans and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz agreed to terms with the New York Giants.
The only move Kansas City made was to re-sign defensive back and special teams star Husain Abdullah. The Chiefs had earlier re-signed linebacker Frank Zombo.
Missouri opens spring practice
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri opened spring football practice Tuesday without several familiar faces.
After winning 12 games, the SEC East and the Cotton Bowl last season, the Tigers are without league Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam and quarterback James Franklin. Running back Henry Josey and defensive end Kony Ealy are also gone.
Much of the attention preseason will revolve around sophomore Maty Mauk, whom coach Gary Pinkel hasn't named the starting quarterback but figures to have the upper hand after winning three games and saving another last season in place of an injured Franklin.
The team will scrimmage twice next month before concluding spring camp with its annual Black and Gold Game on April 19.
Peverley's heart undergoing tests after collapse
DALLAS (AP) - Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is undergoing testing to determine what triggered his collapse during a game.
General manager Jim Nill said Tuesday that Peverley is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was hospitalized Monday night. The Stars' game against Columbus was postponed in the first period after Peverley went down on the bench, stunning the crowd and players.
Nill said doctors are focused on finding a long-term solution to Peverley's irregular heartbeat. The condition was diagnosed in training camp, and he underwent a procedure that sidelined him for the preseason and the season opener.
The 31-year-old Peverley also missed a game last week in Columbus because of the effects of the condition. He played in two games before Monday night.
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