Say It Ain’t Slow

May 18, 2021

Good Morning,

If you thought Mondays were slow sports news days, think again. The late-night west coast games dragged into the morning hours. Lots of action, little sleep for The Sportsletter team. It’s a labor of love. Don’t miss today’s Team Poll at the bottom to finish off your morning recap.

Letter Rip!

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NHL

Marchand Magic: Bruins Bounce Back

Photo: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images

Round 1 Continued: Bruins Even Series With Caps (1-1), Hurricanes & Avalanche Win Game 1s

 

It’s hockey in bunches. The nightly playoff coverage routine is underway. With multiple games every night, we’ll do our best to finesse our highlights into a compact rundown. Four rounds of seven-game series bring nightly ice capades for the next month. Here we go!

 

Game Recaps: The Hurricanes and Avalanche took the opening games in their respective series with third-period pull-aways on Monday night. Both teams entered the third in tied games before ripping off three unanswered goals to close the door. In the East, the rivalry between the Bruins and Caps is all square after another overtime thriller. Boston’s Taylor Hall scored the game-tying goal (3-3) with 2:49 to play in the third period before Brad Marchand one-timed the OT winner just 39 seconds into the extra frame. More action tonight.

 

Results (Round 1)

 

Gm 2: Bruins def. Capitals (4-3, OT)

Series Tied 1-1

 

Gm 1: Hurricanes def. Predators (5-2)

CAR Leads Series 1-0

 

Gm 1: Avalanche def. Blues (4-1)

COL Leads Series 1-0

 

Tonight’s Schedule

Gm 2: Islanders at Penguins (7:30 pm ET)

Gm 2: Lightning at Panthers (8:00 pm ET)

Gm 2: Wild at Golden Knights (10:00 pm ET)

 

Additional Storylines

Watch: Brad Marchand One-Times Game 2 OT Winner Off Matt Grzelcyk’s Pass

SportsNet: Staal & Niederreiter Help Hurricanes Take Over Game 1 Against Preds

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MLB

The Must-Watch White Sox 👀

Photo: Ron Vesely / Getty Images

The White Sox Keep Winning & They Don’t Care About Your Feelings

 

The White Sox are white hot in the month of May, and they have little regard for their opponents with one run-scoring fiesta after another. Chicago (25-15) is now atop the Majors after a 16-run shellacking against the Twins on Monday. Three Sox players had three-hit nights —  Yermin Mercedes, Nick Madrigal and Leury Garcia. All three also hit home runs, and Danny Mendick smashed a grand slam, but two HRs occurred after the Sox held a 10-run lead. Mercedes went yard on a 3-0 count with a 47 mph pitch that was setting up an intentional walk. He sent it anyway.

 

The White Sox have adopted an attitude that has made them baseball’s must-see team in the early going. They also won on Sunday thanks to Jose Abreu’s walk-off score on a wild-pitch. They’ve won 11 of 15 in the month of May, including nine of their last 11.

 

Watch: White Sox Show Divisional Dominance, Hang 16 Runs on Twins

 

MLB Quick-Hitters

 

Cole Captures Strikeout Streak Record: Yankees ace Gerrit Cole broke the MLB record for strikeouts between walks (61) set by Corbin Burnes just last week (58). Cole fanned eight batters on Monday before giving up his first walk since April 12. The Yankees lost to the Rangers (5-2).

 

First Look at Big Al in Big Blue: Albert Pujols made his L.A. debut on Monday night and went 1-for-4 with an RBI single in the third inning. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks (3-1) thanks to Walker Buehler’s seven-inning, one-hit gem.

 

The Return to Wrigley: Nationals players Kyle Schwarber and Jon Lester returned to Wrigley Field on Monday to play their former team. While Schwarber launched a 4th-inning homer, Lester gave up 8 hits and 5 runs as the Cubs beat the Nationals (7-3).

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NBA

Play-In Pressure: It’s Win Or Go Home

Photo: Harry How / Getty Images

NBA Play-In Schedule: Tonight (East) / Tomorrow (West)

 

It’s been praised, criticized and overanalyzed. Most fans love it. Some players don’t. Now, it’s here. The NBA play-in tourney tips off tonight with the Eastern Conference matchups before tomorrow’s Western Conference duels. All eyes are on Wednesday’s night-cap between the reigning champs and a dynasty in resurgence. Both the Warriors (3) and LeBron James (2) have accounted for five of the last six NBA titles, and they’ll go head-to-head for a high-stakes win-and-get-in showdown.

 

Play-In Schedule

(10) Hornets at (9) Pacers (Tues. 6:30 pm ET, TNT)

(8) Wizards at (7) Celtics (Tues. 9:00 pm ET, TNT)

(10) Spurs at (9) Grizzlies (Wed. 7:30 pm ET, ESPN)

(8) Warriors at (7) Lakers (Wed. 10:00 pm ET, ESPN)

 

The Play-In, Explained: The winner of the 7-8 games will earn the 7-seed in next week’s playoffs. The loser of the 7-8 games will play the winner of the 9-10 games for the final 8-seed in the playoffs. The loser of the 9-10 games will be eliminated.

 

Additional Storylines

DraftKings: What We Know About Lakers vs. Warriors Play-In Game

ESPN: 2021 NBA Playoff Intel: Everything You Need to Know About the 20 Teams in the Mix

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🎥 THE HIGHLIGHTS

NCAA Division I Soccer Finals

Both men’s and women’s collegiate soccer finals hit the pitch on Monday night for a pair of upset specials. Two small-conference underdogs took down powerhouse programs with historic wins, but both needed extra time to do it.

 

M: Marshall Stuns #3 Indiana in OT (1-0)

Unseeded Marshall shocked the collegiate soccer world with their first-ever NCAA Division I title by beating #3 Indiana (1-0, OT) on Jamil Roberts’ game-winner. Roberts also scored the winning goal in the quarterfinals against Georgetown and the semifinals against North Carolina.

 

W: #11 Santa Clara Downs #1 FSU in PKs (4-1)

The 11-seed Santa Clara Broncos won their second NCAA Division I crown on Monday by besting #1 Florida State in penalty kicks (4-1). Izzy D’Aquila fired the winning shot before celebrating the historic moment.

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THE STORYLINES 

🏀 The Key to NBA Playoff Upsets

Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal all have the firepower to make life difficult for their opponents in the play-in and/or playoffs. But to pull off any upsets, they’ll need to manage defenses’ all-out coverages. (The Ringer)

 

🏇 The Triple Crown’s Next Question

The 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit won’t run at Belmont Park, and the Preakness champion Rombauer may not be the favorite. So who will win the Belmont to finish out the Triple Crown? (NY Times)

 

⛳ 9 Things to Know: Kiawah Island

The PGA Championship returns to Kiawah Island this week. The Ocean Course is known for both its beauty and its brawn. With a scorecard yardage of 7,876 yards, it will be the longest major venue in history… Golf Digest has also declared the Ocean Course the most difficult in the country. (PGA)

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Warriors (39-33)

32.0 pts | 5.5 reb | 5.8 ast

Nuggets (47-25)

26.4 pts | 10.8 reb | 8.3 ast

76ers (49-23)

28.5 pts | 10.6 rebs | 2.8 ast