Two players among four missing at sea
The Coast Guard searched off Florida's Gulf Coast yesterday for a fishing boat carrying NFL players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper and two other men missing more than a day in choppy seas. Smith, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions, and Cooper, an Oakland Raiders linebacker, were on a 21-foot vessel that left Clearwater Pass for a fishing trip Saturday morning and did not return as expected, the Coast Guard said. Crews used a helicopter and an 87-foot ship to search a 750-square-mile area west of Clearwater Pass, but poor weather made the search difficult. Officials did not receive a distress signal from the missing craft. Cooper, 26, owns the boat, and he and Smith, 29, have been on fishing trips before, said Ron Del Duca, Smith's agent. The pair had been teammates on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. Two others were aboard: Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, both former University of South Florida players. Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close said the weather early Saturday had been fair but worsened toward the evening as a front still battering the area moved in.
Giants: : The team signed defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, a former Seahawk, and defensive end Chris Canty, a former Cowboy. Bernard signed what is believed to be a four-year, $16 million deal late Saturday, hours after the Giants signed former Falcons linebacker Michael Boley. Canty received a six-year, $42 million deal, the Associated Press reported.
Et cetera: : The Seahawks and defensive tackle Colin Cole, a former Packer, agreed to a five-year, $21.4 million contract. ... The Jets and fullback Tony Richardson agreed on a one-year deal. ... Former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky signed with the Texans to back up Matt Schaub.
Caps booed at home, fall, 6-2, to Panthers
Stephen Weiss, Bryan McCabe and Jay Bouwmeester scored power-play goals in the first period for the visiting Florida Panthers, who held Alex Ovechkin without a point until the final minute in a 6-2 victory over the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals. McCabe finished with three assists, and Weiss had two. The Panthers scored four times in the opening period. The Capitals - coming off a rousing overtime road win Saturday over the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins - heard boos in their own building and pulled starting goalie Jose Theodore. Florida turned things around one day after a 7-2 loss to the host New Jersey Devils. "I can't sugarcoat it," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We weren't very good." Ovechkin scored his NHL-high 46th goal with less than 30 seconds left.
Ovechkin:: The reigning NHL Most Valuable Player laughed off Canadian TV analyst Don Cherry's criticism of his exuberant goal celebrations. "He likes old-fashioned hockey," Ovechkin said after the Capitals' loss. "He's not interesting to me, so he can say whatever he wants." Cherry came down on the Russian on Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Cherry was critical of the way Ovechkin reacts when he scores, which can include fist pumps and face-first jumps into the glass. Cherry called that "goofy stuff."
Et cetera:: Martin Brodeur earned his 100th NHL regular-season shutout with a 27-save effort, and the host Devils defeated the Flyers, 3-0. ... NHL leading scorer Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists, and the visiting Penguins beat the Stars, 4-1, without Sidney Crosby, who missed his third consecutive game because of a groin injury.
Geoff Ogilvy won the Accenture Match Play Championship for the second time in four years with a 4-and-3 victory over Paul Casey in Marana, Ariz., to stake his claim as the best in the world at match play. In a relentless performance at Dove Mountain, the Australian did not trail over the final 62 holes of the tournament and did not have a bogey on his card over the last 57 holes. Ogilvy ran his career record to 18-3 in the format.
Et cetera:: Mark Wilson shot a 2-under-par 68 to finish at 13-under 267 and win the PGA Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, by two strokes over J.J. Henry (68). ... Lorena Ochoa shot a 6-under 66 and finished at 14-under 274 to win the Honda LPGA Thailand in Pattaya by three strokes for her 25th career title. Hee Young Park (65) was second.
Shaquille O'Neal scored 33 points and the Phoenix Suns (34-25) overcame a 49-point performance by Kobe Bryant to win, 118-111, over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers (48-12). Matt Barnes added 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Suns, without Steve Nash (ankle) for the third straight game, beat the Lakers for the first time in four tries this season. Pau Gasol scored 30 for the Lakers, who have lost two in a row.
More NBA:: Richard Hamilton scored 25 points to help the Pistons (29-29) earn a 105-95 victory over the host Celtics (47-14). ... Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge each had 26 points to lead the Trail Blazers (37-22) to a 102-84 win over the visiting Spurs (39-19). San Antonio forward Tim Duncan returned after missing three games because of a right quadriceps injury.
Boxing:: Juan Manuel Marquez stamped himself as the world's top lightweight with a ninth-round knockout of Juan Diaz in a title unification fight late Saturday in Houston. Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) won the vacant World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization lightweight belts, plus Diaz's minor International Boxing Organization title. Diaz, a Houston native, dropped to 34-2.
College lacrosse:: Randall Cooper had a goal and an assist for visiting Towson (1-2), but they weren't enough in a 9-4 loss to No. 12 Denver (3-1), which received two goals from Joey Murray. ... Led by Hillary Fratzke (three goals, two assists), the No. 18 Towson women opened their season with a 15-8 win over host Mount St. Mary's (0-3).
College football:: Fayetteville police arrested Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett on a public intoxication charge early yesterday near campus. Coach Bobby Petrino said Mallett, 20, who sat out last season after transferring from Michigan, would be disciplined.
Skiing:: Lindsey Vonn won her fourth straight women's World Cup super-G race, increasing her lead in the overall standings to nearly 400 points. The American won in 1 minute, 14.49 seconds in Bansko, Bulgaria, a day after clinching her second straight downhill title.