Ducks drop Oilers in overtime in Game 4, tie series

It was the first goal and point for the rookie left wing in 10 postseason contests. Anaheim now has the momentum going into Game 5 on Friday night at the Honda Center.Jakob Silfverberg scored the winner 45 seconds into overtime, blasting a shot from the left wing past Cam Talbot. The Oilers asked for a review due to possible goaltender interference because it looked like Perry bumped Talbot in the crease. Zack Kassian and Matthew Benning delivered crushing checks, with the rookie defenceman rocking Corey Perry along the boards at the middle of the rink.Connor McDavid missed from in close in front of the net as the Oilers mounted an 8-3 advantage in shots midway through the first period.Twice, the Oilers killed power plays without Anaheim mustering much of a threat.Eighteen seconds after the Ducks were caught with too many players on the ice, Milan Lucic slapped a puck past Gibson to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead. “He made a great shot.”Drake Caggiula tied the game for Edmonton with 1:42 left in the third period, picking up a rebound off a shot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and flipping it over John Gibson. “There are highs and lows. Draisaitl and Mark Letestu were both given assists on the goal with 4:22 left in the first period.A little over two minutes later, McDavid scored for the fourth time in the postseason and second time in as many games, depositing a shot into the back of the net after a pass from Draisaitl.The crowd began regaling McDavid, nominated this week for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, with chants of MVP. Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl went an abysmal 5-22.Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell, who have shined through the first two rounds, were the big stars for the Ducks. At one point, Edmonton went 10 minutes without a shot.The Oilers also fared very poorly again in the faceoff circle, winning only 24 of 62. Officials sent Vermette to the box for swiping the puck with his hand in the faceoff circle, a delay-of-game infraction.The sellout crowd, some dressed like Duck Dynasty cast members, roared when Caggiula lifted the puck over Gibson. At the same time, Gibson began hearing catcalls from the orange-clad spectators.As good as the first period was for Edmonton, the second was bad. It is a best-of-seven series, though, and we are still tied, 2-2.”The Oilers had unexpectedly won each of the first two games on the road, but now the Ducks have returned the favour. The Oilers are heading back to Anaheim tied with the Ducks after four games in their second-round playoff series, but, suddenly, it feels like they are behind.Edmonton coughed up a two-goal lead and then tied it in the final two minutes before suffering a painful 4-3 loss in overtime at Rogers Place on Wednesday night. The shot flew over Talbot’s pad inside the post, and a tense see-saw battle was over.“There is not much you can do,” said Talbot, who had 35 saves. The arena fell into a hush when Silfverberg scored his fifth goal of the series, and seventh in eight games this postseason.“That’s the way the playoffs are,” Caggiula said. There is no easy game.“We did a good job battling back, but came up a little short. With the loss, the Oilers gave back the home-ice advantage they had wrestled away from the Ducks by winning Games 1 and 2 in southern California. The goal stood.Then Rakell tied it from the left wing less than four minutes later, and Getzlaf whacked in a rebound of a shot by Rakell to put Anaheim ahead with 5:37 left.The Ducks outshot the Oilers in the second period 21-5, and the game suddenly was leaning heavily in their favour.The Oilers’ improbable run looked like it may continue when Caggiula netted the tying goal. With a victory on Friday, the Ducks could end the series on Edmonton’s home ice on Sunday night.The Oilers had only five losses in their last 23 home games, but have now lost two in a row.The Oilers had their best start of the series but then lost their way. Getzlaf scored the first and last of three unanswered goals in the second period and now has four in the series and seven in postseason play.Rakell had the tying goal in between them, with an assist to Getzlaf.With his two goals, Getlzaf tied Teemu Selanne for the Ducks’ franchise record with 35 career postseason goals.This is the 20th time in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs that a team has blown a multi-goal lead.The Oilers came out firing in the first period, throwing their bodies around against the Ducks like they had in the opening round against San Jose. They have gone from 29th in the league last year to eighth this season, and are tied 2-2 in the second round.After losing in overtime and giving back the home-ice advantage, their task just became a heck of a lot more difficult. A year ago, Caggiula helped the University of Dakota win the NCAA championship.The goal was scored one second after an Oilers power play had expired, and with Talbot pulled from the net to give Edmonton an extra attacker. The Oilers had received the benefit of a peculiar call against Antoine Vermette with 3:43 left. Ryan Getzlaf, who had a four-point night, set the goal up with a perfect pass. Getzlaf scored his third goal of the series and sixth in eight playoff games for the Ducks 1:37 in to cut their deficit to 2-1. They were badly outshot over the last two periods and failed to generate much offence as the Ducks took over the game.

NHL enforcer Sasha Lakovic was a fearless fighter

He scored just one goal that season.The 6-foot, 220-pound forward eschewed the label goon, preferring to be known as an enforcer. Lakovic accumulated 118 penalty minutes while recording four assists. He portrayed Soviet captain Boris Mikhailov in the 2004 Disney movie Miracle, about an underdog American hockey team winning the Olympic gold medal.Mr. The team was based on the Horse Lake First Nation reserve, north of Grande Prairie, Alta. He scored 20 goals in just 40 games with the minor-league Tulsa Oilers in 1994-95.Sasha Gordon Lakovic was born in Vancouver on Sept. Lakovic spoke out about concussions, telling reporters of the consequences of the many head injuries he sustained during his playing days. (One of the owners was Tiger Williams, an infamous NHL tough guy of pugnacious disposition.) He also skated indoors on concrete for the Oakland Skates and San Jose Rhinos. Mr. He leaves four children, three brothers and his parents.In 2015, Mr. Lakovic’s left, a lesson learned by Stéphane Quintal, who stopped a blow with his nose in a brief bout in 1998. He joined the Vancouver Voodoo for the league’s inaugural season in 1993. (Mr. Mr. The hockey player Sasha Lakovic’s pugilistic reputation was captured in the nicknames Hit Man, Sasha the Basha and The Pitbull.The ornery right winger recorded stunning penalty minute totals in a career that took him from playing professional roller hockey in his hometown to the National Hockey League. Along the way, he engaged in heavyweight bouts against the felonious likes of Bob Probert, Dan Kordic, Big Georges Laraque, Gino (The Algonquin Enforcer) Odjick and Link Gaetz, whose antics on and off the ice earned him the nickname The Missing Link. Lakovic’s duty to police the behaviour of rivals who might otherwise be tempted to take liberties with the well-being of skilled players. He did not score in his brief NHL career, which was spread over parts of three seasons.While some hockey enforcers seem little more than boxers steered from the ring to the rink, Mr. He engaged in 12 fights in 37 NHL games with the Flames and New Jersey Devils. Quintal, then with the Montreal Canadiens, is currently the NHL’s chief disciplinarian as senior vice-president of the league’s player-safety department.) Mr. “I’m bringing in the fans. He first displayed promise as a hockey player with the junior Kelowna (B.C.) Spartans and the Bellingham (Wash.) Ice Hawks. “I thought he was more of a man than that,” Mr. Lakovic’s career – or its apex, depending on one’s view of violence in hockey – came in a game in Edmonton in 1996, when a spectator poured a drink followed by a chaser of popcorn onto the head of assistant coach Guy Lapointe of the Calgary Flames. The Beethoven-loving athlete returned home that evening to learn he’d been promoted to the NHL.After leaving hockey, he became a combatant in mixed martial arts, most notably in a contest against Gavin (Snacks) Neal of Trail, B.C., in a Vancouver promotion called Total Combat Challenge.“I am a ham bone and this is a show,” he told Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun. Lakovic died on April 25. Instead, he would later complain he was instructed to become a fighter.In summers, he played in the fledgling Roller Hockey International, a pro circuit seeking to cash in on the inline skating craze of the 1990s. Lakovic ended his hockey days with Horse Lake at the age of 39, in 2011.His career included a 20-game suspension with a $1,000 fine for punching a rival who refused to fight back. He had earned a reputation as one of the most fearless fighters in minor hockey. Lakovic said of the fan. Greg Lakovic, a younger brother who played professional baseball and hockey, was also in the club. Everyone wants to see Sasha.”A muscleman physique and a rugged Slavic face led to his being cast in such roles as a police officer, a hockey player and a Russian soldier in television and movie productions shot in Vancouver. Please include I Remember in the subject field. “We all knew he’d be trouble, swearing and making threats.”The 25-year-old NHL rookie had been signed as a free agent by the Flames the previous month. Lakovic said of his unwilling opponent.He was completing his suspension in 1997, when he spent a Sunday afternoon at a symphony concert in Albany followed by a four-hour session at a tattoo parlour, where he had the image of a pit bull inked on his right thigh. The Thunder won the league title (the only blemish a tie game against 25 victories) and were favoured to claim the Allan Cup as national senior champions only to be upset by the Thunder Bay (Ont.) Bombers in a semifinal game. After the league folded, he joined the Philadelphia Sting for the summer of 1998.On ice, the forward’s itinerant career took him from Alaska to New Brunswick, as he wore the sweaters of the Columbus (Ohio) Chill, Brantford (Ont.) Smoke, Chatham (Ont.) Wheels, Binghamton (N.Y.) Rangers, Toledo (Ohio) Storm, Saint John (N.B.) Flames, Albany (N.Y.) River Rats, Rochester (N.Y.) Americans, Anchorage (Alaska) Aces, Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors, Long Beach (Calif.) Ice Dogs, and St-Jean (Que.) Mission.In 2004, he signed with the Horse Lake Thunder, a senior men’s team in the North Peace Hockey League, joined on the roster by former former NHLers Mr. Lakovic (pronounced la-KOH-vik) has died at 45, just seven months after announcing he had inoperable brain cancer.The nadir of Mr. 7, 1971, to Marsha and Spasoje Lakovic. The NHL later added a $1,000 fine while also issuing a two-game suspension, costing him about $8,000 in salary, a substantial amount for him at the time.“He was a stupid drunk,” Mr. Under pro hockey’s slash-for-a-slash and elbow-for-an-elbow code, it was Mr. It was his ambition to be a power forward, a strong presence in front of the net able to pounce on loose pucks. In a flash, Mr. Woe to the challenger who failed to block Mr. With the Las Vegas Thunder in 1995-96, he was assessed an astonishing 416 penalty minutes, just a double minor short of spending seven complete games in the penalty box during a campaign in which he only dressed for 49 games. Odjick, Dody Wood and Theo Fleury. The player hauled himself midway over the glass separating the players’ bench from the seats, his skated feet kicking wildly in the air for balance as he reached down to grab the miscreant.The referee assessed the player a gross misconduct penalty, which carried a $200 fine. “Depression, emotional anger, insomnia, the anxiety is high.” He urged the parents of young athletes to pay attention when their children complain of the effects of a blow to the head.To submit an I Remember: obit@globeandmail.comSend us a memory of someone we have recently profiled on the Obituaries page. “The issues I suffer are deep,” he told the CBC. Lakovic showed flashes of talent. Lakovic bulled from the end of the Calgary bench to accost the sloppy patron.

Ontario-bred horse State of Honor to compete at the Kentucky Derby

Only two Canadian-breds have won the prestigious race – the legendary Northern Dancer in 1964 and Sunny’s Halo in ’83.Mine That Bird, Canada’s top two-year-old male in 2008, was a shocking 50-to-1 long-shot Derby winner in 2009. The Ontario-bred and owned horse will combine with stablemate Classic Empire to give the 56-year-old Casse, an Indianapolis native, two shots in the 20-horse field at achieving his lifetime goal of winning the Derby. In fact, he’s kind of been the talk around the track on how good he’s training and how good he looks.”While Casse chases a first-ever Derby win Saturday, State of Honor looks to join very exclusive company. It’s been a tough week, many tears have been shed and so many stories told. “When you figure [early 4-to-1 Derby favourite] Classic Empire is [16 hands one inch], State of Honor is a very big horse. But you just never know because there’s nothing to judge how a horse will perform in this type of race because they’ve never seen anything like it.” He drew the No. “He’s also got a big, big heart. He tries every time.”Jockey Jose Lezcano will ride State of Honor for the first time on Saturday. “In the Kentucky Derby, you’re going to have 5/16s of a mile, almost, of straightaway and when some horses see that there’s no slowing them down.“The good news is one of Jose’s fortes is getting a horse to quiet down. “In any 20-horse field, he just needs a clean break.“It’s been much discussed that there’s not much speed in the race and he’s going to be close to the lead or maybe even be on it. He’ll definitely be hard to miss Saturday in the Kentucky Derby, the first jewel of American horse racing’s Triple Crown.“He’s a big, beautiful horse,” trainer Mark Casse said. The Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs were very dear to my father.” Casse’s father, Norman Sr., – a key figure in the Florida breeding and sales industries – died March 6 at the age of 79.Classic Empire has garnered much attention in Kentucky after winning the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 15. “When I was eight years old, I did a TV show and said I was going to win the Kentucky Derby and I’d love to check it off.“I would’ve loved to try checking it off when my dad was still alive. But Casse remains bullish on the horse.“He has a legitimate chance, make no mistake about it,” Casse said. “And I’d say, ‘We’re getting closer, Penny.’“Then after the Florida Derby she asked, ‘Do we have enough points?’ I said, ‘We do,’ and she just started crying. So much of winning the Kentucky Derby and being ready is having the horse peaking at the right time and he’s doing that. It happens: Some horses like grass, some horses like dirt, some horses like synthetic.”On Saturday, horses must not only contend with a large crowd – last year’s announced attendance of 167,227 was the second-most ever – there’s also Churchill Downs’ lengthy opening stretch from the starting gate to the first turn.“Most horses have gone into a turn within about an eighth of a mile, which naturally slows you down,” Casse said. State of Honor has always stood out in a crowd.That’s because the strapping bay stands 17 hands one inch high, or roughly 5 foot 9. 6 post. I told her I wanted them to come out this week and see the festivities because it’s like nothing they’ve ever seen before.”Coincidentally, much of State of Honor’s success has come since Casse moved the horse from Tapeta to dirt.“Obviously he went to Toronto because the Conrads love to watch their horses run and he’s Canadian-bred,” Casse said. 14 post Wednesday.State of Honor, with just one win in 10 career starts, comes in well under the radar at early 30-to-1 odds and will break from the No. Since then, he’s finished second four times, including in the Florida Derby on April 1, his last start, and the Tampa Bay Derby in March.Points from those two races helped State of Honor cement a Derby berth, delighting Penny Conrad, who co-owns the horse with her husband, Manfred.“After every race Penny would ask, ‘Do we have enough points?’” Casse said. But he was bred in the United States and had been sold to foreign interests prior to his stunning win.State of Honor began racing last season at Woodbine, needing five races to register his first win. Casse’s best Derby finish was fifth in 2015 with the late Danzig Moon.“It’s the most important race, ever, in the world for me,” said Casse, Canada’s top trainer a record nine times. “He trained and ran well but not great.“Last November, we sent him to Palm Meadows Training Center [in Boynton, Fla.], and as soon as he got on dirt he was like a different horse.

Mika’s magic, just a mirage for Senators, gets real for Rangers

He had more shots, six, than any player on either side. Yet, barely a month into his new start he crashed into the boards during a game against the Florida Panthers and suffered a broken left leg.It made for a rather discouraging regular season: 26 games missed, only 14 goals and 23 assists – last among the regulars.Now, nine games into the postseason, he has a goal and six assists for seven points – first among the regulars.As open a book as there might be in hockey, Zibanejad has spoken of his failed confidence, of his work with sports psychologists, of what works and what doesn’t work for him.“When I play on my instincts more than try to think out there,” he candidly told New York reporters after Tuesday’s dominant performance, “[it] works better for me. They saw him fade in and out of games and, in the end, lost confidence in him. The organization had lost faith in his hockey sense. He was the fastest; his line, Zuccarello on one wing, Chris Kreider on the other, was dominant from start to finish.Such a performance could have been used by the Ottawa Senators, who seemed lost and unfocused in what has to go down as their worst game of the postseason.The thing is, right up until July 18 of last summer, Zibanejad was an Ottawa Senator, until the team gave up on the big, 6-foot-2, 215-pound centre by sending him and a second-round pick in next year’s entry draft to the Rangers for Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in that same draft.The Senators had originally drafted the Swedish player a high sixth overall in the 2011 draft.He showed enough promise at his first training camp that they kept him around for a while before returning him to his team in Sweden, Djurgardens IF, where they hoped he would develop more.The Senators were over-the-moon ecstatic when, months later, Zibanejad led Team Sweden to the gold medal in the world juniors held in Calgary, the big, quick-skating kid gobbling up a Russian turnover at the blueline and bursting in to score the winning goal, the game’s only goal, on a fancy backhand at the 10:09 mark of overtime.It would be wrong to say he never worked out, but not at all wrong to say that he never worked out quite as the Ottawa Senators had imagined he would. That’s what I’m trying to [do] with my game there – and it seems to be working.”Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault seemed to agree when he met with the media on Wednesday. “Now we have to win another one.” A more established team where he could apprentice rather than star. Great skill, wonderful skater, big body – but how much of the ice did he see? I’m not as passive – something that has been brought up before. It was Zibanejad who wore the best player’s “Broadway Hat” in the Rangers dressing room following the team’s decisive 4-1 victory in Game 3 and tried to deflect praise every direction but his own.But praise was due. It was Zibanejad who led the first charge up the ice and had the first good chance on Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. It was Zibanejad who set up the Rangers’ first goal by carrying the puck up the ice, circling the net and sending the puck out to linemate Mats Zuccarello, allowing Zuccarello to give the Rangers a lead they would never relinquish. He struggled and spent time in the minors, but then in his last two seasons scored 20 and 21 goals, enough to make him attractive to the Rangers, even with a salary hit this year of $3.25-million.The Senators were happy to make the trade, even though the Ottawa fan base had grown a soft spot for the easy-going, shy – even sweet – Zibanejad. “Obviously, right now there’s a lot of pressure. Okay, so he’s not Russian.He is, in fact, half-Iranian, half-Swedish – but all the same, Churchill’s wry line about Russia seems also to fit Mika Zibanejad: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”The 24-year-old Ranger, who has so often left coaches slapping their foreheads and general managers scratching their heads, was such a force Tuesday night in New York that it seemed, at times, as though he might be the only player who had remembered to get his skates sharpened. Vigneault talked about the importance of work ethic and about how the best players all exhibit good “off-ice skills” as well as their obvious on-ice talents.“I think Mika is starting to grasp that,” Vigneault said. He, not surprisingly, lost even more confidence in himself.The Rangers seemed a nice new beginning. In the last little while he’s managed it well and he’s getting better.“We’re going to be sitting here in a couple of years either saying, ‘He was a real good player’ or we’re going to be saying, ‘He never quite figured it out.’ ”For the moment, however, he certainly appears to have figured something out, especially when working with the highly creative Zuccarello.“He makes it so much easier for me to play,” says Zibanejad of his winger.He also knows that one good game, one good series, even one good playoffs, cannot erase the doubts and concerns that have trailed him since he was drafted so high.“It’s just one game,” he said of Tuesday’s win.

Boiling rivalry: Orioles pitcher Gausman ejected after another Red Sox batter hit

Red Sox manager John Farrell said Torre had told the teams to knock it off, but that there were no warnings about hit batters.“I guess the best way to describe it is: I can confirm that there was a call and it happened for both clubs, to basically address the last two weeks and to say, ‘Enough is enough,“’ Farrell said, adding that he hoped that would be the end of it.In the fifth inning, Jones was ejected by Holbrook after striking out swinging. Orioles manager Buck Showalter sprinted out of the dugout to complain, and Gausman appeared to be arguing that the pitch was a curveball that did not break. But the low-grade hostility boiled into a feud on April 21 when Machado spiked Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia with a late slide.Two days later, Boston reliever Matt Barnes whizzed a fastball behind the head of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, hitting his bat. “I’m not losing sleep tonight.” The team apologized, as did the Boston mayor and Massachusetts governor, and Red Sox players came to Jones’ defence.When Jones came to the plate the next night, he received a loud and long ovation from the Boston crowd. But things turned sour for the very next batter when Red Sox starter Chris Sale buzzed Manny Machado with a pitch behind his knees, and the Baltimore third baseman responded after the game with an expletive-filled tirade.That led to a call Wednesday afternoon with Torre, the two managers, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and Orioles GM Dan Duquette. Orioles starter Kevin Gausman was ejected in the second inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Red Sox after hitting Boston’s Xander Bogaerts with a pitch – the latest in a series of beanballs and brushbacks that have turned the teams’ matchups this season into a boiling rivalry.Hours after a conference call in which MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre sent the message “Enough is enough,” Gausman plunked Bogaerts on the hip with his 20th pitch of the game. Jones was upset about a late strike call earlier in the at-bat.Duquette, meanwhile, said he hoped Sale would be suspended.“Of course, I’m concerned about our guys, but we can’t have the pitchers in this league throwing at the hitters (and) it doesn’t work,” Duquette told reporters in the Baltimore dugout before the game.Longtime competitors in the AL East, the rivalry between Boston and Baltimore has never attracted the attention or animosity of a Red Sox-Yankees matchup. “If they’re going to hit me, hit me. Go ahead. I’ve lost mad respect for that team and that organization,” he said.Told about Machado’s tirade, Sale shrugged it off.“Whatever, man,” he said. Then came Sale’s purpose pitch.“I lost my respect for that organization,” Machado said afterward. Don’t keep lingering it around and doing that. Rather than issue the customary warning, home plate umpire and crew chief Sam Holbrook immediately tossed Gausman. The pitch, recorded by radar guns at 76.6 mph, hit Bogaerts on the hip.It was not known whether the umpires were under orders from MLB to automatically toss any pitcher who hit a batter – under these circumstances, it wouldn’t be unheard of.The feud has developed at the same time that the city of Boston rallied in support of Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who reported being called racial slurs by a fan at Fenway Park during Monday night’s game. Get it over with. Barnes was suspended four games and fined.In the opener of the four-game series at Fenway Park on Monday, Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy hit Boston’s Mookie Betts near the left hip with a fastball.

Sebastian Giovinco goals help Toronto FC snap Orlando City’s win streak

Spanish playmaker Victor Vazquez, meanwhile, notched his sixth assist of the season.Giovinco and strike partner Jozy Altidore have accounted for 10 of Toronto 14 goals this season.Unlike the Chicago game on April 21 when Giovinco threw a tantrum after scoring twice and being substituted with five minutes remaining, there was no misbehaviour from the mercurial Italian who played the full 90 minutes.Kaka, with his second goal in as many games after missing five matches with a hamstring injury, started the Orlando comeback in first-half stoppage time. Canadian Cyle Larin had chances to add to that total but was unable to convert two excellent chances. Toronto (4-1-4) switched formation to a back four late in the game to blunt the Orlando attack and stretch its run of wins to three in Greg Vanney’s 100th game (42-36-22) in charge.Orlando (6-2-0) arrived with the best record in Major League Soccer and riding a four-game win streak during which it had outscored its opposition 7-1.After a slow start to the season, Giovinco now has five goals – with a pair of two-goal performances in the last three games. Sebastian Giovinco scored two first-half goals and Toronto FC hung on for a 2-1 victory Wednesday that snapped Orlando City’s four-game win streak.The visitors, who offered little in the first half, were revitalized by Kaka’s goal just before the break and came out strong in the second. Suddenly Toronto was on the backfoot before a BMO Field crowd of 25,200.

Toronto Raptors crushed by Cleveland Cavaliers on historic night for LeBron James

2 scorer in NBA playoff history. The 6-foot-4, second-year guard Powell started off defending the superstar James, a 6-foot-8 veteran of 12 successive postseasons.There were good signs for Toronto early in the first quarter. Powell added quickness and more ball handling, and drove through the paint to score. The Cavs took a hefty 99-73 lead into the fourth, and Cavs fans were already salivating over the 10 free chicken nuggets they win every time their team eclipses 100 points.Lowry left the game for good before the final quarter. The home team led 34-22 going into the second.“They may be the North,” bellowed the peppy host on the microphone inside Quicken Loans Arena, “But we defend ‘The Land.’”Valanciunas continued his hot night when he returned in the second, bullying his way through the paint to score repeatedly. Lowry, who came down awkwardly with Norman Powell under that basket, said his ankle was still hurting after the game.“It was kind of scary…it’s painful but I’m not going to complain about it,” said Lowry of the injury. Patterson, who was 1-for-5 from the field in Game 1, drained his first shot attempt – a stunning three-pointer.But as they had in Game 2, the Cavs high-octane offence was humming. “We got our butts spanked. We know we can do it. We came in at home and we were a different team. But the Cavs were able to hold DeRozan without a field goal – Toronto’s all-star guard managed just a single free throw and went 0-for-7 from the field in the first half as the Raptors trailed 62-48 going into the locker room.Just inside the quarter Lowry left the game and went to the locker room briefly after Powell fell on his leg under the hoop.James was piling in the points – everything from three-point jumpers to emphatic dunks. That’s something that’s encouraging. Instead the Cavs point guard passed behind him to James, who exploded up for a vicious dunk.Toronto laboured away – enjoying a few highlights – Ibaka finally making shots and Lowry dribbling in for layups. Lowry hit his first three shots. Cleveland was also badly outrebounding Toronto’s small lineup and producing frequent turnovers. DeRozan left shortly after that. With a crisp bucket from beyond the arc in the third, the crowd rose in ovation as it was announced on the video board that James had moved past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the No. It’s frustrating,” said a somber DeRozan in the locker room. James is now second only to Michael Jordan.Irving stole a ball off Powell, and then dribbled past the young Raptor for what could have been a layup. That’s a positive for us going back home, to our home court, to try to make something happen.”  James left to yet another ovation and chants of “M-V-P” after getting 39 points on just 14 shots.Dating back to last year, the superb Cavs have now won nine straight playoff games. We haven’t played well at all, collectively on either end. They moved out Valanciunas and DeMarre Carroll and inserted Powell and Patrick Patterson to join usual starters DeRozan, Lowry and Serge Ibaka.Ibaka moved onto Tristan Thompson, while Patterson guarded Kevin Love. Smith. The series picks up in Toronto, with Games 3 and 4 going Friday and Sunday.“Last year, same exact moment, it seems identical,” said DeRozan of last year’s series with Cleveland. “Now just having time, having to wait until Friday night to redeem yourself.”Following their Game 1 loss, the Raptors opted to alter the starting lineup. Kyle Lowry sprained his ankle, and DeMar DeRozan went 2-for-11 from the field as the Toronto Raptors were crushed 125-103 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and head home north of the border in a 0-2 series hole.LeBron James troubled the Raptors again – this time for 39 points – and Kyrie Irving added 22. It marked the fifth time DeRozan has been held under 10 points in a playoff game – all on the road against four different opponents – Indiana twice, Miami, Milwaukee and Cleveland. Jonas Valanciunas led Toronto with 23 points, while Lowry had 20, but his fellow all-star backcourt mate DeRozan was held to just five. “I’m gonna get treatment, get ready to play in Game 3.”The Raptors expressed everything from anger to embarrassment after the game.“It sucks. The Raps couldn’t score at the Cavs’ lightning-fast pace.Midway through the quarter, Valanciunas was the first off the bench – in for Ibaka – who had gone a costly 0-for-4 from the field early on. They were zipping the ball quickly, and shooting hot – especially Kevin Love and J.R. The Lithuanian big man scored ten fast points – a few jumpers, a dunk and a low-post bucket where he toppled Channing Frye to the ground.Despite James not making his first field goal until nine minutes into the game, Cleveland shot a blazing-hot 70 per cent in the first quarter, to Toronto’s 42 per cent. The Raps are 0-5 when DeRozan is held under 10 points.

Crosby out but Washington fails to capitalize as Penguins beat Capitals 3-2

… Oshie with less than two minutes left in regulation.Oshie called it an “amateur play,” one symbolic of a night in which the Capitals failed to take advantage of a Penguins team missing Crosby, defenceman Kris Letang and forward Conor Sheary.Alexander Ovechkin managed just two shots and Washington’s power play went 0 for 4.“I would say our top players didn’t play as well as they need to be to be top players,” Trotz said. “They need to step up right now.”Capitals centre Jay Beagle believed things could get “nasty” as the series moved forward after Matt Niskanen’s shot to Crosby’s head early in Washington’s Game 3 victory.Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel countered that Beagle’s assertion that Niskanen’s shot was “clean” made Beagle “an idiot.” Beagle jokingly suggested the two work out their differences over a video game.The nastiness never showed up. Forget about revenge for the brutal cross-check that knocked Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby out of the playoffs indefinitely.Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t want any part of it. The Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender came up with a more effective method of retribution against the Washington Capitals“The best way to make them pay is winning,” Fleury said. He’s a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender and I think he’s showing it.”Consider the Capitals believers. “He’s a competitive guy. And yet all those opportunities have translated into just one victory.“We had good chances and we didn’t bury them,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. Washington again went with seven defencemen in the lineup for a second straight game. One more win by Pittsburgh and the Penguins will send the Presidents’ Trophy winners home for the ninth time in 10 playoff meetings.The Capitals insist it’s not mental, though at times they were their own worst enemy. A flick of Hornqvist’s wrists and the puck sailed over Holtby’s glove and under the crossbar 4:39 into the first period to put the home team ahead for the first time in the series.The Penguins’ advantage doubled 3:51 into the second when Guentzel’s cross to Matt Cullen instead ended up in the Washington net.The Capitals tied it within a 72-second span later in the second. Outscoring them is another matter entirely.Patric Hornqvist provided the Penguins with an early boost and Justin Schultz’s power-play goal just past the game’s midway point was enough for Fleury to do the rest .Rendered a backup most of the season behind Matt Murray, Fleury is now Pittsburgh’s most vital player, one who seems to thrive in the face of Washington’s incessant pressure.“He’s elevated his game at an important time,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. Guentzel’s goal came when a crossing pass deflected off Washington defenceman Dmitry Orlov and by Braden Holtby .Washington took seven penalties, including a high-sticking call against T.J. Something the defending Stanley Cup champions keep doing no matter who is — and who isn’t — in the lineup.Fleury stopped 36 shots, rookie Jake Guentzel took advantage of a fortunate bounce for his playoff-leading eighth goal and Pittsburgh pushed Washington to the brink of elimination with a 3-2 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.Game 5 is Saturday night in Washington.Outplay and outshoot the Penguins all you want. The “Mario Kart” showdown Beagle wanted will have to wait too.Save for a scrap in the second period that amounted to little more than an extended wrestling match between Chris Kunitz and Tom Wilson — who made a run at Kunitz but missed — things stayed relatively tame.An emotional and energetic start and a dash of luck allowed Pittsburgh to build a 2-0 lead. Washington has pumped 142 shots at Fleury through four games, nearly 50 more shots than the Penguins have managed the other way (93). Justin Williams escaped a pair of Penguins on the boards and fed Evgeny Kuznetsov at the top of the circle for a wrist shot that zipped by Fleury.Just over a minute later, Oshie’s shot caromed off the end boards and straight to Nate Schmidt, who beat Fleury for the first playoff goal of his career.Pittsburgh’s power play, which struggled early in the series even with Crosby in the lineup, came through when a blast from Schultz 11:24 into the second put the Penguins back in front.Fleury did the rest as he continued his renaissance with starter Matt Murray out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. Hornqvist took a feed from Olli Maatta and beat a pair of Washington defenders to break in on Holtby. Fleury withstood surge after surge and when his teammates finally found their legs late in the third period, Washington found itself on the brink of having another promising season end with a loss to their longtime rivals.“Right now Game 7 is every game for us,” Ovechkin said.NOTES: Pittsburgh improved to 5-4 in the playoffs without Crosby during his career. “Our backs are against the wall.”Again.

Real-life ‘Rocky’ gets his moment on-screen

“I think that’s the nature of art and storytelling. Some stories stay very close to the truth … Unlike Rocky, Wepner also fought a bear.Wepner sued Stallone in 2003, arguing that he improperly used his name to promote the “Rocky” films. Stallone responded that Wepner benefited by making public appearances as “the real Rocky,” but later settled. He’s so confident.”Falardeau said that Stallone gave the filmmakers his OK. I think his moves are great.”“Chuck” director Philippe Falardeau said that while there are similarities between Wepner and Rocky, Stallone’s character was “much more low-key, much more insecure. Chuck Wepner has no insecurities. It was Linda who helped Wepner get his life together after he was released from prison and later convinced him to sue.While Wepner admits he did a bad job auditioning after a night of partying when Stallone tried to give him a part as his sparring partner in “Rocky II,” the last straw was not being considered for a part in the Stallone and Robert De Niro film “Cop Land,” which filmed near Bayonne.“I sued for $15-million, fuhgeddaboudit, I didn’t get a minute percentage of that,” Wepner said. I haven’t been waiting around.”Wepner and Balboa’s story share similarities – low-level working class fighters getting a shot at the champ. That was just business. Forty-two years after he stepped into the ring against Muhammad Ali as a 40-to-1 underdog, Chuck Wepner’s business card still has a picture of the moment when he knocked down the champ.For the New Jersey boxer, it gave him brief hope that he could win. He pleaded guilty to drug charges in 1987 and served two years of a 10-year sentence.Like Rocky’s fight with Hulk Hogan’s Thunderlips character in “Rocky III,” Wepner was thrown out of the ring by wrestling legend Andre the Giant at Shea Stadium in New York in a 1976 fight. Real-life Rocky gets film treatment in Chuck (The Associated Press)

For Sylvester Stallone, the overmatched underdog’s fight was a moment of needed inspiration while writing the script for “Rocky.”Stallone became a superstar and Rocky Balboa became an iconic character. “Stallone and I are friends now. Wepner reeled off a few more wins and continued his day job as a liquor salesman, while living a hard-partying lifestyle that led to prison.Wepner’s life story has now arrived on the big screen with Liev Schreiber playing the Bayonne Bleeder in “Chuck,” which opens on Friday in New York and Los Angeles before expanding nationwide starting next week.“Everyone says to me, ‘Oh, Chuck, finally you got your due,“’ the 78-year-old Wepner said from his living room in Bayonne, the working-class town across the harbour from New York where he grew up.“You know what, I’ve been living large for 42 years. We had to go to court. but I think we should also feel the license to expand on some things and express ourselves as fits the person that’s creating the story.”“Chuck” also stars “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss as Wepner’s second wife and Naomi Watts as his third wife, Linda. I fought Ali in ‘75, I went 15 rounds, I had him down, and then they made the movie ‘Rocky.’ I was the inspiration. A spokeswoman for Stallone said he wasn’t giving interviews ahead of the film.Schreiber said that it’s hard to look at some of the parallels between Rocky Balboa and Wepner and not think that Stallone was inspired by Wepner’s life.“But I also know from talking to Sylvester Stallone that he thought the fighter was an amalgamation of several fighters,” Schreiber said, “and that probably the biggest inspiration to him was sort of his own battles as an artist, that was really the inspiration for the character.”Schreiber, who said he was drawn to Wepner’s life as a cautionary tale of fame and celebrity, said that storytellers often exploit real people to create their narratives.“And I think that’s OK,” he said. Just as important, Falardeau says: As the movie ends with Schreiber’s Wepner and Watts’ Linda walking down the boardwalk, he stops for a Polaroid photo in front of a Rocky statue outside of a Planet Hollywood.Falardeau said Stallone lent the statue to the filmmakers from his personal collection. For Ali, it led him to start fighting with a vengeance, eventually taking an exhausted Wepner out with 19 seconds left in the 15th and final round. I love Sylvester, I think he’s great. But while Rocky went on to beat the Ali-like Apollo Creed in their “Rocky II” rematch, Wepner turned to a life of partying and cocaine.

Marcus Stroman exits game early due to armpit tightness

Pitching two days after his 26th birthday, the right-hander kept trying to stretch his pitching arm.Stroman was gone after three innings, his shortest start in three years, removed from the Blue Jays’ 8-6 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night because of tightness in his right armpit. “Plus, tough night for him, anyway. Happ (elbow soreness) along with third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (right hamstring). “Just general tightness in my armpit. “It’s not something I’m slightly concerned with,” Stroman said. Just caution on the side of being safe.”Selected MVP of the World Baseball Classic after helping the U.S. Stroman entered 5-2 with a 2.17 ERA in eight starts against the Yankees.“Got to be smart, get him out of there,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. Given a four-run first-inning lead, Toronto’s Marcus Stroman allowed his first two batters to reach base, then a three-run homer to Matt Holliday. “The tightness was causing it to be a little tough to get extension at some points.”Last in the AL East at 9-19, Toronto already is missing starting pitchers Aaron Sanchez (split finger nail) and J.A. 15, 2014. He wasn’t going to last much longer, anyway.”Stroman threw 36 of 66 pitches for strikes on a cool evening. He left with the Blue Jays ahead 6-5.“Just had trouble getting loose today,” he said. win its first WBC title, Stroman allowed five runs and six hits, his shortest start since the Chicago White Sox chased him after two outs on Aug.

Team Canada relies on chemistry between several Flyers, Avs players

Couturier, MacKinnon and Scheifele played for Team North America in the World Cup. “That makes a difference in a short tournament.”The Flyers are all forwards — Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn. The Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche didn’t make the NHL playoffs. The semifinals are on May 20 in Cologne with the final a day later, also in the German city.Canada dominated the Swiss 4-1 in their lone pre-tournament game on Tuesday in Geneva, outshooting them 41-17. “Switzerland has a very good team and they’ve had a long training camp to get ready.”Chad Johnson of the Calgary Flames will likely be the starting goaltender, backed up by Pickard and Comrie, who spent most of the season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.The defence so far has Barrie, Morrissey, Matheson and his Panthers teammate Jason Demers, Calvin de Haan of the New York Islanders and Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks.Besides the Philadelphia and Colorado players, a strong group of forwards includes Scheifele, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn of Cooper’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres.Four players have already won a gold medal for Canada this season as Vlasic, Giroux, Duchene and O’Reilly played in the World Cup of Hockey in September. Vlasic and Duchene were also on Canada’s 2014 Olympic gold medal squad.There are five players back from last year’s world championship gold medal team — Pickard, Matheson, Duchene, O’Reilly and Scheifele.Copper’s assistants are Gerard Gallant, international hockey veteran Dave King and Dave Hakstol of the Flyers, who will get a look at half of his NHL squad at the world championship.In the tournament opener, Flyers Radko Gudas and Jakub Voracek will play for the Czech Republic. Giroux and Simmonds each picked up a goal and an assist.“It gives us a lot of confidence going into the tournament with the ability we have,” Matheson said after the game. Instead, they’ve set up shop on Team Canada.Five Flyers and four Avalanche are on coach Jon Cooper’s squad for the IIHF world championship that opens Friday in Paris and Cologne, Germany.“On the two power-play units especially, there’s one with nearly all Philadelphia players and the other with nearly all Colorado players,” defenceman Mike Matheson of the Florida Panthers said this week. The Avalanche contingent includes goalie Calvin Pickard, defenceman Tyson Barrie and forwards Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.There are also three Winnipeg Jets in goalie Eric Comrie, defenceman Josh Morrissey and centre Mark Scheifele.It may have helped that Canada’s general manager Ron Hextall is also GM in Philadelphia.Canada will be gunning for a third straight world championship gold medal at the 16-team tournament, after topping Finland 2-0 in last year’s final and going undefeated in 2015.They look to have drawn the weaker of the two eight-team preliminary round groups.They open Friday in Paris against the Czech Republic, followed by clashes with Slovenia, Belarus, France, Switzerland, Norway and Finland.The United States, Sweden and Russia are in the Cologne-based group along with Germany, Latvia, Denmark, Slovakia and Italy.The top four from each group advance to the quarter-finals on May 18. “I think the coaches and management have done a good job of finding a group of guys who already have chemistry. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare plays for France, Valtteri Filppula for Finland and Ivan Provorov and Roman Lyubimov for Russia.Other NHL players on the Czech side include goalie Petr Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings and forwards Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins.Russia’s team is drawn mostly from the KHL, but has three Lightning players in goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov to go with Artemi Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks.The Americans have 19 NHLers on coach Jeff Blashill’s 23-man roster including Jack Eichel of Buffalo, Dylan Larkin Detroit, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames and three Jets — Connor Hellebuyck, Jacob Trouba and Andrew Copp.10:48ET 04-05-17

Crosby skates at Penguins practice, recovery still a ‘day-to-day process’

The NHL accepted Niskanen’s account and didn’t punish the defenceman further.Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 with Game 5 set for Saturday in Washington.Crosby, a finalist for this year’s Hart Trophy awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player, has a history of serious head injuries.He missed the second half of the 2010-11 season and most of 2011-12 with a concussion. He sat out two weeks after being diagnosed with another concussion last October, returning in time to play in 75 games and score an NHL-high 44 goals. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby skated at the Penguins practice facility Thursday, two days after the team confirmed he was suffering from another concussion.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby is focused on his rehab and didn’t provide an update on the star centre’s availability for Game 5 of Pittsburgh’s best-of-seven Eastern Conference final with Washington. “We’ll leave it at that.“It’s a day-to-day process and we’re taking each day as it comes.”Crosby suffered his most recent concussion, believed to be his fourth, when he was hit in the head by Washington defenceman Matt Niskanen in Game 3 of Pittsburgh’s Eastern Conference semifinal against the Capitals.He was held out of Wednesday’s Game 4, which the Penguins won 3-2.Niskanen was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit, but said it was accidental and he didn’t intend to injure Crosby. “Sid did skate this morning and he’s in the process of rehabbing,” Sullivan said.

Five CFL prospects ineligible for 2017 draft due to anti-doping violations

Five prospects for the 2017 CFL draft have been deemed ineligible for anti-doping violations, the league announced Thursday.Kent State long-snapper Kain Anzovino, McGill receiver Moy McDonald, Carleton defensive lineman Daniel McNicholl and Calgary receiver Rashaun Simonise all had their draft years deferred to 2018 as a result of anti-doping rule violations for the use of banned substances. The CFL also said Regina linebacker Michael Stefanovic is removing himself from this year’s draft even though a violation of the league’s anti-doping rules hasn’t yet been confirmed. The league added Stefanovic intends to exercise his right to a hearing.The CFL said Stefanovic will also be eligible for the 2018 draft.The 2017 draft is slated for Sunday evening.