In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Ottawa beat Boston 1-0 and the Senators lead the series 3-1, Washington edged Toronto 5-4 and are now tied at 2 games apiece, Minnesota blanked St. Louis 2-0 to narrow the series to 3-1, and it was Anaheim over Calgary 3-1 to advance to the conference semifinals after sweeping the series 4-0.
The Rangers take on Montreal tonight at 7 p.m. The series is tied at 2 games apiece.
The Anaheim Ducks are the first team to advance to the conference semifinals in the Stanley Cup playoffs after completing a four-game sweep of the Flames. Patrick Eaves and Nate Thompson scored 68 seconds apart before John Gibson finished with 36 saves in the Ducks' 3-1 victory at Calgary. Minnesota avoided a four-game sweep as Devan Dubnyk turned back 28 shots in a 2-0 shutout of St. Louis.
Washington and Toronto are tied at two games apiece in the first round of the NHL's Eastern Conference playoffs, while Ottawa enjoys a three-games-to-one advantage over Boston. Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie each scored twice as the Capitals downed the Maple Leafs, 5-4 in Toronto. Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots and Bobby Ryan had the lone goal as the Senators blanked the Bruins, 1-0 in Boston.
Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has avoided a suspension for his spearing of San Jose's Chris Tierney during Tuesday's game at San Jose. The NHL Department of Player Safety had a hearing with Draisaitl Wednesday before fining him just over $2,500, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement. Draisaitl received a major penalty and game misconduct when he hit Tierney in the groin with his stick during Edmonton's 7-0 loss to the Sharks.
In the NBA playoffs, Washington topped Atlanta 109-101 to lead the series 2-0, Houston beat Oklahoma City 115-111 to lead the series 2-0, and it was Golden State over Portland 110-81 to lead the series 2-0.
Russell Westbrook produced a record-setting triple-double, but the Houston Rockets erased an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111. Westbrook had the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history, finishing with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds but shooting just 4-for-18 in the final period. James Harden had a team-high 35 points and Eric Gordon added 22 as the Rockets took a two-games-to-none lead in the NBA first-round series.
The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards have 2-0 leads in their NBA first-round series. Stephen Curry shot just 6-for-18 but had 19 points, six assists and six rebounds as the Warriors hammered Portland, 110-81. Bradley Beal scored 16 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to push the Wizards past the Hawks, 109-101.
Also in the NBA:
— Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture during Tuesday's loss to Chicago. TNT's cameras appeared to show Smart giving someone the middle finger after missing a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. The Bulls lead the series 2-0 and host Game 3 Friday.
—Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas says the days since his younger sister was killed in a car crash last weekend have been the hardest of his life. He's also expressing his thanks for the support he has received around the NBA. The All-Star guard says the pain he's feeling "is impossible to put into words." Thomas is expected to rejoin the team Friday for Game 3 in Chicago.
The Big3, the 3-on-3 league involving former NBA players such as Allen Iverson that will debut this summer, will hold its draft next week. The league will hold a draft lottery on April 28, its combine the next night and the draft on April 30. The draft will be held at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. More than 70 players have signed up to play in entertainer Ice Cube's league, including former NBA stars such as Latrell Sprewell, Charles Oakley, Chauncey Billups and Steve Francis. They will divided among eight teams: 3's Company, Three-Headed Monsters; Killer 3s; Ghost Ballers; Trilogy, Tri-State, Power and Ball Hogs. Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Rick Barry and Gary Payton are scheduled to be coaches. The league begins play June 25, with the first game set for Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In Major League Baseball, Toronto beat Boston 3-0, the Yankees topped the White Sox 9-1, and it was the Mets over Philadelphia 5-4.
The Washington Nationals put together the most lopsided victory of Wednesday's major league schedule. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each hit grand slams as the Nats crushed the Braves, 14-4 in Atlanta. Harper homered twice and had five RBIs to help the Nationals improve to 9-5 with their third consecutive win.
A person familiar with the situation says former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have joined forces in their attempt to buy the Miami Marlins. The person confirmed the partnership to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because Jeter and Bush have not commented. They initially had competing interests in pursuit of the team. Jeter, who retired in 2014 after 20 seasons with the Yankees, has long talked about owning a team. Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, was an owner of the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1998. Spokesmen for Jeter and Bush didn't respond to requests for comment. Last week, Marlins president David Samson said talks with multiple parties interested in buying the team were in the "fourth inning."
Cody Cropper had his second shutout of the season and the New England Revolution tied the San Jose Earthquakes 0-0 on a rainy night. New England had its six-game home winning streak snapped. San Jose ended a five-game road losing streak.
President Donald Trump is saluting the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at the White House. He says "no team has been good this long." The Patriots rallied from 25 points down to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in February. It was the team's fifth Super Bowl title since February 2002. The celebration was tempered by the apparent suicide of former Patriot Aaron Hernandez in prison earlier yesterday.
Elsewhere in the NFL:
— Former Packers receiver Bill Anderson has died at age 80. A funeral home says Anderson died Tuesday at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Anderson played eight seasons in the NFL and was part of two championship teams with Green Bay.
— Phil Simms is heading to the studio as part of "NFL Today" on CBS. Simms was recently replaced in the broadcast booth by Tony Romo when the Cowboys quarterback retired from playing.
— Authorities have offered few answers after former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found hanging from a bedsheet Wednesday in his maximum-security prison cell in Massachusetts. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder and was found dead just five days after a jury acquitted him in a 2012 double-murder. A correction department spokesman said he was not aware of any suicide note, and officials had no reason to believe Hernandez was suicidal.
A pro football player facing a weapons charge in New Jersey has been allowed to enter a pretrial program. Prosecutors say Joshua Huff won't face jail if he successfully completes the program. His attorney says the program lasts six months. The wide receiver was playing for the Philadelphia Eagles when he was stopped for speeding on the New Jersey side of the Walt Whitman bridge last November. He was charged with possession of a 9 mm handgun without a permit and having a small amount of marijuana. Huff bought the gun legally in Texas and was licensed there to carry it. New Jersey's strict gun laws don't recognize permits issued in other states. Huff was released by the Eagles two days after the arrest. He later signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It's another love game for Serena Williams: She is pregnant — and, based on the timeline she offered, she already was when she won the Australian Open. A spokeswoman for Williams, Kelly Bush Novak, wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday: "I'm happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this Fall." Earlier in the day, Williams posted a photo of herself on Snapchat with the caption "20 weeks," sparking all sorts of speculation on social media about whether she was, indeed, with child.
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