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Tavares Winner Leads Maple Leafs to First NHL Playoff Series Win in 19 Years | Toronto Maple Leafs



John Tavares scored 4:35 in overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Saturday night to take their first NHL playoff series win in nearly two decades.

The Maple Leafs won the game to seven wins in six games, winning three overtime away games and snapping an 11-game elimination streak. They advanced in the series for the first time since 2004, a disappointing drought that has included first-round exits in each of the last six seasons.

In the meantime, that loss ended a run of three consecutive Stanley Cup Finals for Tampa Bay. The Lightning won back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021 but lost to the Colorado Avalanche in six games last year.

Auston Matthews also scored for the Maple Leafs, beating Andrei Vasilevsky from the top of the right circle at 13:47 of the second period. Tavares added a winner who tricked the Lightning’s goaltender after appearing to bounce off the defender’s skate.

Steven Stamkos scored for Tampa Bay, who took advantage of a 2-1 and 3-2 series deficit a year ago to eliminate Toronto in the first round of seven games.

Two nights after parrying 28 shots to deflect elimination and cut Toronto’s lead to 3-2, Vasilevskiy was back at the top of his game.

Toronto goaltender Ilya Samsonov was just as good, keeping Tampa Bay scoreless until Stamkos got in front of the net perfectly and scored on the rebound at 4:19 of the third period.

Samsonov finished with 31 saves. Vasilevsky reflected 20 of 22 shots.


George Russell ‘disappointed’ with himself after Azerbaijan Grand Prix



George Russell not only scored points by starting 11th at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but also managed to score an extra point by scoring the fastest lap of the race in the final laps.

However, in his own words, the driver of the Mercedes was “disappointed” with himself after the fight in Baku.

On restarting after an early safety car, Russell “messed up” his start by putting himself in a difficult position. Instead of fighting on the field, Russell was forced to settle for a points finish. With that guaranteed in the final laps, he came to the pits to switch to soft tires late in an attempt to secure the fastest lap of the race and an extra point.

He pulled it off, but that was little consolation given what could have been.

“Today I am a little disappointed with myself. I really started well and took a worthy place. I made a good move on Stroll to get past him in the pit lane but then I messed up the restart,” Russell said in a statement released to media outlets including Sat nation. “I was defending against Lance and I almost ran into Fernando’s back. [Alonso]. Then I ran and got my tires dirty. After all, that’s why both Lance and Lewis passed by. From there he was on the stern line.

Instead of battling for fifth place, Russell quickly returned to eighth and looked forward to a break. He didn’t hold back his self-criticism the next time he radioed the pit lane.

“Well, that was a fucking restart, sorry guys,” the driver said.

Unfortunately for Russell, he couldn’t make his way back up the grid, so when it became clear he was stuck on the points, Mercedes made the decision to take him with them and swap him for a soft to work his way up to the bonus point. Russell managed the fastest lap, but after the race he viewed this small win as an offshoot of his previous mistake.

“I will take an extra point for the fastest lap, but the only reason we had that opportunity was because we were in a bad position. It was a close pace between us, Ferrari and Aston Martin, and small differences can make a big difference in terms of results,” Russell said. “Whether we finish in 4th or 8th place, it’s far from first place, so we have a lot of work to do.”

It’s been quite a dramatic week for the Mercedes driver, who got into a track brawl with Max Verstappen in Saturday’s sprint race. Contact between the two cars caused damage to Verstappen’s RB19 and led to a tense conversation between the two drivers after the race.

Russell claimed that he was clean after the sprint race and that he would not just back down from a challenge:

Despite Russell’s dissatisfaction with himself, Mercedes Trackside Technical Director Andrew Shovlin was more optimistic in his post-race assessment, pointing to his racing pace. “George had a really good first lap and got through some key cars early on. He was able to stop under the safety car, but then he had trouble restarting and lost a couple of seats. As with Lewis, he just couldn’t pass despite having a bit more pace, so our only consolation was a point for the fastest lap at the end.”

Mercedes will look to improve their results at the Miami Grand Prix next weekend.

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LA Times Top 25 Regular Season Baseball Players



Take a look at the LA Times’ final ranking of the top 25 high school baseball schools for the 2023 regular season:

RK.SCHOOL (WL); Commentary (last rank)

1. SHERMAN OAK NOTRE DAME (26-2); Pitchers Justin Lee, Oliver Boone, Levin Sterling, Erik Puodziunas stand out (1)

2. SANTA MARGARITA (22-6); Collin Clark ready to be an ace in Division 1 playoffs (2)

3. HUNTINGTON BEACH (20-8); Ralphi Velasquez warming up (3)

4. AQUINA (22–4); Dangerous playoff team (6)

5. CYPRESS (21-7); Matthew Thomas put on a two-run homer (4)

6. SIERRA (19–9); The Lions clawed their way to the Division 1 playoffs (7)

7. HARVARD WESTLAKE (20-8); Submission is finally healthy and in tune (10)

8. GARDEN GROVE PACIFICA (21-3); Chad Gurney was outstanding (9)

9. CRESPI (16-7-3); Celts can claim Division 2 title (5)

10. SANTA ANA MATER DEI (16-11-1); Brody Connors’ grand slam led the Monarchs to the playoffs (12)

11. CROWN (19-9); Ethan Schifelbein is ready to crush opponents in the D1 playoffs (11)

12. L.A. CERNA (23–2); Lancers undefeated in Del Rio League (14)

13. ORANGE LUTHERAN (17-10-1); Lancers are waiting to see if they get a place at large (8)

14.LA MIRADA (20-7); Gateway League Champions (15)

GAR 15 (21-6-1); Still a team to beat in Division 2 (13)

16. BISHOP OF AMAT (21-4-1); Went 12-0 in Del Rey League (16)

17. BONITA (17–4); Joint League Champions Palomares with Ayala (17)

18. VILLA PARK (18-10); Dangerous playoff team with Brandon Luu and Zach Brown (19)

19. PALISADES (23-2); Don’t Stop the Dolphins in the Western League (20)

20. ETIVANDA (18–7 years old); Won the Basic League after beating Damien (21)

21.LONG BEACH POLY (22-3); Coach Brent Lavoie returns from suspension (24)

22 SAN DIMAS (20-6); Went 10-0 in Valle Vista league (25)

23. SOUTH HILLS (20-6); Champions of Hacienda League (NR)

24.ARLINGTON (22-6); Went 10-0 in River Valley League (NR)

25.CALABASAS (19-9); Co-Champions League Marmonte (NR)

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TV analyst makes troubling offer to Cardinals broadcasters amid team’s slow start



This story may contain disturbing details. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 988.

The St. Louis Cardinals have not been very good off the net this season. The team currently sits in last place in the National League Central Division with a record of 9-16.

The team is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and has lost five of its last six competitions. After a 7-3 loss at the hands of the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, one of the post-game show hosts took to venting his disappointment.


A detailed view of the St. Louis Cardinal logo is seen on the side of a seat before a game during an international friendly match between the US women’s team and the New Zealand women’s team on May 16, 2019 at Bush Stadium. in Saint Louis. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

During the Bally Sports Midwest post-game show, studio analyst Al Hraboski made a disturbing offer to the team’s broadcasters.


“I have one suggestion for the Cardinal broadcasters,” Graboski said on Wednesday. “Change your room, get down to the floor… don’t climb those tall buildings because you can jump.”

The Cardinals will end the four-game streak in San Francisco on Thursday before heading to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers starting Friday.

Bush Stadium on opening day

A general view of Bush Stadium prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays on opening day March 30, 2023 in St. Louis. (Joe Putz/Getty Images)

The Cardinals’ broadcast team currently consists of announcer Chip Carey and analysts Brad Thompson and Jim Edmonds.

Carey is the son of St. Louis native and legendary Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Carey. Chip spent 18 years in the Braves broadcast booth. Carey announced in January that he would take over playing duties for the Cardinals starting in 2023.

Graboski did not name any of the broadcasters “Cardinals”, but it was clear that he meant them.

Jersey St. Louis Cardinals

An in-depth photo of St. Louis Cardinals jerseys hanging in the locker room prior to Game 4 of the 2013 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox at Bush Stadium on Sunday, October 10. December 27, 2013 in St. Louis. (Photo by Brad Mungin/MLB via Getty Images)

Studio host Alexa Dutt quickly rejected Graboski’s offer.

To Datt’s credit, she handled Graboski’s insane offer pretty well.

“I don’t think anyone is jumping, Al,” Datt said. “At this moment, no one else. We are so early in the season. It’s April 25th.”


However, Graboski responded to Datt’s denial by saying, “However, you don’t know that by talking to some fans.”

Miles Mykolas takes the mound Thursday afternoon as the Cardinals look to get on the right track. Logan Webb will take over the starting pitching duties for the Giants.

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