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WAMC Sports Report 4/12/23: Bruins top NHL season points mark, beating Capitals 5-2

Brad Marchand and Tyler Bertuzzi had power play goals and the Boston Bruins broke the NHL points record with a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night in their regular-season home finale. Under chants of “We want the Cup!” the Bruins’ won their seventh straight to push their points total to 133, one more than the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. Those Canadiens played in an era without overtime and shootouts. The Bruins broke the mark a game after setting the NHL victory’ record with 63 on Sunday at Philadelphia, breaking a tie with the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tomas Tatar had two goals and an assist and the New Jersey Devils clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs and ended Buffalo’s postseason hopes with a 6-2 victory over the Sabres on Tuesday night. Jack Hughes scored a late empty-net goal for his 97th point, breaking the franchise record of 96 set by Patrik Elias in 2000-2001. Jesper Boqvist, Jonas Siegenthaler and Miles Wood also scored as the Devils got big games from their role players in tying their franchise record with their 51st win. Vitek Vanecek made 36 saves. Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson scored for the Sabres.

Garnet Hathaway and Jake DeBrusk also scored for Boston on Tuesday night in win No. 64.

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid could again be the unanimous choice for the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP. He could also win the Ted Lindsay Award voted on by his peers. San Jose's Erik Karlsson is the favorite for another Norris Trophy honor as the best defenseman. The Boston Bruins could sweep the Vezina for best goaltender with Linus Ullmark, Selke for best defensive forward with Patrice Bergeron and Jack Adams for coach of the year with Jim Montgomery.

Buddy Robinson and Andres Athanasiou scored 26 seconds apart in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff chances a significant blow in a 5-2 win. Pittsburgh began the night needing wins in its last two games over Chicago and Columbus to extend the longest active playoff streak in major North American professional sports to 17. Instead, Petr Mrazek made 38 saves for the Blackhawks to stun the Penguins in their home finale. Florida clinched a playoff spot with Pittsburgh's loss.


LeBron James had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers claimed the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a grueling 108-102 overtime victory over the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA’s play-in tournament. Dennis Schröder scored 21 points and iced the win with two free throws with 8.4 seconds left for the The Lakers, who will face second-seeded Memphis in the first round starting Sunday. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points and Mike Conley hit three free throws with 0.1 seconds left in regulation to tie it for the Wolves, who will host New Orleans or Oklahoma City on Friday for the eighth spot.

Trae Young scored 25 points, Clint Capela grabbed 21 rebounds and the Atlanta Hawks grabbed the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Miami Heat 116-105 in a play-in tournament game last night. Dejounte Murray scored 18 for the Hawks, who avenged a five-game Round 1 loss to Miami last season and earned an East first-round matchup with Boston that will start Saturday. Kyle Lowry scored 33 points for the Heat, who will play host to either Toronto or Chicago on Friday to decide the No. 8 seed and a spot against top overall seed Milwaukee in Round 1.

All-Star forward Zion Williamson says he won’t return to the New Orleans Pelicans’ lineup until he’s confident his body will respond well to the way he wants to play. Williamson says he's fine physically after working three months to recover from a right hamstring injury. But he stresses that he doesn't want to return for high-stakes postseason games until he feels "like Zion." Williamson says going through a setback in his recovery in February has caused him to feel hesitant now when he tries to execute certain moves on the court.


Gerrit Cole didn’t let Cleveland’s fast start rattle him before pitching seven strong innings and Franchy Cordero hit a three-run homer, powering the New York Yankees to an 11-2 win over the Guardians. Cole gave up two runs and three hits in the first inning before locking in and improving to 5-0 against Cleveland over the past two seasons. He beat the Guardians twice in last year’s AL Division Series. Cordero’s homer in New York’s five-run third off Hunter Gaddis gave Cole a big cushion and helped the Yankees even the series after dropping the opener. Yankees star Aaron Judge extended his on-base streak to 44 games, the second longest in the majors since 2019.

Max Scherzer shut down the San Diego Padres for five innings, rebounding from his postseason flop against them last year, and the New York Mets won 5-0 in a playoff rematch between National League heavyweights. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor each laced a two-run double as the Mets finally beat Yu Darvish for the first time. Eduardo Escobar added a sacrifice fly, and four relievers finished a two-hitter in the opener of a three-game series matching two of baseball’s three biggest payrolls. A clean single by Ha-Seong Kim off Scherzer with one out in the fifth was San Diego’s only hit until the ninth. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out six and walked three in a 97-pitch outing.

The Tampa Bay Rays ran their season-opening win streak to 11 games, using another homer from Brandon Lowe and a strong performance by Shane McClanahan to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2. Yandy Díaz and Lowe hit back-to-back solo shots with two out in the fifth inning. Lowe extended his homer streak to four straight games. Isaac Paredes and Josh Lowe also connected for the Rays, and McClanahan struck out nine while pitching five-plus innings of one-run ball.

The streaking Tampa Bay Rays are running out of superlatives to describe baseball’s best start in more than three decades. Remarkable, incredible and unbelievable are words players have used to describe the dominant, all-around team effort that has carried them to an 11-0 record that is the toast of the big leagues two weeks into the season. The Rays have made the playoffs each of the past four years and expected to be good. But no one could have envisioned them joining the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers, 1982 Atlanta Braves, 1981 Oakland Athletics, 1966 Cleveland Indians, 1962 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers as the only clubs to begin seasons with double-digit win streaks.

Rookie Ji-Hwan Bae hit a game-ending three-run homer in the ninth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Houston Astros 7-4. Pittsburgh led 4-2 entering the ninth, but Houston’s Chas McCormick hit a tying one-out, two-run double off closer David Bednar, who blew his first save opportunity in five chances. Rodolfo Castro led off the bottom of the ninth with a single against Ryan Pressly and pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen singled with one out before Bae drove a 2-2 changeup 403 feet to right-center for his second career homer and first walk-off hit. Ji-Man Choi and Jack Suwinski also homered for the Pirates, who have won six of eight.


PGA Tour and LIV Golf players were part of the year's first major and it turned out to be a Masters just like any other. Ultimately Jon Rahm winning was more relevant than where players made their living. It was an example that majors should strive to have the best fields without regard to which tour a player belongs. But it's all about the world ranking at the moment. And after this year, the path to the majors will become increasingly difficult for players who chose to join LIV Golf. They would do well to play their best at majors.


The Big Ten is hiring former MLB executive Tony Petitti to be its next commissioner. That's according to a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized. An announcement is expected by the conference by the end of the week. Petitti replaces Kevin Warren, who is leaving to become president of the Chicago Bears. Petitti continues a trend of recent hires to lead the top conferences coming from outside college sports — like Warren, who came from the Minnesota Vikings in 2019.


Manchester City took a huge step toward a third straight Champions League semifinals after a 3-0 win against Bayern Munich. Goals from Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland put City in control of the quarterfinals matchup after the first leg at Etihad Stadium. Bayern had gone into the game with a 100 percent record in this season’s competition and having beaten Inter Milan, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. But under new coach Thomas Tuchel the German giant had no answer in the face of City’s attacking power. City was beaten in the final of 2021 by a Chelsea team managed by Tuchel. It was knocked out by Real Madrid in the semifinals last season.


Saying she is ready to share the “unfathomable” experience of being arrested and incarcerated in Russia, basketball star Brittney Griner is working on a memoir that is scheduled for spring 2024. Griner was arrested last year at the airport in Moscow on drug-related charges and detained for nearly 10 months, much of that time in prison. Her plight unfolded at the same time Russia invaded Ukraine and further heightened tensions between Russia and the U.S., ending only after she was freed in exchange for the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Griner’s memoir is currently untitled and will eventually be published in a young adult edition. Financial terms were not disclosed.

© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.