Friday’s Sports In Brief
LAS VEGAS (AP) The Vegas Golden Knights were a 500-to-1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup before the NHL season began in October. Their surprisingly successful inaugural season is still rolling along, and they’re one win from a berth to the Stanley Cup Final.
Reilly Smith scored on a breakaway late in the third period to lead Vegas to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of the Western Conference final.
Vegas can clinch the conference title and advance to the Stanley Cup Final when the series resumes Sunday in Winnipeg.
William Karlsson and Tomas Nosek also scored for Vegas, and Fleury, ninth all-time in postseason wins, turned in another spectacular performance by making 36 saves to earn his 73rd career playoff victory. The 14-year veteran goalie, left exposed by the Pittsburgh Penguins for Vegas to select him in the expansion draft, continues to have a career-best postseason as he aims for a third straight Stanley Cup title.
BALTIMORE (AP) – Following an unplanned two-month break from racing, Red Ruby returned with a flourish in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Red Ruby pulled away from Coach Rocks on a sloppy track and cruised to a 4 3/4-length victory, her third career win in five tries.
The Grade 2, $250,000 race for 3-year-old fillies was run on a cold, rainy afternoon at Pimlico Race Course.
Not long after finishing fourth in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 18, Red Ruby got spooked and ”had a little accident in the shed row,” according to trainer Kellyn Gorder. Red Ruby ran backward, dragged her hot walker into the middle of the barn, ran into a metal ladder and received 13 stitches.
The injury forced the Kentucky-bred filly to miss the Fantasy Stakes last month at Oaklawn Park and the Kentucky Oaks two weeks ago at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Matt Kenseth is hoping Friday night’s qualifying is a sign better times are ahead.
Kenseth’s return to racing is already paying big dividends for Roush Fenway Racing after he grabbed the pole for Saturday night’s NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kenseth agreed to return to race on a limited schedule this year for his original team after being dumped by Joe Gibbs Racing last year. He will start alongside RFR teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the front row.
Kenseth started his full-time premier series career with the Roush team in 2000 before leaving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013. However, his contract wasn’t renewed after struggling last season.
He agreed in April to return to Roush Fenway Racing, where he will split time in the No. 6 Ford with Trevor Bayne for the remainder of the season. Kenseth’s first race was last week at Kansas, where he wrecked with 15 laps to go.
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – Johnny Sauter raced to his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season, winning for the first time in his career at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sauter led a restart with 10 to go, quickly built a large lead and cruised to his 20th career victory. Brett Moffitt and Justin Haley were battling for second, but made contact that nearly sent Haley into the wall.
Sauter was the pole-setter based on owner points after the qualifying session was canceled due to rain. He led 71 of the 134 laps.
Cup Series star Kyle Busch, who was slowed by a couple of pit-road penalties, finished second, 1.340 seconds back. Brandon Jones, Moffitt and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top five.
DALLAS (AP) – Marc Leishman followed the best round of his PGA Tour career with a 5-under 66 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, breaking the 36-hole tournament record previously shared by Tiger Woods.
The Australian was at 15-under 127 for a one-stroke lead over Aaron Wise, the 21-year-old rookie who shot a bogey-free 63 at the new links-style Trinity Forest course.
Hometown star Jordan Spieth matched Leishman’s 66 to remain eight shots back.
Leishman opened with a 61 in Trinity Forest’s debut after the Nelson spent 35 years at the TPC Four Seasons. The par-70 course in suburban Irving is where Woods twice shot the previous record of 12-under 128, along with four others. Wise matched the 128 and was 14 under.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Gene Sauers shot a 5-under 67 to move into a first-place tie with Miguel Angel Jimenez in the second round of the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.
Sauers completed his second straight bogey-free round to finish at 11-under 133. Jimenez had four birdies for a 69 at Greystone Golf & Country Club, a day after matching the course record with a 64.
Jerry Kelly, Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron are two strokes back going into the weekend. Kelly shot 69, McCarron 68 and Sutherland 66.
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – In Gee Chun shot a 5-under 66 to take the lead in the suspended second round of the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship.
Three-quarters of an inch of rain fell overnight, delaying the start of play an hour. Storms developed again in the afternoon and play was suspended for more than hour, then finally called for day at 7:25 p.m.
Chun played in the morning The South Korean star had six birdies and a bogey to get to 11-under 131.
Austin Ernst (65) and Nasa Hataoka (66) were a stroke back. Ariya Jutanugarn (67) and Angel Yin (66) were 9 under, and Megan Khang (67) was in at 8 under. Jessica Korda also was 8 under with four holes to play.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) – Egan Bernal knew it would take a major effort on the toughest climb of the Tour of California to make up the 23-second gap to Tejay van Garderen on the race’s penultimate stage.
He wiped out the gap and kept right on going.
The 21-year-old Colombian climber surged clear of what remained of a shattered peloton on the last major climb into South Lake Tahoe, sped dangerously downhill and then kicked once more on the short ramp to the finish to claim Stage 6 along with the overall race lead.
All that’s left for Bernal, who held the yellow jersey for two days after winning Stage 2 earlier in the week, is to stay safe on Saturday’s final circuit-style stage in Sacramento.
ROME (AP) – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open semifinals – and three-time Rome champion Maria Sharapova reached the last four in the women’s draw.
Nadal, who holds a record seven titles at the Foro Italico, overcame a poor first set and a partisan crowd to beat Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Then, four-time Rome winner Djokovic rallied past Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.
In the other half of the draw, defending champion Alexander Zverev extended his winning streak to 12 matches with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over ninth-seeded David Goffin. He’ll meet Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic, who beat 10th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-3.
Sharapova required more than three hours to eliminate last year’s French Open winner, Jelena Ostapenko, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-5; and defending champion Elina Svitolina defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-4.
Svitolina will next face 26th-ranked Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who beat Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1. Sharapova’s semifinal opponent will be Simona Halep, who advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Caroline Garcia that ensures she will keep the No. 1 ranking for another week.