Update on the latest sports
3 more first-round series begin
UNDATED (AP) — The first round of the NHL playoffs continues Sunday with three Game 1s.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning and the upstart Panthers meet in the postseason for the first time Sunday night on the Panthers’ home ice in Sunrise, Florida. Florida was second in the Central Division, Tampa Bay third.
This is the first time that Tampa Bay gets to defend the Cup a year after winning it. The first Lightning title in 2004 preceded the season that was lost because of a lockout. Since Pittsburgh went back-to-back in 1991 and 1992, only two franchises have successfully defended the Cup — Detroit won in 1997 and 1998, and Pittsburgh did it again in 2016 and 2017.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are facing a familiar foe as they begin their pursuit of the Stanley Cup. The Penguins are taking on the New York Islanders, hoping to avenge a first-round sweep at the hands of the Islanders two years ago. Pittsburgh overcame a slew of injuries to win its first division title since 2014. The Islanders slumped down the stretch but remain one of the NHL’s stingiest teams. New York allowed the second-fewest goals in the league during the regular season.
The Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild meet in the postseason for the first time on the Las Vegas Strip. Minnesota is 11-2-3 overall against Vegas, by far the best of any opponent of the Golden Knights.
Play-in or playoffs? Lakers won’t know until the final day
UNDATED (AP) — It’s the final day of the NBA season, with a lot still left to be determined.
LeBron James and the defending champion Lakers may be one game away from the playoffs. Or they may be one game away from the play-in tournament, and a possible high-stakes showdown against Stephen Curry. Either way, the NBA wins Sunday — with what’s certain to be a dramatic end to the regular season.
If the Lakers beat New Orleans on Sunday, and Portland loses to Denver, the defending champions are going straight to the playoffs as a top-six seed. But if they lose to the Pelicans, or if Portland wins, James will be in a play-in game against Golden State or Memphis on Wednesday.
BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME-2021 CLASS
The Hall calls: Bosh, Webber, Wright among the 2021 class
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Jay Wright was in trouble three years into his tenure at Villanova, with speculation swirling that he would be fired. Chris Bosh’s playing career ended years before he planned. Chris Webber had been a finalist for years, only to be let down time and time again. Turns out, basketball’s highest honor awaited them all.
Bosh, Webber and Wright were among the 16 names announced as this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement class. The group also includes Paul Pierce, coaches Rick Adelman and Cotton Fitzsimmons, and WNBA stars Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson.
The class even includes someone who has been a Hall of Famer for 46 years already: The 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell, enshrined in 1975 as a player, has been selected again as a coach. Russell becomes the fifth Hall of Famer who will be inducted as both a player and a coach, joining John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn.
Yankees staffer tests positive for COVID; Hicks goes on IL
BALTIMORE (AP) — The New York Yankees have had another positive COVID-19 test, this one involving a staff member. Manager Aaron Boone made the announcement before the Yankees’ game against the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday.
Boone didn’t identify the staff member, saying only that he was part of the team’s support staff. Another staff member was unavailable because of contact tracing.
The Yankees have had nine total positives within the traveling party since Monday — three coaches, five staffers and shortstop Gleyber Torres.
Truex seeks his 31st Cup Series win
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. starts on the pole at Dover International Speedway, a week after he took the checkered flag in a dominating drive at Darlington Raceway – his 30th win in NASCAR’s Cup Series.
Truex, who has three career wins at Dover, is the 7-2 favorite to win the only race this season at the Monster Mile. The Joe Gibbs Racing star and 2017 Cup champion has been the runner-up finisher in three straight Dover races. He has nine top-10 finishes in his last 10 Dover races.
Sunday’s race is sold out with capacity capped at 20,000 ticketed fans.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-FCS CHAMPIONSHIP
Unusual May FCS title game: South Dakota St vs Sam Houston
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — There are more twists to this FCS championship game than just being played in mid-May to wrap up a unique spring season.
Top-seeded South Dakota State takes on No. 2 seed Sam Houston on Sunday, guaranteeing that one of the Football Championship Subdivision playoff regulars will become a first-time champion.
This is 8-1 South Dakota State’s first title game appearance. Sam Houston has been there twice, but lost to North Dakota State in 2011 and 2012. The 9-0 Bearkats have playoff wins over eight-time champion North Dakota State and James Madison, the only other FCS champ the past nine seasons.
This is the 43rd title game in the division formerly known as I-AA.