#SportsReport: Islanders Oust Penguins; Knicks Down Hawks
The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders have advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Vegas Golden Knights failed to close out their series. The Islanders earned a 5-3 win over the Penguins in Game 6, their first series-clinching victory at Nassau Coliseum since 1993. Brock Nelson had two goals and an assist for the Isles, who took the last three games after falling behind 2-1 in the series. Nelson and Ryan Pulock scored 13 seconds apart to put the Islanders ahead, 4-3 in the second period. Ilya Sorokin turned back 34 shots in his fourth win of the series. Anthony Beauvillier added a goal and two assists for the Islanders. Next up for New York is the Boston Bruins.
Andrei Vasilevskiy wrapped up a series with a Game 6 shutout for the second straight time, stopping 29 shots in the Lightning's 4-0 victory over the Panthers. Vasilevskiy also shut out the Dallas Stars last year to win the Stanley Cup. Steven Stamkos, Pat Maroon and Brayden Point scored against rookie Spencer Knight before Alex Killorn added an empty-netter with 1:42 left. Knight finished with 20 saves for Florida, which hasn't won a playoff series since the 1996 Eastern Conference finals.
Cam Talbot had his second shutout of the series and the Wild staved off elimination for the second straight game with a 3-0 victory over Vegas. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist in the third period to break open a scoreless game. Ryan Hartman scored first and Nick Bjugstad tacked on the last goal in support of Talbot, who made 23 stops. The series moves back to Las Vegas for the decisive Game 7 on Friday, with the winner taking on the Avalanche.
In NHL news, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said any racist comments directed to First Nation defenseman Ethan Bear are "totally unacceptable" and "disgusting." Bear's girlfriend posted on social media that the defenseman "received numerous racist messages and comments" in the aftermath of the Oilers' four-game series loss to Winnipeg in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Knicks have knotted their first-round series at a game apiece by rallying for a 101-92 victory over the Hawks. Derrick Rose scored 26 points for New York, which trailed by 13 at halftime before Julius Randle got hot. Randle shot 0-for-6 in the opening half but scored 11 of his 15 points in the third quarter to help the Knicks pull ahead. Reggie Bullock made four 3-pointers in the second half and also had 15 points as the Knicks guaranteed there will be at least one more home game in their surprising season. Trae Young scored 30 points for Atlanta, which hosts Game 3 on Friday.
The Philadelphia 76ers had little trouble with the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The 76ers are up 2-0 in their opening-round series after clobbering the Wizards, 120-95. Ben Simmons had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, one game after becoming the sixth player in league history to record 15 boards and 15 assists. Joel Embiid also had 22 points, and Tobias Harris added 19. Wizards guard Russell Westbrook left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury after colliding with Furkan Korkmaz. Westbrook finished with 10 points and 11 assists. Bradley Beal had a game-high 33 points for Washington, which hosts Game 3 on Saturday.
The NBA's other No. 1 seed was able to gain a split of its first two games. Donovan Mitchell gave the Jazz a boost with 25 points in a 141-129 victory against the Grizzlies. Mitchell did it in just 26 minutes after missing Utah's previous 17 games with a sprained ankle. He scored 12 points with three 3s in his first eight minutes. Mike Conley had 20 points and a career-best 15 assists, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points. Ja Morant set a Memphis postseason record with 47 points. Morant became the first player to score as many as 71 points in his first two career playoff games since the NBL merged with the BAA to create the NBA before the 1949-50 season. Game 3 is Saturday in Memphis.
Jackie Young scored a career-high 27 points, A’ja Wilson had 16 points and nine rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Phoenix Mercury 85-79 on Wednesday night. Phoenix played its first game since guard Diana Taurasi fractured her sternum. She's expected to miss at least four weeks. Brittant Griner led the Mercury with 27 points and 11 rebounds, and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Rafael Devers homered and drove in three runs in guiding the Red Sox to a 9-5 win versus the Braves. Hunter Renfroe also connected for Boston, and Christian Vázquez had three RBIs to help Nick Pivetta improve to 6-0.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Jon Berti hit a go-ahead, two-run single in a three-run eighth that propelled the Marlins past the Phillies, 4-2. The Marlins rallied after Aaron Nola held them to a run and a pair of singles over six innings.
The Rays pulled out a 2-1 win over the Royals on Manuel Margot's RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Tyler Glasnow had to settle for a no-decision after limiting Kansas City to three hits while fanning 11 over eight shutout innings.
The St. Louis Cardinals were able to avoid a three-game sweep this afternoon. Tommy Edman homered twice to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead in a 4-0 shutout of the White Sox in Chicago. Edmundo Sosa added a two-run single in the ninth to help the Cards win for just the second time in their last six games. Winning pitcher John Gant dodged bases-loaded jams in the first and third innings before pitching into the sixth. Edman's first home run was the only hit allowed by Carlos Rodón, who worked six innings.
Trevor Williams pitched six innings and singled twice against his former team to help the Cubs win for the fifth time in six games, 4-1 at Pittsburgh. David Bote hit a two-run homer for Chicago, and Kris Bryant had three hits and two RBIs.
The Padres won for the 11th time in 12 games as Victor Caratini delivered an RBI single in the 10th inning of a 2-1 verdict over the Brewers. San Diego's Chris Paddack worked six innings and gave up just two hits, including a home run by Milwaukee pitcher Eric Lauer.
Homers by Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Aledmys Díaz powered the Astros past the Dodgers, 5-2. Luis Garcia struck out seven in six innings as Houston stopped a four-game skid and ended the Dodgers' eight-game winning streak.
Jason Vosler snapped an eighth-inning tie with his first major league home run as the Giants handed the Diamondbacks their 10th loss in a row, 5-4. San Francisco pinch-hitter Austin Slater connected for a two-run shot that tied it 4-all earlier in the eighth.
James Kaprielian tossed seven shutout innings and the Athletics avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Mariners, 6-3. Kaprielian surrendered just two hits and two walks in his third career start, helping the A's end a three-game skid.
Taylor Ward slammed a three-run homer in the first inning and had a career-high five RBIs in leading the Angels to a 9-8 win over the Rangers. Ward hit a drive to right-center in a five-run first and drove in a pair with a bloop single that gave Los Angeles a 9-1 lead.
The Twins earned their fourth straight win as Miguel Sanó smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and give Minnesota a 3-2 win over the Orioles. Michael Pineda allowed one run and three hits over six innings in his first start since May 13 following a stint on the injured list caused by a thigh abscess.
Niko Goodrum doubled and scored on Robbie Grossman's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to send the Tigers past the Indians, 1-0. Detroit's Jose Urena gave up three hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings before exiting with a forearm injury.
The Reds-Nationals game was suspended in the middle of the fourth inning following a rain delay that lasted for more than three hours. Play will resume Thursday afternoon with Washington holding a 3-0 lead. The second game has been trimmed to seven innings.
The Yankees and Blue Jays were postponed by rain in the Bronx. The game is now part of a Thursday doubleheader. The rain in New York also caused the Mets and Rockies to be postponed. The rainout has created a Thursday twinbill.
In MLB news:
Mickey Callaway won't be in a major league dugout until 2023 at the earliest. The longtime pitching coach and former Mets manager has been placed on the ineligible list by Commissioner Rob Manfred following an investigation of sexual harassment allegations. The Athletic reported in February that Callaway "aggressively pursued" several women who work in sports media and sent three of them inappropriate photos. The 46-year-old Callaway was the Indians' pitching coach for five years before managing the Mets from 2018-19. He was placed on leave by the Angels after serving as their pitching coach last season. The Angels dismissed him following Wednesday's ruling. Callaway can apply for reinstatement after the 2022 season.
Indians right-hander Zach Plesac will not need surgery and is expected to begin a throwing regimen in three weeks. Plesac broke the thumb on his pitching hand while yanking off his undershirt following a rough outing.
The Cubs have placed infielder Nico Hoerner on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring and selected outfielder Rafael Ortega from Triple-A Iowa. Hoerner was injured while trying to beat out a bunt in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's 4-3 victory over the Pirates.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa says his surgically repaired hip feels 10 times better than last year. He's optimistic he'll be much improved in Year 2, However, now 18 months removed from surgery for the hip injury that ended his Alabama career, Tagovailoa said he feels much better physically, and also has an improved grasp of the Dolphins' playbook.
Veteran NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri has told former teammate and SiriusXM radio host Pat McAfee that he plans to retire. The 48-year-old former Indianapolis Colt and New England Patriot is the NFL's all-time leader with 2,673 points and 599 field goals. Vinatieri hasn't played since missing three of four field goals in a 31-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 1, 2019.
Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league expects full stadiums this season and players and staff are being encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Thirty of of 32 teams have approval to safely open at 100% capacity before the preseason schedule begins. The Colts and Broncos do not but are on a path to get approval before August.
The league approved a rule change for player safety, expanding the prohibition for blocks below the waist. Rosters for training camp were set for a maximum of 90 players. The NFL and the Players Association also agreed to a salary cap ceiling of $208.2 million for 2022.
49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. will miss the start of the 2021 season after undergoing surgery on his injured knee. General manager John Lynch says Wilson injured his knee last week following practice and a weightlifting session.
Former Saints head coach J.D. Roberts has died at age 88. Roberts became interim coach in November 1970 and served as head coach the next two years. He was Archie Manning's first NFL coach and sent out Tom Dempsey to kick a then-NFL record 63-yard field goal as time expired in his first game.
Drew Timme is staying. Hunter Dickinson could be leaving. Timme has announced he is returning for his junior season at Gonzaga, where he will mentor the nation's No. 2 recruiting class. He led the West Coast Conference in scoring at 19 points a game, and in field goal percentage at 65.5. The Bulldogs won their first 31 games last season before losing to Baylor in the national championship game. Dickinson has entered the NBA draft while giving himself the option of staying at Michigan. The 7-foot-1, 255-pound Dickinson averaged team highs of 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks during the pandemic-shortened season. Dickinson helped the Wolverines reach as high as No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25 and finish No. 4 after a 19-3 regular season.
Nevada residents Danielle Kang and Inbee Park made themselves right at home at Shadow Creek in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play at Las Vegas. Kang routed Albane Valenzuela 7 and 6 in the most-lopsided match to start group play. Park got up-and-down for birdie to win the par-5 18th to tie Jennifer Chang. The second-ranked Park rallied to avoid an opening loss in the final event before the U.S. Women's Open next week at Olympic in San Francisco.
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