More than half of the 20 Blue Jackets in the lineup tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins will be getting their first taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs. That includes the entire top forward line, two-thirds of the second and third lines, and the entire third defensive pair. Center Brandon Dubinsky, with 31 postseason games on his resume, has been the sage veteran this week, handing out advice to the many players who have asked for the lowdown on what it’ll be like.
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The Blue Jackets secured their spot in the playoffs with just two games remaining in the regular season. So dare we say “by a whisker?” The question now is, will they exit the season with a really hairy situation on their hands? We can certainly hope!
The trade for goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in 2012 was a key move in building the Blue Jackets into a playoff team.
In the spring of 2010, a 21-year-old goaltender — undrafted by the NHL, stuck in the minor leagues in Russia, and with only distant dreams of a career in North America — departed Novokuznetsk, Russia, for an all-day trip to Moscow, where his lowly team was in a tournament.
Injury update: LW Nick Foligno (knee), RW R.J. Umberger (upper body), RW Nathan Horton (abdominal surgery) out
Joey Votto breaks his bat but gets an RBI single out of it in the third inning.
CINCINNATI — Mike Leake didn’t leave too many boxes unmarked on the scorecard. Among his achievements were two hits — including a two-run home run — two runs, two RBI, 6 2/3 innings pitched, a career-high-tying eight strikeouts and three runs allowed.
DETROIT — Michael Bourn was ready to return to the majors. Nasty weather delayed his plans. Bourn, who missed the Cleveland Indians’ first 13 games because of a strained left hamstring, was activated from the disabled list yesterday before the Indians’ scheduled series opener with the Detroit Tigers. But his debut will have to wait a day: Temperatures in the low 30s and snow sitting on the outfield grass at Comerica Park forced the game to be postponed.
INDIANAPOLIS — Winter took another unnecessary bow yesterday with a storm that covered Victory Field with enough snow to postpone a morning game between the Clippers and the Indianapolis Indians.
Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III are skipping their last two seasons at Michigan to enter the NBA draft. Forward Mitch McGary has not announced his plans.
White Sox players — from left, Paul Konerko, Chris Sale, Nate Jones and Scott Downs — wear “Boston Strong” shirts before a game against the Red Sox in Chicago on the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers for host Texas last night, and Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings.
The coach fired from Minnesota State, Mankato will return to his old job after an arbitrator ruled he was wrongfully terminated, saying the decision wasn’t easy but would help him and his family heal.
Matt Carson, right, hit 14 home runs and batted .252 with the Clippers last season.
INDIANAPOLIS — Rain, with the grin-and-bear-it possibility of snow in mid-April, postponed a game last night between the Clippers and Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field. Clippers outfielder Matt Carson used the time before the announcement to take a round of batting practice with his teammates in the indoor cages. Bad weather in April is nothing new to Carson, who is in his second season with the Clippers and his 13th as a professional.
The Cleveland Browns signed fullback Chris Pressley, a potential lead blocker to open holes for new running back Ben Tate.
Serge Ibaka, right, of the Thunder loses the ball while being fouled by the Alexis Ajinca of the Pelicans. New Orleans won 101-89.
As a disheartening season dwindles to its final moments, Kyrie Irving stood up and took responsibility for how he and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates played in their past two games.