Sports Briefs: May 2, 2014

* In the first round of the newly formatted 2014 NHL Playoffs, three match-ups remain, all with a score of 3-2 in games.  Teams that have already advanced include the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, and most recently the Pittsburgh Penguins.  In the Colorado Avalanche vs.  Minnesota Wild match up, there have been three games in overtime, and each game has been decided by two goals or less.  The New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers matchup is heading to Game 6.  New York is looking to reach the second round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

* In the MLB, each of the New York teams have been towards the top of their respective divisions.  The Yankees are currently sitting atop the AL East by a slim 2.5 games, while the Mets have surprisingly rose up to second in the NL East.  Despite his hitting struggles, newly acquired outfielder and ex-Yankee, Curtis Granderson has hit two walk-offs in the second half of April to help the Mets reach a record of 14-11. The Yankees’ starting pitching, including from rookie sensation Masahiro Tanaka, has helped drive them toward their place in the standings. New additions in the batting for the Yankees, including former Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury and former St. Louis Cardinal Carlos Beltran, have helped bring in runs.

* Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected in the second inning and received a ten game suspension for using pine tar, a foreign and illegal substance, while pitching in a game against the rival Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.

* Excitement has been abundant in the 2014 NBA Playoffs.  Seven games have been in overtime, and there are four match-ups that are tied at two games apiece. The only team that has yet to lose  a game are the reigning champion Miami Heat, who swept the Charlotte Bobcats 4-0 and have moved on. Although the Knicks failed to receive a playoff berth this season, a myriad of former Knicks are playing for their new teams, including Zach Randolph and Beno Udrih of the Memphis Grizzlies, Trevor Ariza of the Washington Wizards, David Lee of the Golden State Warriors, Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers, and  Landry Fields and Steve Novak of the Toronto Raptors.

All stats are as of April 28.