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Panthers jump Sabres to win NHL draft lottery

The Florida Panthers bucked the odds by jumping up a spot to win the NHL draft lottery and earn the right to the top pick in June.

The Panthers, who finished 29th in the league, vaulted ahead of the last-place Buffalo Sabres, who had the best odds of winning the lottery held in Toronto last night. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance of winning the lottery, behind only Buffalo, which had a 25 percent shot.

Florida will have the first pick for the fourth time in franchise history.

The top two projected prospects are left wing Samuel Bennett, of OHL Kingston, who finished first in the final rankings released by NHL Central Scouting last week, and OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

The draft will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28.


Injured Anthony will sit out Knicks’ last 2 games

NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony will miss the final two games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, ending his first playoff-less season and potentially his New York Knicks career.

Anthony had one of his finest individual seasons, averaging 27.4 points and a career-best 8.1 rebounds in 77 games. But it stunningly amounted to nothing, as the Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday night.

“We’ve chatted a little bit and I feel for him more than anybody, because the kind of season that he had, he deserves to be in the playoffs and I feel bad about that. I do,” Knicks Coach Mike Woodson said yesterday.

Anthony initially hurt the shoulder earlier this month but kept playing as the Knicks were trying to rally to grab the No. 8 seed.

But Woodson was leaning toward not playing him yesterday at Brooklyn or toay at home against Toronto, even before Anthony had an MRI exam yesterday that revealed the tear.

“Obviously he knew it was bothering him when he hurt it a few weeks ago, but he hung in there with us and tried to make this last push to get in the playoffs,” Woodson said.

The Knicks said Anthony would not require surgery at this point and would be evaluated in about a month.


Source: RB Johnson visiting Jets

NEW YORK – A person familiar with the situation said that former Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is visiting the New York Jets, who are looking to add a playmaker to their backfield.

Johnson was released by the Titans last Monday. The former 2,000-yard rusher is meeting with the team at its facility yesterday, according to the person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Jets don’t make player visits public.

The Jets would like Johnson to team with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell to form a potentially potent trio.

Johnson, who turns 29 in September, is only the sixth player to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons.


49ers sign WR Lloyd to 1-year deal

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco 49ers signed wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to a one-year contract.

The 49ers announced the deal yesterday.

San Francisco selected Lloyd in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. He was a member of the 49ers from 2003-05, when he caught 105 passes for 1,510 yards and 13 touchdowns. That including leading the team with 48 receptions, 733 yards receiving and five TD catches in 2005.

Lloyd has also played for the Washington Redskins (2006-07), Chicago Bears (2008), Denver Broncos (2009-11), St. Louis Rams (2011) and New England Patriots (2012) during his career before sitting out last season.


Johnson takes steps toward CFL comeback

VERO BEACH, Fla. – Chad Johnson is back on a football field, and said he’s humble for the opportunity.

The former NFL receiver who once went by the last name of Ochocinco is in a minicamp this week with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. The three-day session began yesterday and there’s a real chance Johnson will be with the club when its season begins in June.

Johnson last played an NFL game in the 2011 season. He was with the Miami Dolphins for training camp the following season, and his contract was terminated one day after he was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.

Johnson said it was “a horrible mistake” and it “rightfully” cost him a chance to play.


Mets put Lagares (hamstring) on 15-day DL

PHOENIX – The New York Mets have placed center fielder Juan Lagares on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled right hamstring and recalled outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lagares was injured while beating out a double-play ball Monday night in New York’s 7-3 win over Arizona.

An outstanding defender, Lagares had performed well in an everyday role after Chris Young went down with a strained quadriceps at the beginning of the season. Lagares was leading the Mets with a .314 batting average and a nine-game hitting streak.

Young is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

Nieuwenhuis hit .310 with two homers and eight RBIs in 10 games with the 51s.

Right fielder Curtis Granderson also was out of the lineup last night after injuring his left forearm and ribs when he collided with the outfield wall Monday. He is day to day.

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