Malkin scores in return, Penguins top Columbus 2-1
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Evgeni Malkin scored in his return from a lower-body injury, Sidney Crosby added his 16th goal, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Monday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots for the Penguins, who won their sixth straight home game.
Malkin missed two games last week after being injured during a morning skate. He looked fine while bulling his way toward the net 4:16 into the second period for his eighth goal of the season. Crosby pushed his season-point total to an NHL-best 43 when he deflected in a shot by Pascal Dupuis midway through the third.
Matt Calvert scored with less than a minute left for Columbus, spoiling Fleury's shutout bid. Curtis McElhinney made 28 saves but the Blue Jackets struggled again in Pittsburgh.
Browns don't play blame game after tough loss
BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Browns coach Rob Chudzinski refuses to play the blame game Monday, one day after Cleveland collapsed in a loss at New England.
The Browns blew a 12-point lead in the final 2:39 as Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the last 61 seconds, rallying New England to a 27-26 victory. The Browns (4-9) were hurt by two questionable penalties, but Chudzinski wouldn't comment on the officiating and says his team had plenty of chances to win.
Although the Browns have lost four straight and seven of eight, Chudzinski felt there were several positives in the game and adds "we can go toe to toe with anybody in this league."
The Browns could have closed the game out, but failed to recover a late onside kick - the first successful one executed by New England since 1995.
Reds must replace Choo's production in lineup
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - New manager Bryan Price has the difficult task of replacing center fielder Shin-Soo Choo at the top of the Cincinnati Reds' lineup.
One intriguing option is the speedy youngster Billy Hamilton, a base-stealing star in the minors. But Price isn't so sure the 23 year old is up to a regular role yet.
"We're all excited about the development of Bill Hamilton, and one of the big decisions that we have to make between now and opening day is if he's ready to handle that load," Price said Monday at the winter meetings. "We're still going to give him a chance to come in and win a position."
Hamilton created a sensation with his speed when he was called up in September, but struggled to get on base consistently in Triple-A before his first promotion to the majors.
Choo, a free agent looking for an nine-figure pay day, scored 107 runs and had a .423 on-base percentage last season for the Reds, who finished third in the NL Central and was eliminated by Pittsburgh in the wild-card game.
Indians sign free agent 1B David Cooper
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Indians have signed free agent first baseman David Cooper to a major league contract.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
The 26-year-old finished last season with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate in Columbus after signing with the Indians in August. A former first-round pick of Toronto, Cooper batted .300 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 45 games with the Blue Jays in 2012.
A left-handed hitter, Cooper's 2012 season ended early because of a serious back injury he sustained while diving to first on a pickoff attempt. He was released by the Blue Jays in March and underwent surgery in April before signing with the Indians.
In 2011, Cooper led the Pacific Coast League in average (.364) and doubles (51) for Triple-A Las Vegas in 2011. He was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Columbus Crew sign Dominic Oduro to contract
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Crew have re-signed leading scorer Dominic Oduro.
The 28-year-old had a career-high 13 goals last season in his first season with the club.
Oduro will be playing his ninth season in Major League Soccer. Acquired from the Chicago Fire, he started all 34 matches last season, splitting time at right midfield and forward.
After scoring a 94th-minute goal in his Crew debut during a 3-0 season-opening win at Chivas USA on March 2, Oduro scored three goals in April and also scored in three consecutive matches in September.
Per MLS and club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
AP source: Wake chooses Bowling Green's Clawson
(AP) - A person familiar with the situation says Wake Forest has hired Dave Clawson from Bowling Green as its next football coach.
The person said a news conference to introduce Clawson was expected Tuesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because the move had not been announced by either school.
It comes three days after Clawson led Bowling Green (10-3) to an upset of then-No. 16 Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship game and one day after the Falcons were invited to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
His hiring caps Wake Forest's weeklong search to find Jim Grobe's successor. He resigned Dec. 2 after a 13-year stay that included five bowl games, but ended with five straight losing seasons.
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