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Preds knot series...Matta leaves OSU...NBA Finals ratings spike...Newton progressing

June 6, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Stanley Cup Final is tied at two games apiece following the Predators’ 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Nashville. Pekka Rinne (PEH’-kuh REE’-nay) stopped 23 shots and blanked the Penguins after Sidney Crosby tied the game with a breakaway goal late in the first period. Frederick Gaudreau provided the game-winner for the Predators, who also got goals from Calle Jarnkrok (KAL’-ee YAHRN’-krahk) and Viktor Arvidsson before Filip Forsberg added an empty-netter.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Thad Matta is done after 13 seasons as Ohio State’s men’s basketball coach, a run that included two Final Four appearances. The 49-year-old coach said he and athletic director Gene Smith agreed he would leave, although Matta cited his health as a reason for his departure. The Buckeyes won at least 20 games in each of their first 12 years under Matta, but they missed the last two NCAA Tournaments and finished just 17-15 this past season.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The first two games of the NBA Finals have been blowout wins by the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they’ve drawn plenty of television viewers. The Nielsen company says the games have averaged 19.6 million viewers, a five percent increase over last year’s finals and the most since Michael Jordan’s last title with the Chicago Bulls against the Utah Jazz in 1998. Sunday’s game averaged 20.1 million viewers and peaked at 23.1 million.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said quarterback Cam Newton is ahead of schedule in his rehab from shoulder surgery and is expected to begin throwing next week at minicamp. Newton will start by throwing on a side field and isn’t expected to participate in team drills until the team reports to training camp in late July. Newton injured his shoulder in Carolina’s Week 14 win against the San Diego Chargers but continued to play the rest of the season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Darrell Wallace Jr. will replace the injured Aric Almirola at Pocono Raceway this weekend, making him the first black driver since 2006 to race in NASCAR’s top circuit. Richard Petty Motorsports said Wallace will continue to drive the No. 43 car until Almirola returns. Almirola fractured a vertebra during a fiery wreck last month at Kansas Speedway and is out indefinitely.

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