ANAHEIM, Calif. Eddie Murray Jersey . -- The Anaheim Ducks realize theyre in for plenty of tight defensive games in the next seven weeks while the rest of the NHL attempts to catch them atop the standings. In their first game back from the Olympic break, Jonas Hiller and the Ducks handled the pressure splendidly. Hiller made 18 saves in his fifth shutout of the season, Andrew Cogliano scored in the opening minutes, and the NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks returned with a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday night. With help from a few Blues shots off his posts, Hiller came back strong from the break after posting two shutouts for Switzerland in Sochi. Coglianos early goal off a neutral-zone turnover stood up in a hard-hitting, choppy game between two of the NHLs best teams. "We learned we can keep up with one of the toughest teams in the league," said Hiller, who matched his career high for shutouts in a season. "On a close game, everybody tries to play as tight as possible. You know you cant let up at all." The Ducks were the NHLs final team to resume play, giving extra rest to gold medallists Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and bronze medallist Teemu Selanne. Anaheim likely needed the break after losing three of its last four before the Olympics, getting shut out twice during just its second significant skid of the entire season. Coach Bruce Boudreau earned his 300th career victory as Anaheim swept the season series with the Blues. With 89 points from 61 games, the Ducks are five points ahead of St. Louis, Chicago and Pittsburgh in the overall NHL standings. "It was a good first game for us in terms of the competition," Cogliano said. "It was really high-paced. Its good to jump into a game like that. ... To hold them to 18 shots is something were proud of." Cogliano put the Ducks ahead just 3:39 in with a breakaway goal set up by Saku Koivus pass. The speedy Coglianos goal was his 18th, matching his career high with 21 games left in the regular season. Brian Elliott stopped 18 shots for the Blues just a few hours after St. Louis acquired star goalie Ryan Miller in a five-player trade with the Buffalo Sabres that included goalie Jaroslav Halak. St. Louis still hasnt scored after the break, taking its first two shutout losses of the season. Vancouver also beat the Blues 1-0 on Wednesday night. "Weve just got to put a couple in the net and well get going," Blues defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Were creating the chances. Were doing a great job of that. But theyre one of the toughest teams. Thats a team were probably going to have to compete against down the road." The Blues made a major move for their post-season stretch about three hours before the puck dropped in Anaheim, acquiring Miller and agitator Steve Ott from Buffalo in a deal for Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, two draft picks and Halak, the Slovak Olympian who has been with St. Louis since 2010. "Its tough when friends leave, when you get to know families and get in personal relationships with those guys," said St. Louis captain David Backes, Millers teammate with the U.S. Olympic team. "But from a hockey standpoint, the management and ownership is really committed to winning, and winning now, and thats partly shown in the move weve made. Ryan Miller is an all-world goalie that has shown it time and time again." Miller and Ott wont join St. Louis until this weekend in Phoenix, so the Blues backup goalie was Jeff Tyni, the Ducks locker room attendant. Both teams attempted to make up for their post-break rust with aggressive physical play. Backes and Perry fought in the first period, extending their personal feud. Adding to the Canada-U.S. rivalry vibe, Getzlaf and T.J. Oshie also nearly dropped gloves during the same prolonged scuffle. NOTES: Ducks C Mathieu Perreault left the game early in the third period with an upper-body injury after taking a big hit. ... Stewart was traded on a Blues-Ducks gameday for the second time. St. Louis acquired Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk from Colorado on Feb. 19, 2011, and Stewart made his Blues debut against Anaheim later in the day. ... The Ducks scratched F Jakob Silfverberg, who won a silver medal for Sweden last weekend. D Sami Vatanen, who won bronze with Finland and led the Olympic tournament with five assists, is back with Anaheims AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Jose Suarez Angels Jersey . Listen to the Raptors vs. Jazz live tonight on TSN Radio 1050 at 9pm et/6pm pt. The Raptors are 1-1 so far on the five-game junket after defeating Denver and losing to Portland. Bobby Knoop Angels Jersey . Globo TV and other news outlets said early Monday that Scolari will not remain as coach after the national teams failure to win the World Cup at home.BEREA, Ohio - For all the adulation and attention Johnny Manziel receives, he gets almost equal doses of negativity, some of it in the form of taunts and hard tackles.Since college hes been a marked man, and its no different in the NFL.Dont think that scares him.I welcome it, the Cleveland rookie quarterback said Friday.As he prepares for his first career start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, Manziel said he understands there are always going to be those out to get him.I accept that, and Ive been a guy thats had a lot of hate spewed towards me, he said following practice. And, obviously, we saw that at (Texas) A&M, but its part of it, and you just move on from that and do what I need to do.Manziels first experience as a pro with being targeted came during an Aug. 18 exhibition game against Washington. The Redskins taunted him to the point that Manziel flipped his middle finger toward Washingtons sideline, a gesture that was captured on national TV and wound up getting him a $12,000 fine.Manziel said he learned from the incident and hes now better equipped to handle any trash talking.Im in a different place now, he said. Its not like it was in preseason. I have to have a lot better control of everything. Im under a lot more control than I was then, and I know I have a lot better control of my emotions. I know I need to go out and be the leader of this team, and regardless if Im a rookie or not, go out and try to have fun and not get caught up in any other bull crap. Taylor Cole Jersey. Browns coach Mike Pettine plans to remind Manziel to keep his composure when the Browns (7-6) face the AFC North-leading Bengals (8-4-1).It wont be anything extravagant, Pettine said, just more of, Its one play at a time and focus on the job and dont get caught up in it. Youve got to be able to compartmentalize week to week, and youve got to be able to compartmentalize play to play. Theres going to be a lot on him.Im not going to overwhelm him, but at the same time, just know that we know hes going to make mistakes, and well have his back.The Bengals have already taken a swipe at Manziel as Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis called the 6-footer a midget this week. Lewis has since apologized several times, but his barb may be indicative of a general feeling about the hyped rookie around the rest of the league.Everybodys gunning for him, Pettine said. I guarantee everybody that sacks him is going to stand over him and make the money sign, Pettine said. That comes with it. But his best thing is not to get caught up in it. Hes got to go out and execute. And when a plays over, its over, and you have to move on to the next one.Hes no stranger to it. But thats the price that he has to pay for being who he is and what he brings with him, the reputation that he brings with him to the NFL.___AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
CHARLOTTE, N. Miami Marlins Gear .C. -- Carl Edwards said NASCAR is taking the wrong approach in its effort to draw more fans to the race track. If NASCAR really wants to create better competition and higher interest in the sport, Edwards said it needs to focus on changing the setup of the cars and not the championship format. NASCAR will announce its Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format on Thursday. It is expected to be to a 16-driver field whittled down through eliminations to four drivers and a winner-take-all season finale; it would be the fourth significant change to either the points or championship format since the Chase debuted in 2004. Edwards said drivers are already doing everything they can to win and the proposed changes that NASCAR chairman Brian France laid out two weeks ago wont change that. "I dont think you can take the top 15 guys in this sport and make them race any harder for wins. I dont think you can," Edwards said Tuesday. Its a sentiment shared by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski, who initially showed public support of the new format but is now reserving judgment until he sees exactly what NASCAR wants to do. France has been adamant he wants drivers to race at 100 per cent at all times and to value winning, and he preached most of last season that the frantic, door-banging battle to the checkered flag at California between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano is the kind of racing he wants to see. "From a drivers perspective, theres nothing left," Keselowski said Wednesday. "Theres no set of rules to make me race harder than I do." Keselowski passed on a chance to move Kyle Busch out of the lead at Watkins Glen last August in what could have been a last-ditch effort to win the race. That victory would have likely ensured Keselowski a spot in the Chase; instead, he failed to qualify and was unable to defend his championship. Keselowski also doesnt think any changes will hurt six-time champion Jimmie Johnson. "No matter what format you put out there, hes the favourite," Keselowski said. "Until thats not the case, I dont see how theres any format that could be wrote, unless its the slowest guy wins, and I dont think theyre going to do that." Edwards said taking away the downforce on cars and making the tires softer is a good place to start. He said it would go a long way toward increasing competitive racing at the front of the pack. "No matter what format we race under I cant just try harder and go up and race with the guy or pass him," Edwards said. "I think the thing we have to focus on as a sport is making sure the cars can race one another. ... Right now, if Im staring at the guy in the front window it doesnt matter if (Im racing) for a billion dollars and 10 championships -- if I cant catch him, I cant catch him." Its not necessarily that Edwards is against the format. But he said if Frances proposals -- with the emphasis on winning races to get into the Chase for the Championship -- come to fruition, it will change the way drivers approach the season. "Things will get really, really interesting around Richmond. That will be insane," Edwards said. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he wasnt excited about the proposed changes at first, but has begun to warm to the idea. "Lets change it all. Im all for it," Earnhardt said. "A lot of times we change things for the fans, and I think the drivers are going to enjoy some of this stuff as much as the fans are." Team owner Richard Petty said proposed changes are a "PR deal" by NASCAR designed to drum up more interest in the sport. He still thinks the best drivers will come out on top regardless of the format. "They just want to shake things up," Petty said. NASCAR is essentially borrowing a page from other major sports such as the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball where teams -- or in this case, drivers -- are eliminated from playoff contention while the season climaxes with one championship event at the end of the year. Earnhardt Jr. called it a "bold, aggressive" move by NASCAR. "When you look at other forms of sport, theres an elimination factor in the playoffs that we dont have," Earnhardt said. "We, as drivers, dont feel the intensity of an elimination factor being over our shoulders every race. I feel like weve had it easy in that regard where we just tally up points. Coming down to Homestead with four guys (racing for the championship), thats crazy -- but its exciting." However, driver Ryan Newman doesnt necessarily agree with the elimination-style system. "I dont think we can take everything the NFL or NBA is doing and say, We need to do it like this because theyre doing it like that and its working," Newman said. "This is still stock car racing. This is NASCAR. A certain per cent of change is good, but we do not need to copy the playoff system." Adam Conley Jersey . -- Michael Bennett gambled last off-season that playing on a one-year deal in Seattle would pay off in the future with the long-term contract he always wanted. Brian Anderson Jersey . 1-9 on TSN. With more than 65 hours of exclusive live coverage, TSN delivers all the action beginning with Draw 1 on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Top choice Odell Beckham Jr., and three other draft picks have signed with the New York Giants on Monday. That leaves only one unsigned player for the Giants from this months selections, defensive tackle Jay Bromley, taken in the third round. In addition to Beckham, a wide receiver drafted 12th overall, centre Weston Richburg (second round), linebacker Devon Kennard (fifth round) and cornerback Bennett Jackson (sixth round) signed with the team Monday. Beckham joins another LSU receiver, Rueben Randle, in New Yorks passing attack, which lost veteran Hakeem Nicks in free agency. Beckham set an LSU record with 2,315 all-purpose yards in 22013, completing his career with 15 touchdowns and 4,118 all-purpose yards, which ranks No. Jordan Holloway Jersey . 5 in school history. "He has great speed. Hes polished. He has great hands and played at the top level." Giants coach Tom Coughlin said when the team drafted Beckham. "Hes someone we could count on putting the ball in the end zone and we can also feature him in the kicking game as well." Richburg was a four-year starter at Colorado State who made 50 consecutive starts, a school record. He was first-team All-Mountain West in 2013. On Friday, the Giants signed fourth-round running back Andre Williams and fifth-round safety Nat Berhe. ' ' '