The Vancouver Canucks needed an overtime goal from Mikael Samuelsson to put away the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in the opening game of their NHL series on Thursday.
The Canucks outshot the Kings 39 to 21 in regulation time, but needed some heroics from goaltender Roberto Luongo in the extra period to stay alive, before Samuelsson sealed it with his second goal after a Henrik Sedin pass from behind the net.
“That’s the sort of thing that is going to rub off on one or two guys,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of Samuelsson’s game in a see-sawing contest in which neither side could score in the first period.
Jarret Stoll put Los Angeles on the board first in the second period, before Samuelsson hit back with an equalizer. Daniel Sedin then put Vancouver ahead, but the Kings’ Fredrik Modin tied it again at 2-2.
The Canucks dominated the third period, but were unable to find a winner and were saved from defeat in overtime when Luongo reached behind himself to swipe away a goal-bound puck.
“That’s what we need from him and his teammates went down and rewarded him,” Vigneault said of Luongo, who has been in patchy form since netminding Canada to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.
Los Angeles, appearing in their first postseason since 2002, had handled the pressure well, coach Terry Murray said.
“I think we played good,” he told reporters, singling out Jonathan Quick for praise after the goalie turned away 41 shots.
Game 2 is tonight in Vancouver.
Canadiens 3, Capitals 2
In Washington, Tomas Plekanec scored 13 minutes, 19 seconds into overtime to give the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens a victory over the top-seeded Washington Capitals on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series.
Plekanec beat Jose Theodore with a drive from the high slot.
Mike Cammalleri scored for Montreal on a power-play in the first period and Scott Gomez tied it at 2-2 with 12 minutes, 26 seconds to play. Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 shots.
Joe Corvo had a first-period goal and Nicklas Backstrom scored early in the third period for the Capitals, whose top-rated power-play went 0-for-4. Theodore made 45 saves.
Two-time reigning league MVP Alex Ovechkin did not have a shot on goal.
Game 2 is tonight in Washington.
Sabres 2, Bruins 1
In Buffalo, New York, Ryan Miller made 38 saves and Craig Rivet scored the go-ahead goal with a slap shot from the right circle with six minutes left in the second period in Buffalo’s playoff-opening victory over Boston.
Thomas Vanek also scored in Buffalo’s first playoff game in three years.
Miller stopped 23 shots in the second period alone, in building on a stellar season in which he won a club-best 41 games and backstopped the US to a silver medal at the Vancouver Olympics.
Mark Recchi scored for the Bruins, who finished the regular season sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final is tonight in Buffalo.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017