Sports

In Brief: Kings rule in season opener, top Ducks in London

LONDON -- The NHL opened its season on the banks of the River Thames, and as far as the Los Angeles Kings were concerned, this was hockey country.

"I love London," said Kings center Mike Cammalleri, who scored two power-play goals Saturday in a 4-1 victory over the defending champion Anaheim Ducks. "It was good to us tonight."

This was the fourth time the NHL has begun its season outside North America, with the other three in Japan (1997, 1998 and 2000).

The teams will play the second game of their series today.

"It felt like a North American hockey crowd," Cammalleri said. "There wasn't much difference -- a couple of waves, like soccer, which was fun to watch."

The trip to the O2 Arena, however, was a little different from the usual drive along the congested freeways of Southern California.

"I don't remember taking a boat up a river to get to the game very often," said Kings defenseman Rob Blake, another goal scorer. "But that was our format tonight." ...

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 20 shots in his final regular-season tuneup and the host Sharks finished the exhibition season without a regulation loss, beating Calgary 2-1. San Jose opens the regular season Thursday at Edmonton.

Boxing

Kelly Pavlik knocked out Jermain Taylor in the seventh round to win the world middleweight title in Atlantic City, N.J.

Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs) remained undefeated, while Taylor (27-1-1) suffered his first loss. ...

Chad Dawson remained unbeaten and successfully defended his WBC light heavyweight title by knocking out Epifanio Mendoza in the fourth round in Sacramento.

Tennis

Venus Williams advanced to the final at the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul by defeating Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-2. The top-seeded Williams will face fourth-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia in today's final. Kirilenko defeated fifth-seeded Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 7-5, 6-0.

Basketball

The United States is one win away from qualifying for the 2008 Olympics. Rebekkah Brunson scored 20 points and the Americans routed Argentina 104-53 in Valdivia, Chile, to advance to the gold medal game at the FIBA Americas tournament. The U.S. will play Cuba, which upset Brazil 69-67.

Lacrosse

Duke University President Richard Brodhead apologized for not better supporting the men's lacrosse team and their families after three players were falsely accused in last year's highly publicized rape scandal.

Brodhead, speaking at the university's law school, said he regretted Duke's "failure to reach out" in a "time of extraordinary peril" after a woman accused three players of raping her at a March 2006 party thrown by the team.

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