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March 7, 2013 at 11:05 PM
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Report: Rivera to retire after 2013 season

NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera called a news conference for Saturday, reportedly to announce he will retire following the upcoming season.

The New York Post reported Rivera, 43, has decided to conclude a career in which he has produced an all-time record 608 saves.

Rivera tore a knee ligament last May while catching fly balls during batting practice prior to a game against Kansas City.

He missed the remainder of the 2012 season, but announced he would return for 2013 because he did not want an injury putting an end to his career.

Rivera has yet to pitch this spring, but is due to make his first appearance Saturday.

Prior to last season, Rivera had recorded at least 28 saves in 15 consecutive campaigns. He has been chosen to the American League All-Star team 12 times.

Rivera has played on five World Series winning teams. He has 42 post-season saves with a 0.70 ERA in 141 playoff innings.

NHL players agree to realignment

NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- NHL union chief Donald Fehr announced Thursday the league's players have agreed to a plan for realignment in the 2013-14 season.

The union originally rejected a realignment proposal, but agreed to a slightly altered version.

"After discussions with the executive board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season," Fehr said in a statement.

The plan must still be approved by the NHL's board of governors, which is expected to be a formality.

NHL teams would continue to be split into Western and Eastern conferences, but instead of six divisions there will now be four -- the Atlantic, Central, Midwest and Pacific.

Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington and both the Islanders and Rangers will fall into the Atlantic Division. The Central Division will be made up of Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Tampa Bay.

Those competing in the Midwest Division will be Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg while the Pacific Division will consist of Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

Qualifying for the playoffs would be changed so that the top three teams from each division would make it to the postseason along with the teams with the next two best records from each conference.

Tiger Woods leads Cadillac Championship

DORAL, Fla., March 7 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods had nine birdies en route to a 6-under-par 66 Thursday and was among five players sharing the lead at the WGC Cadillac Championship in Florida.

Woods was even -- because of two birdies and two bogeys -- through five holes but had seven birdies and a bogey the rest of the way. He was tied with Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Freddie Jacobson for first.

Four more players, including Phil Mickelson who played bogey-free Thursday, came in at 5-under and six more were 4-under.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who has struggled this year, had six bogeys Thursday and wound up 1-over 73, tied for 50th.

Garcia and McDowell had six birdies and Watson had one bogey for relatively drama-free opening rounds.

Jacobson, who opened birdie-bogey, added a fifth-hole birdie before eagles at Nos. 8 and 10 boosted him to 5-under on the day. A birdie at the par-3 15th gave him a share of the lead.

Woods played the second nine of the TPC Blue Monster first Thursday. He had birdies at Nos. 11 and 12 but bogeys on the next two holes. Birdies at 16 and 18 had him 2-under at the turn.

Woods opened the second nine with two birdies before a bogey at No. 3. He followed that with a birdie at 4, and birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 put him in first.

Capitals put on offensive show in rout of Florida

WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- John Erskine scored less than 2 minutes into the game to start a Washington onslaught Thursday and the Capitals rolled to a 7-1 win over Florida.

Seven players scored for Washington, which enjoyed its largest offensive output of the season.

Braden Holtby coasted to the easy win, carrying a shutout deep into the third period and making 29 saves.

Washington scored its seven goals on 26 shots. Erskine and Wojtek Wolski tallied on the Capitals' first two attempts, which led to the quick departure of Florida goaltender Jakob Markstrom. He was making only his fourth appearance of the season and the 12th of his career scattered over three seasons.

Scott Clemmensen came on in relief and allowed five goals on 24 shots.

Washington took a 4-0 lead after one period with John Carlson and Mike Ribeiro contributing goals.

Alex Ovechkin's power-play tally was the only goal of the second period and Eric Fehr made it 6-0 before Florida finally scored.

Mathieu Perreault tacked on Washington's seventh goal with 59 seconds to play.

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