Montreal, St. Louis win in NLH playoffs
By United Press International
Montreal took a two games to one lead over Carolina in their NHL Eastern Conference playoff semifinals match Tuesday night with a 2-1 decision in overtime.. Donald Audette scored off a faceoff 2:26 into overtime after Theodore made 33 saves as the Canadiens edged the Hurricanes.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues juggled their lineup and whipped the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 in their Western Conference playoff series. That narrowed Detroit's lead in games to 2-1.
Both series resume on Thursday.
Carlisle named NBA coach of year
NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- Continuing an incredible rookie season, Rick Carlisle Tuesday was named NBA Coach of the Year after guiding the Detroit Pistons to their first Central Division title since the 1989-90 season.
The sixth coach to win the award in his first season, Carlisle is the third member of his team to be honored in the postseason, joining Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace and Sixth Man of the Year Corliss Williamson.
Carlisle received 73 votes from a 126-person panel of national media members. Rick Adelman of the Sacramento Kings was second with 21 votes, followed by Byron Scott of the New Jersey Nets with 15.
Byron Nelson says Tiger's best of the best
IRVING, Texas, May 7 (UPI) -- Byron Nelson has seen the finest golfers ever. In fact, he was one of them. But, he is certain who's the best of the best.
"Tiger Woods," said the Hall of Famer, who is hosting this week's Byron Nelson Classic for the 35th consecutive season.
Woods is playing for the first time since he earned his third Masters title a month ago. He hasn't won anything yet this week, except Nelson's vote as the best player ever.
"I saw Tiger play more than once every year from the time that he's 14," Nelson said. "And I never saw a player at the age of 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 that played as well at that age as he did.
"He's exciting to watch. I love to watch him play. Everybody does."
"But if you look at the way they played, every era, these players, they have gotten better," said Nelson, 90. "There's not any player that won in those years that wasn't better than the group before the leader, the top guys, not any of them."
Woods is the imcomparable star of his era, winning 31 PGA Tour titles in five-plus seasons. He also has seven major triumphs, including his last start at Augusta.
"Not sure how rusty my game will be," he said on his website. "But hopefully, I'll improve each day."
Woods won this event in 1997 and tied for third last year, finishing three shots behind Robert Damron, who is back to defend his only title in six years on tour.
Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew dies
LEXINGTON, Ky., May 7 (UPI) -- Seattle Slew, the last living Triple Crown winner, died in his stall Tuesday on the 25th anniversary of his Kentucky Derby victory.
Seattle Slew, 28, who sired 1,066 offspring, died at Hill 'n' Dale Farm where he was recuperating from back surgery.
The last horse to win all three jewels of racing's Triple Crown, Seattle Slew suffered from arthritis in his back and underwent surgery to fuse two vertebrae on March 2 -- the second time such surgery was performed. The horse was moved to Hill 'n' Dale from Three Chimneys Farm, where he spent 17 years, spokeswoman Margaret Layton said.
Hill 'n' Dale owner John Sikura said Seattle Slew deteriorated rapidly in the last few days.
The death marks the first time the thoroughbred world has been without a Triple Crown winner since 1919 when Sir Barton first captured all three jewels.
Lott, Marino lead college Hall selectees
In addition to the 13 players, Earle Bruce and Carmen Cozza were selected as coaches.
White played defensive tackle at Tennessee from 1980-83 and was a unanimous All-America selection in his senior season and the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.
Marino, one of a long line of great quarterbacks from western Pennsylvania, was a four-year starter at Pittsburgh from 1979-82 and guided the Panthers to a 42-6 record, including three straight bowl game victories.
Lott, a safety at Southern California from 1977-80, was a member of the 1978 national championship team and a unanimous All-America pick in his senior season.
U.S. out of World Hockey title chase
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, May 7 (UPI) -- The United States and Canada will not get a chance to meet for the gold medal this time around.
After Canada defeated the United States for the gold medal at the Salt Lake City Olympics with rosters composed of superstars from the NHL, both nations were defeated Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the World Hockey Championships.
Ryan Miller made 43 saves, two on penalty shots, but the U.S. was eliminated on Tuesday with a 3-1 loss to Finland.
Also Tuesday, Slovakia edged Canada, 3-2, and Russia, which won the bronze medal at the Olympics, posted a 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic. Germany, which surprised many by advancing to the medal round at Salt Lake City, was defeated by Sweden, 6-2.
Sampras ousted in Rome opener
ROME, May 7 (UPI) -- Pete Sampras' struggles on clay continues. He lost Tuesday to Spain's Felix Mantilla, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, in the opening round of the $2.33 million Tennis Masters Series in Rome.
It was the second year in a row that Sampras, who won this tournament in 1994, was beaten in the first round.
Although he is 4-2 on clay this season, the 12th-seeded American has struggled throughout his career on the surface, particularly at Roland Garros, where the French Open remains the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him. Sampras also remained without a title since capturing his 13th career grand slam at the 2000 Wimbledon.
Second seed Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil swept past Italy's Davide Sanguinetti, 7-5, 6-3, and No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain and fourth-seeded Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov both moved up with their opponents retired for health reasons.
Ivanisevic to miss Wimbledon
LONDON May 7 (UPI) -- Reigning men's Wimbledon singles champion Goran Ivanisevic will be unable to defend his title this year. He confirmed Tuesday that he will undergo surgery on his left shoulder in Germany next week and will be out of action until the end of the year.
Despite suffering for almost a year with the injury, the pain worsened after the Davis Cup tie with Germany in February, and it has not responded to extensive therapy.
Last year, Ivanisevic defeated Patrick Rafter in the final to become the first wild-card to ever win the Wimbledon title.
Zito gets 4-year A's deal
OAKLAND, Calif., May 7 (UPI) -- The Oakland Athletics may be a small-market club, but they'll have a big-time rotation for years to come.
The A's on Tuesday signed lefthander Barry Zito to a four-year contract with a club option for 2006, all but guaranteeing they will have one of the top starting staffs in the near future.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal reportedly is worth in excess of $10 million. The signing of Zito gives the cost-conscious Athletics 11 players under contract beyond this season, including starters Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Cory Lidle. Zito, who turns 24 on Monday, is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA this season but has a career record of 26-14 with a 3.14 ERA.