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In Sports from United Press International

Devils take 3-2 lead in Stanley Cup

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., June 6 (UPI) -- The New Jersey Devils moved to within one victory of their third Stanley Cup title Thursday night with a 6-3 win over Anaheim.

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The Devils got a series of fortunate bounces and two goals from Jamie Langenbrunner to take a 3-2 advantage in the series.

The teams exploded for nine goals after combining for 12 in the first four games to match a 58-year-old Stanley Cup Finals record.

New Jersey became the first team in this year's playoffs to score more than three goals against Jean-Sebastien Giguere, although they had help from the Ducks. One went in off the stick off Mike Leclerc, one went off the skate of Devils winger Jay Pandolfo and two others resulted from favorable bounces.

Brian Gionta chipped in a goal and two assists to help New Jersey improve to 11-1 at home in the playoffs. The home team has taken the first five games in the series, but a road win on Saturday would give the Devils the Stanley Cup.

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Pandolfo got the go-ahead tally at 9:02 of the second period. Giguere got his right skate on Gionta's shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, but the rebound hit the right skate of Pandolfo, who was driving to the net. The puck slid just past Giguere and inside the left goalpost, although Bill McCreary immediately waved it off.

Only after a video review was Pandolfo credited with his fifth playoff goal and first in eight games.

Langenbrunner struck twice in the third period.

The Devils held the Ducks without a shot for the first 12 1/2 minutes of the final period and finished with a 37-23 overall advantage.

Gionta gave New Jersey its second lead of the game at 3:12 of the second period. Martin Brodeur made a blocker stop on Petr Sykora's right point shot, sending the puck to defenseman Scott Niedermayer to start a counterattack.

At the other end, Gionta threw the puck out of the right corner. It hit the sticks of Anaheim's Sandis Ozolinsh and Leclerc, who ended up tipping it past Giguere. The double deflection ended Gionta's postseason scoring drought at 23 games.

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The Ducks forged the game's third tie just 3:23 later as Samuel Pahlsson scored his first goal in 16 games. Rob Niedermayer passed from the left corner to the faceoff circle, where Pahlsson wristed a one-timer past Brodeur for his second playoff tally.


Serena falls at French Open

PARIS, June 6 (UPI) -- Serena Williams had her incredible Grand Slam title run snapped Thursday, dropping a three-sets semifinal battle to Justine Henin-Hardenne.

The match was played in front of a boisterous, anti-Williams crowd.

The 21-year-old Williams was seeking her fifth consecutive Grand Slam singles crown, having won 33 straight matches in that span. The American had reached the final in five majors in a row, dating to the 2001 U.S. Open.

While reinforcing her domination on the WTA Tour, Williams also had won 29 of her first 31 matches this season. But the post-match smiles and waves were replaced by tears Thursday after she lost to Henin-Hardenne, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5.

"I'm not used to crying," said Williams, who made anti-French comments in Miami earlier this season.

Part of the emotion came from her battle to overcome an angry crowd rooting as much against Williams as for Henin-Hardenne. Fans supported the Belgian from the start and turned harshly against the American in the second set.

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"The crowd gave me all the support I needed to win the match," Henin-Hardenne said. "It was unbelievable playing in this atmosphere."

"It was a tough crowd out there today," Williams said. "That's the story of my life."

Williams stopped playing two different points in the set, thinking the ball was out. The umpire agreed after jumping from his chair to check the spot, but fans still howled.

"It's a little difficult," Williams said of the crowd. "All my life, I've had to fight. It's just another fight I'm going to have to learn how to win."

Williams, one of the most recognizable black athletes in the world, did not think the crowd's reaction - which included jeers after each fault and unforced error - was anti-American or racially motivated.

"I don't think being American had anything to with it," said Williams, who had 79 unforced errors. "She had a lot of fans out there today. I just think sometimes you're not good enough to win."

With her surprising triumph, Henin-Hardenne set up an all-Belgian final with second seed Kim Clijsters, who defeated Russian Nadia Petrova, 7-5, 6-1. Clijsters, who turns 20 on Sunday, also is looking for her first major crown.

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Sosa Hall of Fame bats not corked

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., June 6 (UPI) -- Tests conducted on five bats belonging to Sammy Sosa donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame have revealed no cork.

The bats were tested after he was found to be using a corked bats in a game Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Cork was found in a bat Sosa shattered during the contest on an RBI grounder. The run was taken off the board and he was ejected when the substance was found.

After the game, officials of Major League Baseball confiscated 76 of Sosa's bats and examined them Wednesday, but none were found to be illegal.

The Hall of Fame had X-rays taken of three bats Wednesday, and CT scans on two others Thursday. Conducted by a radiologist at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, the tests were negative.

In order to speed up the swing, players have been known to hollow out bats by drilling a hole at the top and replacing the wood with cork.


Rockies win eighth straight home game

DENVER, June 6 (UPI) -- Jason Jennings allowed four runs and four hits in seven innings Thursday as Colorado downed Cleveland, 7-4.

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The Rockies stretched their home winning streak to eight games.

Jennings (4-5), who walked four and struck out six, snapped a four-start winless streak, earning his first victory since May 10.

The Rockies completed a three-game sweep of the interleague series while improving the best home mark in the major leagues to 24-8. Colorado has won four straight overall.

After the lead seesawed early in the game, the Rockies knocked out C.C. Sabathia (4-3) with four runs in the fifth.

Larry Walker had two hits and three RBI, including a two-run single that put the Rockies ahead, 5-4. Chris Stynes followed with an RBI triple and Bobby Estalella capped the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Sabathia surrendered all seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. It was his first loss since April 12, a span of nine starts.


Williams chases no-hitter

ST. LOUIS, June 6 (UPI) -- Woody Williams took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and drove in four runs Thursday night to give St. Louis a 13-5 victory over Toronto.

After having his personal 10-game winning streak snapped in his last start, Williams came within five outs of his first no-hitter. He had allowed just one walk before Orlando Hudson lined a single into right field with one out in the eighth.

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Despite falling short of an historic feat, Williams (8-1) turned in another brilliant performance and joined Colorado's Shawn Chacon as the only eight-game winners in the National League. He lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.99.

The veteran righthander left following the eighth inning, falling three outs short of his fist complete game of the season. He threw 68 of 98 pitches for strikes and had five strikeouts.

Williams, who entered the game without an RBI in 25 at bats this season, had a run-scoring grounder in the second inning and drove in three runs with his first career triple in the third.

Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back homers in the sixth for the Cardinals, who have won four in a row for the first time since a season-high seven-game winning streak from April 27-May 4.

Toronto starter Mark Hendrickson (4-5) was shelled for seven runs - three earned - and seven hits in just 2 2/3 innings.

Other interleague results: Atlanta 8, Texas 4; Chicago Cubs 8, Tampa Bay 1; San Diego 5, Detroit 1; Florida 2, Oakland 0; Seattle 5, Philadelphia 4; Pittsburgh 5, Boston 4; New York Yankees 10, Cincinnati 2.

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In the National League, Milwaukee swept a double header from the New York Mets, 8-7 and 5-3.


Gamez leads at Capital Open

POTOMAC, Md., June 6 (UPI) -- Robert Gamez carded a 5-under-par 66 Thursday for a one-stroke lead over Rich Beem and Notah Begay III at the Capital Open.

Gamez lost in a playoff Wednesday to miss out on qualifying for next week's U.S. Open. After lipping out a 10-foot putt that would have gotten him into the tournament, Gamez bogeyed the second hole of a playoff with Bob Burns, Ian Leggatt, Brian Gay and Steven Alker.

"I was a little upset last night, a little disappointed," Gamez said. "It was tough to get out of bed."

Taking advantage of lift, clean and place on a soggy TPC at Avenel, Gamez rebounded with a round that included seven birdies and two bogeys. Among his birdies were two putts of 20 feet and another from 15.

"It was a good start for the week," said Gamez, who is winless since his rookie year of 1990. "And I'm looking forward to the rest of the week."

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So is Beem, the surprise star of the PGA Tour in 2002 who has missed the cut in eight of 14 starts this season and has yet to finish better than 15th. Last year, he won the International and PGA Championship in consecutive starts.

Two strokes back at 68 were former British Open champion Paul Lawrie and Niclas Fasth of Sweden.

Also carding 68s were Hal Sutton, Rory Sabbatini of South Africa, Glen Hnatiuk, Patrick Sheehan and Tom Gillis.


Detroit defeats Connecticut

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 6 (UPI) -- Swin Cash scored 23 points and Deanna Nolan added 17 Thursday as Detroit cruised to a 103-89 rout of Connecticut in a WNBA matinee.

The Shock posted the second-highest point total in franchise history in the pounding of the Sun.

Cash connected on six of 13 shots as the Shock shot over 51 percent from the floor and eclipsed 100 points for the first time since June 18, 2000.

Ruth Riley made 5-of-6 shots and all four of her free throws for 14 points for Detroit, which opened the season Saturday with a 70-67 loss to the Charlotte Sting.

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Bryant headed for shoulder surgery

LOS ANGELES, June 6 (UPI) -- Kobe Bryant had planned a busy summer. But now it may be interrupted by surgery.

The Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard confirmed Thursday he has a labrum tear in his right shoulder after undergoing an MRI at Kerlan Jobe Medical Center.

In a statement, the Lakers said Bryant will seek a second opinion before making a decision on whether to proceed with surgery. But it appears as if Bryant is leaning toward having the surgery as soon as possible.

"I'm pretty sure I'll have surgery," Bryant said. "I haven't received any second opinions yet, but I think I want to get this taken care of, come back and double up on my training regimen."

The injury will likely prevent Bryant from playing for the United States team at this summer's Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico Aug. 20-31.

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