#SportsReport: Canadiens Reach Cup Final; Devils Extend Affiliation With Adirondack Thunder
The Montreal Canadiens are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993, the last time a Canadian-based team won the title. Artturi Lehkonen scored 1:39 into overtime and Carey Price stopped 37 shots as the Canadiens knocked out the Golden Knights, 3-2 in Game 6 of the semifinals. Nick Suzuki gained the Vegas zone and slipped a pass to his left to Lehkonen, who lifted a shot beating Robin Lehner high on the short side. The goal came after Price stopped former teammate Max Paccioretty. Cole Caufield and captain Shea Weber also scored for the Habs, who have won 11 of 13 since they trailed three games to one in the opening round against the Maple Leafs. Montreal will make its playoff-leading 35th Stanley Cup Final appearance with a shot to add to its 24 championships. The Canadiens will take on the winner of Friday's Game 7 between the Lightning and Islanders. Should the Isles prevail on Friday, the Stanley Cup Final will be a matchup of No. 4 seeds.
In hockey news:
The Adirondack Thunder has signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with the New Jersey Devils. The 2021-22 season will mark the fifth that the ECHL and NHL teams have partnered. The Thunder play their home games at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. The agreement – which is only described as multi-year – also includes an affiliation with the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League. New Jersey’s top minor league affiliate team had been the Binghamton Devils since 2017. Since the team’s creation in 2013, the Comets have been the farm team of the Vancouver Canucks. The Utica Devils played from 1987 to 1993 and were also affiliated with New Jersey. The ECHL season is scheduled to start in October.
The NHL's newest team now has a coach. The expansion Seattle Kraken hired Dave Hakstol to take charge of the team that will play its first NHL season this fall. It's Hakstol's second NHL head-coaching job after three-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. Hakstol coached the Flyers to two playoff appearances and was fired midway through his fourth season.
An unidentified former Blackhawks player says in a lawsuit against the team that a then-assistant coach sexually assaulted him in 2010 during a playoff run to a Stanley Cup title and that the team did nothing after he informed a now-retired employee. Chicago's WBEZ reported that former assistant coach Bradley Aldrich was convicted in 2013 in Michigan of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a student. The former player's attorney says inaction by the Blackhawks helped enable Aldrich to go on and assault the Michigan student, and possibly others. An attorney for Aldrich told WBEZ his client denied the allegations in the lawsuit.
The Los Angeles Clippers have avoided an 0-3 deficit in the NBA's Western Conference Finals. The Clippers are within 2-1 of Phoenix after Paul George scored 27 points in their 106-92 win over the Suns. George also had 15 rebounds and eight assists to help L.A. win without Kawhi Leonard, who remained out with a sprained knee. Reggie Jackson added 23 points for the Clippers, and Ivica Zubac provided 15 points while tying his career playoff high with 16 rebounds. Los Angeles took control with the biggest run of the game, a 21-3 spurt that left the Clippers leading 71-56 in the third. Terance Mann got it going with six straight points and Jackson scored four in a row. Suns guard Chris Paul made his series debut after coming out of COVID-19 protocol, finished with 15 points and 12 assists. Deandre Ayton had a team-high 18 points for Phoenix. Game 4 is Saturday in Los Angeles.
In NBA news, longtime Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is returning to coach the Pacers, 14 years after his dismissal by Indiana. Carlisle will get a chance to make a quick fix with the same organization he led from 2003 to 2007 and took to the Eastern Conference finals in his first season with the team. He guided the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship and has won 1033 regular-season games over 13 seasons with Dallas, Indiana, and Detroit.
Homers by Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luke Voit powered the Yankees to their seventh win in nine games, 8-1 over the Royals. Judge opened the scoring with a first-inning blast and finished with three hits. Sanchez went deep for the second straight game, a three-run shot in the sixth to break the game open.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Two hits were enough for the Rays as Manuel Margot scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to complete their 1-0 win over the Red Sox. Margot rapped a two-out single, stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Christian Vázquez before coming home with the winning run. Nick Pivetta, Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez combined to no-hit Toronto until Kevin Kiermaier's one-out double in the eighth.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. belted his first career grand slam in a six-run first that catapulted the Blue Jays past the Orioles, 9-0. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smacked his major league-leading 24th home run as Toronto handed Baltimore its 20th consecutive road loss, tying the 1916 Athletics for the second-longest in American League history. Anthony Kay tied his career high with eight strikeouts in five innings and combined with four relievers on a seven-hitter.
The Nationals are finally back at .500 after Kyle Schwarber crushed two more homers in a 7-3 defeat of the Marlins. Schwarber has homered 12 times since June 12 and became the fourth player in major league history with eight home runs and 15 RBI in a five-game span. Juan Soto had two doubles and two RBI to back Joe Ross, who was reached for just four hits over seven shutout innings of the Nats' fifth win in a row.
And now there are seven. The Chicago Cubs have authored the seventh no-hitter of the major league season, doing it against the defending World Series champs. Zach Davies combined with three relievers on the no-no as the Cubs beat the Dodgers, 4-0. The Cubs did it despite eight walks, five from Davies over the first six innings. Craig Kimbrel also walked a batter, but he also struck out three in the ninth to end it. The seven no-hitters tie a modern major league record. It's the 17th thrown by the Cubs, and second in as many seasons. Javier Baez hit a first-inning homer off Walker Buehler who lost for the first time in eight decisions this season. Wilsson Contreras added a two-run blast in the sixth to give Davies breathing room.
Tony Santillan earned his first career victory and Nick Castellanos smacked a two-run home run as the Reds topped the Braves, 5-3. Santillan gave up just one run over six innings, a Freddie Freeman homer in the top of the first. Castellanos drove in four runs.
Bryan Reynolds had a three-run homer among his three hits to help the Pirates beat the Cardinals for the first time in their last 10 meetings, 8-2. Adam Frazier and Phillip Evans also homered for Pittsburgh in its first win over St. Louis since Sept. 18, 2020. Winning pitcher Chad Kuhl allowed one run and three hits with two strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
Carlos Correa had three hits, walked twice and drove in three runs as the Astros rolled to their 11th win in a row, 12-3 over the Tigers. Yordan Alvarez put the capper on the rout with a grand slam in the ninth to finish with five RBIs. Luis García won his fourth straight start, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings.
Chris Bassitt allowed one run and five hits over seven innings as the Athletics downed the Rangers, 5-1 to gain a split of their four-game series. Bassitt is 8-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 14 starts since losing his first two appearances. Jed Lowrie drove in runs with a single and a no-doubt home run.
Eddie Rosario broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run single to push the Indians past the Twins, 4-1. Rosario spent six seasons with the Twins and was playing his first game in Minnesota since he signed with Cleveland in the offseason. Minnesota starter Jose Berríos allowed one run on four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings.
In MLB news, Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers likely won't throw for at least another four weeks after an injection for his sprained right elbow. Manager Bob Melvin says that Fiers won't need surgery after he felt discomfort when trying to resume throwing this week. Fiers has made only two starts this season and hasn't pitched since May 6. Fiers missed the first 22 games of the season because of a lumbar strain before his debut April 30.
Satoshi Kodaira and Kramer Hickok each shot a PGA Tour career-best 7-under 63 for a share of the first-round lead in the Travelers Championship. Kodaira took the lead at 8 under in the afternoon after making the turn onto the front nine birdie-eagle-birdie, but a bogey on the par-3 eighth dropped him back into a tie with Hickok. Talor Gooch was a stroke behind Hickok after the morning rounds. Defending champion and former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson stumbled at the start with a bogey on the second hole and then a double on No. 3. He finished with a pair of birdies to end the day at 70 at TPC River Highlands.
Meanwhile, Lizette Salas opened with a 5-under 67 for the early lead in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Salas had one of five rounds in the 60s from the early wave, with four players at 69. Nelly Korda was among those at 70 after making a long birdie putt on the 18th.
The head of the Imperial Palace in Japan says Emperor Naruhito is "extremely worried" that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. The games will bring thousands of foreign athletes, officials, sponsors and journalists to Japan during a pandemic despite caution raised by experts about the risk of infections and the public's persistent calls for cancellation or further postponement. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics despite widespread concern and opposition.
Meanwhile, transgender runner CeCe Telfer will not be allowed to compete in the women's 400-meter hurdles at U.S. Olympic trials this week because Telfer has not met the conditions World Athletics established in its eligibility regulations for certain women's events. Among those requirements was that their testosterone levels had to be below 5 nonomoles per liter for a span of 12 months. Telfer's manager, David McFarland, said Telfer would respect the decision.
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