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St. Louis Blues’ Pavel Buchnevich suspended two games for headbutting incident

Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich is escorted off the ice by linesman Mark Shewchyk in the first period Monday night.Christian Petersen/Getty

St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich was suspended two games Tuesday for headbutting Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse. Buchnevich, who was thrown out Monday night late in the first period of St. Louis’s 7-4 win for the headbutt, will miss games at Vegas on Wednesday and home against Los Angeles on Saturday. The suspension costs Buchnevich $141,463 because he is a repeat offender. He was suspended one game for high-sticking last season while with the Rangers. This is the 26-year-old’s first season with St. Louis after being traded from New York in July. Buchnevich has a goal and an assist in two games.

Jets’ Wheeler tests positive for COVID-19

Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler will be sidelined for at least four games following a positive COVID test.JASON FRANSON/Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler will miss at least four games while sidelined with COVID-19. The Jets said before their game at Minnesota that Wheeler was symptomatic after testing positive for the virus. According to NHL rules, Wheeler must isolate from the team for at least 10 days and get a doctor’s approval to return once symptoms are gone. Wheeler was placed in COVID-19 protocols Monday. The Jets host Anaheim on Thursday and Nashville on Saturday before playing at Anaheim on Oct. 26. Wheeler had one assist in Winnipeg’s first two games. No other positive tests were reported by the Jets. All of their players are vaccinated … Hall of Fame winger Mike Bossy, who helped the Islanders win four straight Stanley Cups (1980-83), disclosed he’s been diagnosed with lung cancer. Bossy, a Montreal native, revealed the news in a letter to TVA Sports, the French-language network where he works as a hockey analyst. He will take leave while undergoing treatment. Bossy, 64, had 573 goals and 1,126 points over 10 seasons with the Islanders … Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon cleared coronavirus protocols and made his season debut, picking up an assist in a 6-3 loss at the Capitals. MacKinnon tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Colorado defenseman Jack Johnson returned after missing a game following a positive test … Golden Knights forward Mark Stone won’t need surgery but it’s unclear when he’ll return from a lower-body injury sustained Oct. 14 against the Kings.


South Carolina women top AP hoops poll

Coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina are No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll. It’s the second straight season the Gamecocks are the preseason favorite. The Gamecocks received 14 of the 29 first-place votes from a national media panel. UConn is second with 10 first-place ballots. It’s the 15th consecutive season the Huskies are among the top five teams in the preseason. Defending national champion Stanford is third, getting the other five first-place votes. Maryland and North Carolina State round out the top five … UConn sophomore Paige Bueckers was the unanimous preseason choice by Big East coaches for the player of the year. Her team, to no surprise, was the unilateral pick to win the conference. Geno Auriemma’s squad, which rejoined the conference last season, has won 20 regular-season titles and 19 conference tournaments … Fairfield women’s coach Joe Frager will retire after this season, his 24th overall and 15th at Fairfield, citing health reasons. He enters the season with a career record of 429-267, including 240-184 at Fairfield. He was 189-83 at Southern Connecticut and was named the Division 2 national coach of the year in 2007 … South Carolina sophomore starting quarterback Luke Doty needs surgery on his injured foot and will miss the rest of the season.



Messi lifts Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring PSG's third goal during his Champions League soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig Tuesday.Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Lionel Messi scored twice in quick succession to rescue Paris Saint-Germain as it rallied at home to beat Leipzig, 3-2, in Group A of the Champions League. Messi tied it in the 67th minute, poking home from close range after goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi tipped his first shot onto the post. Kylian Mbappe scored in the 9th minute and drew the penalty for Messi’s winner in the 74th minute. Also in Group A, Manchester City routed Club Brugge, 5-1, in Belgium, behind two goals from Riyad Mahrez. PSG is atop Group A with 7 points, 1 more than Manchester City … Mohamed Salah became the first player in Liverpool’s 129-year history to score in nine straight games, striking twice as his squad took advantage of Antoine Griezmann’s red card to beat host Atlético Madrid, 3-2, in Group B. Griezmann scored twice but was sent off with a straight red card early in the second half. Liverpool capitalized with Salah scoring the winner on a penalty kick in the 78th minute. Liverpool leads Group B with 9 points, 5 more than Atlético. Porto, which beat AC Milan, 1-0, at home, also has 4 points.


Could European teams quit FIFA?

More than a dozen European nations are considering the option of last resort in the fight to prevent biennial World Cups: quitting FIFA, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. Plans to double the frequency of World Cups were pitched by FIFA President Gianni Infantino on a private call with many leaders from the 55 European member associations that are resisting the transformation of the global game. European soccer body UEFA has heard from more than a dozen federations contemplating informing FIFA of their intention to withdraw their membership of the global governing body, people with knowledge of the situation told the AP. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential talks. Leaving FIFA would not affect any UEFA member’s national or club teams playing in European competitions. Any country quitting FIFA could have the backing of UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who has dangled the prospect of Europe boycotting a World Cup if Infantino pushes through a radical overhaul of the calendar of national-team games. FIFA’s proposal foresees a tournament in every off-season, rather than one edition each of a World Cup and European Championship in the current four-year cycle … Almost a third of English Premier League players have yet to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and about 20% have yet to receive a first dose. The first vaccination data from the league shows its players are below the national average. Government statistics show 79% of people over the age of 12 in Britain have been fully vaccinated. Only 68% of players are fully vaccinated and 81% have received at least one dose, the league said.



Halep starts off strong

Simona Halep was impressive in her straight-set win Tuesday.Oleg Nikishin/Getty

Simona Halep started her campaign at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova despite losing her serve three times and next plays Veronika Kudermetova, who beat 18-year-old qualifier Oksana Selekhmeteva, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. Halep hasn’t won more than three straight matches since returning in August from a three-month layoff with a calf injury that kept her out of the French Open and Wimbledon … The Phoenix Mercury were fined $10,000 by the WNBA for violating the league’s rules on postgame media interview access following Game 4 of the WNBA Finals. Phoenix players — including stars Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, and Skylar Diggins-Smith — didn’t do interviews after Chicago’s series-clinching 80-74 win Sunday. The $10,000 fine is the biggest in league history for a media infraction.