It’ll be tough to top a secondround that produced three Game7s, but the magnitude of hockey’sconference finals, which kicked off Sunday with Detroit’s 5-2 win overChicago, certainly helps.Here’s what to expect:
After a slow start, the Red Wingsdominated the Blackhawks totake an early 1-0 series lead. If the Red Wings continue to shutdown Chicago stars Patrick Kaneand Jonathan Toews, it will be aquick exit for Chicago. “It’s onlyone game,” Kane said. “Obviouslywe didn’t put in a good 60-minuteeffort.”
Wings school ’Hawks,
Carolina at Pittsburgh
7:30 ET tonight, Versus
Game 1 between the Penguinsand Hurricanes is tonight, and bothteams are coming off emotionalGame 7 wins. The first team torefocus will have the early edge.“It’s a chance to go to the StanleyCup finals,” Sidney Crosby said. “If you can’t be motivated because of that, you’ve got problems.”
— Craig Custance
Attention: The baseball seasonyou’ve grown used to is about to beinterrupted. Interleague play beginsFriday.After this week,teams return toplaying inside theirleagues until June12-28 when inter-league runs itscourse for 2009.Excuse the playersfor not counting thedays to step outsidethe norm.“It’s good for the fans,” Brewersshortstop J.J. Hardy said. “For theplayers, I don’t think it mattersmuch.”Except, perhaps, for those in L.A.,Chicago, New York and the BayArea.“The city-city thing is crazy,” saidMilwaukee’s Mike Cameron, who hasexperienced it in Chicago and NewYork. “But it’s a little overboard hav-ing to play home-and-home againstsome of these so-called rivals.”This week’s only city-city series isAngels at Dodgers, but intrastateseries will be played in Florida, Mis-souri, Ohio and Texas.Three other things to watch:
American League clubs shouldwelcome this week as a chance to fat-ten their records. Since 2004, 12 A.L.teams (all except Orioles, Blue Jays)have winning marks against the N.L.Only the Cardinals, Rockies and Brew-ers are over .500 among N.L. clubs.The Red Sox, Tigers and Twins(60-30) have the best interleaguerecords since ’04. The worst: Pirates(21-48), Padres (31-53) and Dodgers(30-51).
World Series previews?
Three series with the best chanceof an October encore:
Mets at Red Sox.
Johan Santana and Josh Beckett are in line to start Fridaynight. The teams haven’t met sinceBoston swept three at Fenway in ’06.
Angels at Dodgers.
The Dodgerswon’t have Manny Ramirez, of course, but the Angels could welcome back their slugger, Vlad Guerrero, bySunday.
Phillies at Yankees.
The championswill see new Yankee Stadium beforemany A.L. clubs. The Phillies alsowill see New York’s top three start-ers—CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett andAndy Pettitte.
Before the interleague disruption,two divisional showdowns beginTuesday. The suddenly-strugglingCardinals play host to the Cubs withChris Carpenter likely to returnWednesday. Boston will miss RoyHalladay when first-place Torontovisits Fenway.
BASEBALL: THE WEEK AHEAD
Lakers, Magic advance
A look ahead to the Conference finals:
Denver vs. L.A. Lakers:
It looks likeGame 7 finally woke up the Lakers.
Lakers in 6.
Orlando vs. Cleveland:
Orlando won by29 in April, but the Cavs are rolling now.
Cavaliers in 6.
— Sean Deveney
Dwight Howard and Orlandobounced Boston. Page 6
Focus, effort fuelconference finals
Johan Franzen and Detroit fell behind1-0, then surged to a 5-2 win. Page 9
Potential World Seriespreviews highlight week
Johan Santana won’t be the only ace taking the hill during the Mets’ Friday matchup with Boston.
’s top young guns
Rose, Mason are ourpicks for NBA, NHLrookies of the year,
MONDAYMAY 18, 2009SEE A DIFFERENT GAMEVOLUME 1 ISSUE 300
Eastern Conference semifinals
Orlando 101, Boston 82
(Orlando wins series 4-3)
Western Conference semifinals
L.A. Lakers 89, Houston 70
(Lakers win series 4-3)
Western Conference finals
Detroit 5, Chicago 2
(Detroit leads series 1-0)
N.Y. Yankees 3, Minnesota 2, 10 inningsDetroit 11, Oakland 7Toronto 8, Chicago White Sox 2Tampa Bay 7, Cleveland 5Texas 3, L.A. Angels 0Kansas City 7, Baltimore 4Seattle 3, Boston 2
L.A. Dodgers 12, Florida 5Pittsburgh 11, Colorado 4Philadelphia 8, Washington 6Milwaukee 8, St. Louis 2Houston 6, Chicago Cubs 5San Diego 3, Cincinnati 1San Francisco 2, N.Y. Mets 0Arizona at Atlanta, ppd., rain
MLB>13 NFL>24 NBA>6 NHL>9 NASCAR>30 COLLEGE FOOTBALL>27 COLLEGE BASKETBALL>29 GOLF>32 LACROSSE>31