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In brief: Lightning force Game 7 with Bruins

Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos celebrates Wednesday after the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 5-4 in Game 6. (Associated Press)
Tampa Bay center Steven Stamkos celebrates Wednesday after the Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins 5-4 in Game 6. (Associated Press)

Hockey: Martin St. Louis and Teddy Purcell each scored twice, resilient goalie Dwayne Roloson weathered a hat trick by Boston’s David Krejci, and the Tampa Bay Lightning stayed alive in the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-4 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 on Wednesday night at Tampa, Fla.

Game 7 is Friday night in Boston. The Bruins are seeking their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 21 years, and the Lightning will try to clinch their first appearance on hockey’s biggest stage since they won their only NHL championship in 2004.

The Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks await the winner in the finals.

St. Louis also assisted on a third-period goal that put the Lightning up 4-2. His second goal – and NHL-leading 10th of the playoffs – restored Tampa Bay’s two-goal lead after Boston pulled within 4-3 on one of two goals Krejci scored to keep the Bruins within striking distance in the closing minutes.

Roloson, who didn’t play in Game 5 after being pulled from two of the previous three games because of ineffectiveness, also gave up a pair of first-period goals and finished with 16 saves.

Islanders, Okposo agree to deal: Kyle Okposo agreed to a five-year, $14 million deal to stay with the New York Islanders.

The 23-year-old right wing, who could have become a restricted free agent on July 1, had five goals and 15 assists last season – his fourth in the NHL, all with New York.

Majors make Memorial semifinal: Rob Flick scored the winning goal near the end of the second period to lead the host Mississauga Majors to a 3-1 victory over the Owen Sound Attack to complete round-robin play in the Memorial Cup at Mississauga, Ontario.

With the win, the Majors clinched a berth in Friday’s semifinal.

Today’s Memorial Cup tiebreaker will feature Owen Sound against the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. The winner will play the Majors for the right to meet Saint John in Sunday’s championship.

Coaches side with players in lockout

NFL: NFL coaches are teaming up with the players in their legal fight to end the owner-imposed lockout.

The NFL Coaches Association filed a brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Minneapolis, expressing support for the players and saying that the lockout is putting their jobs in jeopardy.

No individual coaches were identified in the brief, which said that the eight new coaches hired this year face particularly daunting odds of success if the lockout is not lifted soon.

Djokovic posts 41st consecutive win

Tennis: Even if Novak Djokovic is tennis’ man of the moment, there’s a long, long way to go before he’d approach most of Roger Federer’s many accomplishments.

So far to go, really, that it’s not worth discussing.

Still, there is one area in which the two men are equal: Djokovic was credited with his 41st consecutive victory – matching the best streak of Federer’s career – when second-round opponent Victor Hanescu of Romania quit at the French Open in Paris because of a left leg injury.

“I’m not thinking about when this streak – this amazing streak – will end. So I guess that’s the right mental approach,” said the second-seeded Djokovic, who was serving at 6-4, 6-1, 2-3, 30-love when Hanescu decided to stop playing at Court Philippe Chatrier.

It was a far quieter and less theatrical ending than what transpired a few hours later on Court 1. Sabine Lisicki of Germany was bothered by dizziness and muscle cramps and was carried off on a stretcher, sobbing, after wasting a match point and a 5-2 lead in the third set of a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 loss to two-time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva of Russia. Lisicki was treated by a trainer – including a blood-pressure check – during changeovers.

Also reaching the third round: No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, past champions Francesca Schiavone of Italy and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, and 2010 runner-up Sam Stosur of Australia.

Men’s winners included No. 3 Federer, No. 7 David Ferrer of Spain, and three Frenchmen: No. 9 Gael Monfils, No. 13 Richard Gasquet and No. 17 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Contador maintains overall lead in Italy

Miscellany: Alberto Contador maintained his overall lead, while Diego Ulissi won a contentious three-man sprint finish in the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia at Tirano, Italy.

Giovanni Visconti crossed first but was relegated by the race jury to third for pushing Ulissi out of the way with his hand.

Contador remained 4:58 in front of Michele Scarponi in the overall standings, with Vincenzo Nibali 5:45 behind.

Man accused of poisoning trees pleads not guilty: The man accused of poisoning the trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner pleaded not guilty and waived today’s preliminary hearing at Montgomery, Ala.

Harvey Updyke Jr.’s attorney, Glennon Threatt Jr., said that he entered a plea of not guilty for reasons of mental disease or defect. Threatt says the hearing was waived because Updyke had a procedure on his back on Tuesday and wouldn’t be able to travel.

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