Penguins nip Blue Jackets 4-3 in series opener
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh's two-goal deficit. Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury overcame some shaky defense to stop 31 shots.
Game 2 is Saturday night.
Jack Johnson, Mark Letestu and Derek Mackenzie scored for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 0-5 all-time in postseason games. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 28 saves but was handcuffed by Sutter's knuckling wrister at the end of a 2-on-1 break.
Nets rest starters, lose 114-85 to Cavaliers
CLEVELAND (AP) - Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a 114-85 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Although the Nets could have clinched the Eastern Conference's No. 5 spot with a win, Kidd elected to rest Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston, who spent the night on the bench as the world's highest-paid cheerleading squad. Kidd also limited the minutes of key reserves and used only seven players.
Tyler Zeller scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and Dion Waiters scored 19 for the Cavaliers, who finished a disappointing 33-49 in coach Mike Brown's first season back and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. All-Star Kyrie Irving scored 15.
Gomes, McAllister lead Indians past Tigers 3-2
DETROIT (AP) - Yan Gomes hit a two-run triple, Zach McAllister allowed a run and four hits in six innings and the Cleveland Indians held on for a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
McAllister (2-0) walked two and struck out four and John Axford pitched the ninth for his fifth save for Cleveland, which had lost 18 of its previous 23 against Detroit.
Miguel Cabrera drove in both runs for the Tigers. Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (0-1) gave up three runs - two earned - and two hits in five innings, walking four and striking out eight.
Gomes gave the Indians a 3-1 lead in the second with his triple that scored Asdrubal Cabrera, who reached on an error by Cabrera at first, and David Murphy, who walked.
Cueto throws 3rd shutout as Reds beat Pirates 4-0
CINCINNATI (AP) - Johnny Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the playoffs, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.
Cueto (1-2) had his way with the lineup that beat him 6-2 in the NL wild card playoff at PNC Park last year. He limited the Pirates to three hits and struck out a career-high 12 during his first shutout since 2011.
Several Pirates questioned called third strikes by Quinn Wolcott, a Triple-A umpire called up to the majors. Eight of Cueto's strikeouts were called.
After the NL Central rivals combined for 13 homers while splitting the first two games, Votto supplied the one that broke open the deciding game.
Bengals sign punter T.J. Conley
CINCINNATI (AP) - The Bengals signed punter T.J. Conley on Wednesday, though Kevin Huber is expected to make a full recovery from a neck injury and a broken jaw.
Conley punted in 16 games for the Jets in 2011 and didn't play in the NFL either of the last two years. He was with the Jets in the 2012 preseason and with Cleveland in the preseason last year.
Huber got hurt during a 30-20 loss in Pittsburgh last December. Terence Garvin blocked him during Antonio Brown's 67-yard punt return for a touchdown, hitting Huber's chin with the top of his helmet.
Huber had surgery on the jaw and wore a neck brace to help heal a cracked vertebra. He's expected to be ready this season.
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