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finishing the regular season with the best record in the NHL
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ldh2013

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott Dixon insists that Ganassi Racing wasnt trying to bamboozle anybody. After struggling last week and failing to put a car in the fast nine for qualifying, the team led by defending Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan staged a rally on Carb Day. Kanaan was left atop the leaderboard Friday with a lap of 227.838 mph, while Dixon was next-fastest at 227.773 mph. "We definitely didnt do it on purpose," said Dixon, who will start in the middle of the fourth row Sunday. "We would like to roll out straightaway and be quick. I think we are normally." Kanaan will start on the inside of the sixth row as he attempts to become the first back-to-back winner since Helio Castroneves in 2003. Teammate Charlie Kimball will start in the ninth row. "We feel good about it," Kanaan said. "We worked pretty hard together to make up for our Saturday qualifying. We have great people back in the engineering office at Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and it really showed a little bit after qualifying and today." The turnaround by the Ganassi stable brought back memories of 2012, when the team struggled throughout the month of May. But by the time Carb Day rolled around, Dario Franchitti had posted the fastest lap of the day, and Dixon was close behind in second. That was how they would finish on Sunday. Franchitti went on to win his third Indy 500, and Takuma Satos last-lap spin into the Turn 1 wall allowed Dixon to finish second. Townsend Bell, three-time winner Helio Castroneves and rookie Mikhail Aleshin joined Kanaan and Dixon among the five fastest laps Friday. Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti were next on the speed chart, while Juan Pablo Montoya was ninth-quickest. Kurt Busch stepped into Andrettis backup car and climbed to 15th on the chart. Busch wrecked his primary car in practice on Monday, forcing his team to convert a car that Andretti had planned to use at Detroit from a road-course setup to an oval setup. "Just had to get back on my horse," said Busch, who will attempt to run the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on Sunday. "As the NASCAR guys always say, Got to thank my crew, but honestly, this is a thank-the-crew moment from Andretti Autosport." On a busy Carb Day at Indianapolis, here are five more things that happened: ANOTHER DOUBLE: As Busch becomes the fourth driver to attempt double duty, theres been speculation more NASCAR drivers may someday try the grueling feat. Buschs younger brother, Kyle, has said hell make an attempt if he ever wins a Sprint Cup championship. "I dont know why more NASCAR guys dont do it," former IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay said. "You only live once. Its two of the biggest races in the world, so why not do it?" BLOCKING RULES: An unofficial poll of drivers indicated very few want to be the leader in the closing laps of Sundays race. But Dixon and Kanaan believe murky rules mean the leader could potentially block attempts at a pass for the win without risking a penalty from race control. "We havent gotten clarification on that. You can defend now," Dixon said. If blocking occurs, Kanaan hopes it is fair. "I dont think its fair enough sometimes to be the leader that hell be exposed and hes going to lose the race because he was in the lead. It does not make any sense," Kanaan said. "There is a certain amount of defending that should be allowed." INDY IN (SLOPE)STYLE: Olympic snowboarder Nick Goepper, who took home the bronze medal at the Sochi Games, stopped by the speedway to check out the festivities. Goepper grew up near Cincinnati in Lawrenceburg, just on the Indiana side of the state line, and plans to watch Sundays race from the infield pagoda. "I remember the movie Rush that came out, the whole racing atmosphere. These guys are incredible drivers," Goepper said. "They have so much composure. Its amazing." GETTING COMFORTABLE: Paul Tracy still wants to be in a race car, but his time appears to have passed. Now, the popular Tracy has landed a part-time gig with NBC Sports Network. The original deal called for Tracy to work in the booth for six races, but it was expanded to include NBCs limited coverage of preparations for the Indianapolis 500, as well as two additional events later this season. Tracy said he struggled initially, and but "Ill get it figured out."
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. -- Canadian Kevin Pangos had 18 points, Drew Barham matched his career high with 17 points off the bench, and Gonzaga beat Pacific 70-53 on Thursday night to clinch the outright West Coast Conference regular season title.
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. Wrights first stint with Milwaukee was on a 10-day contract from March 14-23. He played in two games, averaging six points and two rebounds in 16.
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.J. -- The New York Giants are not only back in the playoff hunt with a four-game winning streak, theyre calling the plays that get them those wins.
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. The Maple Leafs are three points behind Columbus for the last playoff spot in the East with only three games left on their schedule. You can listen to the game live on TSN 1050 starting at 7:30pm et/4:30 pm pt.
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. The Bobcats (2-2) trailed 35-23 early in the second quarter, but cut the lead to 42-40 at halftime. Charlotte outscored Cleveland 32-17 in the third quarter to go ahead 72-59 and pulled away.BOSTON -- The regular season wasnt much of a struggle for the Boston Bruins, and neither was their first-round playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings. Tuukka Rask made 31 saves Saturday, and the defending Eastern Conference champions eliminated the Red Wings with a 4-2 victory in Game 5. After finishing the regular season with the best record in the NHL, the Bruins advanced to the conference semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens. "That series was much tougher than maybe the results showed," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who gave Boston the lead for good with 4 seconds left in the second period. "I think that we handled it well, we came into this series ready and we got the job done." Loui Eriksson opened the scoring for Boston, and Charas goal on a 4-on-3 advantage snapped a 1-1 tie. Milan Lucic also scored, and Jarome Iginla added an empty-netter. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored and Jonas Gustavsson stopped 29 shots for Detroit. The Red Wings scored only six goals in the five-game series. "Were not there yet," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team failed to win a playoff series in two of the past three seasons. "The last two years, we battled to get into the playoffs. To me, thats a measure of where we are. Instead of battling for the Cup, were battling to make the playoffs." It was 1-1 when the Bruins gained a 4-on-3 power play thanks to a holding penalty on Johan Franzen just 22 seconds before Brendan Smith was called for cross-checking. On a faceoff in the Detroit zone, Patrice Bergeron lured two of the three Red Wings defenders toward the corner and then passed it across the ice to Chara, who one-timed it past Gustavsson. Not usually demonstrative, Chara felt this one was worth celebrating. "It was a big game and a big goal," he said. "So Im not afraid to show it." Lucics goal with 4:27 gone in the third made it a two-goal game. Detroit made it 3-2 with 3:52 left after Rask made two acrobatic saves but left the puck to the side of the nett for Zetterberg, the Red Wings captain who missed two months with back surgery and did not return until Game 4.dddddddddddd Less than a minute later, though the Wings were called for too many men on the ice, leaving them a man down while trying to finish the comeback. With 2 minutes left in the game, the Boston fans began chanting "We want the cup!" Next up: Montreal, which swept Tampa Bay. "Guys were never ever really talking about Montreal," Iginla said. "We know theyve won their series and theyre going to be next, but the only talk today was about thinking about Detroit and getting this series over." The Bruins won it all in 2011 and returned to the Stanley Cup finals last year before they were eliminated when the Chicago Blackhawks scored two goals in 17 seconds in the final 76 seconds of Game 6. Boston seems on its way for another long playoff run this year, finishing the regular season with the best record in the NHL. "We were playing a very good team, a team with a lot of experience, the President Trophy winners," Detroit forward Daniel Alfredsson said. "This is a team that was just playing better than us and we feel a little short." The Bruins scored a power-play goal 3:27 into the first period when Dougie Hamiltons pass bounced off a defenders skate to Eriksson in the slot. Rask earned an assist on the play -- his second career playoff point. It stayed that way until Datsyuk came in and scooped up a rebound 12 seconds into a second-period power play against Lucic for high-sticking. Notes: It was the first NHL playoff game for Red Wings D Xavier Oullette. ... Rask earned an assist on Bostons first goal, his second career playoff point. ... Jimmy Howard, who started in goal for Games 1-3 for Detroit, was the backup. ... Referee Steve Kozari took a puck in the face in the third period. He left the ice through the Bruins bench but returned after a delay of about 2 minutes. ... The Bruins killed off 14 of 15 power plays in the series before allowing a goal after Lucics high-sticking penalty in the second. ' ' '
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finishing the regular season with the best record in the NHL
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