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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
What we learned from the Kings' 4-3 exhibition shootout victory

Some thoughts on the Kings’ first home preseason game, a 4-3 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night at Staples Center:

Marian Gaborik is a scoring machine

You could probably awaken Gaborik from a nap, put him on the ice, and give him a stick and a puck, and he’d find the middle of the net.

The Slovakian winger scored the Kings’ second and third goals Monday -- both off nifty setups from Anze Kopitar -- in a split-squad exercise for both teams.

Gaborik was the top goal scorer in the NHL playoffs last spring with 14, and he seemed to pick up right where he ended.

“It feels like we never left,” he said. “We did some good things. We need to work on some things. But for the first preseason game, it wasn’t bad out there.”

Gaborik said he felt good despite the short summer. Or, as he called it, short but sweet. “We didn’t have a whole lot of time to have some rest and to work out, but it seems like the whole team, we’re in good shape,” he said. “I think we’ll be fine.”


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What we learned from the Ducks' split-squad preseason triumphs

Five things we learned from the Ducks’ pair of split-squad victories in their preseason-opening games:

Frederik Andersen looks to be in midseason form

It doesn’t count, there was no Nathan MacKinnon on the ice for the Colorado Avalanche, but Andersen’s 27-save shutout in the 4-0 win at Honda Center was eye-catching.

“He looked really calm, really composed, ‘nothing’s going to beat me tonight,’ ” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It has to do something for his confidence, reinforces the work he did all summer long.”

Andersen, who won 20 regular-season games as a rookie before getting hurt in the Western Conference semifinals and yielding to the rookie John Gibson he’s expected to share playing time with this season, said he “did the right things, had the right compete level.”

He kept the Avalanche scoreless on 13 first-period shots, then early in the second stopped a Paul Carey
up-close chance on one of five power plays, quickly followed by the dismissal of Michael Sgarbossa’s backhand....

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Injured Chris Weidman to miss UFC 181; new main is Hendricks-Lawler

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman suffered a broken hand in training, causing his  Ultimate Fighting Championship title defense against veteran Vitor Belfort on Dec. 6 to be rescheduled.

The Dec. 6 main event will now be welterweight champion Johny Hendricks’ title defense against Robbie Lawler, a rematch of the March bout in which Hendricks claimed the belt in Dallas by decision.

UFC 181 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas will be co-headlined by the lightweight title defense by champion Anthony Pettis versus Gilbert Melendez, a Santa Ana product.

A new date for Weidman (12-0) will be announced at a later date, a UFC spokesman reported.

Weidman, who has twice successfully defended the belt he won from Anderson Silva, required an injury layoff from December to July after hurting his knee in training earlier this year. He defeated Lyoto Machida on July 5.

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Bears fend off the Jets, 27-19

The Chicago Bears took advantage of early mistakes by the sloppy New York Jets and then they had to hold their breath before hanging on for a 27-19 victory Monday night.

Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett and Ryan Mundy returned an interception 45 yards for a score. Cutler completed 23 of 38 passes for 225 yards and Alshon Jeffery caught eight passes for 105 yards for the Bears, who got a 45-yard field goal from Robbie Gould to make it an eight-point game with 3:10 remaining.

The Jets (1-2) had one last opportunity to tie, getting into Bears territory on Geno Smith's 51-yard pass to Greg Salas. But Jeremy Kerley was out of bounds when he caught Smith's desperation fourth-down heave from the Bears nine-yard line.

Cutler took a knee three times to seal the victory for the Bears (2-1).

Smith was 26 of 43 for 316 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions — and nearly had a few others. Kerley finished with seven catches for 81 yards, and almost came up with a...

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Let there be light: New LED system illuminates Kings game

New season, new lighting system for the Kings.

The Stanley Cup champions’ first exhibition game at Staples Center featured a new LED lighting system that focuses more light on the ice while dimming the lights in the arena’s seating area, creating an effect similar to the theatrical lighting at Lakers games.

Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, the Nokia Theater and LA Live, said via email that the Clippers will also use the new lighting system. “First arena in the NBA and second in the NHL,” he said.

“They’ll save $280,000 a year in energy cost and reduce heat" on the ice.

The lighting produced some odd shadows on the ice Monday, but center ice was unusually bright.

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Mike Tyson called hero after aiding motorcyclist in crash

Retired boxing champion Mike Tyson is being hailed as a hero after he came to the aid of a motorcyclist who had been severely hurt in a crash on a freeway in Las Vegas last week. 

The incident happened Tuesday evening, when Ryan Chesley, 29, was allegedly cut off by a taxi while on Interstate 15 about 9:30 p.m., Chesley's attorney, Stephen Stubbs, told The Times. 

"He was injured pretty bad," Stubbs said. "He has broken bones and torn ligaments." 

Tyson and his entourage were driving behind Chesley when the crash happened, Stubbs said. 

The former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world immediately got out of his car and started blocking traffic as well as making sure no one moved Chesley, Stubbs said.

"Ryan thought he was hallucinating when Mike came over and told him, 'Don't worry, help is on the way,' " Stubbs said. "He really protected him." 

Chesley, not believing his own eyes, managed to take a picture of Tyson at the scene, Stubbs said. 

Once medical crews arrived, Tyson...

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Chris Paul celebrates renovation of Salvation Army community center

The memory remains fresh in Chris Paul’s mind. He had just been traded to the Clippers from the then-New Orleans Hornets in December 2011 when he made his first visit to the Salvation Army Siemon Family Youth & Community Center in South Los Angeles.

It was one of the first places he visited in the city before it truly felt like home.

“It will always definitely have a special place in my heart,” Paul said.

The All-Star point guard returned Monday to celebrate the unveiling of a renovated media and technology lounge, library and game room made possible by donations from the Clippers Foundation and Paul’s CP3 Foundation.

The media and technology lounge featured more than two dozen state-of-the-art computers, a Smart board, e-readers and tablets. Children dutifully pecked away on iPads in the library and gleefully gathered around the pool table, big-screen television and basketball shooting apparatus set up in the game room.

“It’s all about having an opportunity and it’s one of those...

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Angels remain hopeful pitcher Matt Shoemaker will return for playoffs

Manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged Monday that the chances of Matt Shoemaker pitching in one of the team’s final six regular-season games are “very remote,” but the Angels remain hopeful that Shoemaker, sidelined by a mild left rib-cage strain, will pitch in the playoffs.

“We’re very encouraged he’ll be ready,” Scioscia said before Monday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, “but you won’t know until he gets on a mound and turns it loose, and that’s still a ways away.”

Shoemaker did play a light game of catch Monday afternoon to activate his arm, the first time he had picked up a ball since he suffered the injury in a Sept. 15 game against Seattle.

Full recovery from an oblique strain can sometimes take four to six weeks, so by holding Shoemaker out this week, the Angels would give him the maximum amount of time to heal before testing him on a mound and to decide whether to activate him for the American League division series.

Rosters for the first round of the playoffs do not...

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Kings' TV schedule to include 72 games on Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket

The Kings on Monday announced the full details of their TV schedule for the upcoming season, with all 82 regular-season games to be televised. Of that number, 72 will be on Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket.

The remaining games will be televised by NBCSN or KCOP.

Two exhibition games also will be televised: on Thursday against the Ducks at Staples Center, and on Oct. 4 against the Colorado Avalanche at Las Vegas.

Bob Miller, the Kings’ TV play-by-play voice, will begin his 42nd season. Commentator Jim Fox will begin his 25th season in an analyst role.

Here’s a link to the TV schedule.

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Ravens owner regrets initially having 'zero desire' to see Rice video

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Monday that his biggest mistake in the handling of the Ray Rice situation is that he didn’t get an earlier look at the surveillance video from inside the elevator -- and had no interest in seeing it.

"I lacked a whole lot of interest. Zero desire to see that tape," Bisciotti said in a news conference called to address and dispute a lengthy story by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that said the Ravens knew the details of Rice striking his future wife inside the casino elevator within hours of the incident.

"We responded to an article that questioned our integrity and character," said Bisciotti, who sat alone at the dais and answered questions for 47 minutes at team headquarters.

Just before the news conference began, the Ravens issued a lengthy statement that detailed and disputed several statements from the 7,000-word story posted Friday.

According to the story, Bisciotti, Ravens President Dick Cass and GM Ozzie Newsome pressured NFL...

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California native Cole Custer, 16, didn't expect to make NASCAR history

After winning the NASCAR truck race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Cole Custer and his family had dinner at a nearby restaurant in Loudon, N.H.

"That was pretty much it" as far as celebrating, said Custer, a native of Ladera Ranch, Calif. "I can't really do much at my age."

His age is 16, which is why Custer's victory made NASCAR history. Custer became the youngest driver to win a race in one of NASCAR's three national series. The others, for stock cars, are its premier Sprint Cup Series and second-tier Nationwide Series.

This was only the seventh race for Custer in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series. He won the pole position in his No. 00 Chevrolet truck for Saturday's race "so I knew we were going to have speed," he said in an interview.

Custer said he also previously had run well at New Hampshire Motor Speedway driving in stock-car racing's minor leagues, "so I wasn't surprised when we were the fastest truck there."

But even Custer acknowledged that "I didn't expect...

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Ravens release a statement aimed at rebutting ESPN Ray Rice report

In advance of a news conference featuring Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti regarding the Ray Rice scandal, the team released a lengthy statement aimed at rebutting an story published Friday.

The ESPN story, citing 20 unnamed sources close to Rice and/or the Ravens, said club officials almost immediately knew about the contents of a video showing running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

The report said the contents of the video from the February incident were described to the Ravens' head of security, and that team officials lobbied NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to give Rice no more than a two-game suspension, which was the initial punishment. 

The text of the statement:

We at the Ravens have promised to be open, candid and transparent with our fans, sponsors, ticket holders, and the general public.
This past Friday,’s “Outside the Lines” feature ran a story entitled, Rice case: purposeful misdirection by the team, scant...

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