Leighton's third shutout puts Flyers a game from finals
Michael Leighton shut down and shut out the Montreal Canadiens again, leading the Philadelphia Flyers within one win of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Leighton stopped 17 shots for his third blanking of Montreal in four games, Claude Giroux scored twice — including an empty-netter — and Ville Leino added a breakaway goal in a 3-0 win over the host Canadiens on Saturday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Philadelphia, which has won seven of eight since falling behind Boston 3-0 in the second round, leads the series 3-1 and can advance to the finals for the first time since 1997 with a win at home in Game 5 on Monday.
The Flyers bounced back from a 5-1 loss on Thursday.
"We were pretty tight defensively," Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette said. "We didn't allow a lot of opportunities. The neutral zone was really tight, which eliminates rush opportunities. ... We had some chances ourselves to score, so it was a good period."
Leighton had a relatively easy day after allowing five goals on 38 shots on Thursday. He opened the series by stopping 58 shots in 6-0 and 3-0 wins at Philadelphia. He became the 13th NHL goalie to have three shutouts in one series, and the first since Toronto's Ed Belfour and Tampa Bay's Nikolai Khabibulin did it in the first round of the 2004 post-season.
■ Dustin Byfuglien scored 12:24 into overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the visiting San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Friday night to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
The Blackhawks can earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1992 with a victory Sunday at the United Center.
Louisville wins Big East title
Louisville's baseball team clinched its second straight Big East Conference regular-season title by winning a pair of games against Notre Dame on Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium at South Bend, Ind. The Cardinals (46-10, 21-6) finished a half-game ahead of second-place Connecticut, which lost its season finale earlier in the day.
Louisville will open the Big East Tournament at Clearwater, Fla., against West Virginia at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
In Saturday's second game, senior shortstop Adam Duvall (Butler High School) was 3-for-6 with two home runs and three RBI. Freshman DH Cade Stallings and junior outfielder Drew Haynes each added three hits in the win. Freshman right-hander Justin Amlung (St. Xavier) pitched six shutout innings.
Wittels hits in 48th straight game
Garrett Wittels' hitting streak made it through the regular season. The Florida International shortstop got a hit in his 48th straight game Saturday, moving into sole possession of second place on the NCAA Division I all-time hits streak list.
Wittels extended the streak with an RBI double in the third inning off Florida Atlantic's R.J. Alvarez.
Wittels got a hit in every regular-season game in which he played this season for FIU, which will next play in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The sophomore from Bay Harbor Island, Fla. is 10 games shy of matching the Division I record, set by Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura in 1987.
Ex-Bears star, Broncos coach dies
Pro football Hall of Famer Stan Jones, a standout for the Chicago Bears in the 1950s and '60s and an innovator of weight training in the NFL, died. He was 78.
Jones died Friday night at his daughter's home in Broomfield, Colo., of complications of heart disease, according to his daughter, Sherrill Jones. She said her father also was battling skin cancer.
Jones, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, also spent more than two decades coaching in the NFL, including 18 seasons with the Denver Broncos.
One of the first pro players to lift weights, Jones played in seven straight Pro Bowls from 1955-61. In 1960, he played both offense and defense, one of the last 60-minute men in the NFL.
"He was a wonderful father and teacher, he was our hero," Sherrill Jones said.
Lexington team loses home debut
The Lexington Lightning, a new semi-professional women's basketball team playing in the Women's Blue Chip Basketball League, lost its first home game to the Detroit Dolphins 70-64.
Brittany Pittman, a standout at Tates Creek High School and Morehead State, grabbed 20 rebounds and had 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Lightning. Nastassia Alcius, who played at Henry Clay and the University of Kentucky, had a team-high 15 points.
U.S. women shut out Germany
Abby Wambach scored two goals and assisted on another to guide the United States to a 4-0 victory over Germany in an international friendly Saturday at Cleveland, Ohio.
Heather O'Reilly and Kristine Lilly also scored for the U.S., ranked No. 1 according to the FIFA rankings and winners of the past two Olympic gold medals. Second-ranked Germany is the two-time defending World Cup champions.
"This is great, this is perfect and look at the pitch too. I can even play here," U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage said. "This is all fantastic."
Wambach scored a goal off a penalty kick in the 29th minute and O'Reilly netted her goal in the 35th minute.
"Cleveland brought a great crowd," said Wambach, who is third on the U.S. all-time international goals scored list with 107, trailing Mia Hamm (158) and Lilly (130). "I'm really happy we scored four goals against a great team."
Lilly's goal came in the 62nd minute off an assist from Wambach.
The last word
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun:
"What drags out longer, the plot lines on The Young and the Restless or an NBA playoff series?"