#SportsReport: Rangers Dump Davidson, Gorton; Yankees Top Astros
The New York Rangers have stunningly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton with three games left in the season. The dismissals come after Davidson and Gorton assembled an excellent collection of young talent that makes the team's future look very promising. The news also comes less than 24 hours after the team ripped the league for fining but not suspending Washington's Tom Wilson for his role in a scrum Monday night that injured Rangers star Artemi Panarin. It was not immediately clear if the front office shakeup had any connection to the criticism of the league.
In the NHL last night, the Caps rode TJ Oshie's hat trick to a 4-2 victory over the Rangers. Oshie's first two goals came with Pavel Buchnevich in the penalty box, two days after Buchnevich was crosschecked in the back by Wilson. Wednesday's game had six fights in the first period, commencing with a center-ice brawl right off the opening faceoff. Wilson was involved in a fight in the opening minute and received a 10-minute misconduct later in the period. The outcome puts the Capitals in a first-place tie with Pittsburgh in the East Division. The Caps have three games remaining, one more than the Penguins.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
Erik Brannstrom had three assists, Shane Pinto scored his first NHL goal and the Senators stalled the Canadiens' playoff charge with a 5-1 win. The Canadiens entered the game looking for their first four-game winning streak of the season after reeling off three straight come-from-behind victories. Brady Tkachuk, Nick Paul, Connor Brown and Alex Formenton also scored for the Senators, who improved to 8-2-1 over their past 11 games.
Alex Pietrangelo scored 1:53 into overtime to send the Golden Knights past the Wild, 3-2. Reilly Smith furnished the tying score late in the third after Kirill Kaprizov scored two goals in a 2:10 span midway through the period for the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots for the West-leading Knights, who are five points ahead of the third-place Wild.
The Avalanche are four points off the West Division lead after wasting a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 loss to the Sharks. Tomas Hertl had two goals and an assist in his 500th career NHL game. Erik Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal and Evander Kane added three assists.
Troy Terry provided the shootout winner in the Ducks' 3-2 victory over the Blues. Haydn Fleury and Max Jones scored in regulation for Anaheim, and Anthony Stolarz made 25 saves before stopping all three St. Louis shootout attempts. Mike Hoffman and Kyle Clifford tallied for the Blues.
Defenseman Erik Cernak had a goal and two assists in the Lightning's sixth win in seven games, 6-2 over the Stars. Brayden Point and Alex Killorn each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which pulled into a tie with the Panthers for second place in the Central Division. The Stars remained alive for the fourth and final spot in the Central Division after Nashville's loss in Columbus.
The Predators failed to wrap up a playoff berth as Mikhail Grigorenko scored the go-ahead goal in the third period of the Blue Jackets' 4-2 victory against Nashville. Oliver Bjorkstrand had two goals, including an empty-netter with less than a second remaining, and Jack Roslovic also scored for the Blue Jackets, who stopped a two-game skid and won for just the second time in 12 games.
Adam Lowry and Blake Wheeler each scored twice and the Jets claimed their fourth straight playoff berth with a 4-0 shutout of the Flames. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for his third shutout of the season, helping Winnipeg stop a seven-game losing streak. Wheeler collected his 800th career point, Mark Scheifele reached the 500-point plateau and Paul Maurice picked up his 300th win as Jets coach.
Anze Kopitar collected his 1,000th career point by getting an assist in the Kings' 4-2 victory against the Coyotes. Gabriel Vilardi scored twice to help Los Angeles eliminate Arizona from playoff contention.
In other NHL news:
Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has received a two-game suspension for boarding Penguins defenseman Mark Friedman during Pittsburgh's 7-3 victory on Tuesday.
The Devils have signed goaltender Nico Daws to a three-year, entry-level contract starting in the 2021-22 season. He was the team's third-round pick in the 2020 draft.
The Celtics rolled to a 132-96 win over the Magic as Kemba Walker tied a season high with 32 points in his return from a four-game injury absence. Jayson Tatum shook off a slow start and finished with 27 points for Boston, which beat Orlando for a sixth straight time over the past two seasons. Evan Fournier had 18 points in his first game back in Orlando since being traded by the Magic.
In other NBA action:
The Philadelphia 76ers have extended their winning streak and expanded their lead in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid had 34 points in just 25 minutes as the Sixers whipped the Rockets, 135-115. Embiid also had 12 rebounds and made 14 of 16 free throws to help the 76ers move two games ahead of second-place Brooklyn in the conference race. Shake Milton provided 19 points off the bench, helping Philadelphia win the season series from Houston for the first time in 10 years.
Jrue Holiday scored 29 points and the Bucks withstood a triple-double from Russell Westbrook in defeating the Wizards, 135-134. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 before fouling out with 1:54 left in the Bucks' fourth straight win. Westbrook had 29 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 179th career triple-double, two shy of Oscar Robertson's all-time record.
Nikola Jokic pumped in 24 of his 32 points in a dominant first quarter and finished with 12 rebounds in the Nuggets' 10th victory in 12 games, 113-97. Denver led by as much as 31 and moved back into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in the West. Austin Rivers scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter against his former team.
Clint Capela scored 18 points and the Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter of a 135-103 pounding of the Suns. Atlanta led 97-88 before scoring the first 14 points of the final period. Devin Booker dropped in 30 points for Phoenix, which fell one game behind West-leading Utah.
Jordan Clarkson furnished 30 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 as the Jazz clobbered the Spurs, 126-94. Bogdanovic is averaging 25.8 points over his last five games after shooting 10 of 13 versus San Antonio, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The Jazz shot 55.7% and led by as many as 41 points before improving to 3-0 on their five-game road trip.
The Trail Blazers posted their highest point total of the season in a 141-105 thumping of the Cavaliers. Damian Lillard scored 16 points in the first quarter and 14 points in the third before finishing with 32 and nine assists. Enes Kanter had 18 points and 13 rebounds as Portland finished 5-1 on its six-game road trip.
Ja Morant contributed 37 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies in a 139-135 win over the Timberwolves. Desmond Bane scored 22 points off the bench, including a few key 3-pointers late. Kyle Anderson added 20 points for Memphis.
Marvin Bagley III kept the Kings' slim playoff hopes alive with a breakthrough game by scoring a season-high 31 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the a 104-93 decision over the Pacers. Delon Wright added 23 points as Sacramento won its fourth straight, all on the road.
The Major League Baseball season is barely a month old, and there already have been three no-hitters thrown, four if you include Madison Bumgarner's seven-inning gem. Baltimore Orioles ace John Means has authored the third while facing the minimum 27 batters in a 6-0 shutout of the Mariners in Seattle. The Mariners' only baserunner reached first by striking out on a wild pitch that got away from catcher Pedro Severino, but the runner was thrown out at second. Means struck out 12 and threw 79 of his 113 pitches for strikes. Means lowered his ERA to 1.37 and became the first individual Orioles pitcher to toss a no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969. Trey Mancini provided the big blow with a three-run shot off reliever Aaron Fletcher in the eighth inning.
Also on Wednesday's major league schedule:
The Yankees picked up their fifth straight win as Giancarlo Stanton homered and collected four RBIs in a 6-3 downing of the Astros. Stanton finished 3-for-4 with a walk and has 17 hits in his last six games, raising his batting average from .205 to .314.
The Cardinals ran their winning streak to six games as Paul DeJong smacked a two-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt added a solo shot off Marcus Stroman, powering St. Louis to a 4-1 win over the Mets in Game 1 of a doubleheader. New York was held to two hits after hitting coach Chili Davis was fired and replaced by Hugh Quattlebaum. The Mets gained a split of the twinbill as Tomás Nido socked a two-run homer and Jonathan Villar added a solo shot and an RBI single in a 7-2 verdict over the Redbirds. Winning pitcher Jordan Yamamoto gave up one run and four hits in 2 2/3 innings following his recall from Triple-A Syracuse.
Jeimer Candelario belted a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the 10th inning before the Tigers hung on for a 6-5 win over the Red Sox. Jonathan Schoop led off the 10th with a single and scored on Canderio's third homer of the season.
Teoscar Hernández hit a tiebreaking RBI single while the Blue Jays scored five in the eighth to beat the Athletics, 9-4. Hernández and Randal Grichuk each delivered a pair of RBI singles.
Didi Gregorius launched his eighth career grand slam as the Phillies beat the Brewers, 5-4 for their third straight win. Enyel De Los Santos left two runners stranded to end the eighth before José Alvarado notched the save.
Marcell Ozuna clubbed the Braves' third grand slam in four games to carry them to a 5-3 win over the Nationals. Max Fried allowed one run and four hits, over five innings to lower his ERA from 11.45 to 8.44.
Brandon Lowe cracked a three-run homer and the Rays were able to overcome five scoreless innings from Shohei Ohtani by rallying for a 3-1 victory over the Angels. Lowe went deep to center off Junior Guerra in the seventh after Brett Phillips led off the inning with a walk and Willy Adames flared a single to left.
The Indians pulled out a 5-4 win over the Royals on Josh Naylor's leadoff homer in the ninth. Kansas City led 4-0 in the sixth until Eddie Rosario laced a two-run double to left-center.
Hyeon-Jong Yang made his first major league start after 14 years in the Korea Baseball Organization, getting the Rangers off to a strong start in an eventual 3-1 win against the Twins. Yang struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced and eight overall in 3 1/3 innings.
Jesse Winker's walk-off single in the 10th inning gave the Reds a 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Starters Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel each allowed just two hits over seven scoreless innings.
Anthony Rizzo capped a two-run 11th inning with an RBI single that allowed the Cubs to complete a three-game sweep of the Dodgers, 6-5. Max Muncy homered in the fourth inning, hit an RBI double in the 10th and scored in the 11th before Los Angeles lost for the 11th time in 14 games.
Jon Gray poked an RBI single while allowing two runs and four hits over six innings of the Rockies' 6-5 win against the Giants. Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia delivered two-run singles while Colorado put together a six-run fourth to take a 6-2 lead.
Jake Cronenworth provided a go-ahead, two-run single in the sixth inning as the Padres won the rubber match of their series with the Pirates, 4-2. Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his big league-leading 11th save in 11 chances.
Adam Duvall crushed a three-run homer and had four RBIs while the Marlins allowed just five hits in an 8-0 rout of the Diamondbacks. Miguel Rojas was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and three runs scored for Miami.
In MLB news:
The Yankees and Mets can increase capacity from 20% to 100% at their ballparks for home games starting May 19 provided fans are vaccinated against COVID-19. Both teams will be giving away free tickets along with vaccinations. Sections for unvaccinated ticket holders will be capped at 33%. The Blue Jays will go back to playing home games in Buffalo next month, and they'll have a limited number of fans in attendance. Forced from Canada by that government's coronavirus travel restrictions, the Blue Jays will be back at Sahlen Field, the regular home of the Blue Jays' Triple-A farm team.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom could return to the mound on Sunday against Arizona at Citi Field. DeGrom first felt soreness in a back muscle after his previous outing against Boston on April 28 and was scratched from a scheduled start against St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Yankees second baseman Rougned Odor has been put on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left knee. Odor was hurt Tuesday night when his knee slammed into Houston catcher Martín Maldonado's head as he scored in the sixth inning of New York's 7-3 win.
The Indians placed catcher Roberto Pérez on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right ring finger. The two-time Gold Glove winner had been playing with the injury, which he sustained when he got crossed up on a pitch by reliever James Karinchak in Chicago on April 13.
Cubs reliever Pedro Strop has opted for free agency after spending most of the season at Chicago's alternate site. The 35-year-old Strop was a key member of the Cubs' bullpen from 2013 to 2019 before signing with Cincinnati prior to the 2020 season.
The Dallas Cowboys have released defensive tackle Antwaun Woods less than a week after drafting two potential replacements. Dallas drafted a pair of defensive tackles in UCLA's Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna of Kentucky. Woods' release won't cost anything against the salary cap.
Also, the Lions have signed tight end Darren Fells, giving the team another veteran at the position to go with Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson. Fells has 123 catches with 1,483 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns in 102 NFL games.
The Champions League final has become an all-Premier League matchup. Chelsea has earned the right to take on Manchester City by defeating Real Madrid on a 3-1 aggregate. Timo Werner and Mason Mount did the scoring in Chelsea's 2-0 victory on Wednesday.
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