Canucks win Presidents’ Trophy, clinch top seed
Vancouver posted a 3-0 win over Edmonton in the NHL regular-season finale Saturday, won the Presidents’ Trophy and will be the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.
Vancouver, which finished with 111 points and outlasted the St. Louis Blues (109) and the New York Rangers (109) for the regular-season’s top prize, will play Los Angeles in Round 1. The Kings fell to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference as a result of a 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose.
Los Angeles, among the more inconsistent teams in the West, registered at least one point in its final six games.
The Los Angeles-San Jose game also finalized the entire West picture. The No. 2 seed Blues will meet the No. 7 Sharks, while the No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes take on the No. 6 Chicago Blackhawks, and the No. 4 Nashville Predators collide with the No. 5 Detroit Red Wings.
It is the Canucks’ second-straight Presidents’ Trophy. Vancouver advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last season before losing to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
The NHL will announce the entire first-round schedule today.
The East postseason mix was completed when the Panthers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1, securing the Southeast Division crown and the No. 3 postseason seed. They will meet the No. 6 New Jersey Devils.
New Jersey, which missed the postseason for the first time since 1996 last year, won six straight games to close.
The Rangers, who reserved the East top seed on Tuesday, will meet the No. 8 Ottawa Senators, who drifted to the last seed after losing three in a row to close. New York will have home-ice advantage against any team not named Vancouver.
The other two East series feature the No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins meeting the No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers, and the No. 2 Bruins taking on the No. 7 Washington Capitals.
Serena routs Stosur, reaches Family Circle final
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Serena Williams even impressed herself with her powerful showing at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday.
Williams needed less than an hour to dispatch second-seeded Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-1 and advance to the clay-court final.
“You know, I think it was just one of those days that I could have done anything against anybody,” Williams said.
There aren’t many people in the world who could’ve withstood Williams’ performance at the Family Circle Tennis Center.
The 10th-ranked player was on her game from the start, winning the match’s first eight points and rarely letting Stosur catch a breath.
On Sunday, Williams will face Lucie Safarova, a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Polona Hercog.
Stosur held serve to cut Williams’ lead to 2-1, then lost the next nine games. Stosur, who defeated Williams to win the U.S. Open title last September, got a loud cheer from the crowd when she prevented Williams from shutting her out in the second set.
Williams hit a forehand winner to end the match moments later, and eliminated Stosur from a tournament for the second straight week. Williams beat Stosur 7-5, 6-3 last week at the Sony Ericsson Open, serving 20 aces — tying per personal best — in the hard-court win.
US leads 2-1 over France in Davis Cup quarterfinal
ROQUEBRUNE, France — Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4) Saturday to give the United States a 2-1 lead over France in their Davis Cup quarterfinal.
The Bryans, the top-ranked doubles team, have not lost a Davis Cup match since 2008. They were rarely troubled against a French pair that struggled to find any rhythm on the clay at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
On Saturday, the French pair lost their serve at the start of the first and second set. Although they showed more fight in the third set, the Bryans did not have to face a single break point.
Today, No. 11 John Isner faces sixth-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in singles. Teenager Ryan Harrison, ranked 66th will play No. 13 Gilles Simon.
Tsonga looked shaky at times when he beat the inexperienced Harrison in four sets on Friday. Isner’s huge serve and dominant forehand present a much bigger threat than Harrison’s shot-making.
Warren Sapp files for bankruptcy in Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former NFL star Warren Sapp owes more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony, according to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in South Florida.
Sapp’s $6.45 million in assets includes 240 pairs of Jordan athletic shoes worth almost $6,500, a $2,250 watch and a lion skin rug worth $1,200. He also reported losing his 2002 Super Bowl ring with the Bucs and his 1991 national championship ring from the University of Miami.
The court documents were filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale on March 30. TMZ.com first reported the filing. A phone message and email left Saturday with his attorney, Chad Pugatch, were not immediately returned.
Sapp’s average monthly income is $115,881, according to the filings, and includes $45,000 for a final contract payment with Showtime, $48,000 for an appearance with CCA Sports and $18,675 as an advance for a book deal. His contract with the NFL Network ends in August, the filings show, and it was unknown if the contract will be renewed.
Sapp, a former defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders during his 13-year NFL career, was also once a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
He was arrested in 2010 following an alleged domestic violence incident at a Miami Beach hotel. He would have faced one count of misdemeanor domestic battery, but prosecutors declined to prosecute, saying in court documents that there were inconsistencies in the victim’s statements and evidence.
Filmmaker defends release of Williams recording
NEW ORLEANS — A documentary filmmaker says he had the right to release a recording of then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams exhorting his players to physically punish targeted San Francisco players.
In a statement posted on his promotional website, Sean Pamphilon says he and former Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason “have a production agreement that I have followed.”
Gleason, who has ALS, had been allowing Pamphilon to document his struggle against the incurable disease. The Saints, who’ve supported Gleason’s efforts to raise awareness about ALS, gave Pamphilon behind-the-scenes access, which allowed him to record Williams’ speech ahead of New Orleans’ 36-32 playoff loss to the 49ers in January.
Gleason said Friday that the Williams recording should not have been released without his permission, which he never gave.
By wire sources