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     === News Summaries from The Sports Network - Saturday, December 27 ===
          === Browns suspend Josh Gordon for violating team rules ===
 Berea,  OH ( - Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is
 suspended again.
 Gordon, who missed the first 10 games of the season for violating the league's
 substance  abuse  policy, has now  been suspended  by the Browns for violating
 team rules.
 The  23-year-old  Gordon was placed  on the reserve/suspended list. The Browns
 activated  wide  receiver Phil Bates from  the practice squad to take Gordon's
 Gordon  led the NFL with 1,646 yards last season and made the Pro Bowl for the
 first time. He caught 24 passes for 303 yards in five games this season.
 According  to, Gordon and Johnny Manziel (on IR) were both absent from
 Cleveland's  walkthrough  on Saturday  in  preparation  for Sunday's  regular-
 season finale against Baltimore.
                === Bills' Dareus and Gilmore to miss season finale ===
 Orchard   Park,  NY  (  -  Buffalo  Bills  defensive  tackle
 Marcell Dareus and cornerback Stephon Gilmore were downgraded from doubtful to
 out on the team's injury report for Sunday's Week 17 game at New England.
 Dareus,  named  to his  second  consecutive  Pro  Bowl  earlier in  the  week,
 sustained a knee injury in the Bills' Week 16 loss at Oakland. The 25-year-old
 Alabama product finished the regular season with a career-high 10 sacks.
 Gilmore,  24,  sustained a concussion against  Oakland. In 14 games, the South
 Carolina product intercepted a career-high three passes.
 The  Bills were  eliminated from  playoff contention  with their  loss to  the
 Raiders,  but  a win Sunday  would give them  their first winning record since
 they went 9-7 in 2004.
                     === Chargers place P Scifres on IR ===
 San  Diego, CA ( - The San Diego Chargers placed punter Mike
 Scifres on injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.
 Scifres is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured clavicle. He suffered
 the injury in the second quarter of the Chargers' 23-14 loss to New England on
 Dec. 7, when the Patriots' Brandon Bolden ran into him while blocking a punt.
 Scifres  was sent  spinning into  the air  and then  landed hard  on his  left
 The Chargers signed Mat McBriar to replace Scifres while he rehabilitated from
 the injury.
 Center Jeff Baca was promoted from the practice squad to take Scifres' spot on
 the active roster.
 San Diego can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Kansas City on Sunday.
       === Devils GM Lamoriello returns to bench with Oates, Stevens ===
 Newark,  NJ (  - Devils  president and  general manager  Lou
 Lamoriello  has  come up with  a "unique" solution  to fix the team's coaching
 After  firing head  coach  Peter  DeBoer on  Friday,  Lamoriello announced  on
 Saturday that he will join Scott Stevens and Adam Oates behind the bench.
 Oates  will  have full control  of the forwards,  while Stevens will have full
 control  over the  defensemen. Neither Oates nor Stevens was given an official
 "It's  certainly been  a very interesting last 48 hours," said Lamoriello, who
 will  go behind the bench for an unspecified period of time. "The decision was
 made  to go forward. I tried to come up with, in my opinion, what was the best
 way  to get our team to do certain things and get the most out of personnel we
 New Jersey lost to the New York Rangers, 3-1, at Madison Square Garden on
 Lamoriello  said that  it would be unfair to  ask one person to come in and be
 the head coach for the rest of the season.
 Assistant coach Dave Barr was dismissed.
 This marks the third time Lamoriello has been behind the bench for New Jersey,
 all  of them  coming  after he  fired  a  coach in-season.  He  has posted  an
 impressive  34-14-5  regular season record in  two brief stints dating back to
 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.
 DeBoer  led the Devils  to a 12-17-7 start. He was in his fourth season as New
 Jersey's coach.
 The Devils were 114-93-41 under DeBoer. DeBoer's best season in New Jersey was
 his  first  as he guided the  team to a  48-28-6 record in 2011-12. The Devils
 represented  the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, but lost to the
 Los Angeles Kings in six games.
 Oates  and  Stevens are both in  the Hockey Hall  of Fame as players, with the
 latter  man known best for time spent as captain of the Devils from 1992 until
 his  retirement  following the  2003-04 season.  He helped  lead New Jersey to
 three Stanley Cup titles during that time.
 Both  Oates and Stevens previously served as assistant coaches for the Devils.
 Oates  was on DeBoer's  staff when the club reached the 2012 Cup Finals before
 leaving  to become the  head coach of the Washington Capitals. He was fired by
 the Capitals last spring after two seasons with the club.
 Stevens  served  as an assistant under  DeBoer in 2013-14 before stepping down
 prior to this season.
                      === Islanders place Halak on IR ===
 Uniondale,  NY (  - The New York Islanders placed goaltender
 Jaroslav Halak on injured reserve Saturday.
 The move is retroactive to Dec. 20.
 Halak  has  a lower-body injury, according  to Newsday. Halak is 18-6-0 with a
 2.24  goals-against average  and .919 save percentage in 24 games this season,
 his first with the Islanders.
 New  York recalled  goaltender Kevin  Poulin from  Bridgeport of  the American
 Hockey League on an emergency basis.
                     === Blue Jackets activate Hartnell ===
 Columbus, OH ( - The Columbus Blue Jackets activated forward
 Scott Hartnell from injured reserve on Saturday.
 Hartnell missed the past five games due to a broken finger suffered on Dec. 11
 at  Washington. He  has six goals and  11 assists in 28 games this season, his
 first with the Blue Jackets following a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers.
 The  Blue  Jackets also  recalled goaltender Anton  Forsberg from the American
 Hockey  League's  Springfield Falcons  and  assigned  center Sean  Collins  to
        === Distinctiv Passion takes inaugural Midnight Lute Stakes ===
 Arcadia,  CA  ( - Distinctiv  Passion, ridden by Mike Smith,
 led  the  entire way in  winning Saturday's  inaugural running of the $100,000
 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita.
 Trained  by Jeff  Bonde, Distinctiv Passion broke sharply from the far outside
 post  for the 6 1/2-furlong sprint, formerly the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes at
 Hollywood Park.
 Distinctiv  Passion, the 6-1 second choice in the seven-horse field, continued
 to  set the  pace with moderate pressure  from 28-1 longshot Heir of Storm and
 3-10 favorite Secret Circle, the 2013 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner.
 "I  was just  trying to get along with  him," Smith said. "The way to keep him
 going  turning for home is to get along with him on the backside. If you can't
 do  that, they won't finish for you. I wanted to keep him happy and I was in a
 great post to do that."
 Owned  by  Edward J. Brown,  Jr., Alan  Klein, and Phillip Lebherz, Distinctiv
 Passion  was  never seriously challenged down  the stretch and posted a 1 3/4-
 length victory over Heir of Storm.
 "Down the lane he was able to hold them off. I was running on fumes by the end
 but you're supposed to when you go that fast," the Hall of Fame jockey said.
 Finishing  third was  Appealing Tale followed by Secret Circle, second in this
 year's  Breeders'  Cup Sprint, Seeking  the Sherif, Bahamian Squall and Bolita
 The time for the Midnight Lute was 1:14.55 on a fast track.
 "I  was happy he drew outside," Bonde noted. "Historically, I've never trained
 a horse that's quicker up the backside. He wants to lock on the bridle like an
 alligator,  and over the  last six months in the mornings, he started to relax
 and then kick and run late.
 "I  was hoping it  transferred to the afternoon. Today's the first time I ever
 saw him sit and then kick and run, so he is learning, finally."
 Distinctiv  Passion recorded  his second straight win and pocketed $60,000 for
 the  effort. The  colt has  earned  $336,180 with  six wins  from 13  lifetime
 The  4-year-old's 2014 season closes with just three starts, two of which were
 wins  and  a second.  He won  an allowance  race on  Nov. 14  at Del Mar after
 finally returning to the races on Sept. 20 with a second to Seeking the Sherif
 in the Katella Stakes at Los Alamitos.
 As a 3-year-old, Distinctiv Passion won the San Pedro and Green Flash Handicap
 and was third in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship after setting most of the
 Distinctiv Passion  returned  $15.60,  $9.00 and  $10.00.  Heir of Storm  paid
 $22.20 and $22.40, and Appealing Tale paid $22.40 to show.
 12/28 01:01:59 ET

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