Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs (Yahoo Sports) - Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night. Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history. ''Especially at home in front of our fans.'' Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation. Alonso quickest in China practice - Ferrari's Fernando Alonso welcomes his new team principal to Formula 1 by setting the pace in first practice at the Chinese Grand Prix. Nationals make 4 errors in 8-0 loss to Cardinals (Yahoo Sports) - The Cardinals' first batter sent a seemingly routine grounder to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, who failed to field the ball cleanly for one of his two errors on the evening. The next hitter's swinging bunt was grabbed by pitcher Taylor Jordan, but he could not manage to get the ball out of his glove. And so began the latest disastrous defensive showing by Washington, whose rookie manager, Matt Williams, made better fielding a point of emphasis this spring. The Nationals finished with four errors - raising their total to 20 in 16 games - and that was the last thing they needed Thursday, because Adam Wainwright was dominant while throwing a two-hitter to lead St. Louis to a 7-0 victory. Dodgers' Puig focuses on baseball despite issues (Yahoo Sports) - Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field. Puig returned to the starting lineup in right field for Thursday's series finale against the Giants amid reports that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life. ''I'm only concentrating on the season and being the best teammate and helping my teammates,'' Puig said, speaking in Spanish during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday morning at his locker in AT&T Park. While Puig won't address the details specifically because of a pending legal case, he said he will focus on baseball and on helping the defending NL West champion Dodgers keep winning. Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0 (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory. Wainwright (3-1) allowed Ian Desmond's infield single in the second inning and Adam LaRoche's single to right in the ninth. Desmond, Washington's shortstop, made a pair of errors, raising his season total to seven. The Nationals have 20 through 16 games, an average of 1.25. Rangers score 3 in 3rd, top Flyers in opener 4-1 (Yahoo Sports) - Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat Philadelphia 4-1 in the playoff opener on Thursday night to stretch their home-winning streak over the rival Flyers to nine games. The teams were locked in a 1-1 tie when Jason Akeson - playing in just his third career NHL game - was given a double high-sticking penalty for clipping Rangers forward Carl Hagelin with 7:35 remaining. New York quickly took advantage. Richards gave the Rangers their first lead of the night when a rebound of Martin St. Louis' shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22. Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job (Yahoo Sports) - OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa. Knicks' season over, focus is on Anthony's future (Yahoo Sports) - Carmelo Anthony said he wants to stay in New York, and said he wants to win. It will be up to Phil Jackson to convince him that he can do both. With the Knicks' season over and Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, he can begin thinking about his future. The Knicks never came close this season, going 37-45. Getzlaf plans to play in Ducks' Game 2 vs. Dallas (Yahoo Sports) - A day after Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf took a slap shot to the head, the Ducks had already found the lighter side of a potentially disastrous playoff injury. ''He's not trying to impress anybody with his face.'' Coach Bruce Boudreau was more succinct: ''I didn't want to look at him,'' he said. Nobody in either dressing room was surprised Thursday to learn Getzlaf plans to play against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 on Friday night despite that huge cut on his face. Getzlaf was hit by Tyler Seguin's shot in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in the series opener, but the puck apparently broke no bones - which means it'll be almost impossible to keep Getzlaf off the ice. 'There's a secret language only us drivers know' - In his regular BBC Sport column, Lewis Hamilton talks about his thrilling Bahrain battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg

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Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:06 pm]
Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night. Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history. ''Especially at home in front of our fans.'' Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation.
Alonso quickest in China practice [BBC.co.uk Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:57 pm]
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso welcomes his new team principal to Formula 1 by setting the pace in first practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Nationals make 4 errors in 8-0 loss to Cardinals (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:53 pm]
The Cardinals' first batter sent a seemingly routine grounder to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, who failed to field the ball cleanly for one of his two errors on the evening. The next hitter's swinging bunt was grabbed by pitcher Taylor Jordan, but he could not manage to get the ball out of his glove. And so began the latest disastrous defensive showing by Washington, whose rookie manager, Matt Williams, made better fielding a point of emphasis this spring. The Nationals finished with four errors - raising their total to 20 in 16 games - and that was the last thing they needed Thursday, because Adam Wainwright was dominant while throwing a two-hitter to lead St. Louis to a 7-0 victory.
Dodgers' Puig focuses on baseball despite issues (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 8:33 pm]
Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field. Puig returned to the starting lineup in right field for Thursday's series finale against the Giants amid reports that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life. ''I'm only concentrating on the season and being the best teammate and helping my teammates,'' Puig said, speaking in Spanish during an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday morning at his locker in AT&T Park. While Puig won't address the details specifically because of a pending legal case, he said he will focus on baseball and on helping the defending NL West champion Dodgers keep winning.
Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0 (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 8:28 pm]
Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals' 8-0 victory. Wainwright (3-1) allowed Ian Desmond's infield single in the second inning and Adam LaRoche's single to right in the ninth. Desmond, Washington's shortstop, made a pair of errors, raising his season total to seven. The Nationals have 20 through 16 games, an average of 1.25.
Rangers score 3 in 3rd, top Flyers in opener 4-1 (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 7:49 pm]
Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart in the third period, and the New York Rangers beat Philadelphia 4-1 in the playoff opener on Thursday night to stretch their home-winning streak over the rival Flyers to nine games. The teams were locked in a 1-1 tie when Jason Akeson - playing in just his third career NHL game - was given a double high-sticking penalty for clipping Rangers forward Carl Hagelin with 7:35 remaining. New York quickly took advantage. Richards gave the Rangers their first lead of the night when a rebound of Martin St. Louis' shot came to him, and he fired it in from the right circle, punctuating the moment with an emphatic fist pump at 8:22.
Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:56 pm]
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.
Knicks' season over, focus is on Anthony's future (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:48 pm]
Carmelo Anthony said he wants to stay in New York, and said he wants to win. It will be up to Phil Jackson to convince him that he can do both. With the Knicks' season over and Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, he can begin thinking about his future. The Knicks never came close this season, going 37-45.
Getzlaf plans to play in Ducks' Game 2 vs. Dallas (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:39 pm]
A day after Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf took a slap shot to the head, the Ducks had already found the lighter side of a potentially disastrous playoff injury. ''He's not trying to impress anybody with his face.'' Coach Bruce Boudreau was more succinct: ''I didn't want to look at him,'' he said. Nobody in either dressing room was surprised Thursday to learn Getzlaf plans to play against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 on Friday night despite that huge cut on his face. Getzlaf was hit by Tyler Seguin's shot in the final minute of the Ducks' 4-3 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in the series opener, but the puck apparently broke no bones - which means it'll be almost impossible to keep Getzlaf off the ice.
'There's a secret language only us drivers know' [BBC.co.uk Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:00 pm]
In his regular BBC Sport column, Lewis Hamilton talks about his thrilling Bahrain battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg

Spartacus' Tips

MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts is catching on all over the world. There has been talks, mostly by UFC president Dana White, about trying to get it recognized as an official Olympic sport. While this still appears to be a long way off, here are the top five reasons why MMA should be an Olympic sport ...

Did you know that the first Super Bowl, the football championship game held annually by the National Football League, dates back to January 15, 1967?

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NBA Soccer
Blake Griffin among actors for dramatic reading of “Space Jam” (VIDEO) [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 10:56 pm]
This is exactly what you've been waiting for — a dramatic reading of Space Jam including Blake Griffin and D'Andre Jordan.

Son tweets Craig Sager has acute leukemia [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:18 pm]
We may not see him on the sidelines of TNT games these playoffs.

Report: Joel Anthony opting in with Celtics [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 7:38 pm]
Center has $3.8 million player option

Report: Tom Izzo, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy on Timberwolves’ coaching wish list [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 6:34 pm]
All would make strong hires

LA Lakers wrap lousy season with uncertain future (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:52 pm]
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Although one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles Lakers history mercifully ended Wednesday night in San Antonio, the drama around the 16-time NBA champions is never finished.

Week 7 Preview: Fire look for first win vs. Revs; Dallas gets its crack at Toronto [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:33 pm]
MLS's nine-match Saturday kicks off Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET, with Chicago hosting New England on NBCSN.

Crystal Palace-West Ham United Preview [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 8:57 pm]
Crystal Palace visit West Ham United on Saturday attempting to extend their longest Premier League winning streak in almost twenty years. The Eagles (12-4-18) secured their fourth straight win on Wednesday when they stunned Champions League hopefuls Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park. The victory over the Toffees took Tony Pulis's side to the mythical 40-point mark, all but guaranteeing top-flight football for next season. "It is nice to say we are going to be a Premier League club next year with four games to go," Pulis told the official club website.

How stacked can the West get? In three years, MLS’s conferences will be much more uneven [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 7:03 pm]
Think MLS's conferences are unbalanced now? Let me offer you a glimpse at 2017.

Reuters Sports Schedule at 0001 GMT on Friday, April 18 [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 6:01 pm]
Reuters sports schedule at 0001 GMT on Friday: - - - - NHL Blackhawks open playoff push versus Blues The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks open their playoff campaign against the visiting St. Louis Blues while the New York Rangers host the rival Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden in two of four NHL playoff games on the schedule. ...

Report: Aston Villa ownership will change hands if club stays up [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 5:44 pm]
An American consortium has a deal to buy the club from Randy Lerner, if it can avoid relegation.

NFL NHL
Sharper loses Arizona bid to be released on bail (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 6:16 pm]
Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper lost his bid Thursday to be released on bail in a sexual assault case after an Arizona judge found there's enough evidence to move forward with charges against him in that state. Sharper's lawyers had questioned the evidence authorities are using to justify keeping him in jail in California, where he faces separate charges that he drugged and raped two women in October after meeting them at a West Hollywood nightclub. A California judge had set Sharper's bail at $1 million but ruled in March that Sharper should remain in jail without bail after the Super Bowl champion was indicted in Arizona on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women in November. His lawyers had hoped to win a favorable ruling from the Arizona judge to persuade the California judge to set him free on bail.

NFL, lawyers at work on $765M concussion deal (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:14 pm]
A judge overseeing thousands of NFL concussion-linked lawsuits says lawyers are still working to address her concerns about a proposed $765 million fund. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she fears the fund may not be large enough to cover up to 20,000 retired players for 65 years.

Ex-quarterback McNabb spends day in Arizona jail (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 3:39 pm]
MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb has been released from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.

Jaguars release LB Allen after failed physical (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 3:31 pm]
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have released veteran linebacker Russell Allen after he failed a physical.

Clarification: NFL Concussion Lawsuit story (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 3:29 pm]
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- In a story April 16, The Associated Press reported that a judge had again denied preliminary approval of a $765 million NFL concussion settlement. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody clarified Thursday that the ruling was not new but was a clerical move to add her January denial to all pending cases.

Sharks go on the attack, defeat Kings in Game 1 [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:21 pm]
Things got interesting in the third period.

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:06 pm]
Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night. Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history. ''Especially at home in front of our fans.'' Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation.

Avalanche win in OT, complete third-period comeback [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 10:53 pm]
Another thriller.

Kings’ Quick pulled in Game 1 against Sharks [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 10:46 pm]
Yeah, not a good night for him.

Blues prevail in longest game in franchise history as Steen scores in third OT [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 10:46 pm]
This game may take a lot out of both teams.

Baseball Golf
Nationals make 4 errors in 8-0 loss to Cardinals (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:53 pm]
The Cardinals' first batter sent a seemingly routine grounder to Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, who failed to field the ball cleanly for one of his two errors on the evening. The next hitter's swinging bunt was grabbed by pitcher Taylor Jordan, but he could not manage to get the ball out of his glove. And so began the latest disastrous defensive showing by Washington, whose rookie manager, Matt Williams, made better fielding a point of emphasis this spring. The Nationals finished with four errors - raising their total to 20 in 16 games - and that was the last thing they needed Thursday, because Adam Wainwright was dominant while throwing a two-hitter to lead St. Louis to a 7-0 victory.

Lester leads Red Sox past White Sox 3-1 (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:36 pm]
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jon Lester pitched eight sharp innings and David Ross hit a tiebreaking RBI double in Boston's two-run ninth, leading the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.

Shields strikes out 12, Royals sweep Astros 5-1 (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:15 pm]
James Shields struck out 12 in eight innings and the Kansas City Royals completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros with a 5-1 win on Thursday night. Scott Feldman (2-1) yielded four earned runs and nine hits in six innings. It was the first tough outing for the Astros newcomer after he had allowed just one run and seven hits combined in his first three starts. The Royals were up by two when Alcides Escobar hit a two-run double in the fourth to make it 4-0.

Twins use wild rally past Blue Jays for sweep (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:08 pm]
Minnesota scored three straight runs on wild pitches by the Toronto Blue Jays' Sergio Santos in the eighth inning, when the Twins walked eight times off three relievers in rallying for a 9-5 victory and a sweep of Thursday's day-night doubleheader. Kyle Gibson threw eight scoreless innings as Minnesota won the opener 7-0. The Twins trailed 5-1 in the fifth of the night game after another lackluster start by Mike Pelfrey. Steve Delabar walked two batters starting the six-run eighth, setting up Santos (0-1) for trouble as manager John Gibbons called for his closer early.

McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 8:54 pm]
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.

Stanford takes 1-shot lead over Wie at LPGA LOTTE (The Associated Press) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:58 pm]
Angela Stanford shot an 8-under 64 on a wind-swept course to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship on Thursday. Stanford took the lead early with five birdies in a row on the front nine and finished the day with eight birdies. Stanford said she was just trying to make it through the day. I needed a round like that.'' Just like the first round, the contenders played Day 2 at Ko Olina Golf Club with gusty winds - up to 18 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

TaylorMade unveils white SLDR driver (PGA) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:49 pm]
It's no secret that TaylorMade has gone all in on its SLDR driver, and the latest evidence of that came Thursday as the company released a white-crowned version. The white edition of this best-selling big stick follows other white clubs in the TaylorMade stable such as the R11, R1, Rocketballz and Rocketballz Stage 2 drivers. "The white crown with black button-back delivers a remarkable appearance at address," said Brian Bazzel, the senior director of metalwood product creation.

Stanford takes lead at LPGA LOTTE tournament (The Associated Press) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:45 pm]
HONOLULU (AP) -- Angela Stanford shot an 8-under 64 on a wind-swept course to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship on Thursday.

Kuchar shrugs off Masters fade, ties Heritage lead (Reuters) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:54 pm]
(Reuters) - Matt Kuchar shrugged off his Masters near-miss last week to share the lead after the opening round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday. Kuchar, who contended in Sunday's final round at Augusta National before slipping back into a tie for fifth, put that disappointment behind him and shot a five-under-par 66 on a cool, breezy morning at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island. "Once I got out there this morning, I was ready to go," the six-times PGA Tour winner told Golf Channel after finishing in style with a 15-foot birdie on his final hole, the par-four ninth. Kucher ended the round level with fellow Americans William McGirt and Scott Langley, both of whom played in the warmer and less difficult conditions of the afternoon.

Kuchar builds on Masters momentum (The Associated Press) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:48 pm]
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- Matt Kuchar continued his stellar play from the Masters by putting together a strong start at the RBC Heritage, shooting a 5-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round lead with Scott Langley and William McGirt.

Motor Sports Tennis
Alonso fastest in first practice for Chinese GP [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 9:32 pm]
Spanish driver ends Mercedes streak of first place finishes, but teammate Kimi Raikkonen fails to post a time.

Flashback to when a 67-second pit stop at the Indy 500 was fast vs. a modern-day F1 stop (video) [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 6:02 pm]
You've heard of the wildly popular "Evolution of Dance" video on YouTube? Now there's the Evolution of the Pit Stop.

NASCAR AMERICA: Can Gene Haas succeed with an American-based F1 team? [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:58 pm]
NBCSN's Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss the expectations for Gene Haas as he looks to start a F1 team. The pair question whether an F1 team can be run successfully out of the United States.

NASCAR AMERICA: Kyle Petty — Some of this year’s top rookies mark changing of the guard in NASCAR [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:51 pm]
NBCSN’s Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss the emergence of some of this year’s top rookies on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America. Petty says it is time for a changing of the guard, as many of today’s most successful drivers are nearing the end of their careers.

The Alabama Gang rides again with Justin Allison @ ‘Dega [NBC Sports: April 17, 2014, 4:20 pm]
The latest generation of NASCAR's fabled Alabama Gang rode again in its debut Tuesday and Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway. Justin Allison, grandson of Donnie Allison and grandnephew of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, both original members of the Alabama Gang, took part in a two-day test of ARCA drivers at NASCAR's largest oval track.

Nadal brings up 300th clay win [BBC.co.uk Sports: April 17, 2014, 3:03 pm]
Rafael Nadal earns his 300th career victory on clay by beating Andreas Seppi 6-1 6-3 at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Robson out of French Open & Wimbledon [BBC.co.uk Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:48 am]
Britain's Laura Robson confirms she will miss the French Open and Wimbledon after having minor wrist surgery.

Robson to miss French Open & Wimbledon [BBC.co.uk Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:26 am]
Britain's Laura Robson confirms she will miss the French Open and Wimbledon after having minor wrist surgery.

Robson out of French, Wimbledon with injured wrist (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:21 am]
LONDON (AP) -- Britain will be without its top female player at Wimbledon after Laura Robson announced she is having surgery on her injured left wrist.

Djokovic, Nadal race into Monte Carlo quarters (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: April 17, 2014, 11:04 am]
Defending champion Novak Djokovic raced into the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals in dispatching Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-0, 6-1 in 47 minutes on Thursday. Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal also had little trouble, beating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-3, while fourth-seeded Roger Federer shook off a slow start in a 6-4, 6-1 win against Czech player Lukas Rosol. The second-seeded Djokovic won his second-round opener in 45 minutes and has yet to be tested this week. He next faces Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.


Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

St. Louis Blues' Alexander Steen (20) scores the game-winning goal past Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the third overtime in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series Thursday, April 17, 2014, in St. Louis. The Blues won 4-3 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)ST. LOUIS (AP) — Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.


Stastny leads Avs to 5-4 OT win over Wild

Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) celebrates his game winning goal against the Minnesota Wild with Tyson Barrie (4) during the fourth period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Denver. Colorado beat Minnesota 5-4 in overtime. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)DENVER (AP) — Paul Stastny scored 7:27 into overtime after tying the game with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild in the opener of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night.


Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?

FILE - In this June 13, 2013 file photo, Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) passes between San Antonio Spurs' Boris Diaw (33), of France, and Manu Ginobili (20), of Argentina, during the second half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals, in San Antonio. A rematch of last year's thrilling NBA Finals finish is possible, but the Spurs and Heat would have to get through tough paths to get there. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)To get another shot at LeBron James, the San Antonio Spurs may have to go through Dirk Nowitzki, then Dwight Howard and James Harden, and finally Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.


Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

FILE - In this March 16, 2014 file photo, Duke's Jabari Parker (1) tries to shoot over Virginia's Darion Atkins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Parker says he plans to meet with Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski when he returns to Durham, N.C., on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, and he will decide Wednesday whether to declare for the NBA draft or return to college for his sophomore year. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke's latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.


10 Things to See in Sports: AP's top sports photos

10ThingstoSeeSports - Bubba Watson's caddie Ted Scott, right, and spectators celebrate as Bubba Watson wins the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)Here's a look at some of the defining moments, exciting scenes, triumphs and defeats from the world of sports.


Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

Boston Marathon's finish line on TuesdayBOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.


At Boston Marathon, a chance to finally finish

In this photo taken March 29, 2014, amputee marathon runners Jeff Glasbrenner, left, Chris Madison, center, and Andre Slay go through an exercise where they remove their running legs and adjust fittings in Little Rock, Ark. the runners must stop periodically in a race and try to loose as little time as possible. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Just one tiny misstep at mile 15 of the Boston Marathon last spring ruined any chance of amputee runner Jeff Glasbrenner breaking four hours.


Sharper loses Arizona bid to be released on bail

FILE - This Feb. 20, 2014 file photo shows former NFL safety Darren Sharper appearing in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. Lawyers for former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper will return to a Phoenix courtroom Thursday April 17, 2014 to question the evidence being used to keep him in jail without bail on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Bob Chamberlin, Pool, File)PHOENIX (AP) — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper lost his bid Thursday to be released on bail in a sexual assault case after an Arizona judge found there's enough evidence to move forward with charges against him in that state.


Sharks beat Kings 6-3 in Game 1

San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) celebrates with Joe Pavelski, left, after Vlasic scored against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Thursday, April 17, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Tomas Hertl and Raffi Torres both scored in their first game together as teammates and the San Jose Sharks jumped on top of Jonathan Quick and the rival Los Angeles Kings with a 6-3 victory in their playoff opener Thursday night.


Rangers score 3 in 3rd, top Flyers in opener 4-1

New York Rangers' Derick Brassard, left, and Anton Stralman, right, celebrate with Mats Zuccarello after Zuccarello scored a goal during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK (AP) — Carl Hagelin's contribution to the New York Rangers' playoff-opening win was etched all over his busted-up mouth.


04/14/2014 09:52 AM
Bubba wins second Masters in three years
Bubba Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years on Sunday, beating Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt by three shots.
04/17/2014 11:13 PM
Steen boosts Blues over Blackhawks in 3OT
Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.
04/17/2014 10:02 PM
Source: Mizzou's Haith agrees to coach Tulsa
Missouri coach Frank Haith has verbally agreed to become the next coach at Tulsa, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Thursday.
04/17/2014 06:49 PM
Cuban: Bucks' new owners got 'a bargain'
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban considers the sale price of approximately $550 million for the Milwaukee Bucks to be a bargain, suggesting the true value of NBA franchises is north of $1 billion.
04/17/2014 11:34 PM
Stastny ties it, then lifts Avs to OT win vs. Wild
Paul Stastny scored 7:27 into overtime after tying the game with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild in the opener of the Western Conference quarterfinals Thursday night.
04/17/2014 08:58 PM
Saban hosts Peyton in visit of 'mutual benefit'
Nick Saban hosted Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase last week for two days during a visit the Alabama Crimson Tide coach called "mutually beneficial."
04/17/2014 06:36 PM
Griffin on Thompson remarks: 'Isn't my thing'
Yes, Blake Griffin heard that Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson called him "a bull in a china shop," adding to the familiar narrative that the All-Star forward plays a bit "out of control" for some people's tastes.
04/17/2014 11:23 PM
Sizemore's scoop caps Yankees' triple play
For the third time in his tenure with the New York Yankees, CC Sabathia has been the beneficiary of a triple play.
04/17/2014 09:52 PM
Former QB McNabb spends day in jail for DUI
Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb was released Thursday from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.
04/17/2014 09:57 PM
Alonso quickest in China practice
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso welcomes his new team principal to Formula 1 by setting the pace in first practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.
04/17/2014 03:28 PM
Mata backs Moyes to revive Man Utd
Juan Mata says club will become a force with new signings.
04/17/2014 11:48 AM
Robson out of French Open & Wimbledon
04/17/2014 05:10 PM
Trott to take break from cricket
Jonathan Trott is to take a break from cricket because of a recurrence of the anxiety issues that forced him to leave England's Ashes tour.
04/17/2014 03:02 PM
Hull KR 21-20 Hull FC
Hull FC's Graeme Horne runs in two tries against his former club before a Craig Hall drop-goal edges a superb derby.
04/17/2014 05:00 PM
'There's a secret language only us drivers know'
In his regular BBC Sport column, Lewis Hamilton talks about his thrilling Bahrain battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg
04/17/2014 04:01 PM
Dowie gives Liverpool winning start
04/17/2014 03:38 PM
Howard rewarded with new Everton deal
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has signed a two-year contract extension to keep him at Goodison Park until 2018.
04/17/2014 06:37 AM
Racing makes its Good Friday debut
History will be made with racing on Good Friday at Musselburgh and Lingfield, which stages a £1m all-weather meeting.
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