Red Wings win series opener against Anaheim
DETROIT, May 1 (UPI) -- Nicklas Lindstrom's second goal of the game, coming with 50 seconds left in the third period Friday, gave Detroit a 3-2 series-opening victory over Anaheim.
The underdog Ducks, coming into the Western Conference semifinals as the No. 8 seed, tied the game with 17 seconds to go in the second period. The third stanza then turned into a tense duel between goaltenders Chris Osgood of Detroit and Jonas Hiller of Anaheim.
Lindstrom finally came through on Detroit's 36th shot of the game.
This series brings together the last two winners of the Stanley Cup, with Detroit trying to become the first back-to-back titleholder in 11 seasons.
Corey Perry gave Anaheim the lead 7:28 into the game on a slapshot, but Johan Franzen tied it on the power play five minutes later.
Lindstrom, who last year became the first European captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup title, gave Detroit the advantage with 5:36 to go in the second with another power-play goal. Teemu Selanne made it a 2-2 game just before time ran out in the period.
Osgood made 22 saves to get the win.
Anaheim reached the second round of the playoffs by eliminating the top-seeded San Jose Sharks in six games. Detroit swept Columbus in the opening round.
In the other series opener played Friday, Boston downed Carolina 4-1.
Watson, Goosen pass Woods in second round
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 1 (UPI) -- Retief Goosen and Bubba Watson capitalized on late problems suffered by Tiger Woods to share the lead Friday after two rounds of the Quail Hollow Championship.
Woods was out front by two shots following the opening round and he still had a one-shot advantage as he went to the 16th tee of the Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, N.C. The world's top-ranked player, however, bogeyed two of the final three holes and fell a shot back of the co-leaders.
Goosen, a two-time winner of the U.S. Open, shot a 68 and Watson had a 65 to finish the day tied at 8-under 136. Woods was at 137 after having to settle for an even-par 72.
He was tied for third with Jim Furyk, George McNeill and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.
Phil Mickelson and Camilo Villegas were among those tied for seventh at 138.
There will be 24 players within four shots of the lead going into the third round.
"I didn't drive the ball very well today," said Woods, who has hit nine of 28 fairways through 36 holes. "I drove it not too bad yesterday. Today was not a very good driving day."
Defending champion Anthony Kim was part of a six-way tie for 11th place at 139.
It took a score of even-par 144 to make the 36-hole cut and some prominent players were eliminated for the weekend. Angel Cabrera, who won the Masters last month in a playoff, missed the cut with a 146. Sergio Garcia was at 149, Vijay Singh at 150 and Adam Scott at 152.
Nadal extends streak with win in Rome
ROME, May 1 (UPI) -- Rafael Nadal increased his clay court winning streak to 28 straight Friday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Fernando Verdasco at the Italian Masters.
The top-seeded Spaniard remained unbeaten in 14 matches on the surface this season and has not dropped a set this week.
The reigning Australian Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion next faces either 12th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile or non-seed Juan Monaco of Argentina in Saturday's semifinals.
Second-seeded Roger Federer slammed unseeded Mischa Zverev of Russia 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Third-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the defending champion, beat fifth-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 6-4.
Djokovic faces Federer in Saturday's other semifinal.
Vickers captures NASCAR pole
RICHMOND, Va., May 1 (UPI) -- Brian Vickers captured his second pole of the season Friday and will start out front Saturday in the NASCAR Crown Royal 400 at Richmond, Va.
Vickers, the 10th driver in the qualifying order, turned in a speed of 127.131 mph at the Richmond International Speedway. It was the seventh pole of his career. His first career pole came at Richmond five years ago.
Jeff Gordon was .05 of a second slower than Vickers and will start on the outside of the front row.
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
House members call for football playoff
WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Members of a U.S. House subcommittee Friday told the head of the Bowl Championship Series they favor a playoff to determine the No. 1 team in college football.
John Swofford, coordinator of the BCS and commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, appeared before hearings called by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection.
He told the House members that while the current method of selecting a national champion is not perfect, the NCAA could not expect fans to travel across the country multiple times for post-season games.
"Our fans do not have the time, and most do not have the financial resources, to do so," Swofford said. "Moreover, I am not aware of any football playoff in this country at any level in which all games are played at predetermined neutral sites that may be thousands of miles from the homes of the participating teams."
A combination of polls and computer rankings determine the top two teams in the country at the end of the regular season and those teams play for the national title.
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, has introduced legislation that would prohibit marketing, promotion and advertising of a game as a "national championship" game unless it was part of a playoff system.
"This system is patently unfair," Barton said. "Before the first game, half the teams in the country don't have a prayer at winning or even playing for a national championship. You could have a playoff system that makes just as much money, but has the added benefit of determining the championship on the field."