NHL: Alex Ovechkin didn’t have a shot on goal. Not a single one.
On a night in which the two-time reigning MVP was neutralized, Tomas Plekanec was the perfect spoilsport for the visiting Montreal Canadiens, scoring 13:19 into overtime as the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed beat the top-seeded Washington Capitals 3-2.
Plekanec silenced the sellout crowd by taking the puck near the red line, skating into the offensive zone and scoring on a drive from high in the slot that beat Theodore to the stick side, making Montreal the latest among several lower-seeded teams to pull a Game 1 upset in the NHL playoffs this week.
The most amazing development was the blank sheet from Ovechkin, who scored 50 goals in the regular season.
• Samuelsson rescues victory: Mikael Samuelsson scored his second goal 8:52 into overtime to give the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Vancouver, British Columbia, in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference series.
Both goalies made game-saving stops before Samuelsson ended it.
Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick got across quickly on Henrik Sedin’s one-timer on a 2-on-1 break 4 minutes into the extra period. Two minutes later, Roberto Luongo lunged back to swipe the puck off the goal line with his glove after Jack Johnson’s rebound attempt hit his blocker and trickled toward the goal.
Samuelsson won it 3 minutes later, taking Sedin’s pass from behind the net into the high slot and quickly firing a shot over Quick’s glove.
• Miller stops Sabres: Ryan Miller made 38 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 playoff-opening win over the Boston Bruins at Buffalo, N.Y.
Craig Rivet scored the go-ahead goal with a slap shot from the right circle with 6 minutes left in the second period. Thomas Vanek also scored in Buffalo’s first playoff game in three years. Miller stopped 23 second-period shots.
Mark Recchi scored for the Bruins, who finished the regular season on a 8-3-1 roll to finish sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Choi continues hot streak at Verizon
Golf: K.J. Choi played with Tiger Woods all four rounds of last week’s Masters but showed no signs of a hangover when he shot a 7-under-par 64 to take a two-stroke lead at the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mike Weir and Greg Owen were next at 66, then came a large group at 67 that included Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and five-time Verizon winner Davis Love III.
Spokane’s Alex Prugh shot 72.
• Rice shoots 83: Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice shot a 12-over 83 in the Fresh Express Classic at Hayward, Calif. The 47-year old Rice, also the tournament host, birdied the seventh hole and also had eight pars, but his round was tempered by five bogeys and four double bogeys at TPC Stonebrae.
Playing on a sponsor exemption, Rice was tied for 153rd in the 155-man field.
Top seed Wozniacki slides into quarters
Tennis: Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki beat Patty Schnyder 6-2, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C.
Wozniacki, ranked No. 2 in the world, overcame a sluggish second set and a crowd that seemed squarely in Schnyder’s corner to notch her third victory in four matches against the Swiss player.
The Dane now faces sixth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia, who defeated Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-2, 6-4.
NCAA bans wedge blocks on kickoffs
College football: Eye black with messages and wedge blocks will be banned from college football this fall, and taunting in the field of play will start costing teams points in 2011.
The new rule says that when the team receiving a kickoff has more than two players standing within 2 yards of one another, shoulder to shoulder, it will be assessed a 15-yard penalty. Beginning in 2011, live-ball penalties will be assessed from the spot of the foul for players taunting en route to the end zone and eliminate the score. Examples include players finishing touchdown runs by high-stepping into the end zone or pointing the ball toward an opponent.
Winter Games cost exceeds $700 million
Olympics: Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games cost Vancouver only slightly less than it takes to run the city itself for an entire year.
A report going before the city council next week estimates the city spent $727.6 million on infrastructure and operations to host the world for the 27 days of the games.
It recouped $174.5 million of it from the provincial and the federal governments, leaving a bill of $553.1 million.
That doesn’t include the cost of taking over the $1 billion Olympic athletes village project after the primary financier balked.
Jay-Z vs. Sox’s Ortiz in club name dispute
Miscellany: Hip-hop artist Jay-Z and a business partner are suing slugger David Ortiz, claiming the Boston Red Sox star named his Dominican nightclub after the mogul’s chain of 40/40 clubs.
The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, accuses Ortiz of calling his Santo Domingo club Forty-Forty in the hopes of banking on the rap star’s fame.