Friday’s Sports In Brief
NEW YORK (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning will play for the Stanley Cup, winning their third straight game at Madison Square Garden 2-0 to beat the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals in seven games.
Ben Bishop, pulled from a Game 6 loss after allowing five goals, outplayed Henrik Lundqvist in handing New York its first loss ever in a Game 7 at the Garden. Alex Killorn scored early in the third period and Ondrej Palat iced it.
The Lightning, who won the Cup in 2004 in their only trip to the finals, will play Chicago or Anaheim for the championship. The Blackhawks are at the Ducks on Saturday night in the Western Conference’s decisive game.
New York had the league’s best record this season and was 15-3 in its last 18 elimination games. The most recent defeat was in the fifth game of the Cup finals last year at Los Angeles. But Bishop made sure there would be another loss for the Rangers, extending his shutout string at the Garden to 145 minutes, 43 seconds.
ZURICH (AP) – In the end, nothing could stop Sepp Blatter.
Not a far-reaching corruption scandal. Not a tarnished international image. Not a young prince who gave him a stronger-than-expected challenge.
Despite the biggest crisis in FIFA’s 111-year history, Blatter emerged victorious once again, winning re-election as president of world soccer’s governing body for a fifth term and proving he is the sport’s ultimate survivor.
Blatter was declared the victor after Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan withdrew following the first round of secret balloting among FIFA’s 209 member federations. Blatter won the first ballot 133-73, seven votes short of the two-thirds majority required for victory.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Coach Bill Belichick shed little light in his first public remarks since the report was issued on the Patriots’ use of deflated footballs.
He avoided direct answers to most of the 10 questions he was asked about Tom Brady, backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and how the team was handling the fallout from the investigation.
Brady, who is appealing his four-game suspension, did not speak with reporters after New England’s organized team activity or at a charity event Friday night.
A person familiar with the situation said Brady’s appeal will be heard June 23.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The initial hit caused Klay Thompson plenty of pain. The final diagnosis delivered another blow to him and the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for the NBA Finals.
Two days after he got kneed in the head by Houston’s Trevor Ariza, the Warriors said that Thompson has a concussion and will not return to practice until he is symptom free.
The All-Star guard went through neurological tests that confirmed the concussion. He was injured in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s 104-90 win over the Rockets in the Western Conference finals clincher Wednesday night.
The NBA Finals start Thursday against Cleveland. And while the Warriors are optimistic Thompson will be cleared before then, he must pass through the league’s concussion protocol first.
HOUSTON (AP) – Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was suspended without pay for one game after getting his fourth flagrant foul point in the postseason.
Howard will serve the suspension in the first game next season that he is physically able to play.
The foul in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals was ruled a common foul during the game, but was upgraded to a flagrant foul 1 after a review about the league office. It came when he made what the NBA called unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors eliminated the Rockets in five games.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The next chapter in Orlando Magic basketball will be led by one of its most familiar faces.
General manager Rob Hennigan introduced former player Scott Skiles as the franchise’s 12th coach, beginning what they hope will be the turning point in their latest rebuilding project.
The 51-year-old Skiles was a member of the Magic’s inaugural team in 1989-90 and played point guard for a total of five seasons in Orlando as part of his 10-year playing career.
He replaces Jacque Vaughn, who was fired in February. After success in stops in Phoenix, Chicago and Milwaukee, the 13-year veteran NBA coach owns a 443-433 overall coaching record. His best season came with the Suns in 2000-01 when they went 51-31.
IRVING, Texas (AP) – Jimmy Walker, Steven Bowditch Jon Curran share the second-round lead at 9 under in the rain-delayed AT&T Byron Nelson.
Overnight rain turned one of the signature par 4s at the saturated TPC Four Seasons into a pitch-and-putt par 3 at 105 yards for the round. The fairway at the normally 406-yard 14th was deemed unplayable in the landing area after 5 inches of rain fell starting about midnight, pushing the total to about 17 inches in less than three weeks at the course.
Walker, who won the Texas Open not far from home in San Antonio in March, finished with a par at 18 just before play was halted by darkness. He had a 66 to reach 9 under.
There were 33 players on the course after the start was delayed three hours.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth was 6 under after a 64.
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) – Morgan Pressel closed with a birdie and an eagle for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Pressel, winless on the LPGA Tour win since 2008, hit a wedge close to set up a birdie on the par-4 eighth and hit a 5-hybrid from 225 yards to 3 feet for the closing eagle on the par-5 ninth.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist was tied for second with Canada’s Alena Sharp, Taiwan’s Min Lee and American Ryann O’Toole in near-perfect conditions at Stockton Seaview’s Bay Course.
Brooke Henderson, the 17-year-old Canadian playing on a sponsor exemption, was in the group at 69.
Third-ranked Stacy Lewis, the tournament winner in 2012 and 2014, chipped in for eagle at No. 9, her last hole, and finished with a 72.