Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Wednesday. A full Sports Digest will be sent about 3 p.m. All times EDT:
– FALL RIVER, Mass. – Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez is found guilty of first-degree murder in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.
– WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin, who led the NHL in goals, and the Washington Capitals host John Tavares, No. 2 in the league in points, and the New York Islanders in Game 1 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Game starts 7 p.m.
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– NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Predators host the Blackhawks in the opener of their first-round playoff series. Chicago won the season series. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
– MONTREAL – Emotions will be running high in the Senators’ dressing room as the team opens the NHL playoffs in Montreal a day after losing assistant coach Mark Reeds to cancer. Game starts 7 p.m.
– VANCOUVER – The Calgary Flames make their long-awaited return to the NHL postseason when they take on the Canucks. Game starts 10 p.m.
– NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Pelicans can clinch the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with a victory when they host San Antonio. The Spurs, meanwhile, will be trying to secure the No. 2 seed. Game starts 8 p.m.
– MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Indiana Pacers can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Grizzlies, who could move up to the No. 5 seed in the West. Game starts 9:30 p.m.
– MINNEAPOLIS – The Oklahoma City Thunder must beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in their season finale, then need the Spurs to beat New Orleans to get into the playoffs. Game starts 8 p.m.
– NEW YORK – The Brooklyn Nets need to beat the Orlando Magic, then hope Memphis beats Indiana so they can qualify for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Game starts 8 p.m.
– HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Kyle Busch for the first time discusses the accident at Daytona that left him with a broken left leg and right foot.
– HILON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Jordan Spieth is not wasting time getting back to work after his first career major, teeing it up at the RBC Heritage this week just a few days removed from winning the Masters.
– SAN ANTONIO – Rivals Mexico and the U.S. play an international friendly with lineups missing many of their big stars and full of domestic-based players trying to become regulars for their national teams. Game starts 8:30 p.m.
– MESA, Ariz. – Michael Phelps is ready to get back to racing in his first competition in eight months. The 18-time Olympic champion is coming off a six-month suspension by USA Swimming after his second drunken driving arrest. Phelps plans to tackle five events at a meet in Arizona starting Thursday.
– LOS ANGELES – Major League Baseball commemorates Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks across the country.