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NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference (Friday results)

compiled from staff and wire reports

Tuukka Rask Boston (nhl)

Adam Mair, Jason Pominville and Mike Grier scored in the first 30 minutes for the Buffalo Sabres, who came back from a devastating loss and beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 to force a sixth game in the Eastern Conference first-round series.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask had outplayed Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, as the Bruins had won three straight tight games.

The Sabres broke through early in this one, with Mair scoring on Buffalo’s first shot. The Bruins didn’t recover.

Alex Ovechkin Washington (nhl)

Terrific goaltending by Jaroslav Halak and a pair of early goals as eighth-seeded Montreal beat Washington, 2-1.

Halak made 37 saves in his return to the net, Michael Cammalleri and Travis Moen scored on two of the Canadiens first five shots.

Alex Ovechkin scored the Capitals only goal in the second period.

Stephen Strasburg overshadows Brad Lidge in AA game in Reading

compiled from staff and wire reports

It was the phenom against a World Series champion closer.

The winner was the phenom, Stephen Strasburg pitched five no-hit innings in his fourth professional start and drove in the game’s only run as the Double-A Harrisburg Senators shutout the Reading Phillies 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia closer Brad Lidge, a World Series hero in 2008, was making a rehab appearance for Reading, but the rookie Strasburg was the star of the show.

Stephen Strasburg (MiLB)

The San Diego State product retired the first 13 batters he faced in the first game of a doubleheader, striking out six. The only batter to reach base against Strasburg in five innings was Michael Spidale, who struck out swinging in the fifth but advanced to first on a passed ball by the catcher.

Strasburg, the Washington Nationals’ number 1 pick during the summer of 2009, threw just 64 pitches. He upped his record to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.52. Strasburg has struck out 23 and walked just three batters in 17.1 innings pitched in 2010.

The 21-year-old is showing that he can hit. He is 2-for-6 with 2 RBI’s and singled in teammate Sean Rooney in the fifth inning.

His mound opponent, Brad Lidge has been on the Phillies disabled list since spring training from offseason surgery on his knee and elbow, is trying to get back to the major leagues.

Lidge, who is 33, struck out four in two innings pitched. He has had eight rehab appearances since April 10 and second with Reading.

Former Flyers center Dan Obrovac dies after lengthy illness

compiled by staff and wire reports

Dan Obrovoc, a prominent player on several successful University of Dayton Flyers teams under head coach Don Donoher from 1966-1969, died on Wednesday April 21 after a lengthy illness.

The 6’10 Canton, Ohio native averaged 12.0 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior in 1968-69. He played a key role for the Flyers when they reached the NCAA finals in 1967 and won the NIT in 1968.

Dan Obrovoc in white uniform outjumping Lew Alcindor of UCLA (UD)

Obrovoc scored 30 points for the Flyers in a first-round NIT win over West Virginia in 1968 and made 22-of-24 foul shots in the tournament.

Tampa Bay Rays are on a hot streak 12 wins in 14 games

compiled from staff and wire reports

The Tampa Bay Rays, one of baseball’s youngest teams, are driven by pitching and defense in most games, but they have a persistent offense that leads the American League in runs and is number 1 of the major leagues with a .323 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Each night a different player has the crucial or key hit.

Outfielder Pat Burrell’s three-run homer keyed Tuesday night’s 8-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The American League East leaders improved baseball’s best record to 15-5. The victory total equals the number they had at the end of April two years ago, when they were 1-0 in March and 14-12 in April.

Pat Burrell (mlb)

Burrell’s three-run homer off Ben Sheets (1-2)¬† snapped a 4-4 tie in the third inning. In his career against Sheets, Pat Burrell is 8 for 19 with three homers.

The Rays have won 12 of their last 14 and are off to the best start in the team’s 13-year history. However, attendance at Tropicana Field for a first place team was only 10,825.

New Jersey Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire retires at age 64

compiled from staff and wire reports.

Jacques Lemaire New Jersey (nhl)

Jacques Lemaire says that the energy and thrill is gone, so he is retiring from coaching.

Just a few days after the New Jersey Devils were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the third straight year, the 64-year-old Lemaire made the surprising announcement that he was retiring.

Lemaire said that he has thought about retiring several times this season  and that losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs had nothing to do with his decision at all.

Devils president Lou Lamoriello said that Lemaire, who is a 1984 Hockey Hall of Fame for his playing career, will stay on with New Jersey in a role that will be determined later.

As far as replacements, Lamoriello has not put together a list of candidates but there are several who have been rumored to be in the hunt: John MacLean, the coach of the Devils’ top farm team (Lowell of the AHL), and Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens, who was an assistant this season.

LeMaire coached 16 seasons in the NHL with Montreal, New Jersey and Minnesota, posting a 588-441 won-lost record. His teams also played 124 ties and lost 60 games in overtime or shootouts.

He won the Jack Adams award as the league’s top coach in 1994 and 2003. This past winter, he was an assistant coach on Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the Vancouver Olympics.

The Devils won the Atlantic Division this past season with a 47-27-7 record, putting them as the number 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they were clearly outplayed by the Flyers, the number 7 seed, who beat them nine out of 11 games this season.

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