Ducks, Blackhawks battle
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — One year after the Ducks and Blackhawks both exited the playoffs with a loss in a seventh game, they’re facing off in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals tonight. The teams have alternated victories in a tense, well-played series.
The Ducks have just one regulation loss in the entire postseason, but it was in Game 6, a 5-2 defeat that might have turned the series’ momentum in the Blackhawks’ favor.
Anaheim’s last two postseasons ended with a Game 7 loss at home, and they blew a 3-2 series lead both times.
Despite their two Stanley Cup titles in the previous five seasons, the Blackhawks can’t exactly stand on a stellar Game 7 record, either. The current Chicago core has lost in two of its three trips to a Game 7, beating only Detroit in a second-round series in 2013.
Wacha looks to stay perfect
UNDATED (AP) — Michael Wacha (WAH’-kuh) will try to become the National League’s first eight-game winner when he takes the mound for the Cardinals tonight at home against the Dodgers. The right-hander is a perfect 7-0 with a 1.87 ERA this season. He’s the first St. Louis pitcher to open a season with seven straight wins since Matt Morris went 8-0 to open the 2005 season.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum (LIHN’-sih-kuhm) takes his 5-2 mark and 2.56 ERA into the start at home tonight against the Braves. The Giants, who top the National League West, won last night’s series opener over the Braves.
Alex Rios is expected to return to the Kansas City Royals’ lineup for this evenings game against the Cubs. He’s been sidelined since April 13 with a broken left hand. Rios is hitting .321 with one homer and eight RBIs.
There are seven games on the afternoon portion of the schedule and in Houston the surprising Astros are facing the White Sox. Dallas Keuchel (KY’-kehl) tries to get back to his winning ways when he gets the start for the Astros. The 6-1 left-hander is coming off his first loss of the season that ended an unbeaten streak extending back to Aug. 21, 2014. Keuchel gave up a pair of two-run homers in Monday’s loss to the Orioles that upped his ERA to 1.98.
FRENCH OPEN-DAY 7
First week comes to a close in Paris
PARIS (AP) — Top seed Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) has advanced into the fourth round at the French Open. The winner of eight career Grand Slam tournaments is still looking for his first victory in the French. The top seed dispatched of a 19-year old 84th-ranked Australian. Other winners on the men’s side on Day 7 were third seed Andy Murray, sixth-seed Rafael Nadal (rah-fay-ehl nah-DAHL’), a nine-time winner of the event, and U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic (CHIHL’-ihch), the ninth-seed.
In a surprise the last American man standing is Jack Sock who will make his fourth-round Grand Slam debut when he faces Nadal.
The U.S. women are falling, with Madison Keys and Irina Falconi both out. That leaves Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens as the only ones left of the 17 American women who entered the clay-court major. Both are in action today.
Fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and former finalist Sara Errani (ehr-RAH’-nee) of Italy both advanced on the seventh day of play but 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone (fran-CHES’-kuh skee-ah-VOH’-nay) was eliminated.
Power starts from pole
DETROIT (AP) — Defending IndyCar champ Will Power earned the pole for today’s IndyCar race on the street course in Detroit. Teammates Helio Castroneves (EHL’-ee-oh kas-troh-NEH’-vehz) and Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya gave Team Penske the top three starting positions.
The second race of IndyCar’s Duel in Detroit will be run Sunday, the same day as qualifying.
Rain delays play for 2nd straight day
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The third round of the Byron Nelson Classic has been delayed because of more overnight rain. As a matter of fact they have not yet completed the second round. When play was called last night there were still 33 players on the course, but none closer than two shots behind leaders Steven Bowditch, Jon Curran and Jimmy Walker at 9 under. Hometown favorite Jordan Spieth (speeth) is three shots back.
Pressel looks to end winless drought
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Second-round play is underway in the LPGA’s Shopright Classic in New Jersey. First-round leader Morgan Pressel (PREH’-sehl) now has company at 5-under as Sydnee Michaels, Min Lee and Catriona (kah-TRIHN’-uh) Matthew have joined her. Unlike the others, Pressel is yet to have started her round. The others are at the midway point of the second round.
The 27-year-old Pressel is looking for her first tournament win since 2008. She became the youngest player to win a major in the 2007 Kraft Nabisco at 18 years, 10 months and 9 days old. But she has just one other win since then.