DeRozan bounces back, Raptors dominate defensively to tie up series with Bucks

Just then, the video board showed a movie clip from Jurassic World, subbing Antetokounmpo’s face onto that of the raptor trainer, soothing and quieting aggressive dinosaurs.But DeRozan, as promised, was bouncing back big – taking jumpers, going coast to coast past Tony Snell, barrelling right at defenders and finishing at the rim. Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting.“Anybody who knows me knows I’m never too high and I’m never too low, no matter how bad things or no matter how great things get,” said DeRozan after the game. DeMar DeRozan promised a bounce-back performance Saturday, and he delivered.Two days after he went without a field goal in his team’s humiliating 27-point Game 3 loss, DeRozan answered with a 33-point performance Saturday to lead the Toronto Raptors to an 87-76 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, tying up their first-round playoff series 2-2. “They found a way to slow us down and our tempo really slowed in the second half and came to a halt.”Lowry, who had been 2-of-7 in the first half, was getting free – driving, dishing passes, hitting three-point shots and drawing fouls. Toronto went on a 7-0 run and held Milwaukee to a 17-point third quarter. Toronto took a six-point lead into the final quarter and drove the game home.Snell was Milwaukee’s top scorer with 19, while Monroe was held to 14 points and nine boards.For Toronto, Powell contributed 12 points in the 34 minutes he was given, along with four assists. I’m going to be there, I’m bumping him.”Both teams shot poorly to start the game and the score remained close. “I keep a level head and I understand bad things are going to come, and I accept it, just like I accept the great times. The Freak went end to end and delivered a vicious jam over DeRozan, the phenom’s face contorting into a menacing snarl. The Toronto all-star led all players with 21 points by halftime, to Antetokounmpo’s 12, and the game was tied 41-41.In the second half, Ibaka was getting an astonishing number of open shots, but couldn’t get them to fall. One fan sauntered through the crowd with a sign that read “Canadian Bacon = Ham.” Positive vibes were still flowing after Thursday’s big win.Inside the arena, in their usual burn, they played Barney music as the Raptors’ starting lineup was announced and danced the purple dinosaur across the video board. It gave Milwaukee a seven-point lead and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. I knew lightning don’t strike twice in the same place.”Bucks fans were tailgating outside Milwaukee’s BMO Harris Bradley Center Saturday afternoon as a live band played. Kyle Lowry contributed 18 points – 14 of them in the second half. “This is an up and down league and one day you’re the statue and the next day you’re the pigeon.”The Bucks, who are looking to win their first playoff series since 2001, come back to Toronto where Game 5 will take place on Monday. “He wasn’t going to get easy runs or easy cuts. To antagonize the Raptors, a blow-up Bucks mascot ate an inflatable Raptor during a timeout. Regular starting centre Jonas Valanciunas would come off the bench in order to guard troublesome lefty centre Greg Monroe once he entered the game.“I knew what I was trying to do, I was trying to set the tone early that it was going to be a physical game for him,” said Powell. Pockets of Raptors fans spotted the crowd wearing jerseys or Raptors black and red plaid, breaking up the sea of Milwaukee fans waving white Fear the Deer rally towels.Toronto chose to mix up its starters in desperate times, going with Lowry, DeRozan, and DeMarre Carroll, shifting Serge Ibaka to centre, and inserting Norman Powell to start on the hot-shooting Khris Middleton. Game 6 will be played Thursday in Milwaukee. The Raps dictated the pace in a defensive slugfest that saw the Bucks turn the ball over 21 times, and shoot just 37 per cent. But the Greek Freak missed his first five field-goal attempts on what would be a so-so afternoon for the Bucks star.Antetokounmpo began to heat up a little midway through the second, swatting a big pass out of Carroll’s hands, nailing a couple of jumpers and one of his acrobatic wonder-feats. The Bucks still had some big moments that riled up the crowd as it had on Tuesday – Antetokounmpo intercepting passes or swatting away what looked like an easy Lowry layup. Still, the momentum was starting to swing in Toronto’s favour.“Give Toronto credit – they slowed us down,” said Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd. Ibaka had ten points, eight boards and blocked three shots, but made just four of his 16 field goal attempts.“I’ve always said we play better with our backs against the wall. It’s a tough way to live but I love our team’s resilient personality,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey.

Bautista homers in 13th, Blue Jays escape jam to beat Angels

Loup walked Danny Espinosa, and third baseman Chris Coghlan booted Juan Graterol’s grounder to end Loup’s outing, replaced by Biagini.Toronto went ahead 5-4 in the eighth on a two-run double by Justin Smoak, but Los Angeles tied it later in the inning when Martin Maldonado’s fly ball landed just inside the left field foul pole, beyond the reach of a leaping Carrera for an RBI double.Called up from the minors prior to the game, Toronto starter Mat Latos gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.Los Angeles starter Alex Meyer lasted 3 2/3 innings in his first start of the season. Sometimes it goes the wrong way. Lawrence gave up three runs and three hits and walked five (two intentional) in two innings of relief earlier this month.Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (0-1, 5.19) comes off a start versus Kansas City in which he pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while matching his career high of nine strikeouts. Howell is scheduled to throw another inning on Saturday, and if he comes out of that appearance with no setbacks “he’ll be good to go in St. Then it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh.“’In the top of the inning, Bautista hit his first homer of the season after two-out singles from Kevin Pillar and Ezequiel Carrera against Jesse Chavez (1-3). Reliever Andrew Bailey, sidelined since April 10 with right shoulder stiffness, resumed throwing. … “You make an error. Biagini then struck out Albert Pujols and got C.J. Bautista’s homer came on a 1-1 pitch and soared out to left-centre. You make another error. That really hurt us more than anything.”Trout hit his fifth homer in the fifth inning and had two hits and two RBIs. The double was the 604th of Pujols’ career, tying him for 13th with Paul Waner.Aaron Loup began pitching the 13th for Toronto, but Cameron Maybin reached on an error by first baseman Justin Smoak, then advanced on a passed ball. The Angels rallied after two Toronto errors in the 13th. Louis,” Gibbons said.Angels: RHP Mike Morin was placed on the 10-day DL with neck tightness. It’s a challenge. “I think it’s a work in a progress. “We’re just not getting the wins, which is the bottom line, and we need to start getting those quick.”UP NEXTBlue Jays: Rookie RHP Casey Lawrence (0-0, 13.50) is expected to be called up from Triple-A Buffalo to make the start Saturday. The slugger had two hits to bring his average up to .131 this season.“The home run felt nice. Cron to line out to centre field for his first save.“When you get that feeling like the last inning, you don’t feel like you win those games very often,” Toronto catcher Russell Martin said. Howell “felt fine” after his one-inning appearance for Class A Dunedin on Thursday, striking out two and allowing one hit. … Called up from Triple-A Buffalo prior to the game, he walked four batters while giving up two runs and two hits.TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: According to Jays manager John Gibbons, RHP J.P. Sometimes it comes in bunches. I’ve just got to be more consistent.”Ryan Tepera (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings in the game that lasted 5 hours, 36 minutes.Eight Angels pitchers combined to allow seven walks and throw two wild pitches, and Los Angeles also had two errors to waste offensive contributions from Trout and Pujols.“We lost this game in a lot of ways earlier,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We had some opportunities on the offensive side, but there were some cracks on the defensive side. It was good to contribute,” Bautista said. Pujols had a bases-loaded double in the third, moving him into a tie with Manny Ramirez for 18th on baseball’s RBI list at 1,831. Even in a wild, 13-inning victory early Saturday morning, the Toronto Blue Jays looked like a team struggling to get it together.Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer in the 13th inning, but Joe Biagini had to escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the inning to preserve Toronto’s 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels. Yunel Escobar left the game after six innings complaining of dizziness.Post-season HANGOVERToronto’s 3-12 record entering Friday was the worst 15-game start ever for a team that reached the playoffs the year before, besting the 4-11 mark set by the 1998 Florida Marlins, who were coming off a World Series championship.“I like some of the things we’re seeing,” Gibbons said. Kole Calhoun drove in one run with a single, and Biagini plunked Mike Trout with the bases loaded for another.

Paajarvi scores in OT, gives Blues 4-3 overtime win to oust Wild

“They know us. Stastny missed the last 14 games because of a lower-body injury. I’m sure we’re going to have many future series.”The Blues advanced to play Nashville in the second round, with Game 1 against the Predators at home in St. … … He charged in from the corner and, after a collision of sticks with Wild defenceman Jonas Brodin, kept the puck alive by pin-balling it off the inside of both skates before going to the opposite side to beat Dubnyk .“It’s impossible to pick one thing,” Koivu said, “why we came up short like that.”NOTES: The Wild fell to 1-7 in their last eight home games in the playoffs, with the only win coming in Game 3 against Dallas in the first round last year. “We’re all sick of it.”The Wild had a goal waved off earlier in the third period for goaltender interference on Nino Niederreiter. The Blues are 7-2 in their last nine post-season road games. “They got the best of us two years ago, and we came out on top this year. He turned the puck over to Vladimir Sobotka, whose pass found the trailing Paajarvi for the winner.That gave Yeo the satisfaction of beating the team that fired him a little over a year ago, his insider knowledge of the Wild’s preferences and tendencies undoubtedly a strategical benefit for the Blues.“I don’t think that what I’m feeling right now would be any different if it was any other team,” said Yeo, who was congratulated in the locker room afterward by Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher.Ryan Suter scored the first of two power play goals by the Wild, who posted a 26-12 advantage in shots on goal over the second and third periods after weathering an early barrage by the Blues. Coach Bruce Boudreau challenged, arguing that Jori Lehtera pushed Niederreiter into Allen, but the video review upheld the call to trigger an angry, dismissive wave of the left hand by Boudreau.Tarasenko, who had six goals in six games against the Wild in the playoffs in 2015, used some fancy footwork to give the Blues the early lead. … I’m sick of it,” Haula said. Louis for most of this series, controlling the play for periods at a time.With goalie Jake Allen as their guide and coach Mike Yeo on their side, though, the Blues sure had the right formula for beating the Wild in the playoffs.Magnus Paajarvi scored at the 9:42 mark in overtime, giving the Blues a 4-3 victory on Saturday in Game 5 of their playoff series to eliminate the Wild in the first round following the best season in franchise history. They lacked that finishing touch to reward their 5-on-5 effort, though, and Dubnyk couldn’t quite match Allen’s brilliance.The Wild also lost first line centre Eric Staal to a scary injury in the second period when he crashed head first into the boards and, though alert and stable, was sent to a nearby hospital for further observation. Koivu had his first goal in 22 games since March 7, which also came against the Blues. Louis.“I think we should be proud, but not satisfied,” Paajarvi said, adding: “We’ve got to play a better game.”Allen made 34 saves for the Blues, who led 2-0 and 3-1 before a furious rally by the Wild to try to keep their season alive forced the extra frame. Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker scored to bring the Wild back from their second two-goal hole, a deficit that held past the midpoint of the third period until the two scores 4:21 apart that Allen said the Wild deserved for how hard they came at him.Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the first time in the series, Alexander Steen followed him 3:15 later for a 2-0 lead midway through the first period and Paul Stastny got a goal in his first appearance of the playoffs, but the Blues were still fortunate to make it to overtime with all the difficult saves Allen had to make.Despite a clear edge in shots on goal and faceoff draws and a dominant penalty kill unit throughout the series, the Wild were left wondering what more they had to do to get more pucks past Allen.“They weren’t the better team,” coach Bruce Boudreau said, “but they won four games.”Paajarvi’s first career playoff goal was set up by Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 23 shots. Erik Haula filled in admirably, but in defeat.“What is this, five years in a row? Minnesota had the upper hand on St. He has eight goals in 20 career playoff games against Minnesota. We know them,” said Allen, who stopped 174 of the 182 shots he faced.

Canadiens’ front office left with many decisions after first-round playoff exit

Okay, Montreal Canadiens’ front office, now what?Accepted hockey wisdom holds the championship window for the Habs, with a 29-year-old franchise goalie (Carey Price), a 31-year-old franchise defenceman (Shea Weber) and a 28-year-old captain and 35-goal scorer (Max Pacioretty) is only open for a couple of years. The problem: After a first-round playoff exit against the New York Rangers, who won Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal 3-1 on Saturday, it’s exceedingly difficult to argue seriously that they’re close winning the team’s first Stanley Cup in a quarter century.This despite the presence of the aforementioned players, an uber-talented 23-year-old forward prospect like Alex Galchenyuk and youthful blood-and-guts players like Brendan Gallagher and Artturi Lehkonen.Would they have been better off with P.K. Subban, a proven playoff performer, in their lineup?This team’s shortcomings lie elsewhere, frankly – notably down the middle and in terms of scoring – but fans will be forgiven for asking the question.Subban, after all, is still playing.And what to do about impending free agents Alex Radulov and Andrei Markov and restricted free agents Nathan Beaulieu (a healthy scratch on Saturday), Galchenyuk and the other players looking for new contracts this summer?That’s leaving aside Price, who will enter the last year of his deal next fall and can be signed to a presumably very rich extension this summer.After last season’s failure to make the playoffs, Montreal GM Marc Bergevin said “it’s on me.”This year, he traded a cornerstone defenceman, acquired a first-line winger via free agency (Radulov), fired his coach, shipped out bit parts and draft picks for character, grit, and veteran experience at the trade deadline.It might have worked – this was a very close series against the Rangers – but it didn’t.The biggest decision Bergevin faces, and let’s face it, there are several, concerns his goaltender.Given he moved Subban, a fan favourite and the team’s highest-paid player, is anyone on the Habs’ roster safe?That’s of course assuming Price, who has Olympic and World Cup gold medals and earned his second Georges Vezina Trophy nomination as the NHL’s best goalie on Saturday, has seen enough to sign what is likely the last big-money contract of his career to stay in Montreal.Price, who has been the best thing about the Habs for half a decade, didn’t make the difference in this series – in the deciding game he gave up a goal that can rightly be described as soft.But if the Rangers, who finished just one point ahead of the Habs in the regular season, exposed one failing in this Montreal team, it is that they don’t have enough scoring punch up front, and cannot compete with top teams with a centre lineup of Philip Danault, Tomas Plekanec and Andrew Shaw/Galchenyuk, and Steve Ott or whoever else is on the fourth line.Galchenyuk began the series as a fourth-line left winger, so it’s an open question as to whether he fits in the club’s future plans.He wasn’t much of a factor in Game 6, or in the series.Habs captain Pacioretty, he of 35 goals in the regular season, didn’t score in the series, but in the first period he evidently decided to contribute in other ways: high-sticking New York’s Jimmy Vesey and dropping the gloves against the Harvard product for his first NHL fight since in nearly three years.During his seven minutes in the penalty box, the Canadiens managed to take the lead via the unlikely person of Alexei Emelin, who scored just his third goal of the season after a falling Radulov found him from below the goal line with a pass.The Habs owned the first period, chalking up 68 per cent of shot attempts and only two giveaways to the Rangers’ 11.The second frame, however, has been Montreal’s Achilles heel throughout the series.Just 2:26 into the second, the Rangers scored their first power-play goal in 15 attempts in the series (and the first goal the Habs have given up on the penalty kill in almost a month).It came from Mats Zuccarello, whose one-timed shot from the right wing side should have been stopped by a goalie of Price’s stature.About 11 minutes later, the home side took the lead via a pass from Kevin Hayes, whose feed to Zuccarrello in nearly an identical spot to his first goal gave little chance to Price, even if the puck kissed off his left skate into the net (defenceman Jordie Benn will regret his defensive coverage on the play).It should also be noted coach Claude Julien sent out his fourth line and defensive pair for a defensive zone faceoff after a television timeout – precisely the thing his predecessor Michel Therrien used to get criticized for.The Canadiens were gifted a power-play early in the third, but didn’t seriously threaten.It would become a theme for the period.Plekanec would have a half-chance to tie the game in the final two minutes.Henrik Lundqvist saved it, as he did all series; in fairness, it was more than the Habs deserved.When Derek Stepan scored into an empty net, it merely accentuated the point.

Blue Jays drop 5-4 decision to Angels after Simmons belts grand slam

Tulowitzki has a strained right hamstring.Bud Norris pitched the ninth for his first save.This was the second straight strong performance for Skaggs, a 25-year-old left-hander who pitched seven shutout innings against Kansas City on Sunday.Kevin Pillar extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run homer off reliever Kirby Yates, one batter after Skaggs was lifted, making the score 5-3.Justin Smoak led off the ninth inning with a homer off Yates to pull the Blue Jays within 5-4.Lawrence gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.Mike Trout had a pair of doubles, giving him 13 extra-base hits on the season, passing Boston’s Mitch Moreland for the most extra-base hits in the American League this season.Trout ripped a ground-rule double down the left-field line in the fifth inning and scored on Simmons’ slam.He also drove a fly ball off the left-field wall for an easy two-bagger with one out in the seventh.Trout also scored the Angels’ first run in the first inning. He was lifted after Ryan Goins doubled to lead off the eighth.Toronto is a majors’ worst 4-13 and placed star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the 10-day disabled list prior to the game. The Blue Jays called up RHP Yoenel Campos from Triple-A Buffalo, while the Angels called up RHPs Daniel Wright and Yates from Triple-A Salt Lake.TRAINER’S ROOMThe eighth inning of Friday night’s 5 1/2-hour game proved costly for both teams. Skaggs (1-1) gave up a run in the first but settled down to hold the Blue Jays to five hits over the next six innings, getting the Blue Jays to hit into three double plays along the way. Andrelton Simmons hit a tiebreaking grand slam, Tyler Skaggs pitched into the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels held off the slumping Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Saturday night.Simmons cleared the bases in the third inning off Casey Lawrence (0-2) for his second career grand slam, helping the Angels snap a three-game losing streak and win for the second time in 11 games. Tulowitzki injured himself going from second to third on a wild pitch. Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian, who threw the wild pitch, was also placed on the disabled list Saturday with a groin injury.SOLID AT SHORTRyan Goins shored up the Jays’ defence at shortstop with Tulowitzki out. In the seventh inning, Pujols scorched a grounder into the hole that Goins stopped with a full dive, then he backhanded the ball to second to start a sensational double play.LONG HAULJose Bautista’s tough luck at the plate continued when Kole Calhoun ran down his long fly ball to right-centre and caught it with an all-out dive.UP NEXTBlue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (1-2, 4.05) makes his fourth start of the season, and first since giving up six runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a lost to Boston on Tuesday night.Angels: Prior to Saturday’s game, manager Mike Scioscia declined to offer his selection for Sunday’s starting pitcher, telling reporters his decision was “depending upon what happens tonight.” He reached on an error, took second on a single by Albert Pujols and scored on a single up the middle by C.J. Cron.RELOADING RELIEVERSBoth teams reloaded their bullpens after they combined to use 15 pitchers in Friday night’s 13-inning game.

Oilers top Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 to win series

Talbot saved them at least once, when the Oilers turned the puck over in front of him while they were on a power play.Draisaitl broke a 0-0 deadlock on his breakaway only 54 seconds into the second period. Patrick Marleau scored from the side of the net off a nice pass from Logan Couture, cutting Edmonton’s lead to 2-1 with 7:48 remaining. Patrick Maroon had a goal and 22 hits. After Ryan Nugent-Hopkins blocked a shot, Adam Larsson found Draisaitl open and he fought off a check from Justin Braun before slipping his shot through goalie Martin Jones’s legs.It took only 56 seconds for Slepyshev to make it 2-0. His last-second goal in Game 6 gave him two and four points in the series, during which he was closely marked.“I learned a little bit about what the playoffs are all about,” McDavid said. Montreal was eliminated by the Rangers on Saturday in six games.The Oilers came out firing in their most important game since June 19, 2006, when they lost to Carolina in Raleigh in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. The Oilers were then assessed for a too-many-men infraction with 4:57 left, and San Jose was in full attack. Edmonton has never lost a playoff series after winning Game 5 when it was tied 2-2. Larsson had 21 hits, Matt Benning had 20.The Oilers beat the Sharks every which way – throwing their bodies around, mixing it up in every tight games. As a franchise, the Sharks had only won a series once in 11 tries when trailing 3-2.With McDavid mostly held in check in the series, the outcome was mostly left up to Edmonton’s supporting cast. At the same time, San Jose went 9-11 and fell from first to third.The Ducks, who are 15-0-3 in the last 18 games, will offer a bigger challenge. Zack Kassian scored the winning goals in Games 2 and 3. The Edmonton Oilers became the first Canadian team to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Saturday night with a thrilling 3-1 victory over San Jose at the SAP Center.Leon Draisaitl and Anton Slepyshev scored on breakaways less than a minute apart early in the second period, and Connor McDavid added an empty-netter with three-tenths of a second left. The seven goals were also a record in postseason for the Sharks.“It is a hostile place to play,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said earlier after his team’s morning skate. The Oilers will play Anaheim in the second round. Trailing in its series against Washington, 3-2, Toronto is at home at Air Canada Centre. They came back from two goals down. They trailed 3-1 late in the second period before Mark Letetsu scored on a power play. Cam Talbot had 27 saves in Edmonton’s first series win in the postseason in more than a decade. The Ducks made easy work of the Calgary Flames, eliminating them in four games. This is the first season since 2005-06 that they made the playoffs, and they did it after finishing 29th among 30 teams in 2015-16.Edmonton went 13-4-1 in March and April while pushing its way up to second in the Pacific Division. They didn’t succumb to the pressure after getting shellacked in Game 4 at San Jose.“I think we saw a team grow up before our very eyes, and it was a great thing,” McLellan said. The Oilers beat them three times in five meetings during the regular season, but Anaheim will have home-ice advantage after finishing first in the division.The Oilers were wary about getting off to a poor start on Saturday after losing to the Sharks 7-0 on Wednesday on their home ice. “It was a great series for me to learn from.”Entering Game 6, history was on the Oilers side. Ottawa leads Boston, 3-2, and is playing at TD Garden. It was the team’s worst loss of the season, and its worst playoff defeat ever. The Oilers played the entire third period without Oscar Klefbom, their best defenceman, who was suffering from the flu.“I tried to control rebounds as best I could and not give them any second opportunities,” Talbot said.The Sharks yanked Jones with 1:43 remaining and pressured the Oilers relentlessly the rest of the way. I believe we have learned our lesson from Game 4.”Edmonton outshot San Jose 9-6 in the first period, with several close chances. Edmonton’s 20-year-old centre logged more than 30 minutes of ice time, a huge number for a non-defenceman. The 22-year old forward, who played in the KHL as recently as 2014-15, grabbed a loose puck, skated in and easily beat Jones. Kris Russell, the scrappy defenceman  who led the NHL in blocked shots, had 27 blocks in six games. “We have had some success, but the important thing for us is to be ready to play (tonight). The schedule for Round 2 is yet to be released.“We are ready for the Ducks,” McDavid told broadcaster Cassie Campbell-Pascall.The Maple Leafs and the Senators remain alive and both have games on Sunday. It was the first postseason goal for each of them.A hush fell over the sell-out crowd at SAP Center, while fans at Rogers Place watching the telecast on the scoreboard cheered. More than 18,000 people paid a $5 admission fee, with proceeds going to charity, to watch the game.“It is a huge moment for the organisation,” Draisaitl said afterward.The game was not without drama. Draisatl was foiled on what appeared to be a sure goal, having his stick snap just as he went to fire at a gaping net within the final minute.The Oilers took command of the series with a dramatic come-from-behind victory in overtime on Thursday in Game 5 at Rogers Place. Klefbom then tied it with 2:46 left in regulation, and David Desharnais won it with 1:45 left in the extra period.The Oilers rallied after  McDavid made a crushing open-ice hit against Marcus Sorensen.