The Sports Xchange
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — History was made in Bridgestone Arena on Sunday. Ryan Johansen's tie-breaking goal at 3:15 of the third period lifted the Nashville Predators to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues and a 4-2 series victory, advancing them to the Western Conference finals for the first time in the franchise's 19-year history. It was the second marker of the playoffs for Johansen, who took Viktor Arvidsson's feed in the slot, deked from forehand to backhand and beat Jake Allen for the biggest goal in Predators' history, giving the home side a 2-1 advantage.
SALT LAKE CITY—Kevin Durant recorded 38 points and 13 rebounds to help the Golden State Warriors overcome poor shooting early and beat the Utah Jazz 102-91 on Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinals series. Stephen Curry added 23 points on 6-of-20 shooting for Golden State, which has won 22 of its last 23 games. The only setback came was a 105-99 loss to Utah on April 10.
OTTAWA — Kyle Turris scored at 6:28 of overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday, May 5. The win gives the Senators a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series that moves to New York for Game 6 on Tuesday. Turris' attempted first shot was blocked by a Rangers defender, but he was able to get control of the loose puck and beat goalie Henrik Lundqvist to end the game.
TORONTO —- LeBron James scored 35 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 115-94 Friday night to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. The Cavaliers can complete a sweep of the series in Game 4 on Sunday in Toronto. The Raptors, playing without injured point guard Kyle Lowry, led by three points after the first half.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby may include wet track conditions on Saturday, May 6, at Churchill Downs. The National Weather Service forecasts a 60 percent chance of rain in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, mainly between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. CDT, with the Run for the Roses scheduled for a 5:46 p.m. post time. Temperatures will be in the low to mid-50s A sloppy track can make it difficult to predict how the 3-year-old colts will handle the 1 1/4-mile distance. The Derby has been run over a sloppy or muddy track 14 times, most recently in 2013.
MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer's two-out, ninth-inning homer pushed the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. Mauer's blast off reliever Matt Barnes (3-1) was his first career walk-off home run and just the third walk-off plate appearance of his career. Mauer added an RBI single as Minnesota won for the seventh time in its past nine games. Brandon Kintzler (1-0) suffered his first blown save in eight chances this season as Boston's Chris Young hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the ninth.
ST. LOUIS — Channeling desperation into perhaps their most complete effort of the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues stayed alive in their Western Conference semifinal series with the Nashville Predators on Friday night. Jaden Schwartz broke a tie 25 seconds into the third period with a rebound goal as St. Louis registered a 2-1 win at Scottrade Center, cutting Nashville's lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2.
WASHINGTON — John Wall scored 24 points and the Washington Wizards took control with a 22-0 run in the first quarter for a 116-89 victory over the Boston Celtics Thursday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Wizards trail 2-1 in the contentious series after dropping two road games in Boston. The latest charged matchup included eight technical fouls and Washington's Kelly Oubre Jr. getting ejected in the first half for a Flagrant 2 foul.
NEW YORK — In a second straight dominating performance, the New York Rangers defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-1 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday, May 4, at Madison Square Garden. The best-of-seven playoff set is even at two games apiece with Game 5 set for Saturday afternoon in Ottawa. Fourth-liner Oscar Lindberg sparked the Rangers by scoring a pair of goals, giving him three in the past two games. Goals by defenseman Nick Holden in the first period and Chris Kreider in the third sandwiched those by Lindberg in the second.
MINNEAPOLIS—Oakland's Stephen Vogt doubled, tripled and drove in a pair of runs as the Athletics stopped the Minnesota Twins' four-game winning streak with a 8-5 win Thursday afternoon at Target Field. Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton left the game after hitting the wall awkwardly while making the final out of the top of the fifth inning.