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Fallica: At what point will the Islanders stop being dismissed as lucky or boring? They have scored more goals than anyone this postseason. They have won 21 playoff games over the past two years. In the last three years under Barry Trotz, they have swept Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, beat the division champion Pens, beat the division champion Caps, beat the Flyers (who were the hottest team in the league in the bubble last year), beat the Bruins (who were the toast of the league after the Taylor Hall trade) and came as close as anyone to beating Tampa in a series last year. They took the Lightning to six games in which two of the losses were of the 2-1 variety, including in Game 6.

The Sharks could seek another low-cost veteran keeper to pair with Jones in the hopes that he stabilizes the position, as was the intention with the acquisition of Devan Dubnyk last offseason. Or, the Sharks could give 22-year-old KHL product Alexei Melnichuk or 23-year-old Josef Korenar, who saw time this season, a shot to take over the crease.Pittsburgh Penguins

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For the fifth straight season, Hedman is a finalist for the Norris. He won the award back in 2018 and has finished third in voting the last two seasons. His 45 points ranked third among defensemen while he led all blueliners in power-play points. Hedman ranked seventh in the league in average time on ice per game. While it wasn’t Hedman’s best season, he still helped lead a Lightning team without Nikita Kucherov to the eighth-best record in the league. Buffalo Sabres

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Gerard Gallant will be the sixth head coach to win the Jack Adams Award (introduced in the 1973-74 season) for the NHL's coach of the year and eventually coach the Rangers. Four of the previous five went on to coach the Rangers in a playoff game.Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 1: Golden Knights 4, Canadiens 1 | Recap | Replay Game 2: Canadiens 3, Golden Knights 2 | Recap | Replay Game 3: Friday, June 18, 8 p.m. | Preview Game 4: Sunday, June 20, 8 p.m. | Preview Game 5: Tuesday, June 22, 8 p.m. | Preview Game 6: Thursday, June 24, 8 p.m. | Preview Game 7: Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m. | PreviewVegas Golden Knights

Just as the Lightning are playing for Savard, Canadiens players are motivated by trying to get Weber the championship that has so far eluded him.
It’s only one game, and the Canadiens have come back in a series before, but this is different than any situation they’ve played all season, and it shows.Buffalo Sabres

The Vegas Golden Knights have captain Mark Stone, forwards Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Marchessault and Ryan Reaves and defenseman Nick Holden on the wrong side of 30 without a Cup ring. Andy Greene, Travis Zajac, Kyle Palmieri, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin and Josh Bailey are in that club for New York. And Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber isn’t getting any younger at 35.

The only forward on the Lightning this year who didn’t get his name engraved on the Stanley Cup last season, Ross Colton is proving to be an integral part of the team’s fourth line and someone who may just have a future as a member of the squad’s bottom-six.Columbus Blue Jackets

Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off tonight between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Heat have been one of the biggest surprises in this year's NBA playoffs, after first sweeping the Indiana Pacers, and then knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second round. Now, in taking on the Celtics, the Heat renew a bitter rivalry from earlier this decade, when the two teams faced off in three consecutive playoffs. Dan Le Batard joins Pablo Torre to explore the buildup behind this series, as well as how Miami is embracing this new underdog version of the Heat, a role they certainly never played when they were winning championships with LeBron and Dwyane Wade.

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Gerard Gallant reportedly the Rangers’ choice as next head coach NHL Power Rankings: Conn Smythe Watch through two rounds Barzal keeps rolling as Islanders take Game 1 from LightningPittsburgh Penguins

The Boston Bruins have several players able to become unrestricted free agents this summer, and two of the most important are Taylor Hall and David Krejci.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Islanders irked by missed call in NHL playoff loss to LightningToronto Maple Leafs

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For a time, Seth Curry enabled the Sixers to conceal their problems and hold off a bubbling collapse with tremendous shotmaking. He scored a playoff career-high 36 points on 13-for-19 shooting. But, though Curry switched onto Bogdan Bogdanovic starting in Game 3 and held up fine, he was targeted defensively over and over in the fourth period of Game 5.Toronto Raptors

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Only, that is often how close playoff games are played late. The Sixers just aren't equipped to leverage it.

Now, Philly must regroup and win in Atlanta if they want to stay alive in the series. After giving up that kind of a lead, again, it’ll take quite the reboot to get back in it.

Payne said he's leaned on the support from his family during the tough times and they're a constant presence in the stands at Phoenix Suns Arena. They're enjoying the guard's resurgence and playoff run just as much as Payne.

Philly fans seeing Hawks fans cheering Joel Embiid injuries and not even getting called out for it Jazz

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Jrue Holiday made just four of his 14 shots in Game 3, but he hit the one that mattered the most in the end. With just 11.4 seconds left on the clock, Holiday sunk a driving layup to put the Milwaukee Bucks ahead 84-83 over the Brooklyn Nets.Portland Trail Blazers

Embiid finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds, but it was clearly not his finest night and he seemed out of rhythm the entire game.Phoenix Suns
Apparently including Haralabos Voulgaris, a professional sports gambler whom the Mavericks hired a few years ago.

Aug. 6: Moratorium period ends at 11:01 a.m. Central, allowing free agents to be signed and trades to be executed
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“We need to be the aggressors,” Mitchell said. “They came out, took both at home. But at the end of the day, they did what they were supposed to do: They won two games on their home floor. They took care of home court. So did we. It’s on us to go out there and be the aggressors, take care of home court and go from there.”Toronto Raptors

The 76ers’ big concern: Embiid – playing through a knee injury – is wearing down after playing so well earlier in the series. Though Embiid (17 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, +2) had good numbers, he looked far worse as the game progressed. Not only did he miss all of his second-half shots, his defense and activity level slipped.Washington Wizards

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“It helps a lot,” he added. “I’m going into Game 4 with that mentality. It’s going to be important, because we play on the road before we come to Philly again. We want to get this W. It’s going to be really important to start the game as a team really well and I hope we will get the W.”Phoenix Suns

No one has been more influential to the development of Jokić, who as a teenager began studying under the guidance of Milojević. By the time Jokić was in his third NBA season, at age 22, it was apparent that he possessed exceptional skills. Now, at 26, those skills are polished and are as comprehensive as any center in NBA history.

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Officials assessed a double technical on Jokic and Booker and after a review, ejected the MVP after upgrading his foul to a Flagrant 2. Jokic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.Sacramento Kings
Simmons was part of that lack of aggression. However, he did contribute to the game, spending most of it guarding Trae Young, a taxing job — and holding Young to 25 points on 8-of-26 shooting. Simmons also helped push the pace and had solid first-half numbers — eight points, 11 rebounds, seven assists — but he was part of the fading Sixers in the second half.

"I just wasn't able to get my two hands on it," Antetokounmpo said. "Great pass by Khris, I messed up that play.San Antonio Spurs
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Mitchell, who was the leading scorer on the team with the league’s best record, finished with the ninth-most votes among all guards—well behind third-team selections Bradley Beal of the Wizards and Kyrie Irving of the Nets. Tatum, on the other hand, actually secured more total ballot points than Irving but was classified as a forward and missed the cut at that position.Toronto Raptors

However, one senses no duration between the final buzzer of the Sixers’ Game 5 loss to the Hawks and postgame sessions with reporters would have been adequate for the participants to fully wrap their heads around what had just transpired. It was a sickening and stunning game for everyone on the Sixers’ side. Phoenix Suns

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After just one season with the New Orleans Pelicans and coaching All-Star Zion William, Stan Van Gundy is out as head coach, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has never been an exceptional foul shooter; he's always been between 56% and 62% in each of his pro seasons. And it wasn't a big issue in the first half of this season, when he was shooting 67% at the All-Star break. February matched the best free-throw-shooting month of his career with him going 45 of 64, a 70% clip.Sacramento Kings

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Kevin Pelton: Fiction. Harden's absence is putting pressure on Brooklyn's other stars to play huge minutes. After playing 44:35 in Game 1, Irving was on the court for 44:57 in Game 3. Durant played 40:06 and 42:52 in those two games, respectively. That might not be sustainable over three full rounds -- especially given their own battles with injuries during the regular season.
Mend things with Eichel. Listening to the captain's end-of-season news conference didn't exactly inspire confidence. Eichel had missed 33 games with a neck injury, and throughout that time, tension developed with the front office.Toronto Maple Leafs

But that wasn’t all Yzerman got: He also received a second-round pick in 2022, and forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik. Vrana, the 13th pick in the 2014 draft, livened up the last month of the season for the Wings, delivering eight goals (plus a Peter Forsberg-style shootout goal, which doesn’t count as a personal statistic) and three assists in 11 games. Then he went to the World Championship and recorded two goals and two assists in seven games for the Czech Republic.

Added Islanders forward Matt Martin: "It was missed. That's hockey. It happens. Nothing we can do about it. Move on."Buffalo Sabres

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The 49ers' Kyle Shanahan is making his first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach. But he's been to the big game before, as the Falcons offensive coordinator when Atlanta infamously lost a 28-3 lead to a Patriots comeback. ESPN's Seth Wickersham explains how Shanahan can shake the ghosts of his football past.

According to Cap Friendly, the Bruins have about $27M in space this offseason. They can do what they want here.Columbus Blue Jackets

"They’re defensemen first, but when we have the puck, they’re supporting the attack," Trotz said. “I always require them to support the attack, and if they are able to contribute because they are supporting it, then we’re going to get some points from them.”Vegas Golden Knights

• Rick Nash is the Blue Jackets’ new director of player development after the team announced several organizational moves. Former Blue Jackets Derek Dorsett and Mark Letestu have been named development coaches. [Blue Jackets]

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The Phillies’ bullpen after Howard was a bright spot in Monday’s loss. Connor Brogdon struck out two in a scoreless inning and left-hander Bailey Falter followed by allowing one baserunner over his three scoreless innings. Falter was called up earlier in the day as Enyel De Los Santos was sent down.

Long story short, in the top of the 10th, Anderson took a leadoff walk, Yermín Mercedes advanced Mendick to third on a flyout, and Yoán Moncada made contact for a fairly shallow sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. Not exactly glamorous, but it got the job done.Boston Red Sox

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They will soon have a chance to own the record outright rather than sharing it with the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics and the 1963 New York Mets. They conclude their four-game set at Oracle Park with a game that begins, for the morbidly curious, at 12:45 p.m on Thursday.

-DeGrom was masterful through six scoreless innings, but his night came to an end there. He allowed just one hit and struck out 10 on 80 pitches. He lowered his season ERA to an unfathomable 0.56.Oakland Athletics

Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd realized something was wrong with his body and signaled to manager AJ Hinch in the dugout.

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9. Bryant makes playing a different position each night look so effortless. Saturday, he made his first start at third base since April 20. He started in right field Sunday, tracking down a two-out line drive in the eighth with a runner on second to keep St. Louis scoreless.San Diego Padres

"We need to try not to get too excited. He was that good," Cora said. "Just the energy and the quality of the pitches, the tempo, he looked really good. Really good. He said that's the best he's felt throughout the process."Philadelphia Phillies
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It's a bit of a different expectation in Islanders coach Barry Trotz's system: Be responsible and then join in on the action. Defensemen only make up 21.9% of New York's point production in the playoffs, but have three of nine game-winning goals.

Oct. 8: From the Air Raid to Bigfoot: Is the SEC Ready for the Mike Leach Experience?

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However, that doesn't mean elite teams aren't still in the mix. The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to restore the natural order in the Central Division, advancing as a No. 3 seed, while the Vegas Golden Knights are the surviving top seed after only losing out on the league's best record on the final few days of the regular season.Buffalo Sabres

"You want to be out there," Miller said. "I was super close to being back, most likely would have played in Game 7. That it just makes it even worse, to be honest with you. It's not good."

Fallica: At what point will the Islanders stop being dismissed as lucky or boring? They have scored more goals than anyone this postseason. They have won 21 playoff games over the past two years. In the last three years under Barry Trotz, they have swept Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, beat the division champion Pens, beat the division champion Caps, beat the Flyers (who were the hottest team in the league in the bubble last year), beat the Bruins (who were the toast of the league after the Taylor Hall trade) and came as close as anyone to beating Tampa in a series last year. They took the Lightning to six games in which two of the losses were of the 2-1 variety, including in Game 6.Toronto Maple Leafs

Caufield has been an absolute playmaker since being added to the lineup. Great call by whoever suggested that. @CanadiensMTLVegas Golden Knights
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Mathew Barzal found the back of the net for the Islanders. He has five goals and 11 points in 14 playoff contests.Columbus Blue Jackets

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• The Islanders have some unfinished business to handle with the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. [NY Hockey Now]

Game 1: Capitals 3, Bruins 2 (OT) Game 2: Bruins 4, Capitals 3 (OT) Game 3: Bruins 3, Capitals 2 (2OT) Game 4: Bruins 4, Capitals 1 Game 5: Bruins 3, Capitals 1Columbus Blue Jackets

Higgins: "We couldn't get our foot in the door with a timely goal. We kept scratching and scratching and scratching, but that door never opened for us. Boston played well. They suffocated us."Buffalo Sabres

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Brayden Point gets pushed, shoved and fouled by Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech. What would be a reasonable effort to avoid such contact? Not trying to score? Politely asking Pelech not to cross-check him into his own goaltender at a high velocity, thus putting Semyon Varlamov in the concussion protocol? The worst thing about this was the referees' explanation to Cooper, claiming that Point put his hands up to hit the goalie. "When he clearly didn't do that," said Cooper.Vegas Golden Knights

“Rod has been the driving force behind the culture change we’ve undergone here,” said Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell. “He keeps our players motivated, demands accountability, and has our team ready to compete every night. He has truly raised the bar for our organization, and we’re thrilled to have him continue as our coach for years to come.”Toronto Maple Leafs
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Use that cap space. One of the clear benefits of a youth movement is the creation of cap space. The Kings are set to have over $19.6 million in open space under the flat $81.5 million ceiling, partially due to six players hitting RFA status, including wingers Andreas Athanasiou and Trevor Moore. Blake will have the chance to use that cap space to upgrade the roster -- perhaps on the blue line -- or can continue to play the long game.

The energy at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas throughout these playoffs has been incredible -- though it was a bit jarring for the Canadiens, who haven't played a game outside of the country in more than a year.

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And after perhaps joining them instead of trying to beat them, his spin rates soared as he won the 2020 NL Cy Young Award, and then dipped in recent weeks.

Haniger appeared to be putting some weight on the leg as he was assisted from the dugout to the clubhouse. Jake Fraley replaced him in right field and hit a three-run homer off Bieber in the fourth..Seattle Mariners

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They’ve got a chance to shatter it considering they don’t play a team with a losing record on the road until July 27.

The league gave one year’s notice of the three-batter minimum for relief pitchers, but one week’s notice for this. Glasnow, one of baseball’s bright young stars, said he traces his torn elbow ligament to tightening his grip on the ball in anticipation of the crackdown, to make up for the loss of the time-honored sunscreen/rosin combination.Los Angeles Dodgers

But in the game after Robert went down, the White Sox obliterated the Cincinnati Reds. And now in the game after Madrigal went down, they bested the Blue Jays.

“Although the foreign substance prohibitions do not apply exclusively to pitchers,’’ the memo sent to clubs says, “the pitcher ultimately will be responsible for any ball that is delivered with a foreign substance on it. If a player other than the pitcher is found to have applied a foreign substance to the baseball (e.g., the catcher applies a foreign substance to the baseball before throwing it back to the pitcher), both the position player and pitcher will be ejected and automatically suspended.’’Milwaukee Brewers

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Said Cabrera: “When we swing the bat really good, we hit it straight to people. When the pitchers come in and do their job, we don’t score any runs. We’re not on the same page right now in a baseball game.”Colorado Rockies
In a season that has provided South Siders plenty of reason for trepidation, that's pretty exciting. That fever was on display as the White Sox overcame the Rays at the end, with everyone racing out of the dugout to mob Grandal on the field, and 20,098 fans screaming their lungs out under a clear late-spring sky, one more obstacle in a season full of them out of the way.
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On Tuesday, the club announced that Madrigal has undergone surgery for the tendon tears in his right hamstring. With this, he’s officially been ruled out for the remainder of the 2021 campaign for the team.Oakland Athletics

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You also can't blame Harper for trying to shake things up for the Phils in terms of their road effort. Since he joined the team in 2019, the Phillies are 56-84 on the road including Monday night's loss to the Dodgers, a winning percentage of just .400. Even if you're raking at home, that's not going to get the job done, and Harper seems tired of waiting for a playoff run. Arizona Diamondbacks

Asdrubal Cabrera, 35, has spent 15 years in the big leagues and couldn't recall going through another stretch like this.Philadelphia Phillies

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San Diego dropped its third straight. Blake Snell (2-3) allowed three runs in four-plus innings, and the Padres couldn’t do enough damage against New York’s bullpen.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “Guys know that when you come here we’re going to work at it, we’re going to swing the bats and get our bunts down. Also, we’re trying to savor it a little bit because it’s most likely our last time to do it.”Cincinnati Reds

“The coach called me in his office and said ‘You’re a big leaguer today,'” Owen said. “I never thought this would have happened in a million years just given the circumstances.”