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Ohio Sports News

Last Update on March 28, 2015 05:34 GMT

BLUE JACKETS-BLACKHAWKS

CHICAGO (AP) -- Cam Atkinson scored twice in Columbus' four-goal first period and added an empty-net goal in the final minute for his second career hat trick to help the Blue Jackets win their fifth straight game, 5-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Ryan Johansen and Kevin Connauton also connected for the Blue Jackets. They set a team record with their seventh consecutive road victory and have won eight of nine overall.

Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which dropped its second straight.

Columbus' Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was pulled with 3:14 left in the first period after allowing four goals on 13 shots. Scott Darling finished, and stopped all 13 shots he faced.

CAVALIERS-NETS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez each scored 20 points, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped the Cleveland Cavaliers' four-game winning streak with a 106-98 victory on Friday night.

Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points for the Nets, who held LeBron James to two baskets in the second half and won for the sixth time in eight games as they chase a playoff berth. They came in tied for ninth in the East, a half-game behind Boston for the final spot.

James finished with 24 points and nine assists for Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 26 points, and Kevin Love had 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Cavaliers had won the first three meetings this season, outscoring the Nets by about 17 points per game. But Brooklyn turned up its defense in the second half to cool off what had been the NBA's hottest team for more than two months.

INDIANS-SALAZAR

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- The Indians have optioned Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus.

Salazar had been in the running to win one of the two open spots in Cleveland's starting rotation, but the right-hander has struggled this spring and the Indians sent him back to the minors.

With Salazar out of the running, left-hander T.J. House, Zach McAllister and Josh Tomlin are vying for the starting jobs.

Salazar got roughed up Thursday against Cincinnati, allowing six earned runs -- two homers -- and six hits in 3 1-3 innings. His fastball was high in the strike zone down the middle. In four spring outings, Salazar is 1-2 with an 8.18 ERA. He has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs in 11 innings.

Salazar bounced between Columbus and Cleveland last season. He went 6-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 20 starts. In 2013, he started the Indians' wild-card game against Tampa Bay.

DIAMONDBACKS-INDIANS

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Cleveland ace Corey Kluber tuned up for the regular season, striking out nine over six effective innings Friday in the Indians' 3-2 loss to Josh Collmenter and the split-squad Arizona Diamondbacks.

In a matchup between pitchers set to start on opening day, Kluber gave up one run and six hits. The AL Cy Young Award winner walked two.

Collmenter threw three-hit ball in seven shutout innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Arizona scored off Kluber in the first inning on doubles by Chris Owings and David Peralta.

Owings also tripled. Jake Lamb hit two doubles for the Diamondbacks.

NCAA-NOTRE DAME-KENTUCKY

CLEVELAND (AP) -- If there's one school unafraid to take on Kentucky, it's Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish have a history of taking down college basketball Goliaths. There's none bigger or more intimidating right now than the undefeated Wildcats, who are 37-0 and can earn a trip to the Final Four on Saturday with a win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final.

Kentucky demolished West Virginia by 39 points in the semifinals, while Notre Dame outlasted Wichita State.

The Fighting Irish have beaten the AP's top-ranked teams eight times and may be best known for ending UCLA's 88-game winning streak in 1974.

Notre Dame's players don't see themselves as underdogs and are confident they can compete with Kentucky, a team some feel is invincible. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey believes he has the more tested team after playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

National Sports News

Last Update on March 28, 2015 22:28 GMT

NCAA TOURNAMENT

UNDATED (AP) -- The first two teams in the Final Four will be determined this evening, with two of the regional finals set in the NCAA Tournament.

Notre Dame will be the next team to take a stab at bringing down top-seed and unbeaten Kentucky when they meet tonight for the Midwest Regional title in Cleveland. And the Fighting Irish have the DNA to topple the Wildcats. Notre Dame teams have beaten the AP's top-ranked teams eight times, most notably ending UCLA's 88-game winning streak in 1974.

But the 37-0 Wildcats are not those teams. They offered a stark reminder of that with a punishing 39-point demolition of West Virginia on Thursday night.

The 32-5 Fighting Irish are trying to get to the Final four for the first time since 1978.

Top-seed Wisconsin will try to grab the West Regional title when the Badgers take on second-seed Arizona in a showdown of powerhouses in Los Angeles. It's a rematch of last year's regional final won by Wisconsin in overtime.

The 34-3 Wildcats take a 14-game winning streak into tonight's play. Wisconsin is 34-3.

MLB-TRADE

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Rangers and Cardinals have worked out a deal involving pitcher Sam Freeman. The 27-year old right-hander, who was 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 44 relief appearances last season for the Cards, goes to Texas for a player to be named or cash considerations.

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- Golden State looks to establish a franchise record for wins in a season when the Warriors visit Milwaukee tonight. The Western Conference leaders head into tonight's game with an NBA best 59-13 record and are riding an eight-game winning streak.

That's one of five games on the NBA schedule.

Atlanta heads into their game at Charlotte having clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks locked that up with a win over Miami last night, combined with Brooklyn's win over Cleveland.

Oklahoma City continues its pursuit of a playoff spot one day after finding out that star Kevin Durant is lost for the season. The Thunder hit the road to take on Utah. Durant is the team's leading scorer and rebounder, but is set for bone graft surgery next week that will sideline him for the rest of the season. The Thunder currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

NHL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- For the first time since 2012 the Nashville Predators are headed to the playoffs. Filip Forsberg scored during a three-goal first period and had two assists as the Predators beat the Capitals in Washington 4-3. Nashville is the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff berth this season. The Preds have won four straight after losing nine of 11.

-- Frederik Andersen made 29 saves and the Anaheim Ducks used a two-goal second period to beat the New York Islanders 3-2 to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth. The Ducks top the NHL with 103 points while Nashville has 102. It was the second straight win for the Ducks, who conclude a five-game trip Sunday at New Jersey.

--Pittsburgh got goals from Daniel Winnik, Steve Downie and Sidney Crosby in a 4-minute, 8-second stretch of the third period to beat Arizona 3-2. Crosby's 25th goal stood as the game-winner and he also had two assists to increase his league-leading scoring total to 78 points.

-- Brent Burns got the winning goal in the shootout to lead the Sharks over the Flyers 3-2. Philadelphia is now 3-10 in shootouts this season. The game pitted two perennial postseason teams who likely will be out of the playoffs this season.

-- Milan Lucic (mee-LAHN' LOO'-cheech) scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the first period as the Boston Bruins spoiled New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's return after a long layoff with a 4-2 victory. Lundqvist missed seven weeks after a puck hit his neck. He stopped 26 shots in his return. The win snapped a six-game winless stretch for the Bruins who entered the day tied with Ottawa for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.

-- Detroit handed Tampa Bay its first shutout loss of the season with a 4-0 decision. Petr Mrazek (PEH'-tuhr MRAZ'-ihk) made 23 saves for his fourth career shutout in the win. If the current standings hold, Detroit and Tampa Bay would face each other in the first round of the playoffs

GOLF-TEXAS OPEN

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Jimmy Walker is the man on top of the PGA's Texas Open after three rounds of play. He will start the fourth round at 9-under, four in front of Jordan Spieth (speeth) and six in front of Billy Horschel.

GOLF-CHAMPIONS TOUR

SAUCIER, Miss. (AP) -- Kevin Sutherland has the lead after two rounds of the Champions Tour event in Mississippi. Following a 5-under-67 he stands 9-under for the tournament, two shots clear of Tom Lehman (LAY'-muhn) and three in front of Tom Pernice (pur-NEES') Jr. and David Frost.

LPGA-KIA CLASSIC

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) -- Lydia Ko and Brittan Lang have moved into the lead during the third round of the LPGA's Kia Classic in California. The world No. 1 and Lang are 11 shots under par after nine and 9 holes, respectively.

FORMULA ONE-MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) -- The field is set for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, the second stop on the Formula 1 circuit this season. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won the pole with Ferrari's Sebasian Vettel the second fastest qualifier. Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Nico (NEE'-koh) Rosberg qualified third. In the season opening Australian GP Hamilton was the winner with Rosberg second and Vettel third.

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Sports Director Clay Hall

WSYX - Clay Hall

Clay Hall is the Sports Director for ABC 6 and FOX 28.

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