The Viral Roundup – MSG Madness Edition
Greetings! Welcome to another minty fresh go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your daily one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining the world of the sports. If it’s worth talking, texting or tweeting about, we’ve got it right here. In today’s edition: Washington suffers two shots of playoff heartbreak, the Warriors grab a 3-2 series lead and Corey Kluber gives the Cardinals nightmares at the plate.
Did You Hear?
Derek Stepan is your Game 7 overtime hero. The 24-year-old forward lit the lamp in the 4th period to provide the Rangers with a 2-1 OT win over the Capitals that ushers the Blueshirts into the Eastern Conference Finals. New York clawed their way back from a 3-1 series deficit to crush Washington’s dreams of finally returning to Round 3 action for the first time since the Kolzig era. Henrik Lundqvist continues to be incredible when it comes to elimination games at Madison Square Garden. King Henrik has won ten straight elimination games when between the pipes at his home rink. NYR will now move on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning to see who will snag the Prince of Wales trophy. It’s unclear if Dan Boyle will be back in the lineup for Game 1 of that series. The Rangers blueliner was on the recieving end of a controversial hit delivered by Brooks Orpik in last night’s action.
Did You See?
Do you need closure on the Mayweather/Pacquaio saga? Don’t worry, we’re not advocating for a rematch that’ll brutalize your cable bill. What we’re talking about is the final part of Showtime’s docuseries on the fight. Unlike the previous installments that hyped the bout, the final episode focuses on fight night. We’ve got the finale tucked below for your viewing pleasure.
Did You Know?
- It was a rough night to be a Washington sports fan. (At least the Nats won.) The Wizards lost an 82-81 road heartbreaker to Atlanta on Wednesday. Al Halford put in the game-winner with 1.9 seconds remaining and provided ATL with a 3-2 series lead. Superstar guard John Wall was back in the lineup for Washington and battled through injury for 37 minutes in a losing cause. The series now shifts back to D.C. for Game 6 on Friday night.
- Golden State are one win away from their first Conference Finals appearance in nearly 40 years. The Warriors dropped 14 bombs from beyond the arc in a 98-78 home victory that pulled them into a 3-2 series lead over Memphis. The Splash Brothers had nine three-pointers between them and a combined 39 points once the final buzzer sounded. The Grizzlies definitely could have used defensive marvel Tony Allen last night, but he was on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Game 6 takes place tomorrow night in Tennessee.
- Pau Gasol says he plans on being on the court for Chicago’s must-win Game 6 showdown versus LeBron and the Cavs. The Spanish power forward has been out of the lineup for a number of games with a hamstring injury. The Bulls are currently listed as a two point home favourite heading into tonight’s contest. If Chicago loses, Cleveland will reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2009.
- Corey Kluber turned in a performance that will haunt Cardinals batters for years to come. The reigning American League Cy Young winner racked up his first W of 2015 in dazzling fashion with 18 Ks, no walks and only one hit given up over eight innings in a 2-0 Indians win versus St. Louis. No pitcher’s collected that many strikeouts in a game since Ben Sheets pulled off the feat in 2004. The opening inning was where the bats of Cleveland (a -130 moneyline home favourite) contributed all their meager run support.
- The A’s left the R portion of the scoreboard unharmed on Wednesday. Oakland was blanked 2-0 by Boston in a matinee affair on the Left Coast. Red Sox starter Wade Miley was on the mound for the bulk of the shutout, acquiring his second W of the 2015. Miley’s gain inflicted pain on Oakland’s Sonny Gray. The 25-year-old right-hander suffered his first loss of the season. Boston’s western road trip continues tonight with a visit to Seattle and Oakland’s next challenge comes courtesy of a home set versus the White Sox.
- Baltimore knocked out a 6-1 W over an AL East rival last night. Miguel Gonzalez was strong on the mound for the Orioles in their thumping of the Blue Jays and DH Jimmy Paredes went 2-4 with an RBI. Next up for Baltimore is a home set versus the visiting Angels and Toronto ventures off to Houston for a series against the Astros.
- The Reds enjoyed a magnificent outing from Cuban hurler Raisel Iglesias. In only his second major league start, Iglesias held the Braves to one run and two hits over eight innings. Todd Frazier socked his twelfth round-tripper of the season and Marlon Byrd also went yard in the 5-1 Cincinnati win. The Braves are reeling at the moment, dropping five of their last six.
- A tie-breaking tater off the bat of George Springer in the 8th provided Houston with a 4-3 victory over the Giants. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey went 3-5 with 3 RBI in a losing cause. The Astros currently hold a healthy multi-game lead in the AL West while San Francisco dips back down to .500 in this young season.
- Rex Ryan is welcoming an ex-Jet onto his Buffalo roster. The Bills have signed free agent fullback John Conner (please don’t tell Skynet) and he now joins former Viking Jerome Felton in the club’s FB corps.
- It was a day of rest at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, but that doesn’t mean that the futures board is out of action for the tourney. At the moment, Canada is considered the odds on favourite (positioned as a 4/7 wager) to win the title. Following the Canadians are Russia at 5/1 and Sweden 6/1. The biggest longshot? Belarus who are considered a 100/1 shot to win the world title. The action resumes today with a Russia/Sweden quarterfinal matchup that looks like a potential classic.
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