Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NHL roundup: Isles edge Leafs for 12th win in 13
Anthony Beauvillier scored twice, including the go-ahead goal late in the second period Wednesday night, as the red-hot New York Islanders hung on to edge the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in Uniondale, N.Y. Mathew Barzal, Derick Brassard and Casey Cizikas also scored for the Islanders, who extended their point streak to 13 games (12-0-1). The hosts improved to 3-1-0 against the Maple Leafs since John Tavares signed with Toronto as a free agent in July 2018 after nine seasons in New York.
NHL roundup: Lightning pummel Rangers with 9 goals
Nikita Kucherov collected a goal and three assists, while Steven Stamkos and Yanni Gourde each scored a power-play goal and added two assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning returned home from Sweden and rolled to a 9-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night. The Lightning won their third straight and impressively followed up consecutive wins over the Buffalo Sabres in Stockholm by going 5-for-8 on the power play. They tied a team record by scoring nine goals for the second time in team history and also outshot the Rangers 45-23.
Rapinoe calls for more investment in U.S. women's game
Two-time World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe has been at the forefront of the U.S. national women's team's fight for gender pay equity but the fiery forward has told Reuters she also hopes for more investment in the domestic league and better pay for club players. Earlier this month, the U.S. National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced new compensation guidelines for 2020, including a nearly 20 percent increase in the overall salary cap as well as allocation money allowing teams to invest in some players above the maximum salary.
Browns' defensive hits Pittsburgh quarterback with helmet in nasty end to victory over Steelers
A violent incident marred the end of the National Football League game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, when Browns' defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and used it to strike Rudolph in the head. Commentators were aghast, with Fox head announcer Joe Buck describing the incident as "one of the worst things I've ever seen on a professional sports field."
Berrettini signs off with victory over Thiem
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to win a match in ATP Finals history as he signed off with a 7-6(3) 6-3 defeat of off-color Dominic Thiem at the O2 Arena on Thursday. The afternoon tussle was a little flat as Thiem had already sealed a place in the semi-finals after group wins against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, while Berrettini could not progress.
MLB notebook: Trout, Bellinger earn MVP honors
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win at least three MVP awards, topping Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in results announced Thursday. In voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, Trout received 17 first-place votes and 355 voting points. Bregman was the runner-up with 13 first-place votes and 335 points, and Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien was a distant third with 228 points.
NFL notebook: Ex-coaches will lead Kaepernick's workout
Colin Kaepernick's open workout for all 32 teams in Atlanta on Saturday will be led by former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson, with former Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin also participating, the NFL announced in a statement Thursday. Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began kneeling on the sideline during the national anthem to bring attention to social injustice, has not played since the 2016 season.
Becker, Safin and Muster named ATP Cup team captains
Six-times Grand Slam champion Boris Becker will captain Germany at next year's inaugural ATP Cup, while fellow former world number ones Marat Safin and Thomas Muster will lead Russia and Austria at the nation-based tournament. Becker, who won his first major title at Wimbledon in 1985, was chosen by world No. 7 Alexander Zverev to captain Germany, who are drawn in Group F alongside Greece, Canada and hosts Australia and play their matches in Brisbane.
Federer outclasses Djokovic to reach semi-finals
Roger Federer lit up the O2 Arena with a dazzling 6-4 6-3 defeat of Novak Djokovic to hand the Serb an early ATP Finals exit and wreck his bid to end the year ranked number one. In the 49th meeting between the two great rivals, Federer snapped a five-match losing run against Djokovic and gained some consolation for his heartbreaking Wimbledon final defeat.
NBA roundup: Harden, Rockets outduel Leonard, Clippers
James Harden poured in a game-high 47 points and served as the closer down the stretch of the Houston Rockets' 102-93 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. After Kawhi Leonard provided the Clippers an 86-85 lead with a fadeaway jumper in the paint, Harden converted a driving layup and then drilled a 3-pointer as Houston reclaimed a 90-86 advantage. With just over 90 seconds to play, Harden nailed a dagger 3 for a 95-88 lead.