#SportsReport: Islanders Top Lightning; Yankees Edge Royals
The New York Islanders have forced a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final as they try to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1984. Anthony Beauvillier scored 78 seconds into overtime to cap the Islanders' comeback in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Islanders had to wipe out a 2-0 deficit to force OT before Beauvillier ended his 10-game goal drought. Brayden Point scored for the ninth straight game to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead in the first period. Anthony Cirelli made it 2-0 late in the second, giving Tampa Bay 12 consecutive goals in the series. But Jordan Eberle sparked the comeback by scoring less than two minutes later. Scott Mayfield tied it midway through the third before Beauvillier set up a winner-take-all meeting with the Lightning in Tampa on Friday. Mat Barzal had two assists and Semyon Varlamov stopped 22 shots for the Islanders. Andre Vasilevskiy turned back 25 shots, who were without Nikita Kucherov for all but the opening minute. Kucherov appeared to suffer a back injury when he was crosschecked by Mayfield.
In NHL news:
Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson has announced his retirement after playing 12 NHL seasons and scoring one of the biggest goals in St. Louis Blues history. He scored 3:51 into overtime to tie the 2019 Stanley Cup Final against Boston at two games apiece before the Blues went on to win their first championship. It was his lone goal in 68 career playoff games. Gunnarsson made his NHL debut in 2009 and played 629 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs and Blues, collecting 138 points.
Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is the winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, as selected by the trophy's namesake. The award is presented "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey."
Daniel and Henrik Sedin are returning to the Canucks to work in an advisory capacity. Three years after their retirement, the Swedish twins are joining the hockey operations department with the title of special adviser to the general manager, Jim Benning.
The Atlanta Hawks are three wins away from a spot in the NBA Finals after improving to 6-2 on the road this postseason. Trae Young scored 48 points and Clint Capela converted a go-ahead putback with 29.8 seconds left as the Hawks took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 116-113 over the Bucks. Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored the first six points in a 9-0 run that turned a 98-96 deficit into a 105-98 advantage with 4:18 left. But the Hawks scored the next five points, and the game went back and forth from there. John Collins contributed 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks. Capela provided 12 points and 19 boards. After Capela's go-ahead bucket, Young hit four free throws in the final 18 seconds to prevent Milwaukee from being in position to hit a game-winning shot. Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Bucks, while Jrue Holiday added 33 points and 10 assists. Khris Middleton finished with 15 points on 6 of 23 shooting, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range. Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee, where the Bucks hadn't lost in the postseason until Wednesday.
In NBA news:
Brad Stevens has found a replacement for himself. A person with knowledge of the situation says the Boston Celtics have hired Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as their new head coach. The 43-year-old Udoka spent seven years on Gregg Popovich's staff in San Antonio, including the team's 2014 championship run. He later served on Brett Brown's coaching staff in Philadelphia before joining the Nets before this season. Udoka replaces Stevens, who stepped down as head coach and moved into the front office when Danny Ainge retired this month.
There could be a Chris Paul sighting when the Phoenix Suns face the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals on Thursday. Paul is listed as probable to play for the Suns after missing the first two games of the series while in the league's health and safety protocols. His status was updated in the league's injury report Wednesday. The 36-year-old point guard averaged 25.5 points, 10.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds in the second round against Denver.
Aroldis Chapman blew a ninth-inning lead before the Yankees scored twice in the bottom half to beat the Royals, 6-5. Gary Sánchez homered off Greg Holland to tie it and Luke Voit laced a game-winning double. Ryan O'Hearn put Kansas City ahead with a two-run homer in the first and slapped an infield single that scored the tiebreaking run in the ninth.
In other Wednesday action:
Francisco Lindor homered and drove in three runs as the Mets gained a split of their four-game series with the Braves, 7-3. Jeff McNeil had three hits, including an RBI single in the second inning. Michael Conforto went 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored after being activated earlier Wednesday.
The Rays' season-worst, seven-game losing streak is over after Austin Meadows, Mike Zunino and Brandon Lowe homered in their 8-2 rout of the Red Sox. Zunino connected on his 15th homer, a two-run drive, during a three-run second as the Rays took a 5-1 lead. Rich Hill worked around five walks and three hits in limiting the Red Sox to one run over five innings.
Robbie Ray and three relievers combined on a four-hitter in the Blue Jays' fourth straight win, 3-1 over the Marlins. Ray struck out six over six innings to increase his season total to 103 in 79 2/3 frames. Bo Bichette had two hits, an RBI and a run scored as Toronto improved to 13-2 in interleague play.
Starlin Castro poked a go-ahead, two-run single off closer Hector Neris in the ninth inning to give the Nationals a wild 13-12 triumph over the Phillies. It was the first game in major league history that featured a grand slam and three-run homer for each team. Josh Bell answered Andrew McCutchen's slam with one of his own as the Nationals overcame deficits of 5-0, 9-5 and 12-11.
The Milwaukee Brewers have regained sole possession of first place in the NL Central, a half-game ahead of the idle Chicago Cubs. Brandon Woodruff did a bit of everything in leading the Brewers past the Diamondbacks, 3-2. Woodruff gave up just three hits and a run over seven innings, striking out nine and improving to 6-3 with a 1.89 ERA. He also had an RBI single that opened the scoring in the fifth inning. Caleb Smith took the loss despite a good outing, giving up just one run and four hits over six innings. Christian Walker and Eduardo Escobar both hit solo homers for the D-backs, who have dropped 19 of 20 and 42 of their past 48.
The Giants erupted for seven runs in the 13th inning of a 9-3 victory over the Angels. Steven Duggar had an RBI double in the 12th and a two-run single in the 13th to help San Francisco win for the eighth time in nine games. Mike Tauchman struck out five times before hitting a three-run homer to cap the Giants' 13th-inning rally.
The Padres scratched out a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn a 5-3 win over the Dodgers. Trent Grisham put San Diego ahead by working out a bases-loaded walk ahead of Victor Caratini's sacrifice fly. Caratini, Jake Cronenworth and Manny Machado homered for the Padres, who are 7-3 versus the defending World Series champs this year.
Trevor Story homered twice and German Márquez took a perfect game into the sixth inning of the Rockies' 5-2 win at Seattle. Story had a solo shot in the fourth and a two-run homer in the eighth to help Colorado earn just their sixth road win. Brendan Rodgers also hit a two-run drive, more than enough offensive punch to back Márquez, whose perfect game was broken up by Taylor Trammell's solo homer.
Jonathan Schoop provided a solo homer and a two-run double in the Tigers' third straight win, 6-2 over the Cardinals. Winning pitcher Matt Manning allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings. St. Louis has dropped five of six and 16 of its last 22.
José Urquidy pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the Astros stretched their winning streak to 10 games by crushing the Orioles, 13-0. José Altuve silenced the booing fans at Camden Yards with a two-run homer. Yordan Alvarez, Abraham Toro and Chas McCormick also homered for the Astros, who outscored the lowly Orioles 26-3 during a three-game sweep.
Major league rookie home run leader Adolis García slammed his 19th and 20th before Brock Holt had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning of the Rangers' 5-3 victory over the Athletics. The Rangers had hits on the first three pitches from Oakland reliever Yusmeiro Petit to start the seventh after the A's scored three runs in the top of the inning to erase a 2-0 deficit. Nate Lowe homered into the Texas bullpen for the Rangers.
The White Sox stopped their season-worst, five-game losing streak as Yasmani Grandal delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the fifth inning of a 4-3 victory at Pittsburgh. Leury García added a home run to back Dylan Cease, who allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings. Liam Hendricks pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save of the season.
In MLB news:
There's now a simmering feud between the Nationals and Phillies. Nats general manager Mike Rizzo called Phils skipper Joe Girardi a "con artist" and an embarrassment for asking umpires to inspect Washington ace Max Scherzer three times for sticky substance during Tuesday's game. Scherzer threw his glove and hat to the grass, then stared down Girardi after getting checked for a third time by umpires for sticky stuff in Washington's 3-2 win. Rizzo told Washington radio station 106.7 The Fan that the inspection requests were "embarrassing for Girardi, it's embarrassing for the Phillies, it's embarrassing for baseball." Major league umpires began a crackdown on Monday by regularly examining pitchers for tacky substances that can give them a better grip on the baseball. Phillies President Dave Dombrowski defended his manager, saying that Girardi is the farthest thing from a con man and is a sincere individual.
The Mets have activated outfielder Michael Conforto, who had been sidelined since straining his right hamstring on May 16. Conforto was ready to return Tuesday but wasn't activated after Triple-A Syracuse's game was postponed to allow for more COVID-19 testing and contact tracing within the organization. He spent last weekend on a rehab assignment with Syracuse.
Indians pitcher Aaron Civale will miss more than one month with a sprained right finger, the latest blow to Cleveland's injury-ravaged rotation. The major league victories leader injured his middle finger in a start against the Cubs on Monday. The Indians said Civale will be shut down from throwing for up to two weeks and will miss between four to five weeks of game activity.
Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger has been activated from the 10-day injured list after missing seven games with tightness in his left hamstring. It was the second stint on the DL this season for Bellinger, who missed 46 games after suffering a hairline fracture in his left leg on April 5.
NFL players must decide by July 2 if they plan to opt out of playing this season due to COVID-19 concerns, though voluntary opt-outs will not be paid any stipend this year. In a memo sent to clubs Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press, the league and the NFL Players Association agreed that only high-risk players will receive a stipend of $350,000. Voluntary opt-outs got a $150,000 stipend in 2020. A total of 67 players opted out last year before vaccines were available.
NCAA President Mark Emmert says the association is working on interim rules that will permit college athletes to earn money off their fame and celebrity by July. The rules will act as a bridge until there is a permanent solution. In a memo sent to member schools and obtained by The Associated Press, Emmert acknowledged the current uncertainty across college sports as it moves toward allowing name, image and likeness compensation for athletes. Six states have laws set to go into effect July 1. These laws would undercut existing NCAA rules and give athletes to opportunity to be paid by third parties for things such as sponsorship deals, online endorsements and personal appearances.
Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty are the No. 1 men's and women's seeds for Wimbledon, which gets underway on Monday. Djokovic will be seeking his record-tying 20th Grand Slam at All-England Club after capturing the French Open this month. Barty hasn't played since retiring from her second-round match at the French Open due to the flareup of an upper-leg injury. Djokovic is followed in the men's bracket by Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem. Defending champion Simona Halep is seeded second, ahead of Aryna Sabalenka and Elina Svitolina. Roger Federer and Serena Williams are seventh seeds.
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