The Boston Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup final for the third time in nine seasons after completing a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes. Tuukka Rask picked up his seventh career postseason shutout by making 24 saves in the Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Hurricanes in Raleigh.
It was the second straight series-clinching shutout for Rask, who allowed just five goals against the Hurricanes. Patrice Bergeron scored twice, David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter. Both Bergeron and Pastrnak scored on second-period power plays. Curtis McElhinney made 19 saves for the Hurricanes, who were swept just one series after sweeping the Islanders. Boston will face either San Jose or St. Louis in the final, with the Bruins owning home-ice advantage.
In NHL news, Dallas Stars defenseman Esa Lindell has signed a six-year, $34.8 million contract. Lindell had a plus-14 rating and a team-high 161 blocked shots during the regular season. A third-round pick by the Stars in the 2012 draft, Lindell has 24 goals and 53 assists with 412 blocked shots in 239 games. The 6-foot-3 Finn was a restricted free agent.
The Golden State Warriors are two wins away from their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals following a big second-half comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors took a two-games-to-none lead in the Western Conference finals by turning a 15-point, halftime deficit into a 114-111 victory over the Blazers. Klay Thompson provided 13 of his 24 points while Golden State outscored Portland, 39-24 in the third quarter. But the Warriors didn’t take the lead for good until Kevon Looney's dunk made it 112-111 in the final minute. Stephen Curry reached the 30-point plateau for the fourth straight game, finishing with 37. Curry also had eight rebounds and eight assists, while Draymond Green chipped in 16 points, 10 boards and seven assists. Portland scored just 46 points after building a 65-50 halftime lead. Blazers guard Damian Lillard had a team-high 23 points but had a potential game-tying 3-pointer blocked by Andre Iguodala. CJ McCollum finished with 22 points for the Trail Blazers, who host Game 3 on Saturday. The Warriors played their third straight game without All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who will also miss Games 3 and 4 in Portland as he continues his recovery from a strained right calf. The team says he was re-evaluated before Thursday’s game and will be re-examined in another week.
The Nationals blew a 4-0 lead before Gerrardo Parra belted a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the fifth inning of a 7-6 victory over the Mets. Sean Doolittle gave up a pair of ninth-inning runs before striking out Keon Broxton with the bases loaded to end the game. Washington won two of three against the Mets for its first series win since April 16-18 against San Francisco.
Christian Yelich continues to demonstrate that his MVP season last year wasn’t a fluke. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder crushed his major league-leading 17th and 18th home runs while going 3-for-5 with three runs scored in a 11-3 laugher over the Phillies in Philadelphia. Yelich opened the scoring with a first-inning drive and added an eighth-inning solo shot to raise his season average to .342. Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas also went deep as the Brewers won their third in a row after losing the series opener against the NL East-leading Phillies. Zach Davies improved to 5-0 by limiting the Phils to one earned run and four hits over six innings.
Elsewhere around the majors, Eugenio Suarez singled home the go-ahead run during a fifth-inning downpour and added another RBI single in the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Cubs. Chicago led 2-0 until Jose Peraza smacked a solo homer to spark the Reds’ three-run fifth. Winning pitcher Luis Castillo allowed two runs and two hits over 5 1/3 innings as Cincinnati beat the Cubs for the second straight night.
Austin Riley went 3 for 4 and drove in a run in his second big league game as the Braves hammered the Cardinals, 10-2. Riley also scored twice one day after homering in his debut. Julio Teheran was reached for just two hits over five-plus shutout innings to help Atlanta win for the fifth time in six games.
Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning of the Padres’ 4-3 victory over the Pirates. Franmil Reyes also homered, connecting off San Diegan Trevor Williams an inning before the Pirates starter left with discomfort in his right side. San Diego set a major league record by going 8,020 games without a no-hitter since the team’s inception.
The Indians outslugged the Orioles, 14-7 as Jason Kipnis homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs. Kipnis hit a solo shot in the first and a three-run homer in the fourth before getting two RBIs on an unusual fielder's choice in a five-run seventh. A.J. Cole picked up the win in relief of Trevor Bauer, who trailed 5-1 in the third inning and allowed seven runs for the second consecutive start.
C.J. Cron and Byron Buxton homered in a seven-run fourth and Michael Pineda pitched the Twins past the Mariners, 11-6. The Twins hit four home runs to extend their streak to 11 straight games with a long ball. Minnesota has won three straight and eight of 11.
Rougned Odor smacked two of the Rangers’ five home runs in a 16-1 thrashing of the Royals in Kansas City. Willie Calhoun, Joey Gallo and Hunter Pence also went deep for a Rangers lineup that prompted Royals manager Ned Yost to use utility man Chris Owings on the mound the last two innings. Lance Lynn worked seven innings to help Texas get its first road series win in nine tries dating to last September in San Diego.
Jurickson Profar hit his first career grand slam and the Athletics routed Detroit, 17-3 for their 13th straight victory over the Tigers. Josh Phegley had four hits, including one of Oakland’s five home runs in their ninth straight win at Comerica Park. Mark Canha, Matt Olson and Marcus Semien also homered for Oakland.
Yolmer Sanchez scored the tiebreaking run on Ryan Cordell's suicide squeeze in the eighth inning before the White Sox completed their fourth win in five games, 4-2 over the Blue Jays. Reliever Derek Law grabbed the bunt and threw to catcher Danny Jansen, but Sanchez slid under the tag to give Cordell his second RBI of the game. Alex Colomé tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save in nine chances, completing a two-hitter.
In MLB news, Nationals starter Aníbal Sánchez will be placed on the injured list after leaving Thursday's game against the New York Mets in the second inning due to hamstring soreness. After delivering ball four to Brandon Nimmo with one out, Sánchez walked to the rear of the mound. Manager Dave Martinez and the trainer came out and Sánchez soon departed. Martinez says Sanchez will undergo an MRI on Friday.
A person with knowledge of the situation says the Rockies are expected to call up top prospect Brendan Rodgers for a weekend series in Philadelphia. Rodgers was hitting .356 with nine homers and 21 RBIs in 35 games this season with Triple-A Albuquerque.
The Rays have acquired journeyman catcher Erik Kratz in a trade with the Giants, two days after he was designated for assignment. The 38-year-old Kratz hit .125 in 32 at-bats over 15 games for the Giants.
Reliever Addison Reed has been designated for assignment by the Twins following a rocky start to his rehabilitation assignment. He’s coming back from a sprained thumb on his non-throwing hand that set him back in spring training. The 30-year-old right-hander is getting $8.5 million the second season of a $16.75 million, two-year contract.
The Mariners have recalled outfielder Mallex Smith after a couple of weeks with Triple-A Tacoma to work on his approach at the plate. Seattle optioned infielder Shed Long back to Tacoma to make room for Smith, who was sent to the minors on April 30.
The Cubs activated backup catcher Victor Caratini off the injury list for the final game of their series against the Reds. Caratini started at first base, filling in while Anthony Rizzo got another day to recover from a stiff back.
Brooks Koepka managed to grab the spotlight from playing partner Tiger Woods while conquering notorious Bethpage Black Thursday. Koepka has a one-stroke lead over Danny Lee through one round of the PGA Championship. Koepka delivered a 7-under 63, making him the first player in 101 years of the PGA Championship to shoot that score twice. He broke the course record at Bethpage Black and became the first player to post 63 at a major in consecutive years. Koepka is the defending champion and is seeking his fourth major championship.
Woods opened with a pair of double bogeys on the back nine and ruined a torrid start to the front nine with a pair of three-putt bogeys. He signed off on a 72 after carding even par or better in his previous 12 rounds in majors. Lee birdied his last two holes for a 64. He made eight birdies in his round despite failing to get any on the par 5s. Tommy Fleetwood is three shots back and one ahead of five others. Pat Perez, Chez Reavie and Luke List are at minus-2, as are Sung Kang and Mike Lorenzo-Vera.
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, worth $3.095 million. Anderson led the Jets last season with 50 receptions, 752 yards receiving and six touchdown catches.
The Patriots have signed the free-agent linebacker Jamie Collins and released defensive lineman Frank Herron. The 29-year-old Collins was a second-round draft pick by New England in 2013. He appeared in 50 games over four seasons for the Patriots before being traded to the Browns in 2016.
Arizona Cardinals All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson has been suspended for the first six games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. The NFL did not specify which illegal substance Peterson allegedly used. Peterson can participate in all offseason workouts and preseason games. He will be eligible to return Oct. 14, before Arizona's game against the New York Giants.
Outside linebacker Nate Orchard has signed with the Dolphins, his fifth team since he came into the NFL in 2015. Miami also signed guard Kyle Fuller, who played in nine games for Houston in 2017, and center Tony Adams.
Maximum Security jockey Luis Saez has appealed his 15-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. He says the stewards' penalty for failing to control the horse in the Kentucky Derby is "unduly harsh and not supportable by facts and law." The rider also seeks to stay his suspension pending appeal to fulfill riding commitments. Maximum Security was first across the line at the Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4 before stewards disqualified the colt to 17th for impeding the paths of several horses.
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