NHL: The Washington Capitals clinched the Southeast Division title Tuesday night, completing a stark turnaround in a lockout-shortened season with a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 31st goal, John Erskine cleared two shots off the goal line, and Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the Capitals, who have won 10 of 11 to secure a playoff berth with two games to spare.
The Capitals were next-to-last in the Eastern Conference as recently as March 21, but Ovechkin and first-year coach Adam Oates have led them to the postseason for the sixth consecutive season, including five Southeast titles.
As the division winner, Washington leapfrogs several teams with better records to enter the playoffs as the conference’s No. 3 seed.
• Sharks secure berth: Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski scored goals 30 seconds apart late in the third period to help the host San Jose Sharks clinch their ninth straight playoff berth with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.
• Wild end skid: Charlie Coyle and Cal Clutterbuck scored 16 seconds apart late in the first period, helping the Minnesota Wild break their five-game home losing streak and hang on for a critical 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at St. Paul, Minn.
• Blues clinch spot: Chris Stewart reached career milestones of 100 goals and 100 assists and the St. Louis Blues clinched a playoff berth with two games to spare, beating the visiting Colorado Avalanche 3-1.
• Panthers beat Rangers: Marcel Goc and Drew Shore scored third-period goals, and the Florida Panthers prevented the New York Rangers from clinching an Eastern Conference playoff berth with a 3-2 victory at Sunrise, Fla.
• Islanders lose, advance: The New York Islanders clinched an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite a 4-3 shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes at Raleigh, N.C.
Football playoff has name, sites
College football: The Bowl Championship Series will be replaced by the College Football Playoff.
The BCS conference commissioners announced the name of the new postseason system that starts in 2014, the first of three days of meetings at a Pasadena, Calif., resort hotel in the Rose Bowl’s backyard.
“It’s really simple. It gets right to the point,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who will hold the same position in the playoff system, said at a short news conference with the 10 commissioners of the FCS conferences.
They also will choose the remaining three sites for the six-bowl semifinal rotation in the new system and the site of the first championship game to be held Jan. 12, 2015, this week.
The first semifinals will be played at the Rose and Sugar bowls. The Orange Bowl is also in the rotation. ESPN reported that Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will be announced today as the site of the first championship game.
Brown agrees to rejoin Cavs
NBA: A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Mike Brown has agreed in principle to a contract with the Cavaliers to return as their coach .
Brown went 272-138 and went to the playoffs all five season with the Cavs, teaming with LeBron James on a run to the NBA Finals in 2007. He was fired after the Cavs lost to Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Bayern Munich rips Barcelona
Soccer Thomas Mueller scored twice, Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben had one goal each and Bayern Munich routed Barcelona 4-0 at Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Mueller scored in the 25th minute and Gomez doubled the lead in the 49th against a defense missing injured center backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano.
The second leg of the total-goals series is May 1 in Barcelona. Borussia Dortmund hosts Real Madrid today in the start of the other semifinal.
Calgary, Kamloops post playoff wins
WHL: The host Calgary Hitmen scored five goals in an explosive second period to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings 5-2 in the WHL playoff series. The Hitmen lead the Eastern Conference final 2-1.
• Kamloops wins: Tim Bozon scored two goals and had two assists to lead the host Kamloops Blazers to a 5-1 win over the Portland Winterhawks. Portland leads the Western Conference final 2-1.