Leading playoff scorer Nikita Kucherov is expected to miss the entire regular season because of a hip injury that requires surgery, a blow to the Tampa Bay Lightning that comes with a silver lining for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Kucherov won’t be available for the 56-game season that’s scheduled to run from Jan. 13 through May 8. General Manager Julien BriseBois is optimistic that the 27-year-old will be back for the playoffs and said Kucherov’s absence will allow the Lightning long-term salary relief, allowing them to be cap compliant without having to cut or trade any of their other key players under contract.

• The New Jersey Devils have re-signed their No. 1 goalie, restricted free agent Mackenzie Blackwood, to a three-year, $8.4 million contract.

Blackwood posted a 22-14-8 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and three shutouts last season.


MLB: The Boston Red Sox signed right-hander Matt Andriese to a $2.1 million, one-year deal.

Andriese, 31, made one start and 15 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Angels in 2020, posting a 4.50 ERA.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle agreed to a $4.75 million, two-year deal, according to a person familiar with the contract.

Kahnle threw just one inning for the New York Yankees in 2020 before having season-ending Tommy John surgery in August, and the 31-year-old is unlikely to pitch in 2021.


ENGLAND: Edinson Cavani got away with grabbing an opponent’s throat, then scored a go-ahead goal in the 88th minute as Manchester United beat Everton 2-0 in a League Cup quarterfinal, setting up a semifinal against fierce rival Manchester City.

Had VAR been in operation, Cavani probably wouldn’t have been on the field to score the winning goal. Earlier in the second half, the Uruguayan striker was seen putting his right hand around the throat of Everton defender Yerry Mina and throwing the Colombian to the ground following a tussle between the South Americans. The incident apparently wasn’t spotted by match officials, who were unable to review it.

The other semifinal will be second-tier Brentford at Tottenham, which advanced with a 3-1 win over Stoke.

ITALY: Theo Hernandez’s stoppage-time winner gave league-leading AC Milan a 3-2 victory over Lazio.

Milan maintained a one-point advantage over city rival Inter Milan, which won 2-1 at Hellas Verona.


BAN OVERTURNED: The World Anti-Doping Agency says a Swiss court has overturned an eight-year doping ban against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang and ordered the case back to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a second time, but with a different chairman of the judges.

In February, CAS found the three-time Olympic champion guilty of refusing to cooperate with sample collectors during a visit to his home in September 2018 that turned confrontational. WADA brought the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after world swimming governing body FINA had issued Yang with only a warning.

At stake in a second CAS hearing would be Yang’s chance to compete at the pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics now set for July 2021.

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