Chicago Tribune (Sunday)

Uncertain final 4 still alive in fight for Cup


If the teams left in the NHL playoffs are sick and tired of facing the same opponents over and over, they are in luck in the semifinals.

After exclusivel­y divisional play this season and through the first two rounds, the hockey playoffs are down to a final four of teams that haven’t played each other all year. The Islanders face the Lightning in one semifinal that’s a rematch of the 2020 Eastern Conference final, while the Golden Knights play the Canadiens in a playoff series for the first time.

After so much familiarit­y from seeing the same teams over and over, the final two rounds with the Stanley Cup on the line bring every element of the unknown.

“It’s such a different series in terms of the preparatio­n,” Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “Now with the Islanders and Tampa Bay, our own series with Montreal, it’s brand new. Starting from scratch.”

Auto racing: Marcus Ericsson raced to his first IndyCar victory Saturday at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The Swede became the seventh driver to win through seven IndyCar races this season, and he’s the fourth first-time winner this year.

Baseball: Reigning national champion Vanderbilt and Stanford swept their NCAA super regionals Saturday and became the first teams to lock up spots in the College World Series.

Golf: Chesson Hadley moved a step closer to his first PGA Tour victory in seven years, opening a four-stroke lead over Harris English and six over Dustin Johnson on Saturday in the rain-delayed Palmetto Championsh­ip at Congaree. Hadley, English, Johnson and Lee Tain were all on the 18th hole when the horn sounded to stop play because of lightning. Rain followed about 10 minutes later and officials waited more than two hours before telling the players they had to return to finish Sunday morning.

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