Devils fire head coach MacLean, bring back Lemaire

Devils fire head coach MacLean, bring back Lemaire

NEWARK, N.J. — Facing the prospect of missing the playoff for the first time since 1997, the New Jersey Devils fired rookie coach John MacLean on Thursday and brought back the firm hand of Jacques Lemaire to try to salvage the season.

The Devils have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL this season. New Jersey is tied with the New York Islanders for the fewest points in the league with 20 in 33 games (9-22-2). Their 59 goals also are the fewest.

Lamoriello made the decision two days after the Devils dropped a 5-1 decision to Washington for their third straight loss and eighth in nine games this month. The Devils have been outscored 15-3 in the last three games.

Taurasi tests positive for banned substance

NEW YORK — WNBA standout and former UConn star Diana Taurasi tested positive for a mild stimulant while playing in a pro league in Turkey, her lawyer told The Associated Press on Thursday night.

Howard Jacobs said Taurasi's "A" sample came back positive from a Turkish lab last week and she was provisionally suspended by the Turkish league she's playing in. She has already missed three games with her team, Fenerbahce.

Jacobs said the substance "was not a steroid or recreational drug," and that Taurasi has asked that her "B" sample be tested.

Taurasi led the WNBA in scoring for a league-record fourth straight year, getting 22.6 points per game. The five-time All-Star and two-time WNBA champion signed a multiyear contract extension with the Phoenix Mercury in August.

Jets' Ryan says QB Sanchez could be game-time call

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said Thursday that Mark Sanchez's sore shoulder is worse than he first thought, though he still expects the quarterback to start Sunday at Chicago. If not, 40-year-old Mark Brunell would be under center.

The Jets (10-4) will clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Bears (10-4) at Soldier Field.

Ryan would not confirm published reports that an MRI on Monday revealed a slight cartilage tear in Sanchez's shoulder, hurt during New York's second drive in last Sunday's 22-17 win at Pittsburgh. Sanchez finished the game, and played well through the injury. He was 19 of 29 for 170 yards and ran for a touchdown, snapping an eight-game interception streak.

Earlier in the week, Ryan said he was 99 percent sure Sanchez would play. He downgraded that number to 80 percent Thursday.

Sanchez was not available to the media because he talks on Wednesdays, but has said he's "playing, that's all there is to it."

RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks have placed defensive tackle Junior Siavii on injured reserve after he suffered a neck stinger last week against Atlanta.

Seattle made the move on Thursday and signed linebacker Joe Pawelek from the practice squad.

Siavii had become a vital part of Seattle's defensive line, playing both tackle and end. He had played in 14 games with six starts and posted a career-best 30 tackles.

Siavii was hurt in the fourth quarter last Sunday after a hard collision with Atlanta running back Michael Turner. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said earlier this week that the team was going monitor Siavii's injury very closely.

PHILADELPHIA — Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was introduced as Temple's 25th coach at a news conference Thursday.

The 51-year-old Addazio was hired to replace Al Golden following a 10-day search. Golden took the top job at Miami, but left behind a program in much better shape than he found it.

Temple went 3-31 in the three seasons before Golden arrived. The Owls went 1-11 in his first season, then won 26 games over the past four years.

Addazio is known as a top recruiter and motivator. During his coaching stints at Syracuse, Notre Dame and Indiana, he mostly coached offensive line and tight ends.

He was promoted to offensive coordinator at Florida in 2009, but this season he became the target of criticism by fans and media as the Gators slipped to 7-5 and ranked 80th in the nation in yards per game.

Compiled from wire reports