Neil-inspired Senators top Rangers in overtime, take 3-2 series lead

But we can get to those details later.The buzz in the Senators dressing room was all about Chris Neil, the big, physical assistant captain who spent the last two months as a healthy scratch. Andy!”They were chanting Anderson’s nickname again when he made what appeared to be a sensational diving glove save on young forward Jimmy Vessey. He scores no goals, no assists, doesn’t even take a shot on net – and his teammates call him the player of the game.The scoresheet said it was Ottawa Senators 5, New York Rangers 4. Andy! The shot, which should have been an easy save, floated past goaltender Craig Anderson’s glove and into the top of the net.It seemed a rout might be on, but Ottawa was able to get one back a couple of minutes later when Mark Stone, who has had a troubled series, managed to poke a puck past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on a goalmouth scramble.“Stone’s push-back goal was there to get us back,” Boucher said.With Neil watching from the penalty box, the Senators tied the game at two goals apiece early in the second period when Karlsson shot up the ice with the puck, crossed the Rangers’ blueline and left a drop pass for MacArthur. He would carry a message.When Derik Brassard looked at his e-mail late Friday night and learned that Neil would be dressing, he got excited.“I’ve never known a guy so passionate about the game,” Brassard said.At the 3:13 mark of the second period, Neil went to work. At other times, both goalies were brilliant.The game opened with both teams seemingly rattled – Ottawa understandably, given their miserable two-game effort in New York – but the Rangers, too, looked uncertain and mistake prone, particularly on the power play.The Rangers scored first only 4:07 into the match when, on a three-on-two rush, Brendan Smith took the puck to the outside and then hit the trailer, Jesper Fast, who had the empty side of the Ottawa net awaiting him.Barely a minute later they scored again, when Nick Holden blew by Ottawa defenceman Cody Ceci and took a wrist shot that lightly ticked off Ceci’s stick. Late in the middle period, Michael Grabner snared a puck in front of the Senators net, spun to his forehand and sent the puck through to Ryan McDonagh, who simply tucked the puck in behind Anderson.In the third period, however, both goaltenders were hot. Go figure.He plays a miniscule two minutes and 26 seconds. At times the two goaltenders looked as if they could use some of the thousands of sandbags that area residents were piling around flood-threatened homes. So manhandled and embarrassed had the Ottawa team been during two defeats at Madison Square Garden that a decision was made to put him into the game. Neil had had enough.Neil was in the penalty box serving a two-minute penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct when his teammates began their comeback. “But maybe he has been our most important player.” The puck glanced off Pyatt’s stick and into the New York net.It was now the Rangers’ turn to play catchup. The officials ruled no goal on the ice but video replay showed that the puck had indeed crossed the goal line.“I knew when they didn’t show it on the Jumbotron that it was in,” Anderson said.It was then Brassard’s time to shine, as the former Ranger tied the match at the 18:34 mark of regulation, forcing the overtime.The Rangers believed they had won the game but a seeming goal by Michael Grabner was disallowed when it was ruled he had hit the puck out of the air with a high stick.That left Turris to win the game with his shot.Turris did not, however, think he deserved anywhere near the praise he had for the guy who’d played 2:26.“He didn’t play much,” Turris said of Neil. With the Rangers out in front 4-3 and time winding down, Boucher pulled his goaltender, Craig Anderson, and sent Brassard over the boards as the extra attacker.Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson had the puck at the point and sent a cross-ice pass to Clarke MacArthur, who took a shot that rebounded high in the air. When he came out, the Senators were ahead 3-2; the Ottawa players saluted him with stick taps as he made his way back across the ice.“He did a terrific job,” said Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher, who called the 37-year-old Neil his “ammunition.”“That’s the best penalty I’ve seen anybody take in a long time,”  Kyle Turris said.It would be Turris who would score the winning goal at 8:28 of overtime, when he came in over the New York line and, on his second try, shot one that eluded Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.It was Brassard, Neil’s other big fan, who made overtime possible. As it fell back toward the ice, Brassard swatted it out of the air, the puck hitting two Rangers bodies and a skate before slipping in behind Lundqvist.It was a crazy, chaotic game. Then the Rangers’ Chris Kreider came in alone on Anderson and Anderson turned his shot aside to shouts of “Andy! The New York Rangers were up 2-1 and the player who had driven the Senators to distraction, Tanner Glass, was again offering face rubs and cheap shots at every opportunity. MacArthur send a perfect pass across to Mike Hoffman, who one-timed a slapshot past Lundqvist.Almost immediately, the Senators moved in front when Smith carried the puck in the Rangers’ zone and sent a bad pass toward Tom Pyatt, who had to turn backward as he hit the slot area in front of the net. He spends five times as much time in the penalty box as he does on the ice. Lundqvist stopped Ryan and Pageau, both with clean chances. Ottawa now leads the series three games to two and can wrap up the Eastern Conference semi-final on Tuesday in New York City.

Blue Jays fall 6-1 to Rays as ex-Jay Rasmus hits two-run homer

Biagini was inserted into the Blue Jays’ injury-filled rotation following RHP Mat Latos being designated for assignment Friday. Both were losses to Odorizzi.After giving up two hits or fewer in each of his three previous starts, Odorizzi gave up three hits and no walks while striking out six. He retired 18 of 19 after giving up a home run to Ezequiel Carrera in the first inning.Carrera extended his career-long hitting streak to 12 games with his second home run of the season.Kendrys Morales had two hits for the Blue Jays, who became the first major league team to lose 20 games.TRAINER’S ROOMRays: CF Kevin Kiermaier was back in the lineup a day after leaving a game early because he was struck on the right hand by a pitch from Francisco Liriano.Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (split finger nail) is scheduled for a bullpen session Sunday and could rejoin the rotation next weekend.UP NEXTToronto RHP Joe Biagini (0-1) makes his first major league start in Sunday’s series finale against Rays RHP Alex Cobb (2-2). It came off Toronto starter Marco Estrada after a single by Evan Longoria.The home run for Rasmus, who spent the first month of the season on the disabled list while recovering from October surgeries, came on his first hit with the Rays.Morrison and Rasmus drove in three runs each while Longoria had two hits and scored three runs.Estrada (1-2) gave up five earned runs in six innings after giving up just three in his four previous starts. Logan Morrison and Colby Rasmus hit two-run homers and Jake Odorizzi pitched seven strong innings for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.Odorizzi (2-1) gave up one run in seven innings, the seventh straight time the right-hander has given up two runs or fewer in starts against Toronto. All five of the home runs Estrada has given up this season came in his two starts at Tropicana Field. Morrison put the Rays up 2-1 in the third inning with his seventh home run.

Always Dreaming takes muddy Kentucky Derby

Despite chasing a quick early pace, Always Dreaming was still full of run. On their own, they were a combined 2 for 63 coming into America’s greatest race.Joining forces, they were unbeatable on a cool and rainy day at Churchill Downs.“We have had a great relationship for a long time now, and we have won a lot of races together,” Pletcher said. A trainer and jockey accustomed to success. Hence was 11th, followed by Untrapped, Girvin, one-eyed Patch, J Boys Echo, Sonneteer, Fast And Accurate, Irap, and State of Honor.Pletcher also trains Tapwrit and Patch.Thunder Snow, the Dubai-based entry, didn’t finish. A headstrong horse with a mind of its own. “The most important thing to do is bring the best horse to the Derby, and that’s what we were able to do.”Always Dreaming earned his fourth straight victory, proving that his five-length win in the Florida Derby was no fluke.By winning the Derby, he accomplished something his sire Bodemeister couldn’t do. “The track is impossible.”Casse also trains State of Honor, who is Ontario-bred and owned.On the final turn, Always Dreaming took command as State of Honor faded. No other horses threatened him down the stretch and Velazquez furiously pumped his right arm as they crossed the finish line.“I got a good position with him early and then he relaxed,” Velazquez said. Wayne Lukas for the most in Derby history. He broke poorly out of the starting gate and began bucking. He did it himself from there.”Pletcher had his hands full in the days leading up to the Derby when the colt’s behaviour was less than a dream.He was fractious in the morning, refusing to relax.“I was nervous watching him gallop,” the trainer said.Turns out the dark brown colt knew best.He channeled his aggression into a determined effort on a track turned into goo by on and off rain before the race.“I think he really came in here and knew it was game time, and he was ready to go,” Pletcher said. Together, they harnessed their collective talents to win the Kentucky Derby.Always Dreaming splashed through the slop for a 2 3/4-length victory on Saturday, giving Todd Pletcher and rider John Velazquez their second victories in the race but their first together. He was caught by the outrider and walked back to the barn on his own. McCraken came and nearly knocked us,” said Canadian-based Mark Casse, who trains Classic Empire. Much had been made of his 1 for 45 Derby record.“It’s becoming a little more respectable now,” said Pletcher, whose 48 starters tied D. He steered Always Dreaming into an ideal trip behind pacesetter State of Honor, with mud flying in all directions on a surface that resembled creamy peanut butter.“We got wiped out at the start. “When we hit the quarter pole, I asked him and he responded. “This is the one we wanted to win together.”Sent off at 9-2 odds, Always Dreaming made it the fifth straight year that a Derby favourite has won, the longest such stretch since the 1970s.He was followed across the finish line by a pair of longshots: 33-1 Lookin At Lee and 40-1 Battle of Midway.Always Dreaming ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.59 and paid $11.40, $7.20 and $5.80.“This is the best horse Todd and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with,” Velazquez said. “It felt like I really needed that second one.”Velazquez used his colt’s speed out of the gate to get good position early in a chaotic start that saw several horses, including McCraken and Classic Empire, banged around. Bodemeister finished second in the 2012 race.The victory was worth $1,635,800.Always Dreaming’s primary ownership is comprised of Brooklyn Boyz Stables and Teresa Viola, whose Brooklyn-born husband Vincent owns the NHL’s Florida Panthers.“There’s no feeling like this,” Vincent Viola said.Classic Empire finished fourth, followed by Practical Joke, Tapwrit, Gunnevera, McCraken, Gormley and Irish War Cry. “Being behind me for 24 years together, a long time for him to still trust in me and give me the opportunity, it’s not very often it happens in this business.”Lookin At Lee returned $26.60 and $18.20, while Battle of Midway was another five lengths back in third and paid $20.80 to show.Pletcher won his first Derby in 2010 with Super Saver; Velazquez won the following year with Animal Kingdom.Rarely one to show his emotions, Pletcher admitted being teary-eyed behind his sunglasses.Going into his 17th Derby, Pletcher saddled the post-time favourite for the first time. The New York-based duo has teamed up often over the years and is the sport’s leading money winners.

Swansea the big winner as EPL relegation fight heats up

Another season in the Champions League is looking increasingly likely for City with games left against Leicester and West Bromwich Albion at home and away to Watford.BURNLEY 2, WEST BROM 2Burnley effectively secured its survival thanks to two second-half goals by Sam Vokes.His second came four minutes from time at Turf Moor, leaving his team six points clear of Hull but with a superior goal difference of 19.BOURNEMOUTH 2, STOKE 2Bournemouth can look forward to a third season in the league with this draw, clinched by a contentiously awarded equalizer.Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross unwittingly deflected Josh King’s effort into his own net in the 81st minute, although King appeared to be in an offside position.It denied Stoke a first away win since January, although the visitors did end their 10-hour goal drought on the road thanks to an own goal by Lys Mousset that put them 1-0 up.LEICESTER 3, WATFORD 0Leicester moved into the top half of the standings with a seventh win in 10 games since firing title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri.Midfielders Wilfred Ndidi, Riyad Mahrez, and Marc Albrighton scored the goals for the soon-to-be-deposed champions, who were close to the relegation zone when Ranieri departed and Craig Shakespeare came in as his replacement. For one of the best headers of the ball in the league, it was an ugly but decisive finish.This win for Swansea built on its victory over Stoke and a draw at Manchester United over the last two weeks.HULL 0, SUNDERLAND 2Hull coach Marco Silva’s 41-match unbeaten home record as a manager ended at the worst possible time.Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe scored second-half goals for Sunderland, which was relegated last weekend when Hull drew at Southampton thanks to a last-minute penalty save.Silva had not lost a home league game since 2014, a period taking in spells in charge of Estoril, Sporting Lisbon, Olympiakos, and now four months at Hull.The result also was a boost for Middlesbrough, which stayed alive ahead of its trip to Chelsea on Monday.MANCHESTER CITY 5, CRYSTAL PALACE 0Palace still might need one more win after this crushing loss at City, which was orchestrated by Man City playmakers David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.Silva opened the scoring inside two minutes and was untouchable as City’s conductor until he went off to a standing ovation in the 67th, while De Bruyne also scored and set up goals for centre backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi. Burnley and Watford are all but mathematically safe.SWANSEA 1, EVERTON 0The all-important goal by Fernando Llorente ended up being a stroke of luck.Jordan Ayew floated over a cross from the right and Llorente leaped highest at the far post, bundling the ball home with his left shoulder. Next-to-last Middlesbrough is set to drop, too, on Monday. That’s seven points won from the last three games for the Welsh club that looked in such a mess in late December when it fired American coach Bob Bradley.“It’s one of my proudest moments,” said Clement, a former assistant at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, and Chelsea who is starting to look the part as a coach in his own right.Last-placed Sunderland is already down. It looks to be down to three teams – Palace, Swansea or Hull – for the other relegation place.Palace has 38 points, Swansea 35, and Hull 34. With an arm draped around one of his players, Swansea manager Paul Clement walked toward the team’s celebrating fans and held up two of his fingers.Two games to secure English Premier League survival.And this relegation battle could go right to the wire.Swansea was the big winner on Saturday as the fight to stay in the world’s richest domestic league took more twists across three back-to-back games. Next week, Hull visits Palace and Swansea is away to Sunderland.On Saturday, Bournemouth and Stoke clinched another season in the Premier League. After witnessing losses for relegation rivals Crystal Palace and then Hull, Swansea beat Everton 1-0 to climb out of the bottom three for the first time in a month. Raheem Sterling scored the other.City climbed above Liverpool into third place on goal difference, and opened up a four-point gap to fifth-place Manchester United, which plays at Arsenal on Sunday.

Capitals rally in third period, beat Penguins in Game 5 to avoid elimination

The three third-period goals came on five shots over a span of 5:02, including Kuznetsov’s goal from a super-sharp angle.“They finish first in the league, there’s a reason for it,” Fleury said. … Disappointing but move on.”Capitals players said there was no shortage of belief despite being down 2-1 after two on Penguins goals by Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, and Game 5 following a similar script of more shots but fewer goals. We’ve just got to take one game at a time and you have to reset here and, hopefully, we can get some confidence off this win.”The Penguins’ confidence stems from still having a 3-2 series lead, home ice in Game 6 and getting Crosby back five days after he was concussed.“He’s a competitor,” defenceman Brian Dumoulin said. And we’re up to the challenge.”NOTES: In addition to Crosby, Penguins RW Conor Sheary returned after being concussed Monday in a collision with teammate Patric Hornqvist. ”You see how we respond.“On the brink of elimination and trailing a Pittsburgh team that went 37-1-1 in the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs when up after two periods, the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals finally responded like the Cup contenders everyone thought they should be. “We’re going to have to be the best team in the league if we’re going to win this series. … “The last (win is) always the hardest to get. “He wants to be out there. Same scenario as today. “We need our best players to step up and do the hard work and be the difference makers. Nicklas Backstrom changed the course of the game with the tying goal and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin scored 27 seconds apart as the Capitals came back to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in Game 5 Saturday night to avoid elimination. It’s good that he was cleared and able to play. With the slogan “Own the big moments” a reminder of how they didn’t do so a year ago in their second-round loss to the Penguins, Washington’s best players came to play when the moment was its biggest.“That’s just what we need in these tight games,” said Andre Burakovsky, who scored the tying goal in the first period and had another good game after replacing Ovechkin as the top-line left winger. I think that’s what they were tonight.”In the process, the Capitals finally solved Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed four goals on 32 shots after putting up a .937 save percentage in the first four games of the series. The Capitals again dressed seven defencemen. It was quiet in the Washington Capitals’ locker room during the second intermission as they stared down the prospect of the end of their season and last best chance at a Stanley Cup potentially being 20 minutes away.A few minutes into the third period, the players made their home rink very, very loud. “You’ve just got to win on Monday. Super Bowl winning Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien received a nice ovation from the sellout crowd when he was shown on the video boards. Now there’s no shortage of belief about getting the series back to Washington for a potential Game 7 on Wednesday.“We came back and hopefully we build off this now,” said Backstrom, who executed a perfect give-and-go with Burakovsky on his goal. As Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins a boost with a return from his latest concussion, Braden Holtby had his strongest performance of the season, stopping 20 shots to help force a Game 6 back in Pittsburgh on Monday night.“After second: ”No panic, nobody talk a lot because everybody concentrate and that’s what we need,“ Ovechkin said. We wanted a win and to get this win but it’s definitely good to have him back.”Crosby had an assist in his first game back and felt good, but the Penguins couldn’t handle the Capitals’ quick-strike offence in the third period that has made this series between the NHL’s top two teams even more interesting.“We’re playing one of the best teams in the league,” Holtby said. … Capitals D Brooks Orpik appeared to shake his left hand after being slashed by Evgeni Malkin in the first period.

Altidore penalty kick gives Toronto 1-0 win over Seattle

The rematch of last year’s MLS Cup final provided a little bit of satisfaction for Toronto after watching Seattle celebrate its first title on the banks of Lake Ontario on a frigid night last December. “I think that helps when you’re grinding things out at the end. This is a big win.”Altidore was the best player on the field despite his side playing minus Giovinco, and starters Victor Vazquez and Eriq Zavaleta. It appeared to be the correct call as Svensson’s presence froze Irwin and kept him from making the save on the initial header.Morris was also stuffed by Irwin on a scramble in the box later in the first half, but the Sounders’ chances were limited thereafter.“There’s a lot of frustration in that locker room,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said. Even though Seattle dominated possession, Altidore and Toronto had the best chances at goal.Altidore’s goal came in the 23rd minute after he was chopped down from behind by Seattle defender Roman Torres in the penalty box. Brutal travel day. “We’re tired of that same story line, extended possession and getting a bunch of chances. Early kickoff. “But good teams with real mentalities find ways on all types of days to compete and to win. This was less about any measure of revenge and more a chance for Toronto FC to prove it can earn a result facing challenging circumstances.Despite playing on a short week and without star Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto outplayed Seattle, earning a 1-0 win over the Sounders on Saturday thanks to Jozy Altidore’s first-half goal from the penalty spot. Short rest. You play against a good team in their stadium in what’s never an easy place to play, and I really felt like we had things totally under control. Altidore calmly put his shot into the right corner of the net as Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei went the opposite direction.Toronto is 2-0 in the Pacific Northwest this season, having already won 2-0 at Vancouver in March and ended Seattle’s 14-game home unbeaten streak.“It’s nothing compared to the final, but our message in a tough week was try to take a little bit of something back just in terms of motivation,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said. … You name it,” Toronto captain Michael Bradley said. Seattle appeared to score early when Morris flicked a header past Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin, but the goal was waived off after Gustav Svensson was flagged for being offside despite not touching the ball. That story line is getting very old, very fast.” I think getting a result like that in the champion’s stadium means something.”Rather than Seattle celebrating its title with another win over Toronto, it was a second straight week of frustration after needing three goals in the final 15 minutes to draw with New England last week.Seattle had scoring chances early in the match — even had a goal disallowed in the first 10 minutes — but the offensive skills of Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro and Will Bruin were unable to break down Toronto’s defence. A regular-season win won’t supersede losing a title match, but it was the fourth straight victory for surging Toronto, including a midweek win over Orlando City.“If we wanted there were a million excuses today. Turf. Few guys at home.

Liverpool misses penalty in scoreless draw with Southampton

The hosts were handed a lifeline in the second half when referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot after Southampton defender Jack Stephens handled the ball in the box, but Fraser Forster got down smartly to his right to keep out Milner’s spot kick.Forster also tipped substitute Marko Grujic’s late header over, leaving Liverpool third in the table on 70 points, a point clear of fourth-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.Later on Sunday, sixth placed Arsenal, who are 10 points behind Liverpool with three games in hand, host fifth-placed Manchester United, who are five adrift of Juergen Klopp’s side having played two matches fewer. James Milner missed a penalty as Liverpool were held to a 0-0 home draw by Southampton on Sunday in a blow to their hopes of finishing in the top four and securing a place in next season’s Champions League.Phillippe Coutinho returned from the leg injury that saw him limp out of Monday’s 1-0 win over Watford, but the Reds struggled to spark offensively against Southampton’s resolute defence.

Raptors look to climb playoff mountain without Kyle Lowry

But you can’t make up for his three-point shooting, his ability to score, especially when points are tough to come by. And just overall who he is: his macho, his bravado, a little bit of everything else.”The 31-year-old Lowry was Toronto’s best player in Games 1 and 2 and is also the team’s best three-point shooter.Cleveland leads the Eastern Conference semifinal three games to none.If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena. When asked what the Raptors miss most without Lowry, he said “His three-point shooting, his grit, just his overall toughness and leadership.“I thought Cory did an excellent job the other day. The Raptors’ bid to stave off playoff elimination has got a lot tougher.Toronto coach Dwane Casey said prior to Game 4 Sunday that star point guard Kyle Lowry was expected to miss a second straight game with a sprained ankle.Said Casey: “Right now, I don’t think he’ll be able to play.”Lowry missed Friday’s 115-94 loss due to the ankle problem. That’s what you miss. Cory Joseph replaced Lowry in the starting lineup but had just four points.

Cilic downs Raonic in battle of big servers to win Istanbul Open

Marin Cilic warmed up for this month’s French Open by capturing his first claycourt title in five years with a 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Canadian top seed Milos Raonic in the Istanbul Open final on Sunday.The Croatian second seed fired down nine aces and saved all seven break points he faced to emerge triumphant in the battle of the big servers. Open champion wriggled out of trouble in the next game despite being 0-40 down and completed victory with an ace on his second championship point.“The critical points came in the tiebreak. I managed to play a really good tiebreak and hit a few great backhands down the line,” added Cilic.“Then in the second set, getting that break and holding for 3-1 was definitely the deciding moment.” I hope I can improve in these upcoming three tournaments – two Masters 1000 events and the French Open.”After frustrating Raonic by bagging the closely-fought first set, Cilic capitalized on two double faults to break for a 3-1 lead in the second set.The 2014 U.S. The 28-year-old claimed only his second claycourt title, and 17th overall, after not dropping a set all week.“I’m on a good track and feeling very well,” Cilic, whose only previous claycourt title came on home soil in Umag in 2012, told reporters.“In these last three or four weeks on clay, it’s never easy, but I’m trying to get better with every match. This week was a big one for me and a good sign for the rest of the claycourt season.

Five Blue Jays pitchers hold Rays to three hits in 2-1 win

Joe Biagini and four relievers combined on a three-hitter, Darwin Barney hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday.The Blue Jays took two of three from the Rays to win a road series for the first time this season (1-4-1). Happ, and Mat Latos being designated for assignment.Aaron Loup, Ryan Tepera (2-1), Joe Smith and Roberto Osuna combined to hold Tampa Bay to one hit over five innings. The right-hander was inserted into the Toronto rotation after 74 career relief appearances due to injuries to Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Biagini allowed an unearned run, two hits and struck out four over four innings in his first major league start. It’s also just the fifth time in 31 tries since 2007 that Toronto has won a series at Tropicana Field (5-23-3).