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- The first rounds of the NBA and NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continue this weekend, with the NHL entering the “if necessary” portion of proceedings. Clear your schedule until mid-June, grab a seat in front of a screen, or four, and enjoy the games each night.
- The Eastern Conference is now wide open, thanks to an historic first round upset. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who tied an NHL record with 62 regular season wins, were upset by the Columbus Blue Jackets, four games to none. This marks the first time a President’s Trophy-winning team has been swept out of the first round in league history, and is Columbus’ first ever playoff series win.
- Also awaiting their next Eastern Conference opponent are the New York Islanders, who swept their way past the Pittsburgh Penguins. Great team defense, and four goals from Jordan Eberle, allowed the Isles to make short work of a team that won two Stanley Cups in three seasons. They await either the Carolina Hurricanes or the defending Cup champion Washington Capitals.
- The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors will have to regroup as they head for two in Los Angeles this weekend. The Warriors blew an NBA Playoff record 31-point lead to the Clippers on Tuesday, and, more importantly, lost starting center DeMarcus Cousins with a torn quad. They’re still heavy favorites to three-peat.
- By contrast, the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the association’s best record, made excellent use of their home court advantage this week. They travel to Detroit this weekend, up 2-0 on the Pistons. MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way, with 26 points and 12 rebounds, in Wednesday’s rout.