Thursday’s Sports In Brief

NFL

PITTSBURGH (AP) Dan Rooney, the powerful and popular Pittsburgh Steelers chairman whose name is attached to the NFL’s landmark initiative in minority hiring, died Thursday. He was 84.

The team announced his death but details were not immediately available.

Rooney took over operation of the team in the 1960s from his father, Art, who founded the franchise. From there, Dan Rooney oversaw NFL championships for a team that had never even played in a league title game. Over the decades he became one of the most powerful and innovative forces within the game, developing the Rooney Rule under which NFL teams are required to interview minority candidates for coaching and front-office positions. He was a key figure in labor negotiations and league expansion.

In 2000, Rooney was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining his father. Dan Rooney’s son, Art II, has been the Steelers president since 2003, with Dan Rooney becoming chairman.

NHL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Jakob Silfverberg scored the tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist in the Anaheim Ducks’ 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in their first-round playoff series opener.

Rickard Rakell scored the tying goal after Calgary made a horrendous line change in the second period, and John Gibson made 30 saves as the Ducks avoided a slow start to their latest Stanley Cup playoff campaign.

Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett scored and Brian Elliott stopped 38 shots for the wild-card Flames. Calgary is winless in Anaheim for the 28th straight time since April 25, 2006, when the Flames won a playoff game in a series won by the Ducks.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Toronto native Tom Wilson scored his first NHL playoff goal 5:15 into overtime and the Washington Capitals survived a scare to beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series.

The top-seeded Capitals came back from a two-goal deficit to take the early lead in the series and at least momentarily stop the panic about a slip-up. Justin Williams scored twice in regulation, Braden Holtby stopped 35 shots, and Washington showed it could handle the adversity of falling behind.

Frederik Andersen was arguably the best player on the ice with 41 saves before being beaten by Wilson with an absurd shot on the winner. Mitch Marner and Jake Gardiner scored in the first period for Toronto, back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

CHICAGO (AP) – Pekka Rinne made 29 saves, Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first period and Nashville beat Chicago 1-0 in Game 1.

Rinne’s second career postseason shutout sent Nashville to just its second playoff win in Chicago in seven tries. The Predators did not have a 1-0 victory during the regular season.

Corey Crawford had 19 saves for Chicago.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Kicked off the bus by the Florida Panthers in November, Gerard Gallant has packed his bags for Las Vegas to take over as the first coach of the NHL expansion Golden Knights.

General manager George McPhee cited Gallant’s experience and past success in announcing the hiring following what he called an extensive search of candidates.

Gallant joins the Golden Knights some five months after being unceremoniously fired by the Panthers immediately following a 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes at Carolina. Gallant’s luggage was removed from the team bus outside the arena and he eventually had to take a taxi while the Panthers left him behind to continue their road trip to Chicago.

NBA

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The Orlando Magic have fired general manager Rob Hennigan, saying it was time to go in a different direction after missing the postseason for five straight seasons.

At 30, Hennigan was the youngest general manager in the NBA when he was hired by the Magic in June 2012. But the Magic never won enough under Hennigan’s direction, missing the postseason all five years of his tenure and posting a 132-278 (.322) record – the second-worst in the NBA over the five seasons and the worst five-year stretch in team history. The Magic finished this season 29-53 after entering the year with expectations of breaking through to the postseason under first-year coach Frank Vogel.

Magic assistant general manager Matt Lloyd was named the interim GM while the team searches for Hennigan’s replacement. Magic CEO Alex Martins said Lloyd would also be a candidate for the permanent job, but said an exhaustive search for Hennigan’s replacement is in the works.

BASEBALL

MIAMI (AP) – The New York Mets’ winning streak grew a lot longer.

Travis d’Arnaud led off the 16th inning with a home run, giving him a career-high four hits, and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 9-8 for their fifth consecutive victory.

D’Arnaud also had a bases-loaded triple in the second inning, and teammate Yoenis Cespedes had his second multihomer game in three nights. The game was the longest in the five-year history of Marlins Park, took more than 5 1/2 hours and ended well past midnight.

Mets starter Robert Gsellman allowed a career-high eight runs in 4 2/3 innings, but seven relievers combined to throw 10 1/3 scoreless innings.

WNBA

NEW YORK (AP) – Kelsey Plum went first in the WNBA draft. Then, South Carolina took over.

Plum was taken No. 1 by the San Antonio Stars. The Washington guard finished her college career with an NCAA-record 3,527 points. The Stars had the worst record last season and held the top pick for the first time in franchise history.

Chicago drafted Alaina Coates with the second pick. The South Carolina star, the first of three Gamecocks selected in the first round, injured her right ankle in the SEC Tournament and didn’t play in the team’s run to the national championship. Coates said she had surgery on the ankle a few weeks ago and doesn’t know how long she’ll be out. She hopes to be able to play this season.

Dallas took Kentucky forward Evelyn Akhator with the third pick, and the Wings came back with South Carolina’s Allisha Gray with the fourth choice. Kaela Davis was taken by the Wings at No. 10, meaning the two Gamecocks who had both transferred into South Carolina together and skipped their last year to play in college will be together in Dallas.