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Sports Report: NHL Playoffs Start Tonight


The surging Pittsburgh Penguins hope the third time is the charm as they prepare to face the New York Rangers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs beginning today. The Rangers have knocked Sidney Crosby and the Penguins out of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. They face off at 8 p.m. Pittsburgh enters the postseason as the hottest team in the NHL, going 14-2 down the stretch to leapfrog New York in the Metropolitan Division and earn home ice. Meanwhile Detroit will take on Tampa Bay at 7 p.m. Chicago sees St. Louis at 9:30 p.m.

The Ottawa Senators are in the market for a new head coach after firing Dave Cameron. The Senators faded in March and finished 38-35-9 to miss the Eastern Conference playoffs. Cameron was 70-50-17 after replacing Paul MacLean in December 2014.


In the NBA, Indiana beat New York 102-90, Miami bested Detroit 99-93, Toronto blasted PHiladlephia 122-98, San Antonio beat Oklahoma City in overtime 102-98, and it was the Clippers over Memphis 110-84.

The Boston Celtics face the Miami Heat tonight in a must-win game for the fifth-placed C's that likely will determine their postseason fate. A victory over the fourth-placed Heat could help decide whether they clinch home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

Stephen Curry never figured the Chicago Bulls' 72-win mark could be matched or broken. Twenty years later, the reigning MVP and his defending champion Golden State Warriors are on the brink of doing just that and making yet more history this season.


In baseball, in the American League, the Baltimore Orioles have extended their longest season-opening winning streak since the franchise moved from St. Louis 62 years ago. The Birds are 7-0 after a 9-5 victory over the Red Sox in Boston, the Yankees edged Toronto 3-2, Baltimore topped Boston 9-5, Tampa Bay won against Cleveland 5-1, Kansas City slid past Houston 3-2, the Angels edged Oakland 5-4, and it was Texas over Seattle 8-0.In the National League, Miami beat the Mets 2-1, San Francisco bested Colorado 7-2, Philadelphia blanked San Diego 3-0, Washington edged Atlanta 2-1, and it was Arizona over the Dodgers 4-2.

In interleague play, Detroit beat Pittsburgh 8-2.

Yankees reliever Nick Rumbelow has a torn elbow ligament and needs Tommy John surgery that will sideline him until next year. New York says the 24-year-old right-hander was injured on Sunday while pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Rochester. He will undergo surgery on Friday in New York.


Police say former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith had a loaded gun inside his vehicle when he was shot to death last weekend. Police also say they found a loaded revolver inside the vehicle of Cardell Hayes, the man accused of shooting Smith. However, police added that there was no evidence to suggest either of those weapons was fired during the shooting Saturday night, and that Hayes shot Smith with a different handgun.

The NFL has denied Josh Gordon's application for reinstatement, although a league spokesman confirmed that the suspended Browns receiver can apply again at a future date. A league-administered drug test collected in March showed Gordon had traces of marijuana and a diluting substance in his system. The level of marijuana was less than the minimum required by the NFL for a positive test.

LeGarrette Blount's second stint with the New England Patriots will continue. The Patriots have re-signed the 29-year-old veteran, extending a tenure that began in 2013 and resumed in 2014 following a brief stop in Pittsburgh that year. The Patriots also have announced the signings of free agent defensive back Justin Coleman and safety Brandon King.


The Buffalo Bills continued adding free-agent depth on defense by signing linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and safety Colt Anderson.

The 32-year-old Alexander has nine years of NFL experience after spending last season in Oakland. He can play outside linebacker and special teams, where he earned a Pro Bowl selection with Washington in 2012. Overall, he has nine sacks and three forced fumbles in 127 career games.

The Bills need depth at linebacker after failing to re-sign Nigel Bradham and Ty Powell, and after backup A.J. Tarpley retired last week because of concussion concerns. Anderson is a sixth-year player, who spent the past two seasons in Indianapolis. Anderson spent his first four years in Philadelphia and also has special teams experience.


The NCAA has announced an eight-year, $8.8 billion extension of its March Madness deal with CBS Sports and Turner through 2032. The new deal retains the existing format for TV, with early-round games aired across CBS and three Turner networks. The Final Four will keep alternating between CBS and Turner.


Steve Stricker has been selected as the American captain for the 2017 Presidents Cup matches. Stricker played on five Presidents Cup teams and had a 14-10 record while playing on nothing but victorious teams. He will go up against Nick Price, who will be International captain for the third straight time.

The International team has not won since 1998, though it was one putt away from a victory last October in South Korea. The 2017 matches will be during the last week in September on the Liberty National course that has views of the Manhattan skyline.

©2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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