2017 Stanley Cup — Pittsburgh Penguins young stars are filling the gaps

In Game 5 the Penguins were clicking on all cylinders.

The 7-0 rout, which moved Pittsburgh within one game of a return to the Stanley Cup finals, was a reminder of what the Penguins looks like at their best. It’s a mix of star power and key contributions coming from throughout the lineup. It’s winger Bryan Rust returning to action after an upper-body injury with jump, injecting the tired Penguins with a burst of energy they hadn’t felt in a while.

Sidney Crosby and the other Penguins stars can’t repeat all by themselves. Pittsburgh is a win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup finals thanks to a next-man-up approach and newcomers like Carter Rowney who have shined this postseason.

Source: 2017 Stanley Cup — Pittsburgh Penguins young stars are filling the gaps

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Penguins break through against Senators, tie series with Game 2 win | ProHockeyTalk

Score was 1-0 with a Craig Anderson goal.

The Senators might have been accused of a “rope-a-dope” technique when it came to trying to counterattack, but they weren’t just leaning on the ropes when it came to the actual physical stuff. Dion Phaneuf delivered some huge hits, including one that possibly injured Bryan Rust, while Justin Schultz may also be hurt thanks to an innocuous Mike Hoffman

Source: Penguins break through against Senators, tie series with Game 2 win | ProHockeyTalk

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2017 Stanley Cup — Penguins send Capitals home again

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury brought his game up a notch when his team needed it the most as the injury-riddled Penguins somehow again ended the Stanley Cup hopes of a talented Capitals team.

How it happened: The Capitals came out flying but Fleury was up to the challenge while his teammates found their legs. As the Capitals buzzed their way to a couple close calls, it was a play by the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel that raised the tension in Verizon Center by several notches. His patience with the puck in finding Bryan Rust for the first goal of the game in the second period revealed the kind of hockey sense that has made him a great linemate for Sidney Crosby. A dominant third period from the Penguins sealed it.

Source: 2017 Stanley Cup — Penguins send Capitals home again

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Snap Shots: Pens 3, Caps 2

* Marc-Andre Fleury has been and continues to be the Pens’ best player. He’s performing at such a high level so consistently, it’s been just incredible to watch. While I thought the Pens played a solid game overall, they did have stretches where they struggled to get out of their end. And of course, Washington is just a great team. They had the best regular-season record for a reason. They were going to get their chances, and when they did, Fleury was there to turn them aside with some incredible displays of athleticism. Head coach Mike Sullivan said it best after the game: “He has elevated his game at an important time. He’s a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, and he’s showing it.”

Source: Snap Shots: Pens 3, Caps 2

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DoD: Military athletes can no longer defer commitment to play pro sports

The Defense Department had changed the policy last year so athletes could join Ready Reserve instead.

DoD officials released the news on Monday, four days after Air Force Academy athletes hoping to be drafted into the National Football League found out the Air Force wouldn’t approve waivers that would allow the cadets to join the Ready Reserve and sign with a football team.

Source: DoD: Military athletes can no longer defer commitment to play pro sports

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Shattenkirk nets OT winner for Caps; Crosby exits – NY Daily News

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Shattenkirk scored 3:13 into overtime and the Washington Capitals overcame a late collapse in regulation to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on Monday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Pittsburgh captain left just over 5 minutes into the game after getting cross-checked to the head by Washington’s Matt Niskanen.

Source: Shattenkirk nets OT winner for Caps; Crosby exits – NY Daily News

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Opportunistic Penguins take 2-0 series lead over Capitals | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Post-Gazette.com – WASHINGTON — Washington outplayed the Penguins for long stretches of Saturday’s Game 2 at Verizon Center, but failed to inflict enough damage where it really mattered: on the scoreboard. The Penguins were the much more opportunistic team, made the most of their chances and left here with a 6-2 win and a commanding, two-games-to-none lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Source: Opportunistic Penguins take 2-0 series lead over Capitals | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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The woman running 40 marathons in 40 days – BBC News

Mina Guli is attempting to complete a gruelling 1,600km (1,000 miles) feat across six continents.

She has run her marathons along the Colorado River in the US and Mexico, the Amazon River in Brazil, the Murray River in Australia, the Yangtze River in China and the Nile River in Egypt. She is due to finish the final leg on Monday along the River Thames in London.

Source: The woman running 40 marathons in 40 days – BBC News

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Giant Peanut-Shaped Asteroid to Pass Harmlessly by Earth Wednesday

Asteroid 2014 JO25 will streak past Earth April 19, coming within 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.

A huge, shiny, peanut-shaped asteroid will safely swing by Earth tomorrow morning (April 19), coming within a distance of 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) of the planet — about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.

Source: Giant Peanut-Shaped Asteroid to Pass Harmlessly by Earth Wednesday

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Malkin will return to Penguins lineup for playoff opener | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan minced no words when addressing Evgeni Malkin’s status for the team’s first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“Geno will be in the lineup and full-go,” Sullivan said after the Penguins’ practice Tuesday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

Malkin also said he will play in Game 1 of the team’s first round series Wednesday against Columbus at PPG Paints Arena. He missed the final 13 games of the regular season with an upper-body injury.

Read More From Source: Malkin will return to Penguins lineup for playoff opener | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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How the U.N.C. Tar Heels Won Their 6th National Championship

The Tar Heels won a sloppy game against Gonzaga, pulling away in the final minutes.

It was a sloppily played game, and at times poorly officiated, as the referees seemed to miss several calls in the second half.

“It was an ugly game,” said North Carolina Coach Roy Williams, who won his third national title with the Tar Heels. “I don’t think either team played well offensively. The magnitude of the game had a lot to do with it.”

You can read the Final Four game report here.

Read the complete story about the origin of the March Madness theme song here.

Source: How the U.N.C. Tar Heels Won Their 6th National Championship

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Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship Game | Bleacher Report

 

Gonzaga Bulldogs

This is more than just Gonzaga's first trip to the Final Four.

This is more than just Gonzaga’s first trip to the Final Four.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Record: 37-1, No. 1 seed in West Region

Path to Phoenix: 66-46 over No. 16 South Dakota State, 79-73 over No. 8 Northwestern, 61-58 over No. 4 West Virginia, 83-59 over No. 11 Xavier, 77-73 over No. 7 South Carolina

Biggest strength: Ranked No. 1 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency

Achilles’ heel: Ranked No. 222 in the country in defensive turnover percentage

If Gonzaga wore any other name on the front of its jerseys, no one would be surprised that it’s here. The Bulldogs have been No. 1 on KenPom since mid-January, playing some of the most efficient basketball of the past 15 years.

North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels are back in the title game

The Tar Heels are back in the title gameRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Record: 32-7, No. 1 seed in South Region

Path to Phoenix: 103-64 over No. 16 Texas Southern, 72-65 over No. 8 Arkansas, 92-80 over No. 4 Butler, 75-73 over No. 2 Kentucky, 77-76 over No. 3 Oregon

Biggest strength: Ranked No. 1 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage

Achilles’ heel: Shooting 70.1 percent from the free-throw line in the NCAA tournament

Read Source: Everything You Need to Know About the 2017 NCAA Basketball Championship Game | Bleacher Report

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Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix? | NCAA.com

Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix?

Best intimidator: Jordan Bell, Oregon

“Jordan Bell is a maniac down low,” Justin Jackson said on Friday.

“Just a freak,” Theo Pinson added.

 Outside of Sindarius Thornwell, no player’s stock has risen in the NCAA tournament as much as Bell’s. Truth is, he’s been doing this all year; it just took a little more playing time and a little bigger stage for America to notice.

Bell played Moritz Wagner, who has well on his way to becoming an NCAA tournament darling before facing Oregon, off of the floor in the Sweet 16. In the second round, Louisville switched everything against Michigan. Wagner abused smaller guys in mismatches en route to 26 points.

The Ducks decided to play it straight up, and Bell made Dana Altman look prophetic. Wagner tried to play hero ball against Bell, it didn’t work, and he was summoned to the pine.

Source: Final Four superlatives: Who’s the best of the best in Phoenix? | NCAA.com

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Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A large Confederate flag is flying from the top of a parking garage next to the arena that’s hosting two men’s NCAA tournament second-round games Sunday evening.

The flag is being flown by a small group of protesters, according to the Associated Press, which arrived Sunday morning and plans to say throughout the games Sunday night.

Protesters said they hoped to make their presence known to the NCAA, which lifted its ban against the state of South Carolina last year because the Confederate flag no longer flies at the statehouse.

Source: Confederate flag flies next to NCAA arena in South Carolina

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NCAA Tournament 2017: Ranking all the second-round games on Sunday – CBSSports.com

Saturday was fun and brought upsets; Sunday could be even better

SUNDAY

8. No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 8 Arkansas (South). Just don’t think Arkansas is going to be able to keep pace with UNC.

7. No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 11 USC (East). USC beat Providence in the First Four, then won it late vs. SMU. Now the Trojans and their talent go up against a Baylor squad that is led by Johnathan Motley, a potential first-round pick in 2017.

6. No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 South Carolina (East). A Duke game rated this low speaks to the opponent and just how good the games/matchups listed ahead of it are.

Tatum-giles-duke.jpg
Does South Carolina have the style to slow down Duke?  USATSI

5. No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 6 Cincinnati (South). We have a few contrast-in-style games going down this weekend, and this is one of them.

3. No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 7 Michigan (Midwest).  Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr. is going to have another tough test, but he fared well against OSU’s Jawun Evans.

2. No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State (Midwest). Well, this is going to be awesome. You could make the argument that no team looked better in its first-round game than KU, but of course the opponent factors into that. Now Bill Self has to deal with a Tom Izzo team that turned Miami into putty. Josh Jackson vs. Miles Bridges is a lottery pick face-off that could be one highlight after another.

1. No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 10 Wichita State (South). The most anticipated game of any between Saturday and Sunday, without question. The under-seeded Shockers won ugly over Dayton — and it was impressive.

Source: NCAA Tournament 2017: Ranking all the second-round games on Sunday – CBSSports.com

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NASCAR at Atlanta: Brad Keselowski wins after pit road mishap costs Kevin Harvick | NASCAR | Sporting News

Kevin Harvick dominated the first two stages of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta, but a late speeding penalty derailed his bid.

Keselowski passed Kyle Larson for the lead with six laps to go for his first win of 2017.

Source: NASCAR at Atlanta: Brad Keselowski wins after pit road mishap costs Kevin Harvick | NASCAR | Sporting News

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2 former St. Vincent College football players facing drug charges | www.wpxi.com

Two former Saint Vincent College football players were arrested last month after officers discovered marijuana inside a Latrobe home.

Source: 2 former St. Vincent College football players facing drug charges | www.wpxi.com

 

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