May 21 (UPI) -- Playoff hockey and basketball pack the weekend schedule, as athletes compete to claim the ultimate prize in their respective sports. A major golf title also is up for grabs in Kiawah Island, S.C.
A trio of NASCAR races in Austin, Texas, and dozens of regular-season soccer and MLB games provide even more entertainment for sports fans from Friday through Sunday.
The PGA Championship tees off the weekend slate, with the 156-player field taking aim on the longest course in the history of PGA Tour major tournaments. Rory McIlroy is a two-time winner of the event and is favored to win again Sunday on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
The tournament airs through Sunday on ESPN and CBS. McIlroy is looking to win his first major title in nearly seven years. Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau are among the other players expected to contend for the Wanamaker Trophy.
Brooks Koepka stepped off the course as the co-leader Thursday with a 3-under par 69 in the first round, but Corey Conners finished the day with a two-stroke lead on the field at 5-under par.
Koepka and fellow golfers said they expect it to be a challenge to control their drives because of harsh winds forecast through the weekend.
"It's a major. I'm going to show up," Koepka told reporters Thursday. "I'm ready to play. ... I love it when it's difficult."
Stanley Cup Playoffs
The COVID-19 pandemic-ravaged NHL regular-season schedule finally is complete, but caution carries into the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This weekend is all about playoff hockey. Eight teams flood the ice for a dozen games as the 16-team field narrows.
The Boston Bruins host the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference series. The Bruins lead that series 2-1 and can move to within one victory of advancing with another win. Game 4 starts at 6:30 p.m. EDT Friday and airs on NBCSN.
The Nashville Predators host the Carolina Hurricanes in the second game of Friday's hockey slate. The Hurricanes hold a 2-0 lead ahead of Game 3, which starts at 7 p.m. EDT and airs on USA.
Two of the four Canadian teams in the bracket face off at 9 p.m. EDT Friday on NBCSN. The Edmonton Oilers host the Winnipeg Jets in that Game 2 matchup. The Jets lead the series 1-0.
The Colorado Avalanche, the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, look to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. Game 3 of that series starts at 9:30 p.m. EDT Friday and airs on USA.
The first round continues with four games Saturday and four games Sunday.
The Florida Panthers face the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on CNBC. Tampa Bay leads that series 2-1.
The New York Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday on NBC. Pittsburgh leads that series 2-1.
The other two Canadian teams in the field, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, face off in Game 2 at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday on CNBC. Montreal won Game 1 of that series.
Saturday's final matchup is a Game 4 clash between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild. The puck drops for that NBC broadcast at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday in St. Paul, Minn. Vegas leads that series 2-1.
The Hurricanes (2-0) and Predators (0-2) take the ice for Game 4 of that series at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBCSN. The Blues (0-2) host the Avalanche (2-0) in another Game 4 at 5 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBCSN.
The Capitals (1-2) host the Bruins (2-1) in Game 5 at 7 p.m. EDT Sunday on USA.
The final weekend hockey broadcast airs on NBCSN and features the Oilers and Jets. That game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Jets lead that series 1-0.
The new NBA Play-In Tournament wraps up Friday when the Golden State Warriors host the Memphis Grizzlies to determine who faces the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors and Grizzlies tip off at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Game 1 of the Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers series airs at 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets host Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics in another Game 1 at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
The Philadelphia 76ers, the top seed in the East, host the Washington Wizards in Game 1 at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday on TNT.
The Jazz host the Warriors or Grizzlies in the final playoff game this weekend at 9:30 p.m. EDT on TNT.
PGA Championship: Second round from 1 to 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN; Live stream from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Game 4: Capitals at Bruins at 6:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 3: Hurricanes at Predators at 7 p.m. EDT on USA
Game 2: Jets at Oilers at 9 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 3: Avalanche at Blues at 9:30 p.m. EDT on USA
Brewers at Reds at 7:10 p.m. EDT on FS1
Mariners at Padres at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Play-In Tournament: Grizzlies at Warriors at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN
PGA Championship: Third round from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN, from 1 to 7 p.m. EDT on CBS; Live stream from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Premier League: Aston Villa vs. Chelsea at 11 a.m. EDT on USA
Premier League: Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace at 11 a.m. EDT on NBC
Premier League: Manchester City vs. Everton at 11 a.m. EDT on CNBC
La Liga: Barcelona vs. Eibar at noon EDT on beIN Sports USA
La Liga: Real Madrid vs. Villarreal at noon EDT on beIN Sports USA
MLS: Cincinnati at Montreal at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Portland at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC
MLS: Miami at Chicago at 6 p.m. EDT on TUDN
MLS: Toronto at Orlando at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Columbus at NYCFC at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Salt Lake at Dallas at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: New York Red Bulls at New England at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Vancouver at Houston at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Kansas City at San Jose at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Colorado at LAFC at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Game 4: Panthers at Lightning at 12:30 p.m. EDT on CNBC
Game 4: Penguins at Islanders at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC
Game 2: Canadiens at Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. EDT on CNBC
Game 4: Golden Knights at Wild at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC
Camping World Truck Series Toyota Tundra 225 at 1 p.m. EDT on FS1
Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at 4 p.m. EDT on FS1
White Sox at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Astros at Rangers at 4:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Twins at Indians at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Cubs at Cardinals at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Red Sox at Phillies at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Dodgers at Giants at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Athletics at Angels at 10:07 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Game 1: Heat at Bucks at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Game 1: Mavericks at Clippers at 4:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Game 1: Celtics at Nets at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC
Game 1: Blazers at Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
PGA Championship: Fourth round from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN, from 1 to 7 p.m. EDT on CBS; Live stream from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Game 1: Wizards at 76ers at 1 p.m. EDT on TNT
Game 1: Lakers at Suns at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC
Game 1: Hawks at Knicks at 7 p.m. EDT on TNT
Game 1: Warriors/Grizzlies at Jazz at 9:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
White Sox at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Red Sox at Phillies at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Cubs at Cardinals at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at 2:30 p.m. EDT on FS1
Game 4: Hurricanes at Predators at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 4: Avalanche at Blues at 5 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 5: Bruins at Capitals at 7 p.m. EDT on USA
Game 3: Oilers at Jets at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Serie A: Juventus vs. Bologna at 2:45 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Atlanta at Seattle at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Fox
MLS: Philadelphia at D.C. United at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Austin at Nashville at 9 p.m. EDT on FS1