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04/07/2012 - 9:59pm
Bruins will host Capitals in first round
By: DJ Bean

In a development that took three different games to determine, the Bruins will play the Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup finals. 

The Capitals entered the game with 90 points, good for in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Seventh-place Ottawa, with 92 points, lost to the Devils Saturday, allowing the Capitals to match them in points and surpass them due to a tie-breaker by beating the Rangers. Washington's 92 points put them in a tie for the Southeast Division lead with the Panthers, but Florida defeated Carolina to secure the division. When all was said and done, Florida was third (behind fellow division winners New York and Boston), Washington was seventh and Ottawa was eighth. 

The Eastern Conference playoffs will begin with games starting next Wednesday, with the B's and Capitals opening at the Garden on Thursday. The playoff matchups are as follows:

No. 1 Rangers vs. No. 8 Ottawa

No. 2 Bruins vs. No...

04/07/2012 - 9:45pm
BC hockey captures national championship

Steven Whitney scored two goals Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and Boston College defeated Ferris State, 4-1, to win its third national championship in five years.

It's the fifth title overall for BC, which won its last 19 games this season to finish at 33-10-1.

"I thought our club played extremely well against a very good team," coach Jerry York said during the postgame trophy presentation. "Parker Milner once again was superb."

Milner, the Eagles' junior goalie, turned away 27 shots. He allowed just two goals in four NCAA tournament games.

"It's incredible. It's everything you dream about," Milner said in an on-ice interview moments after the game went final.

Milner's biggest save came with 7:07 left and BC protecting a 2-1 lead, as he slid over to his right to stop a one-timer by Travis Ouelette near the side of the goal.

Just over four minutes later, freshman Johnny...

04/07/2012 - 9:25pm
C's D slows Pacers in road victory

The Celtics continued their recent smothering defensive play, holding the Pacers to just 35.1 percent shooting, as Boston won, 86-72, in Indiana. The Atlantic Division-leading Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak with one of thier most impressive road victories of the season.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points, while Ray Allen had 19 (albeit on a 7-for-19 shooting night from the floor) and Kevin Garnett had 15 points and seven rebounds. On a night when the Celtics had 27 assists on their 32 baskets, Rajon Rondo led the way with 12 assists.

But it was the Celtics' defense that did the most significant work in the road win. The Pacers converted just 26 of 74 shots, and Greg Stiemsma blocked five shots while Boston also accumulated a dozen steals, led by Ray Allen's four. The Celtics took a 24-19 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Celtics return home on Sunday to host the 76ers, the second place team in the division....

04/07/2012 - 8:08pm
Beckett: 'The thumb is not an issue'

Speaking after allowing five home runs in 4 2/3 innings to the Tigers Saturday afternoon, Josh Beckett said that missed location -- and not an injured thumb -- was the cause for his seven-run outing.

"The thumb is not an issue," Beckett told reporters following the Red Sox' 10-0 loss at Comerica Park.

The starter also added when asked what was the problem in his outing, "Too many pitches in the middle of the plate."

Beckett said the home runs -- which came from Miguel Cabrera (2), Prince Fielder (2) and Alex Avila -- came on a variety of pitches.

"You can’t miss down the middle of the plate to these guys," he added after allowing five home runs for just the second time in his career. "It’s a good team. Good lineup. You can’t throw balls down the middle to most big league hitters, but especiall theyse guys."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine also reported that he didn't...

04/07/2012 - 7:00pm
Red Sox, Beckett rocked in Detroit

DETROIT -- The Red Sox started their season at 0-2 for a second straight year, dropping a 10-0 decision to the Tigers Saturday at Comerica Park.

Suffering the loss was starting pitcher Josh Beckett, who gave up five home runs for the second time in his career. Beckett, who allowed two home runs apiece to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder (along with a homer by Alex Avila), finished his 4 2/3-inning outing by giving up seven runs on seven hits. The righty threw 83 pitches.

Despite the fact Detroit starter Doug Fister was forced out of the game after 3 2/3 innings with an injury to his side, the Red Sox' offense struggled for a second straight game. Jarrod Saltalamacchia managed the only extra-base hit (double) while Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Cody Ross and Mike Aviles remain hitless this season.

The Red Sox hitters also struck out 11 times, while walking just twice. The Sox have been out-hit 22-12 in the first two games of the...

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