The last time the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues each advanced to the Western Conference Final – it was the same year for both teams in 2016. And beginning Saturday Night, the Blues and Sharks will meet once again for a berth in the Stanley Cup Championship series after San Jose edged Colorado 3-2 for their second, Game Seven victory of these playoffs.
Joe Pavelski returned to the lineup after missing the first six games of the series – and the Sharks Captain made an immediate impact with one of his patented mid-air deflections to give the home team a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game.
Joonas Donskoi’s first goal of the post season, just past the midway point of the second period, turned out to be the game winner as Martin Jones made 14 of his 27 saves in the final 20 minutes, when the Avalanche put on the big push to overcome the two goal deficit. Nathan MacKinnon – who had to miss a few first period shifts with an apparent right shoulder injury – says the Avalanche were not as good on the road in this series as they needed to be.
And it did did not help Colorado’s cause that MacKinnon was held off the scoresheet in the final three games, after piling up six goals and 13 points in eight straight games before that.
Carolina is at Boston tonight at 7 p.m. for Game One of the Eastern Final – and tomorrow we’ll have our first quiet night since the playoffs began exactly one month ago.
The Prince Albert Raiders are one win away from a berth in the Memorial Cup after shutting out the Vancouver Giants 1-0 to take a 3-1 lead in the WHL Final. Max Martin of Winnipeg, Roblin’s Jakob Brook, and Justin Nachbaur of Cross Lake play for PA, who can clinch a Memorial Cup berth in Halifax with a win tomorrow night.
The CFL Players Association will update the state of contract talks with the league during a noon hour conference call. The existing CBA expires one week from Saturday, and rookie camps kickoff next Wednesday, so CFL fans would hope there is some progress to report following a month or so of “negativity” and back and forth veiled threats between the 2 sides.
Ricky Ray won’t have to worry about any of that. The 17-year CFL vet announced his retirement on Wednesday, and says the four Grey Cup Championship teams he was a part of is what he’ll always remember from his Hall of Fame career.
A heartbreaking loss for Valour FC, as they gave up a goal in the 86th minute when Jose Escalante scored on a free kick and wound up losing 1-0 to Calgary’s Cavalry FC. Winnipegger Ali Musse had five of the seven shots for Valour, now 1-2 on the season. They’ll try to get back to .500 when they host Halifax at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Investors Group Field.
The Boston Celtics offered “mild resistance” in a series ending 116-91 loss at Milwaukee. Kyrie Irving, who probably played his final game in Celtic Green, says it’s a lousy way to begin an uncertain summer.
Golden State survived a late third quarter calf injury to Kevin Durant and held off Houston 104-99 to take a 3-2 lead in that series. Toronto and Denver have a chance to close out Philadelphia and Portland tonight.
Even Charlie Montoya is getting frustrated. The Blue Jays usually positive first year Manager dropped an f-bomb during his post game media availability, after watching his team get pummeled 9-1 by Minnesota. The Twins outscored Toronto 20-1 in sweeping the three-game series, and handing the Jays their eighth loss in nine games. The Twins now with the best record in the majors at 23-12.
The LA Dodgers extended their home-field winning streak to 10 games with a 9-4 blowout of Atlanta. Christian Yelich of Milwaukee hit his major league leading 16th homer, and the Brewers knocked off Washington 6-3 for their sixth straight win.
And the Winnipeg Goldeyes took advantage of 10 walks, and a strong start from Mitchell Lambson, to edge Fargo 5-4 at Shaw Park in the first of their seven exhibition games to prepare for the 2019 American Association season. Lambson threw four shutout innings, allowing just two hits.