Officials from the NHL and the players union met over the weekend for the first time in more than two weeks, spurring hope of a meaningful push toward a settlement of the seven-week-old lockout.

Bill Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner, and Steve Fehr, the union's special counsel, met from early Saturday afternoon until about 1 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location.

"We had a good, frank discussion on the most important issues," Daly said in a statement Sunday. "We plan to meet again early in the week."

In response to Daly, Fehr said, "Hopefully we can continue the dialogue, expand the group and make steady progress."

The sides met a day after the NHL canceled the Jan. 1 Winter Classic. The league had already canceled all games scheduled for October and November, amounting to 26.5 percent of the season.

The union had sought to reopen bargaining since Oct. 18, when commissioner Gary Bettman rejected three union proposals. The main point of contention is how existing contracts will be honored once the players' split of overall revenue is reduced to 50 percent, from 57.

MLS

Adam Moffat and Will Bruin both scored to give host Houston a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The second leg is Wednesday in Kansas City. Moffat scored in the 18th minute, and Bruin in the 75th. Kansas City is the conference's top seed.


Advertisement

Tennis

David Ferrer beat qualifier Jerzy Janowicz 6-4, 6-3 in the Paris Masters final his ATP Tour-leading seventh title of the year. Ferrer converted his first match point when Janowicz's two-handed backhand was wide.

  • The Czech Republic won its second straight Fed Cup when Lucie Safarova routed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-1 in Prague. Safarova's win gave the Czechs an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Jankovic was slowed by a back injury.

  • Nadia Petrova beat Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-1 to win the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria. The event featured the six highest-ranked players who have won a title in 2012 but didn't qualify for the WTA Championships.

  • Serena Williams beat sister Venus 6-3, 6-4 in an exhibition in Johannesburg. Serena, the current Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Olympic champion, lost in straight sets to Venus in Nigeria on Friday.

  • Andy Murray will open the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals on Monday against Tomas Berdych, with Novak Djokovic facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the night match in London. On Tuesday, Roger Federer will face Janko Tipsarevic before Ferrer faces Juan Martin del Potro. Djokovic already has clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking.

    Winter sports

    Heather Richardson won the 1,500 meters to complete a sweep of all five races at the U.S. Long Track Speedskating Championships in West Allis, Wis. Her time of 1 minute, 55.26 seconds broke the Pettit National Ice Center record. She also won both 500s, the 1,000 and 3,000 in the three-day event.

    Cycling

    Australian sportswear company Skins is suing cycling's governing body for $2 million, claiming its brand has been damaged by backing the sport as the Lance Armstrong doping scandal unraveled. Skins has backed cycling teams for five years.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.