Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– PITTSBURGH – The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins begin their quest for a repeat when they host Columbus in Game 1 of their first-round series. The Blue Jackets have never won a playoff series in franchise history. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
– ST. PAUL, Minn. – The St. Louis Blues, with former Wild coach Mike Yeo behind their bench, start the Western Conference quarterfinals in Minnesota with a late-night Game 1. Game starts 9:30 p.m.
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– Coverage of other Stanley Cup playoff games: New York at Montreal, 7 p.m.; Boston at Ottawa, 7 p.m.; and San Jose at Edmonton, 10 p.m.
– Previews on three NHL playoff series that start Thursday: Calgary at Anaheim; Toronto at Washington; and Nashville at Chicago.
– BOSTON – The Boston Celtics finish the regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks with a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Game starts 8 p.m.
– INDIANAPOLIS – After falling out of the playoff race in the final weeks of the season, the Indiana Pacers are one win away from clinching a postseason spot. All they have to do is beat Atlanta at home – or get losses by Chicago or Miami to reach the playoffs. Game starts 8 p.m.
– CHICAGO – Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls try to clinch a playoff spot in the season-finale against the Brooklyn Nets. Chicago is tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with Miami and holds the tiebreaker over the Heat. Game starts 8 p.m.
– LOS ANGELES – Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers try to clinch home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs when they host the Sacramento Kings in the regular-season finale. Game starts 10:30 p.m.
– CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs get their World Series rings, then send John Lackey to the mound against Brandon McCarthy and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game starts 8:05 p.m.
– HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Matt Kuchar made headlines at the Masters for his Sunday hole-in-one, his joyous celebration and giveaway of the ball to a young fan and a late charge to fourth place at the Masters. He’s hoping to carry all of that into the RBC Heritage.
– Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will race for McLaren at the Indianapolis 500 on May 28 in a surprise switch that will see the Spanish driver miss the Monaco Grand Prix on the same day.
– DORTMUND, Germany – A note left at the scene suggests a possible Islamic extremist motive for the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus, and one suspect has been detained, German prosecutors say.