Caps, Stars, Isles open with wins

WASHINGTON (AP) — The NHL's top team in the regular season is off to a fine start in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Minnesota Wild v Dallas Stars - Game One
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Marcus Johansson set up goals by John Carlson and Jay Beagle as the Washington Capitals posted a 2-0 win over Philadelphia. Neither team scored until Carlson took a shot that deflected in off Chris VandeVelde of the Flyers at 16:21 of the second period. Beagle added the insurance tally with 3:24 remaining.

Capitals netminder Braden Holtby made seven of his 19 saves while the Caps were killing off the Flyers' four power plays. It was Holtby's third career postseason shutout.

The Flyers lost second-line center Sean Couturier to a season-ending, upper-body injury in the second period.

Chalk up a shutout win for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference as well. Jamie Benn scored an insurance goal and had two assists as the Stars beat Minnesota 4-0 in Dallas. Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who broke a scoreless tie on Radek Faksa's goal early in the second period.

Kari Lehtonen handled 22 shots in his second career playoff shutout.

Patrick Eaves also tallied for the Stars.

The Sharks struck first in their opening-round series in Los Angeles. Joe Pavelski snapped a 3-3 deadlock 17 seconds into the third period before San Jose held on for a 4-3 win over the Kings. Tomas Hertl tied it late in the second period and Pavelski won it with his second goal of the night. Former King Martin Jones turned back 19 shots and blanked Los Angeles after Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis scored power-play goals in the middle period.

The New York Islanders became the first road team to win a playoff game, doing it by scoring twice in the third period of a 5-4 triumph at Florida. The Isles tied the game three times before Kyle Okposo and Ryan Strome scored 3:28 apart to put New York ahead 5-3 early in the final period.

John Tavares delivered a goal and two assists, and Thomas Greiss (grys) handled 42 shots.

Reilly Smith had two goals and an assist for the Panthers.


Julien staying put

BOSTON (AP) — Claude Julien will remain the Boston Bruins' head coach despite missing the playoffs for the second straight season.

The Bruins were nosed out of the postseason on the final day of their regular season, finishing 42-31-9. Julien is 393-223-88 in nine seasons behind the Boston bench, winning a pair of Eastern Conference titles and one Stanley Cup.


Rangers expect Lundqvist to be back

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Rangers don't think goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's freak eye injury will keep him out indefinitely. Still, coach Alain Vigneault isn't sure Lundqvist will be ready in time for Game 2 of New York's Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Lundqvist left Wednesday's 5-2 loss after the first period when teammate Marc Staal's stick slipped inside the bars on Lundqvist's mask, sending the netminder writhing to the ice in pain.

Lundqvist is scheduled to meet with an eye specialist. The team has recalled goaltender Magnus Hellberg from Hartford of the American Hockey League as a precaution.


Cubs win again...Braves and Twins still winless

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Cubs entered the major league season as a favorite to win the World Series. They haven't disappointed so far, rolling up the majors' best record so far.

Kris Bryant hit a solo homer and Jason Hammel allowed four hits over six shutout innings as the Cubs clobbered Cincinnati 8-1 to improve to 8-1. Dexter Fowler had three of the Cubs' 11 hits, including a two-run single in a five-run eighth that broke the game open.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins each of whom are baseball's first 0-9 team since the 2003 Detroit Tigers.

Bryce Harper launched his 100th career home run and Stephen Strasburg pitched into the eighth inning as the Nationals dumped the Braves 6-2 in Washington. Atlanta led 1-0 in the bottom of the third until Harper belted a grand slam to become the eighth-youngest player to reach the century mark in home runs. Strasburg gave up two runs and four hits over 7 2/3 innings, one day after being scratched due to illness.

The Nationals improved to 7-1, tying the 1974 Expos for the best eight-game start in franchise history.

The Braves are 0-9 for the first time since 1988.

The Twins were 3-1 losers to the visiting Chicago White Sox. Avisail Garcia hit a solo homer and scored twice to back Mat Latos, who allowed just three hits in six innings.

There were pitching gems tossed in St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Jaime Garcia struck out 13 while tossing a one-hitter in the Cardinals' 7-0 pounding of Milwaukee. Randal Grichuk and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit two-run homers and Matt Carpenter added a two-run double to help Garcia get his first win of the year.

Garcia's 13 strikeouts were the most by a Cardinals lefty since Steve Carlton fanned 16 Phillies in 1970.

Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was the star in a 3-0 shutout of San Diego, striking out a career-high 16 and surrendering no walks in a three-hitter. The 23-year-old right-hander retired the last 14 hitters he faced in sending the Padres to their fifth shutout loss in 10 games.

Ryan Howard homered and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— Josh Donaldson had the big hit in Toronto's 4-2 win over the New York Yankees, a three-run homer in the fifth to erase the Blue Jays' 2-0 deficit. Troy Tulowitzki also homered and Marcus Stroman held the Yankees to three hits in eight innings for his second victory.

— Rougned Odor lined a tiebreaking, two-run double while Texas scored five times in the sixth inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 win against Baltimore. Mark Trumbo homered for the Orioles, who have dropped two straight since a 7-0 start.

— Kansas City also put together a five-run sixth as Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon hit consecutive RBI singles in a 6-2 victory at Houston. Mike Moustakas homered and Ian Kennedy held the Astros to a run and two hits in seven innings for the 7-2 Royals.

— There also was a five-run inning in Los Angeles as Enrique Hernandez supplied a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh to help the Dodgers beat Arizona 5-2. The rally came after Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling gave up two runs and five hits in six innings, leaving his ERA at 2.03 after two major league starts.

— Jordan Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings and Detroit improved to 4-0 on the road with a 7-4 win over Pittsburgh. Nick Castellanos smacked a two-run homer while going 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

— Cleveland was a 6-0 winner against Tampa Bay as Danny Salazar scattered three hits while whiffing nine in six innings. Marlon Byrd hit a two-run homer before Jose Ramirez and Rajai Davis added solo shots to help the Indians take the rubber match of the series.

— Mark Reynolds hit a three-run double and Gerardo Parra belted a solo homer as Colorado hammered San Francisco for the second straight day, 11-6. Nolan Arenado added a two-run double and providing two homers and seven RBIs in the Rockies' 10-6 romp over the Giants on Wednesday.


Phillies reliever suspended

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Phillies reliever Daniel Stumpf has received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. The rookie left-hander tested positive an anabolic steroid used to increase speed and strength.

Stumpf made his major league debut April 7 and has a 40.50 ERA in three appearances, allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning.


Titans send No. 1 overall pick to Rams

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft now belongs to the Los Angeles Rams, who acquired it from the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee swaps the No. 1 choice to the Rams along with its picks in the fourth and sixth round for the 15th overall selection, two second-round selections and their third round pick in the draft. The Titans also will receive the Rams' first- and third-round picks in 2017.

Tennessee now has six of first 76 picks in the draft, which begins April 28.


NFL slate opens with Super Bowl rematch

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL season will begin the way the last one ended, with the Denver Broncos playing the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. It is the first such rematch on opening weekend since 1970, when Minnesota beat champion Kansas City 27-10.

Among the highlights for opening weekend is the Rams' return to representing Los Angeles as they visit San Francisco in the nightcap of a Monday night doubleheader. Pittsburgh is at Washington in the first game.

Also facing off in Week 1 will be the Patriots and Cardinals at Arizona on Sunday night, Sept. 11.


Kings fire Karl

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Sacramento Kings have fired coach George Karl after his first full season with the team. The Kings went 33-49 this season and were 44-68 since Karl took over in February last year.

Karl was unable to improve the team's defense, had frequent run-ins with star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Karl is the eighth coach in Sacramento since the team last went to the playoffs in 2006.


Memphis hires Smith as coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis has hired men's basketball coach Tubby Smith as the program tries to return to the NCAA tournament. The Tigers lured Smith away from Texas Tech with a five-year contract worth $15.45 million. He and Lon Kruger are the only two coaches to guide five different schools to the NCAA Tournament, and he just led the Red Raiders to the tourney.


Petrino gets new contract

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino has agreed to a new seven-year, $30.6 million contract through 2023, a deal that could pay an annual base salary of $4.375 million if incentives are met.

The 55-year-old coach is 58-18 in two stints with the Cardinals, including a 17-9 mark with two bowl appearances in Petrino's current tenure.

Petrino is 100-39 overall as a college coach, including stops at Western Kentucky and Arkansas.


Donald, Grace are co-leaders through 18

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Luke Donald and Branden Grace share the first-round lead at the opening round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament at Hilton Head.

Donald fired a 32 on the back nine to tie Grace at 5-under 66. They hold a one-shot edge over Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Jason David Lingmerth and Tony Finau.

Jason Bohn shot a 3-over 74 in his first round since suffering a heart attack two months ago at the Honda Classic.

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