Stumbling Canadiens give Martin ax
Jacques Martin was fired as coach of the Canadiens yesterday, with the storied team undone by sloppy play and in last place in the Northeast Division. Assistant Randy Cunneyworth was appointed interim coach for the rest of the season. Larry Carriere, the assistant general manager, was made an assistant coach. Martin was in his third season with Montreal and 17th in the NHL. He earned his 600th victory last April and is the ninth-winningest coach in league history with 613. Martin, 59, joined the Canadiens in 2009-10 and took them on an improbable run to the Eastern Conference finals. Montreal also made the playoffs last season but was eliminated in the first round by the Bruins . . . The Los Angeles Times reported that Darryl Sutter agreed to coach the Kings and will take over Tuesday. The newspaper, citing a source familiar with the situation, reported that Sutter signed a contract a few days ago but needed to wrap up family matters and receive immigration clearance. The Kings fired Terry Murray last Monday and replaced him on an interim basis with John Stevens.
Penguins place Crosby on injured list
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, out since Dec. 5 because of a recurrence of concussion-like symptoms, was placed on the injured list. Crosby has already been out the required time for someone on the injured list, so he could be activated at any time. He missed his fifth straight game yesterday when Pittsburgh hosted Buffalo. The Penguins also placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (concussion) on the injured list, and recalled forward Jason Williams and former Boston College defenseman Carl Sneep from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL . . . The Senators acquired forward Kyle Turris from the Coyotes for defenseman David Rundblad and a second-round draft pick. Turris, 22, drafted third overall in 2007, was involved in a contract dispute this season and missed games before signing a $2.6 million, two-year deal Nov. 22.
Thompson wins Dubai Ladies Masters
American teenager Lexi Thompson shot a 5-under-par 67 to win the Dubai Ladies Masters in the United Arab Emirates and become the youngest professional winner on the Ladies European Tour. Thompson, 16, pulled away from Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa to win by four strokes for her second professional victory. In September, she became the youngest winner of an LPGA tournament at the Navistar Classic in Alabama. Pace (69) started strong with two birdies and an eagle on her first six holes, but shaky putting on the back nine ended her chances. Sophie Gustafson of Sweden (71) was a shot behind Pace in third place, followed by four players another shot back . . . Masters champion Charl Schwartzel shot a second straight 6-under 66 to move four strokes behind Lee Westwood at the Thailand Golf Championship in Bangkok. Westwood led by 11 strokes at the halfway stage after going bogey-free on the opening two days, but a 73 in the third round allowed Schwartzel to cut into the deficit. Westwood’s total of 197 for three rounds left him at 19 under . . . Geoff Ogilvy shot an 8-under 63 for a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Australian Masters in Melbourne. Ogilvy had a 13-under 200 total. Ian Poulter, the leader after each of the first two rounds, was second after a 69.
Pistons sign Stuckey to three-year deal
The Pistons signed Rodney Stuckey to a contract, bringing the restricted free agent back to Detroit. A person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press Stuckey’s contract is worth $25 million over three years. Stuckey, 25, averaged a team-high 15.5 points in 2010-11 . . . The Kings claimed veteran forward Travis Outlaw, who was waived by the Nets under the league’s new amnesty provision . . . The Rockets signed second-round pick Chandler Parsons to a four-year, $3.7 million contract.
Villa scheduled for surgery tomorrow
Star Barcelona striker David Villa will have surgery on his broken left shin bone tomorrow and will be sidelined 4-5 months . . . Former Austrian national team midfielder Andreas Herzog will become assistant to United States soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Herzog and Klinsmann were teammates at Bayern Munich when it won the UEFA Cup in 1996 . . . Police say the stolen 1985 Super Bowl ring of Chicago Bears wide receiver Willie Gault was recovered from a downtown Los Angeles jewelry store. Gault’s ring from the Bears’ victory over the Patriots, along with a wedding ring and five stolen watches were found Thursday. The jewelry was stolen in a Nov. 8 home burglary. The store owner was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property. Police also recovered a 1983 Washington Redskins’ Super Bowl ring and are looking for the owner . . . The Minnesota Vikings signed center John Sullivan to a five-year contract extension . . . Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) staked his claim as the top 168-pound division boxer, defeating Carl Froch in a unanimous decision at the Super Six super middleweight final in Atlantic City . . . Outside hitter Rachael Kidder had 20 kills and UCLA beat Illinois in the NCAA women’s volleyball championship in San Antonio to give the Bruins their first title in two decades . . . Behind tournament MVP Rose Bernheim, the Norwich women’s rugby team won the national sevens title in College Station, Texas, with a 34-5 win over Boston College . . . Two-time Olympic gold medalists Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil won their second straight title in the Star keelboat class at the world sailing championships in Perth, Australia