NHL, union are back in contact for talks
• NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman still hasn’t spoken to players’ union chief Donald Fehr since a brief meeting Wednesday, but negotiators on both sides are back in contact as the lockout drags on.
There was no meeting Friday, after two consecutive days of negotiations at the league’s New York office, and there are no current plans for more bargaining to take place.
“We’ve talked. There is nothing scheduled,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email.
Frustration is building on both sides as the lockout approaches its fifth week. The first regular-season games were missed Thursday night — one week after the first 82 contests were wiped out — and Staples Center in Los Angeles will have to wait for the Kings’ Stanley Cup championship banner to be raised.
Rodriguez’s 3 goals power Spain to win
• Spain, Germany and England earned victories as Europe’s top teams found their scoring form in World Cup qualifying. Pedro Rodriguez scored a hat trick in Spain’s 4-0 win at Belarus, and Marco Reus and Toni Kroos had two apiece as Germany routed Ireland 6-1, also away from home. England’s 5-0 win over a San Marino team that is at the bottom of the FIFA rankings was routine, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice in his first competitive international game as captain. Italy won 3-1 at Armenia and the Netherlands was a 3-0 winner over Andorra. However, Euro 2012 semifinalist Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, couldn’t make the most of its dominance against Russia and lost 1-0 in a match between the top two teams in Group F.
• Canadian women’s team star Christine Sinclair received a four-game suspension from FIFA for her conduct following a dramatic semifinal loss to the United States at the London Olympics. The findings of a FIFA disciplinary committee panel were released on Friday by the Canadian Soccer Association, which said the discipline was for “displaying unsporting behavior towards match officials.” Sinclair also was fined an undisclosed amount.
• Helmut Haller, who scored the first goal of the 1966 World Cup final and was one of the first Germans to play in Italy, died Thursday at his home in Augsburg after a long illness. He was 73.
Flipkens pulls upset in Generali Ladies
• Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium defeated two-time champion Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-0 in the quarterfinals of the Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria. Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka, fifth-seeded Julia Goerges and Irina-Camelia Begu also advanced to the semifinals.
• Marco Haller of Austria won a mass sprint to the finish for his first professional cycling victory in the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing. The Katusha Team rider overtook Italian sprint specialist Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-ISD to win the 103-mile stage from Yanqing to Chang Ping. German world time trial champion Tony Martin retains a 40-second overall lead.
• Ex-Oklahoma State basketball player Darrell Williams was freed Friday after a judge in Oklahoma City, Okla., gave him a suspended sentence in a sexual assault case in which Williams insisted he was innocent.
• Cable sports channel Speed will no longer air Formula One races after this year, ending a 17-year partnership.
— From wire reports