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WAMC Sports Report 5/23/24: Panthers beat Rangers 3-0 in Game 1 of Eastern Conference finals

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) reacts during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Eastern Conference Stanley Cup playoff finals against the Florida Panthers, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
Julia Nikhinson/AP
New York Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren (55) reacts during the third period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Eastern Conference Stanley Cup playoff finals against the Florida Panthers, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)


Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots for his first shutout of the postseason, Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist and the Florida Panthers beat the New York Rangers 3-0 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final. Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Bennett also scored. Bobrovsky, who had six shutouts during the regular season, had the second of his career in the playoffs. Igor Shesterkin finished with 24 saves for Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers. They lost for the third time in four games after opening the postseason with seven straight victories. Game 2 is Friday night at 8 in New York.

The New Jersey Devils have hired Sheldon Keefe as coach less than two weeks after he was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's the Devils' fifth coach since 2019 and third since March. They fired Lindy Ruff late in the season, replaced him on an interim basis with Travis Green and missed the playoffs anyway. Green left to coach the Ottawa Senators. This is Keefe's second head-coaching job in the NHL after spending the past four-plus seasons with Toronto. He'll now be tasked with trying to get New jersey back into the postseason.


The Celtics hold a one game lead in the Eastern Conference finals as they face the Pacers in game two tonight at 8 in Boston.         

Luka Doncic had 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Kyrie Irving scored 24 of his 30 points in the first half for the Mavericks. They trailed 102-98 after a 3-pointer by Anthony Edwards with 3:37 left before an 8-0 run the Wolves didn’t stop until a tip-in with 10.5 seconds to go. Jaden McDaniels had 24 points for the Wolves. Edwards was stifled for 19 points in a team effort from the Mavericks.

LeBron James is now the youngest and the oldest player to make an All-NBA team. And Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are now in position for huge raises in a few years. Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander were the only unanimous first-team selections on this season’s All-NBA team, which was revealed by the league on Wednesday night. They were joined on the first team by Doncic, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston’s Jayson Tatum. On the second team: New York’s Jalen Brunson, Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards, Phoenix’s Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and James’ teammate, Anthony Davis. The third team had James, Stephen Curry, Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis, Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.


Jewell Loyd scored 21 of her 32 points in the first half, Sami Whitcomb scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Storm held off rookie Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever 85-83. Loyd, last year’s leading scorer in the WNBA, shook off a sluggish start to the season to post the 22nd 30-point game of her career. Loyd and Whitcomb combined for 18 of Seattle’s 27 points in the fourth quarter. The Storm needed all those points to hold off a late rally and keep the Fever winless. Clark finished with 21 points two days after rolling her left ankle.


Juan Soto homered twice, Aaron Judge and Alex Verdugo also went deep and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 to stop their first two-game losing streak in three weeks. Nelson Cortes gritted through five scoreless innings for the Yankees, who improved to 3-0 when Judge and Soto both homer. The three homers by Soto and Judge were opposite-field drives off Bryce Miller. Soto had three RBIs with his second multihomer game of the homestand and 19th of his career. He has 13 homers and 40 RBIs, while Judge has 14 homers — 11 since late April — and 34 RBIs.

Johnathan Rodriguez singled home David Fry in the seventh inning for his first major league hit, driving in the go-ahead run for the Cleveland Guardians in a 6-3 victory over the New York Mets. Rodriguez, playing in his second game since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus two days earlier, slapped a grounder through the right side of the infield off Reed Garrett to snap a 3-all tie. The AL Central-leading Guardians, who trailed 3-0 going into the sixth, moved into a tie for the second-best record in the majors at 33-17. Cleveland extended its winning streak to a season-high six games.

Wilyer Abreu and Connor Wong both drove in two runs, Brayan Bello overcome a tough second to go six innings, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 to complete a three-game sweep. Boston swept the Rays on the road for the first time since April 19-21, 2019. The Red Sox had lost 15 of their previous 16 games at Tampa Bay entering the series. Boston star Rafael Devers had his 11-game hitting streak end after going 0 for 4. His team record of homering in six consecutive games was stopped on Tuesday night. José Caballero drove in a pair on a single during a three-run second for the Rays.

Edmundo Sosa hit Texas reliever Jonathan Hernández’s first pitch of the game into the right-field seats, a three-run homer that helped send the Philadelphia Phillies past the Rangers 11-4. The Phillies are off to the best 50-game start in franchise history. J.T. Realmuto extended his hitting streak Wednesday to 12 games with a home run and three RBIs and Alec Bohm added a two-RBI double in the sixth inning that made it 10-3 and gave him an NL-best 46 RBIs. The Phillies are 36-14 and just the 26th team in National League history to win at least 36 games over the first 50 played. Bryce Harper also homered.

Patrick Bailey hit the first of three RBI singles in a four-run 10th inning, and the San Francisco Giants rallied from a five run deficit for a 9-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. Bailey started with a single to right off Carmen Mlodzinski (0-1), scoring automatic runner Thairo Estrada, before Jorge Soler followed with one up the middle to bring in Matt Chapman. A sacrifice fly from Brett Wisely plated Bailey ahead of another RBI single from Luis Matos. Ryan Walker (4-2) struck out one in a perfect ninth for San Francisco.

Carlos Correa hit a solo home run and made a diving play to prevent a game-tying run, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Washington Nationals 3-2. Max Kepler also had a solo shot, doubled and scored a late run to win the game Wednesday and the series, which the Twins entered having lost seven in a row. Minnesota starter Simeon Woods allowed three hits and a walk over 4 and 2/3 scoreless innings. Steven Okert retired four straight batters for the first win of his career with the Twins. Jake Irvin allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Brendan Donovan doubled home two runs and scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles to complete a three-game sweep. The Orioles had gone 106 consecutive regular-season series without being swept, a span of more than two years. Earlier Wednesday, the Cardinals beat the Orioles 3-1 in the completion of a game that began Tuesday night and was suspended because of rain. Nolan Gorman homered and drove in all three runs for the Cardinals in that game, and Lance Lynn got the win by allowing one run in six innings Tuesday night.

Ryan McMahon hit a two-run home run in the 12th inning and the Colorado Rockies hung on to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3. Elias Díaz had three hits including a two-run home run, while Brendan Rogers and Hunter Goodman each added a pair of hits to help Colorado snap a four-game losing streak. Before the skid, the Rockies had won seven consecutive games for their longest streak in nearly five years. Nick Mears retired four batters for his first win. JJ Bleday homered for the A’s, who have lost 11 of 13.

Rookie Kyren Paris hit a two-run shot for his first major league home run and Tyler Anderson pitched eight strong innings to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros. The Angels took two of three games from the Astros to give them three straight road series wins in a single season for the first time since 2019. Anderson allowed six hits and one run Wednesday in his third consecutive win. Luis García struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Cole Ragans allowed one hit in six innings and Freddy Fermin drove in three runs as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3 for a series sweep. Ragans struck out a career-best 12 while holding the Tigers hitless until Riley Greene’s two-out single in the sixth. Tarik Skubal threw five innings, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The loss snapped Skubal’s 14-game unbeaten streak dating to Aug. 29 last year. The Royals have won six straight. The Tigers have lost four straight.

Bo Bichette homered and had three RBIs, Daulton Varsho reached base three times and drove in a pair, and the Toronto Blue Jays used a seven-run second inning to beat the Chicago White Sox 9-2 on Wednesday night. By taking two of three from Chicago, the Blue Jays won a series for the first time since taking two of three at San Diego from April 19 to 21. Chris Bassitt (4-6) allowed five hits in a season-high seven innings to win for the second time in three starts. The right-hander walked two and struck out four.

Jesús Luzardo threw eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball in his longest career start and the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 on Wednesday night. Jazz Chisholm Jr. homered for the only run of the game as the Marlins won their third consecutive series. Luzardo struck out four and retired 17 straight until Gary Sanchez’s one out single in the eighth. Tanner Scott got the first two outs in the ninth before William Contreras reached on an infield single. Scott retired Christian Yelich on a force out for his sixth save.

Luis Arraez went 4 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs and the San Diego Padres beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-3. He led off with his first homer of the season off Nick Martinez (1-3). It was his first home run since Sept. 16, 2023 when he also led off with a homer against Atlanta. Jeimer Candelario’s fifth home run of the season tied the score 1-1 in the first. That was the Reds’ only hit until Candelario singled with two outs in the sixth. San Diego scored four runs on five hits in the fifth. Michael King pitched 6 2/3 innings for his fourth win.

Max Fried struck out nine while throwing a three-hitter for his second complete game of the season, and the Atlanta Braves beat Justin Steele and the Chicago Cubs 9-2. Marcell Ozuna, Matt Olson and Adam Duvall homered for Atlanta, which had dropped five of six. The Braves went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position one night after they went 0 for 14 in those situations in a 10-inning loss in the series opener. Fried retired his first 15 batters before Ian Happ hit a leadoff double in the sixth. Happ and Dansby Swanson singled in the eighth for Chicago’s other two hits. Fried improved to 6-0 with a 1.18 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs.

Ryne Nelson threw five shutout innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0 for their first series win at Dodger Stadium since 2018. The Diamondbacks took the final two games from the Dodgers. Los Angeles was outscored 17-9 in the three-game set and has dropped two in a row for just the second time since April 21. Arizona got homers from Christian Walker and Ketel Marte. Tyler Glasnow took the loss for the Dodgers. He had his eighth wild pitch of the season. The Dodgers left at least one runner on through the first six innings of their 13th game in as many days. They were shut out for the third time this season.


Patrick Mahomes said Wednesday that while he doesn’t agree with all the beliefs espoused by kicker Harrison Butker during a recent commencement address, the Chiefs quarterback respects his teammate’s right to make them be known. Butker delivered what has become a polarizing speech May 11 at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where the three-time Super Bowl champion said most women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having children, and that some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.” Earlier in the day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell declined to expand on the NFL’s statement distancing the league from Butker's comments.

Peyton Manning says he has no desire to leave broadcasting with brother Eli and head to the executive suite of an NFL franchise. Manning says he gets his football fix doing the ManningCast broadcast of “Monday Night Football” games with his brother. Manning received an award Wednesday night honoring his work in the Denver community. Ahead of the event, he was asked if he would ever want to get into NFL ownership and he said he'd rather stick with his livecast with Eli that won its second Sports Emmy award this week


Atalanta has beaten previously unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the Europa League final. Atalanta winger Ademola Lookman was unstoppable and Bayer Leverkusen’s impossible dream of completing an entire season unbeaten with a hat trick of titles proved to be just that. Instead, Lookman was the hat trick hero with all three goals. It was a beating few saw coming for the new German champion whose European record unbeaten run stopped at 51 games. Lookman, the London-born Nigeria international, was ruthless punishing big errors by Leverkusen players. He scored twice in the first 26 minutes and again in the 75th.


The NCAA is moving toward a $2.8 billion settlement that could resolve three antitrust lawsuits, but whether a fourth is also part of the agreement remains uncertain. Attorneys in Fontenot v. the NCAA say they would like their case to stay where it is in Colorado and not be moved to a California court. The NCAA and five major college conferences asked a Colorado judge to combine the Fontenot case with another being heard in the Northern District of California. Meanwhile, the Big Ten became the latest conference to approve the proposed settlement of the House case and the NCAA Board of Governors signed off on the proposal, too.


TNT Sports will begin airing College Football Playoff games this upcoming season through a sublicense with ESPN. The five-year agreement announced Wednesday gives TNT two first-round games the first two years. Beginning in 2026, it expands to two first-round and two quarterfinals. ESPN’s $7.8 billion deal with the College Football Playoff, which was announced in March, allowed it to sublicense games to other networks. This will be the first season of the 12-team playoff. ESPN has carried the College Football Playoff since it started in the 2014 season. It replaced the Bowl Championship Series.


Worked was already underway on a complete renovation of the historic Colonial course the day after Emiliano Grillo won on the second playoff hole last May. While there are plenty of modern upgrades at “Hogan’s Alley,” a significant goal of the $20 million-plus project was to restore the old-school course to much of its original form. Colonial Country Club opened in 1936, five years before a U.S. Open was played there and 10 years before it began hosting what is now the longest-running PGA Tour event at the same venue. Renowned architect Gil Hanse oversaw the course renovation that was completed on time for the Charles Schwab Challenge this week. The first round is Thursday.

© 2024 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.