Devils goalie Brodeur set to return from injury

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will make his first start since missing nearly four months with an elbow injury.

The Devils play the Colorado Avalanche tonight.

The 36-year-old Brodeur was informed of the team’s decision Wednesday after getting most of the work for the third straight practice.

Brodeur was hurt in a game against Atlanta on Nov. 1 and had surgery days later to repair a torn biceps muscle in his left elbow.

Brodeur has won four Vezina trophies as the NHL’s top goaltender, including last year. He is on the verge of surpassing Patrick Roy’s NHL record for career wins.

Also: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby did not play against the New York Islanders because of a sore groin. Crosby, injured Sunday in a loss to Washington, is day to day, and it is uncertain how many games he can play during Pittsburgh’s five-game road trip that begins Friday in Chicago.

The Wranglers’ winless streak reached eight games after a 3-2 loss to the Stockton Thunder in an ECHL game in Stockton, Calif.

Las Vegas (26-24-6), which is 0-6-2 in its last eight games, got goals from Peter Ferraro and Tim Spencer.

The Wranglers also acquired center Dan Riedel from the Dayton Bombers in exchange for financial considerations. Riedel has 46 points in 55 ECHL games this season (19 goals, 27 assists).


Swimmers set records in Mountain West meet

The UNLV men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams combined for three relay wins to open the Mountain West Conference Championships in Oklahoma City.

The men’s team, going for its fifth straight MWC title, won the 200-yard medley relay in a school- and conference-record time of 1 minute, 41.22 seconds. The Rebels added a win in the 800 freestyle relay in 6:28.40, again a school and conference record.

UNLV stood third with 84 points, with Air Force leading at 99.5.

The women’s team won the 800 free relay, as well, in a conference-record 7:10.18. The Rebels were in fourth with 74 points, and Wyoming led at 109.

The meet continues through Saturday.

Also: The UNLV baseball team rallied from a 13-run deficit but couldn’t quite catch Arizona in a 16-12 loss at Wilson Stadium.

The Rebels (3-3) trailed 14-1 by the middle of the fifth inning, coming back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth and six more in the seventh.

Trent Fuller went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer and two runs scored for UNLV, and J.J. Sferra was 2-for-5 with two triples and two RBIs.

UNLV women’s tennis player Kristina Nedeltcheva was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week.

Nedeltcheva didn’t drop a set in No. 1 singles or doubles last week, going 6-0 in the Rebels’ wins over Illinois State, Utah State and UC Riverside.


Baffert leads finalists for horse racing Hall

Bob Baffert and two champion horses he trained were among the 11 finalists for election to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The other finalists were the Baffert-trained Point Given and Silverbulletday; jockeys Eddie Maple, Randy Romero and Alex Solis; trainer Robert Wheeler; and horses Open Mind, Sky Beauty, Best Pal and Tiznow.

Inductees will be announced in late April.

Also: Stanford University announced it will cut 21 positions in its athletic department next week because of the economic downturn, while keeping all 35 of its varsity teams and its coaches.

Stanford, with one of the biggest athletic departments in the nation, said the 13 percent staff reduction was necessary because of decline in endowment value and fewer contributions during the recession.

Protected by two bodyguards as he walked on the court, Andy Ram became the first Israeli to play tennis in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He lost a doubles match a week after Israel’s Shahar Peer was denied a visa for the women’s tournament.

Ram and partner Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe lost the first-round match at the Dubai Tennis Championships to Marat Safin of Russia and Spain’s David Ferrer, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.

Michael Phelps was dropped as the keynote speaker at two events in Canada next week, with the promoter citing the Olympic champion swimmer’s “widely publicized alleged use of marijuana.”

Power Within Inc. of Toronto, which organizes motivational speaking events, canceled Phelps’ appearances in Calgary and Vancouver.

Royal Bank of Scotland will end its sponsorship of the Williams Formula One team following the 2010 season and cut half its sports funding because of the global economic crisis.

The three-year deal was worth about $14.2 million.

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