Vancouver beats Chicago in Game 7 overtime thriller
NHL: Alex Burrows scored his second goal 5:22 into overtime, Roberto Luongo made 31 saves and the Vancouver Canucks avoided an historic playoff collapse by knocking the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks out in the first round with a 2-1 win in Game 7 on Tuesday night in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Burrows, who took a penalty early in overtime, pounced on a Chris Campoli turnover and fired a slap shot over the right shoulder of rookie Chicago goalie Corey Crawford.
After being eliminated from the last two postseasons by the Blackhawks, the Canucks returned the favor and will host Nashville in the second round.
• Flyers advance with Game 7 victory: Brian Boucher stopped 25 shots and the Philadelphia Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of their first-round series at Philadelphia.
The Flyers raced to a 4-0 lead and chased Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller in the third.
• Montreal wins to force Game 7: Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri scored during two separate two-man advantages and the Canadiens forced a decisive Game 7 in their first-round playoff series with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Montreal.
Game 7 is tonight in Boston.
Lakers down Hornets, take lead in series
NBA: Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and threw down two stirring dunks on a sprained left ankle, and the Lakers pushed the New Orleans Hornets to the brink of first-round playoff elimination with a 106-90 victory in Game 5 at Los Angeles, taking a 3-2 series lead.
Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added 16 points as the two-time defending NBA champions roared back from a slow start in a pivotal game with another dramatic playoff performance by Bryant, who injured his ankle in Game 4.
• Bulls finish off Pacers: Derrick Rose scored 25 points, Luol Deng added 24 and the Chicago Bulls played like a top seed, knocking off the Indiana Pacers 116-89 in Game 5 at Chicago, to wrap up their first-round playoff series.
The top-seeded Bulls can breathe a little easier after getting a dominant performance by their MVP candidate and an emphatic win that came on the heels of four dramatic games.
• Magic stay alive with win over Hawks: Jason Richardson scored 17 points and J.J. Redick added 14 to help the Orlando Magic stay alive in the playoffs with a 101-76 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in Orlando, Fla.
The win kept alive the Magic’s hopes of becoming the ninth team in NBA history to win a playoff series after trailing 3-1. Game 6 is Thursday in Atlanta.
More waiting in store for NFL players
NFL: Lockout has turned into limbo for NFL players and owners, and everyone is stuck there for the time being.
The 2011 season, and the business between 32 teams and their thousands of anxious players, is in a holding pattern. With more court fights and appeals expected, the NFL said it needed “a few days to sort this out” and provide some rules for everyone to follow.
In one of the oddest days in NFL history, players showed up at their team headquarters and most were told that they were welcome to come inside as long as they didn’t participate in any sort of “football activities.”
In a question-and-answer memo distributed by the NFLPA and obtained by the AP, free agents were told they can contact teams and shop their services, putting pressure on the NFL to set up a free agency system that complies with antitrust laws.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson lifted the 45-day lockout late Monday, but that did nothing to clear this up.
The NFL asked her to put her order on hold, and she agreed to weigh the request after the players’ response is filed today.
Jackson to miss first half of WNBA season
WNBA: Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson will miss the first half of the 2012 WNBA season to concentrate on Australia’s buildup for the London Olympics.
Jackson said she had reached an arrangement with the Storm which would allow her to spend May, June and July 2012 in Australia preparing for the Olympics.
The Australian women’s team, including Jackson, won the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.