Update on the latest sports
Two series get started, one continues
UNDATED (AP) — The Capitals host Game 2 tonight, after a 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series.
The Capitals goaltending situation remains uncertain. They weathered the loss of starting goaltender Vitek Vanecek to a lower-body injury Saturday night, with backup Craig Anderson making 21 saves for the victory. Anderson, who turns 40 on Friday, had not played a postseason game since 2017 and saw action in just four regular-season games for Washington.
Elsewhere, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Nashville Predators begin their Stanley Cup playoff series in Raleigh tonight. The Hurricanes won the Central Division for their first division crown since winning the Cup in 2006. This marks the first time the franchise has reached three straight postseasons since the franchise relocated to North Carolina in 1997 from Hartford, Connecticut. The Predators are in the playoffs for the seventh straight season. That came after a strong finish of winning 20 of 28 to close the schedule. Nashville goaltender Juuse Saros has been one of the hottest players in the league during that surge.
And the St. Louis Blues may be without leading scorer David Perron for Game 1 of their first-round series against the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche. Perron has been on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list. He led the Blues with 58 points this season. The Avalanche will have back one of their top scorers in Nathan MacKinnon after he missed time with a lower-body injury. This marks the first time Colorado and St. Louis have met in the postseason since 2001, when the Avs beat the Blues in the Western Conference final on their way to hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Dodgers sign Pujols; Yanks’ Stanton to IL
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Albert Pujols has signed a major league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 41-year-old slugger is moving 30 miles north to extend his remarkable career with the defending World Series champions after leaving the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols was unceremoniously cut by the Angels earlier this month in an abrupt end to his largely unsuccessful 10-year, $240 million tenure with the Orange County club.
— New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a left quad strain. Stanton missed all three games in their weekend series at Baltimore. Stanton is hitting .282 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 33 games this season. He is 3 for 25 since homering in three consecutive games May 4-6.
Nats’ Lester return to Wrigley highlights 9-game slate
UNDATED (AP) — Jon Lester is set to start for the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field after spending the past six seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
The 37-year-old lefty is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three starts for his new team.
Lester was a two-time All-Star for the Cubs and went 3-1 in the 2016 postseason as they won a most elusive championship. Lester pitched in relief in Game 7 of the World Series and his catcher was David Ross, now the Cubs manager. Ross says: “You are always excited to see a guy you made history with, plus there will be some bragging rights on the line.”
Elsewhere, Aaron Judge has homered in three straight games as the Yankees start a series at Texas. Judge enjoyed a big weekend at Camden Yards, going 6 for 10 with four home runs against Baltimore. He’s tied for the major league home run lead with Shohei Ohtani, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mitch Haniger. New York ace Gerrit Cole (5-1, 1.37 ERA) gets the start against the Rangers.
Diamondbacks lefty Madison Bumgarner has won four straight decisions going into a matchup at Dodger Stadium. Bumgarner (4-2, 4.12 ERA) has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings during his winning streak in a five-start span. Among the wins was his seven-inning no-hitter at Atlanta. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.45) will start for Los Angeles.
The rest of Major League Baseball’s schedule has things getting started in Cincinnati, where the Reds host the San Francisco Giants. The New York Mets are in Atlanta, while the Chicago White Sox visit Minnesota.
Out West, the L.A. Angels host Cleveland, the San Diego Padres get a visit from the Colorado Rockies, while the Detroit Tigers are in Seattle to play the Mariners.
LeBron vs. Steph: A play-in game will be a superstar tussle
UNDATED (AP) — The matchups for the NBA’s new play-in tournament are set.
It starts Tuesday with the Eastern Conference: No. 10 Charlotte at No. 9 Indiana and No. 8 Washington at No. 7 Boston.
And things shift to the West on Wednesday: No. 10 San Antonio at No. 9 Memphis and No. 8 Golden State at the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James and Stephen Curry have squared off four times for championships, when Warriors vs. Cleveland was an annual NBA Finals matchup. They’ll square off Wednesday for a different prize — the No. 7 seed in the West.
Broadcaster Marv Albert retiring after NBA East finals
NEW YORK (AP) — Marv Albert is retiring after the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals, ending a broadcasting career spanning nearly 60 years.
Albert will call the series for TNT. He has been with Turner Sports for 22 years, 19 as an NBA play-by-play announcer.
Albert, known for his signature “Yes!” call, turns 80 next month. He has covered everything from football and boxing to hockey, baseball and tennis. But he is linked most to basketball, having called 13 NBA Finals and 25 All-Star Games for NBC and Turner, along with the Dream Team’s romp to the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics.
NFL NEWS Packers sign QB
UNDATED (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have signed Kurt Benkert in their latest attempt to add quarterback depth while MVP Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team remains unclear.
Green Bay has signed both Benkert and former Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback Blake Bortles over the past week. Rodgers and 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love had been the only quarterbacks on the Packers’ roster.
The 25-year-old Benkert has never appeared in an NFL regular-season game.
Green Bay is facing an uncertain quarterback situation after ESPN reported hours before the draft that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to the team.
In other NFL news:
— The Philadelphia Eagles and four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Ryan Kerrigan have agreed on a one-year contract. The 32-year-old Kerrigan played 10 seasons in Washington and is the franchise’s all-time leader with 95 1/2 sacks. Kerrigan had 5 1/2 sacks last season for the NFC East champions but played a career-low 38 percent of the snaps.
— The Denver Broncos have hired Kelly Kleine as executive director of football operations and special adviser to the general manager. She is believed to be the highest-ranking female scouting executive ever with an NFL team. Kleine spent the last nine seasons working with Broncos first-year GM George Paton with the Minnesota Vikings. Kleine most recently served as the Vikings’ manager of player personnel/college scout from 2019 to 2020.
— The Indianapolis Colts’ career sacks leader, Robert Mathis, will be inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor later this year. The ceremony will take place at halftime of its Nov. 28 game against Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. Mathis was supposed to become the 17th honoree last season but the induction was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.