EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The arena was largely empty, but the shouts of joy from the bench suggested the triumph of winning the Stanley Cup in a bubble was no less sweet for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brayden Point scored his playoff-best 14th goal, and the Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2-0, capping off an NHL playoff staged in quarantine during the pandemic. The clock hitting zeros set off a wild celebration for a group that endured years of playoff heartbreak and two months in isolation. Goals from Point and Blake Coleman and a 22-save shutout by Andrei Vasilevskiy were enough to power the Lightning to their second championship in franchise history.
BALTIMORE (AP) — In a matchup of MVP quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes outshone Lamar Jackson, as the Kansas City Chiefs delivered a convincing 34-20 beating of the Baltimore Ravens. Mahomes threw four touchdown passes against a Baltimore defense that had only given up two touchdowns so far this season. Mahomes was the NFL MVP in 2018, while Jackson took the award last year. As the Ravens starter, Jackson has only lost four games, but three of those losses have been to Mahomes and the Chiefs.
CLEVELAND (AP) — When the Yankees and Indians take the field in Cleveland this afternoon, New York slugger Gary Sánchez will be on the bench. After batting just .147 this season, Yankees manager Aaron Boone confirmed Monday the slumping slugger will sit in favor of Kyle Higashioka for the wild-card opener. Giancarlo Stanton is set to start at designated hitter. Gerrit Cole gets the start for the Yanks, while Shane Bieber goes for Cleveland, after leading the American League in wins, ERA and strikeouts.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — At the outset of baseball’s pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays might meet again to begin the playoffs. While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention. The AL East rivals meet this afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a 20-year major league career spent with eight different teams, Jay Johnstone was known as one of baseball’s great pranksters but also a two-time World Series champion. Johnstone died over the weekend of complications from COVID-19, according to his daughter. He was 74. Former teammate and current Dodgers broadcaster Rick Monday describes Johnstone as a “bigger than life” personality, but “when the game was on the line, he was able to transform that little 7-year-old child that was always in a playful mood into serious.”