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🏒Results from the First Games of Round Two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

August 24, 2020
BOSTON BRUINS/TWITTER
BOSTON BRUINS/TWITTER

RThe GIST: Time moves quickly inside the bubble. Without the need for travel and the distraction of women (cue eye roll here), the NHL moved from the first to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in less than 24 hours. Here’s #thegist on the four conference semifinals.

The West: The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche kicked off the second round on Saturday, but, funny enough, it was actually their second meeting of the postseason. They already met during the round-robin seeding tournament a few weeks ago, where the Avs won 4–0, but this time the Stars took Game 1 with a 5–3 win.

In the East: Despite leading the league during the regular season, the Boston Bruins are the underdogs in their series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa beat Boston in their round-robin seeding matchup, as well as in three of their four regular-season games, but Boston came out firing last night, winning Game 1 3–2.

  • And last and kind of least, the New York Islanders — the only Eastern Conference team to move on from the qualifiers and the current lowest-seeded team — have something to prove against the No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll look to continue their underdog journey when their series starts at 7 p.m. ET tonight.

Catch the action: Follow all the matchups here and check out the full bracket here. And if you miss any of the action, just meet us back here on Thursday. We’ll fill you in.

🏀

World No. 304 Wins AIG Women's Open, Taurasi Receives Foul for Inappropriate Language

August 24, 2020
AIG WOMEN’S OPEN/TWITTER
AIG WOMEN’S OPEN/TWITTER

LPGA: You should always expect the unexpected in golf...but we did not expect this. Yesterday, No. 304 world-ranked Sophia Popov made history herstory when she won the first LPGA major of the season, the AIG Women’s Open (aka the British Open), making her the first female golfer (and second ever) to win a major from outside of the top 300.

  • Not only was it Popov’s first major title, but it was her first ever Tour win too. And it gets better: she entered the tournament on a special-event qualifying pass, and just three weeks ago, Popov caddied in an LPGA event. Now, she’s winning them. Maybe there’s hope for our golf game too.

WNBA: Things are getting heated in the Wubble. WNBA GOAT Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi has been caught using some unsavory language on the court lately, but she may have crossed a line on Friday.

  • After a particularly bad call in the Mercury’s loss to the Minnesota Lynx, Taurasi was caught saying, “I’ll see you in the lobby later,” to an official. Not the best look. Of course, she picked up a technical foul for the threat.

🏒Vegas Golden Knights Advance to Second Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

August 20, 2020
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING/TWITTER
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING/TWITTER

The GIST: After the Vegas Golden Knights became the first team to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday, four teams had the chance to follow their lead yesterday. Only three did.

Who advanced?: We’ll break it down for you real quick. First the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5–4 in overtime, then the Boston Bruins took the Carolina Hurricanes 2–1 and the Colorado Avalanche absolutely embarrassed the Arizona Coyotes with a 7–1 win.

  • All three teams won their series 4-1 (eerie) to advance to the second round (which should start early next week), but the Philadelphia Flyers broke the trend, losing to the Montreal Canadiens last night to make the series 3-2.

What’s next?: Four series remain undecided, so every game really counts now. The New York Islanders and Dallas Stars can both advance to round two if they win tonight, and the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks, and the Flyers and Canadiens will all have to hash it out tomorrow.

  • Even with so many decided series, the pairings for the second round matchups will be reseeded, so advancing teams won’t know who their opponent will be until this round is over. Check out the full playoff bracket here.

🏀NBA Scores, Standings and Highlights for this Week

August 20, 2020
ASHLEY LANDIS-POOL/GETTY IMAGES
ASHLEY LANDIS-POOL/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: We heard you love highlights, so we’re bringing you more! Here are a few of our favorite NBA highlights — and lowlights — from the past few days.

Dance it out: Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard can do it all: Score 34 points in a game? Check. Nail three-pointers? Check. Dance? Check. And he did all of it while beating the Western Conference’s best team, the LA Lakers, to lead the series 1-0. Casual.

Spin doctor: Utah Jazz’s Donovan “Spida” Mitchell is a good teammate. Check out this figure-skating inspired assist to Georges Niang as the Jazz beat the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 to even the series.

“What the hell was that?”: The Brooklyn Nets do not know how to play it cool, as you can see from this v. embarrassing game-ender against the Toronto Raptors. The Raps are, unsurprisingly, up 2-0 in this series.

A true lowlight: A newly released bodycam video shows that Deputy Alan Strickland was the aggressor in the courtside altercation with Raptors president Masai Ujiri, just minutes after the Raptors won the NBA Championship last year.

🏈SEC Football and the NFL to Have Fans in the Stands this Fall

August 20, 2020
RANDY SARTIN/USA TODAY SPORTS
RANDY SARTIN/USA TODAY SPORTS

The GIST: Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, the still-competing college football conferences and the NFL insist on playing in front of fans this season. Wish we were kidding.

Remind me where we’re at: In college football, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed all fall sports. The Big 12, SEC and ACC will forge ahead with sports this fall. And get this: those conferences are also preparing to have fans in the stands.

Seriously?: Sadly, yes. On Tuesday, the SEC released their guidelines for fan attendance. Luckily, masks are required, but the conference is leaving most other decisions up to the schools. The schools that have released their plans will all limit stadium capacity to under 30%.

And what about the NFL?: On Monday, the NFL announced that the first game of the season (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans on September 10th — mark your calendar!) will be held with fans, filling the stadium to 22% capacity. Just like college football, fans will be required to wear masks in the stadium, but tailgating will be permitted...with masks “encouraged.” Hmmm.

  • Also similar to college football, NFL teams are making patchwork decisions regarding in-person attendance, too. You can’t beat live sports, but we’ll be happy to watch this NFL season cozied up on the couch.

I heard Washington’s in the news again?: You heard right. Two former LSU students said they were raped by former LSU and recently released (for domestic violence allegations) Washington Football Team running back Derrius Guice in 2016. It appears that LSU did not investigate the women’s allegations. A sad, stark reminder that we still have a lot of work to do and must continue to support survivors.