Austria vs Russia live stream

A annual event where, for one thing, NHL players whose teams either missed the Stanley Cup playoffs or were eliminated early can play in May.

Sixteen national teams are divided into two groups for the preliminary round — this year Group A features Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Those teams will play all their matches in Copenhagen.

Group B consists of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, South Korea, Latvia, Norway and the U.S.

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Each team plays seven preliminary games. The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, which will be crossover. So 1A plays 4B, 2A-3B, 1B-4A, 2B-3A. Winning teams advance to the semifinals, both of which, along with the gold-medal and bronze-medal games, will be played in Copenhagen.

Detroit Red Wings at the tournament

Forward Dylan Larkin is back for a second straight year, this time as an alternate captain for the United States. Coach Jeff Blashill will be behind the bench, also for a second straight year. Defenseman Nick Jensen was named to the U.S. squad on the strength of his skating ability.

Gustav Nyquist is on Sweden’s squad. Former Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to be part of the color commentary for the Swedish games.

Frans Nielsen headlines the Danish team.

Defensive prospects Filip Hronek and Libor Sulak were both named to the Czech roster.

More: Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin: Worlds a step to ‘becoming a winner’

More: Detroit Red Wings prospects eliminated from playoffs across minors
Other notables with local ties

Former Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk is on the Russian squad.

Former Red Wings prospect Tomas Jurco is part of the Slovakian team. Prospect Andrej Nestrasil, lost on waivers in November of 2014 and out of the NHL since January of 2017, is on the Czech roster.

Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes, expected to be a top 10 pick in June’s draft, is part of the U.S. team. The squad also includes the Blackhawks’ Alex Debrincat (Farmington Hills), the Kings’ Alec Martinez (Rochester Hills) and the Blackhawks’ Jordan Oesterle (Dearborn Heights).

Former Wings assistant coach Bill Peters is coaching the Canadians. Jim Paek, formerly an assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins, is coaching the South Koreans.
Herning a hockey hotbed

Seven Danes played in the NHL in 2017-18: Nielsen, Nikolaj Ehlers (Winnipeg), Oliver Bjorkstrand (Columbus), Lars Eller (Washington), Mikkel Boedker and Jannik Hansen (San Jose) and Frederik Andersen (Toronto).

Of those, Nielsen, Bjorkstand and Andersen all hail from Herning. All three are on Denmark’s roster. The other four are still active in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Sizing up the competition

Each group has three hockey powerhouses — A has the Czechs, the Russians and the Swedes, and B has the Canadians, the Finns and the Americans. All six teams made it to the quarterfinals of the 2017 tournament, and are expected to do so again this year. Sweden ended up winning last year, defeating Canada in everybody’s least-favorite way to end a tournament: a shootout. Russia took bronze by beating Finland (which beat the U.S. in a quarterfinal).

White Sox vs Cardinals Live stream

The Red Sox came into Tuesday with an 8-1 record, though they’d yet to play a team other than the Rays and Marlins, so it was tough to tell how good this team really is. The Rays and Marlins are really bad and hey, the BoSox deserve credit for beating the teams they’re supposed to beat. It’s just hard to get a read on a team against that caliber of competition.

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Boston got their first crack at an expected contender Tuesday night, and it couldn’t have gone any better. They thoroughly embarrassed the Yankees at Fenway Park, winning the first meeting of the season between the two rivals 14-1. The Red Sox scored five runs in five innings against Luis Severino, including four runs in the first two innings, then broke it open with a nine-run sixth inning against New York’s vaunted bullpen. A Mookie Betts grand slam put an exclamation point on the win.
Tuesday’s win was Boston’s ninth straight since their Opening Day loss. They are 9-1 to start the season for the first time in franchise history, if you can believe that. The Red Sox have been around since 1908 (they were the Boston Americans from 1901-07), and never before did they win nine of their first 10 games in a season. Incredible.

As for the Yankees, they dropped to 5-6 on the season, which is hardly a disaster on April 10. It’s certainly not the start to the season they were hoping for. The Yankees won their first two games of the season and are 3-6 since, and their last two losses featured a blown 5-0 lead and a 14-1 depantsing. Ouch.
Mets improve to 9-1

The Red Sox are not the only 9-1 team in baseball. The Mets won their seventh straight game Tuesday night to improve to 9-1 as well. Like the Red Sox, the Mets are 9-1 for the first time in franchise history.

The big blow in Tuesday’s win was Yoenis Cespedes’ two-run go-ahead double in the top of the ninth. The Mets were down 6-4 as late as the eighth inning. They then scored two in the eighth to tie and two in the ninth to win.

The Mets, moreso than the Red Sox, were looking to get off to a great start this season. They had a disappointing and injury plagued season a year ago and needed to turn things around quick. They’ve done exactly that under new manager Mickey Callaway.
Pirates spoil Wrigley opener

Following a snowout Monday, the Cubs opened the Wrigley Field portion of their schedule Tuesday afternoon. They were the final team in baseball to play a home game in 2018.

The Pirates would not allow the Cubbies to have a feel-good home opener. They spoiled Javier Baez’s two-homer game and won the season’s first game at Wrigley thanks largely to Corey Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli, who combined for five runs driven in and three hits apiece. Starling Marte also went deep.

Blue Jays vs Twins live

MINNEAPOLIS – In terms of accomplishments, surpassing the 36 innings he logged during a lost 2017 season is a relatively minor milestone for Aaron Sanchez. For someone who threw 192 regular-season innings in 2016 plus 11.2 more in the post-season and won an American League ERA title, it’s not exactly a moment for the mantle.

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Yet as the electric-armed righty grinded through six tough frames in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 7-5 win Monday night over the Minnesota Twins to hit 37.2 innings in 2018, the marker was the latest indication of how he’s leaving last year’s blister-induced misery behind.

Outing by outing, Sanchez is steadily re-stablishing himself as a pillar in a rotation that for the most part underperformed during the club’s 15-10 April.

“That’s the biggest thing for me, just try to not bring (last year) up,” said Sanchez. “I felt like today, and this whole first month, just a little bit of inconsistency in terms of workload with my body, trying to get back into turning five days over, getting my body used to that. I haven’t really done that and you can imitate it in spring training as good as you can, but until you’re out here when things count, things are a little bit different, the body starts to ramp up in different ways. Something I’m still trying to get adjusted to but it will come and I’m still pitching well.”
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For the Blue Jays (16-12) to extend their success into May and beyond, they’re going to need Sanchez to keep pitching the way he has behind the impressive J.A. Happ, and for Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman and Jaime Garcia to pick up the pace behind them.

The rotation headed into Monday night’s action with a 5.26 ERA, which ranked a dismal 13th in the American League, far from the foundational strength it was projected to be.

“We’ve been inconsistent but I think that’s going to change,” said manager John Gibbons. “You always go into a season and you expect this or you expect that, but very rarely does it happen that way, anyways. Even a couple of guys who are struggling, they’ve shown some bright spots, and they’re good and they’ve all done it before.

“They’ll get on a roll, no doubt in my mind.”

That Sanchez is already rolling continues to be among the season’s most pivotal developments for the Blue Jays.

The evolution of his change-up has played a big role in that, although Monday he relied on it a bit less than he has in previous outings. He leaned most heavily on his sinker, throwing 37 of them on the night. He followed with 28 four-seamers and 25 change-ups along with three curveballs.

Left-handed batters have seen his fastball well this season, batting .500 versus the two-seamer and .364 versus the four-seamer heading into Monday, according to data on Brooks Baseball, and the Twins lineup against him featured four left-handed batters and three switch-hitters.

They didn’t make it easy on him.

“It was just a little frustrating for me tonight,” said Sanchez. “Just ball/strike, ball/strike, being inconsistent. Everything just fell off the plate, I was never really in my lanes, per se. A lot of work to be done this week and hopefully back at it Saturday.”

Sanchez kept them at bay the first time through the order but once the Blue Jays built up a 5-0 lead, highlighted by Justin Smoak’s two-run shot off Lance Lynn, the Twins started to scratch away.

Kepler’s RBI double off Danny Barnes in the seventh set up a nervous finish for the Blue Jays, but Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the eighth and the Twins played the role of gracious hosts in the ninth when Eddie Rosario dropped a Smoak fly ball on the warning track and Yangervis Solarte cashed him in with a base hit.

Roberto Osuna stranded the tying runs at second and third in the ninth to secure Sanchez’s second win of the season with his seventh save.

“We built a nice lead, and I’ve been a part of many of them, then the other team keeps creeping back,” said Gibbons. “(Sanchez) was off, his command was erratic but he hung in there enough. We’ve got to tighten up some defence on some balls but it’s nice to get a win. You’re going to play many games like that, it never feels good, they had the tying run on second, but we had our closer on. Bottom line we won that thing.”

There’s validation in that, especially with a second straight win after seven losses in nine outings. And while Sanchez wasn’t as dominant as in his last start, when he held the Red Sox to two runs over six frames with eight strikeouts, he kept the game in line.

“He’s so under control,” pitching coach Pete Walker said of what he’s liked about how Sanchez has pitched. “His delivery, he’s not trying to overthrow as much as he has in the past, when he really tried to step on it at times and had to rely on the fastball. Now he’s got other pitches he utilizes, especially the change-up. He’s controlling bat speed for the first time in his career with that change-up. And I still think we haven’t seen his best spin.

“There’s still a breaking ball in there I think can be really effective for him.”

As Sanchez continues to leave 2017 further and further behind him, and with the Blue Jays not expecting him to have any sort of workload restrictions this year, he’ll have plenty of time to work on it.

Rockets vs Jazz Live

Two of the NBA’s best teams over the last couple of months are set to meet in the Western Conference semifinals, as the top-seeded Houston Rockets take on the Utah Jazz.

All games in the series will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or TNT (full schedule). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch all of the games live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:

Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT. You can sign up right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.

DirecTV Now: ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT are included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the games live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.

WatchESPN: You can also watch games that are broadcast on ABC or ESPN on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. Games on ABC can be watched for free without cable if you have a participating internet service provider (ISP), while games on ESPN require you to sign in to a TV provider. If you don’t have a participating ISP for the ABC games, or don’t have cable for the ESPN games, you can use your Hulu or DirecTV Now credentials to sign in and watch.
Preview

Between January 19–the day Rudy Gobert returned from his 15-game absence stemming from a sprained PCL–and the conclusion of the regular season, the Utah Jazz went 30-8, earning them the league’s second-best winning percentage during that span. The only team better? The Houston Rockets, who were 34-5.

During that stretch to close the season, the Jazz ranked 12th in offensive rating (108.4 points per 100 possessions), first–by far–in defensive rating (97.5) and first in net rating (plus-10.8), while the Rockets ranked second in offense (111.7), third in defense (102.3) and third in net (9.4).

So, this may only be the second round of the playoffs. It may be a No. 1 vs. No. 5 seed. But you can make a strong argument that over the last three months, these have been two of the best five teams in the NBA, making this a highly compelling matchup.

Houston swept the four regular-season meetings with each win coming by double-digits, though just one of those came after Christmas–a 96-85 win in Salt Lake City on February 26. Though the Jazz struggled to score, they managed to limit the Rockets to just 43.0 percent shooting from the field and 27.3 shooting from deep. The Rockets’ 96 points was their fifth lowest output of the season, while their nine three-pointers made was tied for their second lowest mark.

Therein lies what will be one of the most fascinating matchups of these playoffs: Houston’s offense is arguably the best in the NBA (though the Warriors at full strength have a good argument there), while Utah’s defense can make a similar case as the league’s most efficient unit on that end. It’s a battle of elite strengths, and it’s going to play a major factor in determining this series.

For as dominant as Houston has been all year, especially when Chris Paul and James Harden have both been healthy, it would ultimately be surprising not to see them advance to the West finals. But Utah’s defensive makeup serves as a really intriguing potential kryptonite to the Rockets’ ultra-efficient offense, and the Jazz should–at the very least–be able to push to six games.

Roma vs Liverpool Live

The two late goals in the first leg at Anfield have given the Giallorossi hope they can repeat their Barcelona heroics and beat Liverpool to reach the Champions League final

In the last few days the city has been trembling with excitement. No one speaks about anything else: there is only Roma v Liverpool, in the bars and in the restaurants, among friends or on the metro. It will be a great celebration of sport with an extraordinary atmosphere: trust me, the Olimpico will be an inferno.

For Roma it is only their second time in a European Cup semi-final, and therefore something historic: the climate inside the stadium will be even hotter and even more fiery than what we saw against Barcelona.
Roma’s Mohamed Salah angst leaves Klopp’s Liverpool with little to fear
Read more

Roma are famous around the world for their fans: they have passion, love and heart. I witnessed it and it was something wonderful. Against Liverpool you will see the same total support for the team: the stadium will be completely clad in red and yellow, the fans will sing for 90 minutes and then it is up to the team to do the business.

The Roma fans are amazing. Even today, 15 years later, they stop when they see me and start to sing the song they sang about me when I was playing: it is incredible. They stop me everywhere, even at restaurants when I am out eating.

They still salute me every day. They were the first fans to make a banner saying “I love you” to a team in the 80s and there is an incredible passion for the players who play for the team.

The players are also fans of the team so there is total love between the supporters and the players and you will see the result of that against Liverpool on Wednesday night.

Everyone here believes that Roma can get through, just as they should. The two late goals at Anfield have given everyone hope and I believe too. They have to play the perfect game, just like they did against Barcelona because Liverpool are better than Barça in my opinion. If everything goes our way then Roma can do it. In the capital everyone is hoping and believing.
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Liverpool, of course, have a former Roma player in their team, Mohamed Salah, and he will get a great reception. He did so well in the Roma shirt and got close to the fans. He had to leave because of finances and he will be greeted like a champion on his return to the club. In the Premier League, with Liverpool, he has taken another step forward: here in Italy he played a bit deeper and did not score as many goals.

As far as I am concerned he can win the Ballon d’Or: he is a fantastic player and it will all come down to who wins the Champions League. If he does that, then the Ballon d’Or could well go to Momo.

As far as the home team is concerned I think Daniele De Rossi could be decisive. He is the heart of this Roma side and a romanista, the fans’ hero. Against Barcelona he had an amazing assist and also scored from the penalty spot to make people believe the amazing comeback was on. One additional thing with him is that he can animate the fans at the Olimpico. Then we shouldn’t forget about Edin Dzeko, of course.

I have played at Anfield against Liverpool and that is an experience that is impossible to forget. The fans sing for 90 minutes and they are extraordinary. I brought my kids because you have to live that experience.

At the Olimpico the fans are further away but the Roma supporters are just as good as the Liverpool ones. You will see the colours, how much heart they put into it and the choreography of the tifo to help the team. The Olimpico will be an extraordinary sight for this incredible night of Champions League football.

Vincent Candela played for Roma between 1997 and 2005 and won the club’s third Scudetto in their history in 2001. He was voted into the Roma Hall of Fame in 2014. He was speaking to Fabrizio Romano
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Real Madrid vs. Bayern Live Stream Online

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich live stream info, TV channel, time: How to watch Champions League semifinal on TV, stream online

Real Madrid welcomes Bayern Munich to the Spanish capital on Tuesday for their Champions League semifinal second leg, as the Germans enter the game with their backs against the wall.

Here’s how you can watch the match, what’s on the line and our prediction:

How to watch
When: Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: FS1 and Fox Deportes
Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App

What’s at stake?
A spot in the final later this month. Real holds a 2-1 lead after the first leg thanks to goals from Marcelo and Marco Asensio, and those two away goals are vital. To go through, Bayern has to secure a better result away than they did in the first leg. A 2-1 win for Bayern would mean extra time, while even winning 1-0 would eliminate the Germans.

Prediction
It’s Real Madrid in the Champions League, which almost always implies they are going through. They’ll be well rested and have tons of momentum, and they’ll be more focused than the quarterfinal second leg vs. Juventus. The Spanish club goes through.
Real Madrid 2, Bayern 1.

Warriors vs Pelicans Live

Warriors vs Pelicans Live Stream: How to Watch Playoffs Online Without Cable

As the Golden State Warriors continue their quest at a fourth straight trip to the NBA finals, they’ll get a significant and compelling test in the Western Conference semis when they meet Anthony Davis and the scintillating-hot New Orleans Pelicans, who are fresh off a dominant first-round sweep.

All games in the series will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or TNT (full schedule). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch all of the games live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:

Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT. You can sign up right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the games on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.

DirecTV Now: ABC (live in select markets), ESPN and TNT are included in all four of DirecTV Now’s channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch the games live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.

WatchESPN: You can also watch games that are broadcast on ABC or ESPN on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. Games on ABC can be watched for free without cable if you have a participating internet service provider (ISP), while games on ESPN require you to sign in to a TV provider. If you don’t have a participating ISP for the ABC games, or don’t have cable for the ESPN games, you can use your Hulu or DirecTV Now credentials to sign in and watch.
Preview

If you would have been told at the start of the year that the Warriors, considered one of the best collections of talent in NBA history, and the Pelicans, playing without All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, were going to meet in the NBA playoffs, you likely would have waved it off as a boring matchup and likely sweep.

But this series is wildly compelling in a variety of different ways.

How will the Warriors choose to matchup with Anthony Davis, who poured in 33.0 points on 57.6 percent shooting against the Blazers? Do they use Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Kevon Looney or JaVale McGee? Or some combination of the four? Or just throw their entire team at him, hoping Holiday, Mirotic and Co. don’t make them pay?

Conversely, how much of Davis will Durant see on the other end? The Pels aren’t likely to use a whole lot of E’Twaun Moore or Nikola Mirotic on him, which could lead to a lot of KD vs. AD matchups. Durant is a stone-cold killer offensively, while Davis, who averaged 1.5 steals and 2.6 blocks during the season, is one of the most versatile defenders in the league, so whenever those two are on each other, it will deserve all of your attention.

Then there’s another dream matchup at the 2, where Jrue Holiday and Klay Thompson, two of the best two-way guards in the league, will go to battle. Thompson lit up the Spurs for 22.6 points and a silly 63.3 true-shooting percentage in the first round. Holiday gave the Blazers nightmares with 27.8 points and an efficient 62.7 true-shooting percentage of his own. Both play excellent defense, and both could swing this matchup one way or the other.

Another big question: Can Rajon Rondo continue to be playoff Rajon? He’s put up 11.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting, 12.2 assists (to just 3.0 turnovers), 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in his last six postseason games, and if he can play like he did against Portland–not only distributing but also knocking down open shots–it’ll be massive for the Pels.

And, of course, the looming mountain-sized variable is the health of Steph Curry. Out since late March with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, the elite offensive force is questionable for Game 1, according to general manager Bob Myers:

It’s conceivable. He’s gonna try and practice … if he can get in tomorrow’s practice and Friday and doesn’t have any setbacks and feels physically ready, then there’s a chance he can go.

But if there’s any notion of him having any issues in any area, he wouldn’t go on Saturday. But the good news is, if he’s practicing — which is the plan — that means you’re pretty close…

So… conceivable — I don’t want to put a percentage on it because I don’t know — but I’m not saying inconceivable … we’ll know more pretty soon here.

The Warriors are still favorites, especially if Curry can return for the majority of the series, but the Pels have won nine in a row and 24 of their last 32 for a reason. Davis is an unstoppable force on both ends when healthy and focused, Holiday is playing like an All-Star, Mirotic is on fire (averaging 25.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.6 threes on a 46.4 percent clip during the nine-game winning streak) and the role players have been solid.

Raptors vs Cavaliers Live

Cavaliers vs. Raptors Game 1: Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream Info For 2018 NBA Playoffs

LeBron James will find himself back on the court just two days after carrying his team to a Game 7 victory. The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to visit the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

It took all James had for Cleveland to avoid a first-round upset at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. The NBA’s best player scored 45 points in 43 minutes Sunday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena as Cleveland barely survived against the Eastern Conference’s No.5 seed.

James didn’t rest until the one-minute mark of the third quarter in Game 7, and he averaged a league-high 41.1 minutes per game in the opening round.

“I’m burnt right now,” an admittedly tired James told reporters Sunday afternoon. “I’m not thinking about Toronto right now until tomorrow. I’m ready to go home. Can we? I’m tired. I want to go home.”

Game 1 starts at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday night. TNT will have the TV coverage, and fans can watch a live stream at TNTdrama.com.

Toronto has a few advantages in the conference semifinals opener. The Raptors will play at home and on four days’ of rest, having clinched their first-round series Friday night with a Game 6 win against the Washington Wizards.

Cleveland and Toronto met in the second round of the playoffs last year. They also faced off in the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs didn’t have much trouble winning either series, and they swept Toronto a season ago.

Things could be different this time around, now that Toronto looks like the better team. The Raptors finished first in the East standings and nine games ahead of the Cavs. Cleveland no longer has Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love has not performed like the player that was an All-Star in the regular season.

The Raptors already ended their streak of 10 straight Game 1 losses when they opened up the first round with a win. They are favored to defeat the Cavs both on Tuesday and in the series.

Cleveland was blown out in Game 1 of their first-round series, despite a triple-double by LeBron James.

Penguins vs Capitals Live

Penguins-Capitals Game 2: Washington ties series after replay controversy ends in Caps’ favor

Game 2

Washington Capitals 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 1

Series: Tied 1-1

3 p.m. ET, Capital One Arena

TV: NBC

• Capitals get relief, Game 2 win as they level series at 1-1. (Read more)

• Top takeaways: The Caps let the past die and grabbed new life in this series. (Read more)

• The Capitals needed a win in Game 2 and jumped all over the Penguins early. Washington took a two-goal lead into the second period and needed only 2 minutes and 10 seconds to make it 3-0 on a breakaway goal by Brett Connolly. A long-range wrist shot by Kris Letang through traffic found its way past Braden Holtby to give Pittsburgh a spark late in the second and make the score 3-1 heading into the third period, but the Penguins got no closer. (Read more)

• The Capitals’ defense has evolved from the start of the season. (Read more)

Capitals strike first, stand tall to even series at 1-1
by Isabelle Khurshudyan

Amid the cheers, the whipping towels and dinging cowbells at Capital One Arena, there was also an exhale. Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly scored on a partial breakaway, and the sight of the puck in the net and a red goal light brought both joy and relief. Washington wouldn’t be squandering a two-goal lead, because the team now was up three.

The Capitals ultimately won by that margin, 4-1, and with the next two games in Pittsburgh, Washington has tied the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Penguins at one game apiece, in large part thanks to goaltender Braden Holtby’s 32 saves and some good fortune with video reviews. Most importantly, the Capitals continued to build on their lead rather than cling to it.

“You can see what happen last game when we get the lead 2-0, and they come back and win the game,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “They’re experienced team.

“They’re not going to give up and they’re not going to give easy play for us. We have to earn it. Today I think we play a solid game. Everybody was in, and we get the result.”

[Svrluga: With a bit of luck — and a lot of Braden Holtby — the Capitals tie up the series]

After 20 minutes, the Capitals found themselves in a familiar, uneasy position. For the second straight game, Washington was up 2-0, but the team had squandered that kind of cushion three times in its previous seven playoff games, including Game 1 against the Penguins.

The postseason had been miserable for Connolly a year ago. He played in just seven games, a healthy scratch for the other six as Washington opted to play seven defensemen with 11 forwards. When Connolly did play, his ice time was limited. This playoff run has taken an opposite arc. He has gotten more responsibility with a promotion to the third line. He had been unable to convert on numerous chances in past games, but with the partial breakaway in the second period Sunday he didn’t miss, and his wrist shot lifted the Capitals to a 3-0 lead 2:08 into the second period.

“Even when we go up three, you’ve got to keep playing against this team because they can hurt you in a lot of different ways,” Connolly said.

Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang scored roughly 11 minutes later with a point shot while Holtby had two layers of screens in front of him. The Penguins seemed to score again midway through the third period, when Patric Hornqvist jammed in a wraparound attempt by Sidney Crosby. But the officials didn’t call it a goal on the ice, and a long video review followed. Holtby had stopped the puck with his pad, but it was unclear whether it had managed to cross the goal line anyway. The video review didn’t provide a definitive replay, so the Penguins didn’t receive the tally, another break for Washington in a game of them.

[Penguins leave town fuming after Game 2 loss to the Capitals]

“Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes not,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “We got lucky there.”

The Capitals had caught one break before the game even started. With Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and winger Carl Hagelin both out with injuries in Game 1, Washington didn’t take advantage of the opportunity, a theme in past postseason series between the teams. A year ago, the Capitals lost the game Crosby missed with a concussion. The year before that, top defenseman Letang was suspended for a game, and the Capitals didn’t win then, either.

Malkin was Pittsburgh’s leading scorer this season with 42 goals and 56 assists in 78 games, and Washington got another opportunity when Malkin’s undisclosed lower-body injury kept him out of Game 2, too. With Crosby and Malkin on the team, the Penguins have never lost a playoff series in which they took a two-games-to-none lead.

“Obviously, he’s a top player. There’s no question about it,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said before the game. “But at the same time, it doesn’t really matter. We’ve just got to win the game.”

[Could a suspension be coming for Capitals forward Tom Wilson?]

Washington again got the strong start it wanted; the team has scored first in all but one of its eight playoff games. Less than two minutes into the game, Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov and Hornqvist raced for a puck that had slid into Pittsburgh’s zone. Hornqvist got his stick on it, but he inadvertently passed it to Ovechkin, who quickly shot it past Matt Murray’s glove for the first goal of the game. That was Ovechkin’s second goal in as many games and his third point.

Then, with five seconds left in a power play, rookie Jakub Vrana maneuvered through three Pittsburgh sticks to get to the front of the net and beat Murray glove side. That seemed like a target for Washington; Connolly’s goal also was to Murray’s glove side. The Penguins challenged for goaltender interference because Connolly’s stick had made contact with Murray’s leg before Vrana’s goal, but the league determined that Connolly’s actions didn’t impair Murray from making the save, so the goal stood.

“Honestly, I didn’t really even know that I did that,” Connolly said. “I was shocked. It’s just a quick reaction. You’re kind of being intense, but it was way before. . . . We deserved that break. We’ve been playing so well. We deserved a break tonight.”

And then the Capitals made their own break, with Connolly getting the all-important third goal, insurance the series would be tied.

Top takeaways

No hangover: The Capitals had two full days to put their third-period collapse in Game 1 behind them, and they appeared to do just that. Rather than playing tense and tight, Washington came out firing at Capital One Arena, out-shooting Pittsburgh 20-10 in the first period. It was a franchise record for shots on goal at home in any period in the playoffs and it resulted in a 2-0 lead. This time, the Capitals wouldn’t give it up.

Holtby rebounds: Braden Holtby allowed three goals in less than five minutes during his dreadful third period on Thursday, but turned away all 10 Penguins shots in the first period and 32 of 33 shots in the game on Sunday.

As in Game 1, when the Penguins rattled a couple of opportunities off the post, fortune shined on Holtby in Game 2. A couple of Pittsburgh shots deflected just wide of the net, while officials ruled that Patric Hornqvist’s stuff attempt on a wrap-around pass from Sidney Crosby in the third period never completely crossed the goal line.

“I’m not sure, I never saw it across the line,” Holtby told NBC’s Pierre McGuire of the controversial no-goal call after the game. “I saw it pinched kind of between my pad and the post, so I tried to bring my other leg around to keep it out. They wouldn’t show a replay here, so I really have no clue what happened.”

Oh, captain: Alex Ovechkin assisted on Washington’s first goal in Game 1, but was held without a shot on goal until the third period on Thursday. Ovechkin was an offensive force at the start of Game 2, scoring 1:26 into the first period to give Washington an early lead and registering all four of his shots on goal in the first period. Ovechkin’s seven goals through eight playoff games this season are his most in any postseason since he had 11 in 2009.

Penalty kill comes up big: Washington hasn’t allowed a power play goal since Game 3 of its first-round series against Columbus. The Capitals’ penalty-killing unit was three for three on Sunday, including a crucial kill late in the third period after Evgeny Kuznetsov took a foolish penalty for slashing.

Injuries to watch: The Penguins were without forwards Carl Hagelin and Evgeni Malkin for the first two games of the series and now they could be without Brian Dumoulin. The defenseman left the game in the second period after taking a shoulder to the head from Tom Wilson when he turned to avoid a hit from Alex Ovechkin. Dumoulin did not return to the game.

In-game analysisEnd of Period 3: Capitals 4, Penguins 1

With seven seconds remaining, Nicklas Backstrom buried a shot into an empty net to ice the Capitals’ 4-1 win.

Washington did it; they preserved a two-goal lead at home, with little help from a controversial no-goal call. The best of-seven-series is tied at one apiece with Game 3 set for Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

Kuznetsov loses his cool, makes Caps sweat: Barely more than a minute after the Penguins killed off Kris Letang’s holding penalty, Derick Brassard put the Capitals on the power play again by tripping Evgeny Kuznetsov. During Washington’s ensuing man advantage, Kuznetsov was whistled for slashing Kris Letang. The Capitals killed off Pittsburgh’s power play, most of it a 6-on-4 advantage after Matt Murray vacated the Penguins net. With less than two minutes remaining, Washington still leads by two.

Missed opportunities: Looking to put the Penguins away in the final 10 minutes of the third period, the Capitals failed to extend their two-goal lead on a power play and a chance just before that.

Matt Murray stopped Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway and Tom Wilson shanked a shot from just in front of the net later in the same shift. Washington would get another golden opportunity after Kris Letang was whistled for holding with 8:23 to play, but the Capitals couldn’t generate a scoring chance with the man advantage.

Caps catch a break?: Shortly after the Capitals killed off a Pittsburgh power play, the Penguins thought they had cut the lead to one. Patric Hornqvist threw his hands in the air in celebration after stuffing a Sidney Crosby wrap-around pass from behind the net between Braden Holtby’s left pad and the goal post. The goal light didn’t come on, officials on the ice didn’t rule it a goal and video review could not show it clearly crossed the goal line. The call stood, and so did Washington’s two-goal lead.

Another solid kill: The Penguins’ second power play of the game came less than six minutes into the third period, when T.J. Oshie was sent to the box for tripping Sidney Crosby. As it has been all postseason, the Capitals’ penalty-killing unit was up the task. Pittsburgh managed only one shot with the man advantage and failed to cut into the Capitals’ 3-1 lead. Washington hasn’t allowed a power play goal since Game 3 of its first round series and has now killed 21 consecutive penalties.

Thoughts on the Dumoulin hit: During the second intermission, NBC analyst Keith Jones weighed in on Tom Wilson’s controversial hit on Brian Dumoulin that knocked the Penguins defenseman from the game. Officials conferred after the play and did not call a penalty, though Wilson could be disciplined by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety following the game’s conclusion. Jones doesn’t expect that to happen.

“I think they got it right,” Jones said. “This is a tough one. … Wilson is pursuing him from behind, and by definition, by the rule, Wilson does not have the ability to turn away from the hit. He’s already committed to it, and the fact that Dumoulin stopped and turned into it is what’s going to keep Tom Wilson, in my opinion, from a suspension, and kept Tom Wilson from getting a penalty on that play.”

“It looked like it was a high hit,” Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan told NBC’s Pierre McGuire during the second period. “They didn’t see it that way, so we just have to keep playing.”

Dumoulin did not return at the start of the third period.

Lucky bounces running out for Pens?: It’s possible Pittsburgh’s fortunate puck luck is coming to an end at 5-on-5 play, or at least taking a break. During the regular season the Penguins converted 7.2 percent of their shots on net, roughly what we would expect from a league-average team. Then, in the series against the Flyers, they doubled that efficiency (15.2 percent). The Penguins kept that alive in Game 1 against the Capitals, converting 3 of 23 shots (13 percent), only to be 0 for 22 in Game 2. Their lone goal came when the teams were skating four aside.

This is how puck luck works — sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. And right now, the Penguins don’t.

End Period 2: Capitals 3, Penguins 1

Goals were even at one apiece in the second period, but the Penguins have been surging since the Capitals took a 3-0 lead on Brett Connolly’s breakaway goal two minutes into the frame. Pittsburgh outshot Washington 15-6 in the period and almost pulled to within goal, but Braden Holtby got just enough of a Kris Letang one-timer with his catching glove to deflect it wide of the left post in the closing minutes.

The Capitals are 40-3-3 in 2017-18, regular season and playoffs, when they carry a lead into the third period.

There goes the shutout: Seconds after Braden Holtby stoned Jake Guentzel on a rebound attempt to preserve the Capitals’ 3-0 lead midway through the third period, Dmitry Orlov and Patric Hornqvist were each assessed roughing penalties. Pittsburgh finally got on the board during the ensuing four-on-four action, with Kris Letang’s shot from the point getting past Braden Holtby, who was screened by Guentzel.

Kentucky derby 2018

Horse racing only crosses the American sports radar a few times a year, so you may need a refresher on how to bet it — the Kentucky Derby specifically. The good news is it’s legal across the United States, unlike betting on other sports, so you won’t have a problem getting action down online.

A parimutuel system is used in horse racing, which is different from betting on a basketball or football game against a point spread in Las Vegas. Bettors aren’t wagering against the bookie or house, but against each other, and the house takes a cut. So these numbers could change plenty between now and post time (6:34 p.m. ET) on Saturday. It also means odds aren’t fixed at the time of the bet.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Kentucky Derby

But here are the odds to win the Kentucky Derby, along with some key terms to remember to make sure you know what you’re doing when you walk up to the betting window or place a bet at your Kentucky Derby party.
Kentucky Derby odds

Bolt D’oro, Magnum Moon and Mendelssohn opened as early co-favorites to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby, according to Vegas Insider, though Justify emerged as the new favorite as of April 30.

With no clear-cut favorite, could we see another longshot winner at the Derby? The odds will be updated several times leading up to the race, but here are the latest odds:

2018 Kentucky Derby odds
Justify 3/1
Bolt D’oro 18/5
Mendelssohn 9/2
My Boy Jack 9/2
Magnum Moon 19/4
Audible 13/2
Good Magic 15/2
Hofburg 10/1
Vino Rosso 16/1
Enticed 20/1
Solomini 25/1
Noble Indy 28/1
Flameaway 30/1
Instilled Regard 35/1
Free Drop Billy 40/1
Bravazo 50/1
Combatant 50/1
Lone Sailor 50/1
Promises Fulfilled 50/1
Firenze Fire 75/1
Givemeaminit 75/1
Blended Citizen 100/1
Reride 100/1
Snapper Sinclair 100/1
Sporting Chance 100/1
Restoring Hope 150/1
Dream Baby Dream 200/1

*Odds as of April 30
How to bet on the Kentucky Derby

If you’re betting at a window, whether it be at Churchill Downs or your local track which is simulcasting the Kentucky Derby, say the name of the track, the number race you’re betting, how much you want to wager, the type of wager and the numbers (post positions) of the horses you’re including in your bet. Twinspires.com is the official betting site of the Kentucky Derby.

MORE: Fast facts before you pick a Kentucky Derby horse
Horse racing wager types

There are tons of different ways to bet on a horse race, but here are some of the most common and ones you’ll likely hear about come Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

— Win, place, show, or first, second and third. When you bet on the winner, you simply get the horse at its odds and if it wins, you cash that amount. So $10 on a horse at 12-to-1 nets you $120. If you bet on a horse to “place”, or come in second, the payout is less, and same goes for “show.”

You can make an “across the board” wager on a horse — a bet on that horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, you collect all three; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets.

Exacta, trifecta, superfecta. These wagers force a player to pick the exact finishing order of the top two, three or four horses, respectively. The payouts are multiplied the more horses you put in these bets.

You can also “box” an exacta, trifecta or superfecta, which means you bet on all the possible combinations. So if I bet a trifecta box on Nyquist, Destin and My Man Sam in the Kentucky Derby, I’d actually be making six bets because I’m taking all six possible combinations.

— Pick three (or four, or five, or six). This involves picking the winners of several different races at a track on a given day. It often pays out the entire pool.

MORE: How to watch the 2018 Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby picks

Here are Vinnie Iyer’s early picks to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Check back to see the final picks with analysis after the post position draw.