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In Brief: Grabner nets hat trick as Rangers romp

Former Spokane Chief Michael Grabner, left, had three goals in Rangers’ 6-1 win over Lightning, his third career hat trick. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
Former Spokane Chief Michael Grabner, left, had three goals in Rangers’ 6-1 win over Lightning, his third career hat trick. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
From wire reports

NHL: Michael Grabner wasn’t being greedy. He and linemates Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller were just dominant.

Grabner scored three goals, Miller had a goal and two assists, and Hayes added three assists to lead the Rangers to a 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay in New York on Sunday night.

“We had a a lot of chances as a line and could, maybe, have had a couple more,” Grabner said.

“They’re great players,” Grabner said of his linemates. “They have a lot of skill so I just tried to open up some room for them. Use my speed and it just worked tonight.”

Rick Nash and Jimmy Vesey also scored to help the Rangers win for the fourth time in five games.

After a scoreless first period Nash broke through at 4:45 of the second.

Grabner increased the lead with a one-timer off Brady Skjei’s cross-ice feed.

Grabner’s breakaway goal midway through the third increased the lead to 5-0, and his tap-in off a pass from Hayes with 5:13 left capped his first hat trick since signing with the Rangers in the offseason. It was also his first since Feb. 13, 2011, while with the Islanders.

“Breakaway after breakaway after 2-on-1,” Tampa Bay coach John Cooper said. “Not even the best goalies in the world are going to bail you out of that.”

Emotional shutout for Ottawa: Craig Anderson returned following his wife’s cancer diagnosis and made 37 saves for his second shutout in two starts, helping the Ottawa Senators beat the host Edmonton Oilers 2-0 on Sunday night.

Anderson left the team Thursday to be with his wife, Nicholle, but returned to start this game.

Teammates took turns hugging Anderson after the final horn, and then Anderson was left to wait alone in the hallway behind the bench before being named the game’s first star. Anderson leaned on his stick and put his head down until his name was called, then lumbered onto the ice and cried during an ovation from the visiting crowd. Among those clapping was Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who had been named the No. 2 star.

It was Anderson’s 35th career shutout.

The Oilers ended a five-game winning streak.

Hawks blank Kings: Corey Crawford made 32 saves, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa each had a power-play goal and the Blackhawks beat Los Angeles 3-0 in Chicago.

Artem Anisimov also scored to extend his career-best point streak to seven games. He has six goals and five assists during the run.

Westbrook gets another triple-double

NBA: Russell Westbrook wasn’t entirely pleased with his 51-point triple-double two nights earlier, so he adjusted his approach.

Westbrook still scored 33 points as part of another triple-double, but he focused more on his role as a facilitator. He had 16 assists to go with 12 rebounds, helping Oklahoma City beat the visiting Lakers 113-96 to remain undefeated.

According to the Thunder, Westbrook joined Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with two triple-doubles in the first three games of a season. He joins Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players with 100 points, 30 points and 30 rebounds in a three-game span – and he has done it twice. He is the first to do it to open the season.

Westbrook took a career-high 44 shots against Phoenix on Friday, and he criticized himself for it afterward. This time, he made 11 of 21 field goals.

“I thought we did a good job of running the offense, letting it work for us,” he said. “Getting better shots, easy shots, and it worked out for us.”

Westbrook matched a career high with five made 3-pointers. He was 5 for 6 after making going 2 for 10 from beyond the arc against Phoenix.

Harden saves Rockets: James Harden made a free throw with 0.1 seconds left, lifting the Rockets over Dallas 93-92 in Houston.

Harden had 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He was fouled by Wesley Matthews on a driving layup at the buzzer with the game tied, then made the second of two free-throw attempts.

Durant has 37 in win: Kevin Durant scored 37 points, Stephen Curry added 28 and Golden State won at Phoenix 106-100.

The Warriors didn’t seal the victory until Curry’s two free throws with 12.9 seconds to play. Durant added a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to provide the final margin.

Leonard carries Spurs: Kawhi Leonard scored 14 of his 27 points in the final 6:04, doing so with a bandage under his right eye and helping San Antonio win at Miami Heat 106-99.

Leonard left the game with 8:29 remaining to be tended to and returned for the final 6:48.

Murray beats Tsonga for 3rd straight title

MISCELLANY: Andy Murray closed in on the No. 1 ranking by winning his third straight ATP title at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The Scot can overtake Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings next week if he wins the Paris Masters and the Serb doesn’t reach the final.

“I get a step closer with every win but it’s still a long way from here,” Murray said.

Murray defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6 (6) for his personal-best seventh title of the season, and 42nd overall. Djokovic has also won seven events this year.

Murray extended his unbeaten streak to 14 matches after also winning in Beijing and Shanghai.

Brown goes No. 1 in D-League: Anthony Brown, a 6-foot-7 forward, was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Development League draft by the Erie BayHawks, an Orlando Magic affiliate. Brown was a second-round selection by the Lakers in 2015, appeared in 29 games and started 11 in the NBA last season.

A trio of famous sons were among the 105 selections.

Keith Hornsby, the son of Grammy winning musician Bruce Hornsby and who played college ball at LSU, was the ninth overall pick by the Texas Legends.

Benito Santiago Jr. – a 27-year-old who also was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2010 and whose father spent two decades in the major leagues – went 38th overall, to the Delaware 76ers.

Ralph Sampson III, whose father was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 NBA draft, went in the fifth round to the Northern Arizona Suns. He was the 86th overall pick, and has been in the D-League for the last two seasons.

Former Buckeye dies: College Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman and former Ohio State star John Hicks has died at age 65.

Hicks won both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy in 1973 as the nation’s outstanding lineman. The right tackle finished second in Heisman Trophy voting that season.

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