Sports Briefs 1/3/12

DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer Published:

PHILADELPHIA -- Alone in the cold, it was up to Henrik Lundqvist to preserve a Classic comeback.

His signature moment came with 19.6 seconds left after New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh was whistled for covering the puck in the crease. Flyers center Danny Briere streaked down the ice -- a replica of the Liberty Bell and bundled-up fans behind his back -- trying to send this one into overtime.

Lundqvist dropped to his knees on top of a chilly baseball field and stoned Briere with his pads when the center tried to sneak it through his legs.

This made-for-TV showcase had found its brightest star.

Lundqvist stopped 34 shots, Brad Richards scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Rangers rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the Winter Classic on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

• Football

Duo fired: Colts owner Jim Irsay fired team vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris, the Colts' general manager the day after the team finished a 2-14 season without Peyton Manning.

Irsay said there was a good chance coach Jim Caldwell will be back next season, but the new GM will have a say in the decision.

Rams send message: The St. Louis Rams fired coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney a day after the team wrapped up a 2-14 season that tied for the NFL's worst.

Bucs clean house: The Buccaneers fired Raheem Morris and his entire staff the day after the team finished 4-12.

Tampa Bay's 45-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the season finale extended the Buccaneers' losing streak to 10 games, the team's longest in the same season since 1977.

Mendenhall done: The Pittsburgh Steelers' potentially long road through the AFC playoffs won't include running back Rashard Mendenhall

A person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press that Mendenhall tore the ACL in his right knee in Sunday's 13-9 win in Cleveland and will require surgery, knocking him out of the postseason.

Time to pay up: Ohio Gov. John Kasich owes his counterpart in Florida some cookies after the pair made a wager on the Gator Bowl between Ohio State and Florida. The Gators beat the Buckeyes 24-17 on Monday.

A message on Kasich's Twitter account after the game said cookies from Ohio dessert maker Cheryl&Co. would be sent to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Shake up: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has shaken up his staff following the departures of running backs coach Tim Hinton and offensive line coach Ed Warinner.

Chuck Martin, who had been coaching the defensive backs, is the new offensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. He replaces Charley Molnar, who is the new head coach at Massachusetts.

The school also named defensive coordinator Bob Diaco an assistant head coach and promoted Scott Booker from intern to offensive assistant. Kerry Cooks is now co-defensive coordinator.

In the running: The agent for San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman says his client is a finalist to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State.

Mike Harrison told the AP by phone that Roman interviewed for the position in November and is on the "short list" to take over the embattled program, rocked in recent months by the sex-abuse scandal.

• Basketball

Orange stay put: Syracuse is No. 1 in The Associated Press' Top 25 for a fourth straight week and Pittsburgh is out of the poll for the first time since the middle of 2009-10.

North Carolina, Baylor and Duke all jumped two places to third through fifth. Ohio State dropped from second to sixth after losing at Indiana.

Ginobili injured: San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has broken his left hand against Minnesota and is out indefinitely. The Spurs say Ginobili will be examined by team doctors today in San Antonio.

A two-time All-Star, Ginobili was injured when he fouled Anthony Tolliver as he rose to shoot the ball late in the second quarter Monday night.

Good defense: Ben Gordon scored 26 points, and Detroit overcame some early foul trouble in an impressive defensive effort against Dwight Howard and Orlando for a 89-78 victory.

Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince scored 14 points apiece for the Pistons.

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