Knicks Defeat Bulls in Thrilling Overtime Contest
Hosting reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks came out just ahead, 100-99 in overtime.
Yet again, Carmelo Anthony showed why he is one of the league's most dangerous scorers. He set a new season high with 43 points, including a game-tying 3-point shot at the end of regulation and the game-winning 3-pointer near the end of overtime.
Rose scored 29 points for the Bulls, including 22 in the second half, but missed a shot at the end of overtime that would have given Chicago the victory.
The Knicks (27-25) will head to Chicago Tuesday night for a rematch with the Bulls, then face the Bucks in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Islanders End Season With 7-3 Loss
The New York Islanders saw their season come to a close in Columbus Saturday with a 7-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.
The game was close through the middle of the second period, as Kyle Okposo's goal put the Isles on the short end of a 3-2 score. However, the Blue Jackets scored four straight to take a commanding lead.
The Islanders (34-37-11) finished the season with 79 points, good for fifth place in a very strong Atlantic division.
Despite their place in the standings, there were encouraging signs for the Islanders in the 2011-12 season. John Tavares emerged as a legitimate star, finishing in the top 10 in the NHL with 81 points.
With PA Parenteau and Matt Moulson joining Tavares to form a potent offense, and with veteran goaltender Evgeni Nabokov returning for the 2012-13 season, Islanders fans have reason for hope.
Rangers Lose Final Contest
The Washington Capitals played spoiler for the New York Rangers Saturday night, scoring three times in the first period to doom New York's shot at the Presidents' Trophy.
Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring in the game's first minute, and three other Capitals scored before Brian Boyle finally put the Rangers on the board midway through the second period.
New York (51-24-7) finished the season with 109 points, good for first place in the East and second overall behind West-leading Vancouver. They are guaranteed home ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Rangers will host the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, with Game One scheduled for Thursday night.
Mets Undefeated to Start 2012 Season
After winning Thursday night's home opener, the New York Mets went on to sweep the Atlanta Braves and defeated the Washington Nationals in the first contest of a three-game series.
Strong starting pitching has been the story thus far for the Mets, who won Saturday thanks to a quality outing from right-hander R.A. Dickey. The knuckleball specialist held the Braves to two runs in six innings. Lucas Duda and David Wright combined to hit three home runs.
The next day, left-hander Jon Niese went six innings without allowing a hit to the Braves. No Mets pitcher has ever completed a no-hitter.
Niese ultimately lost the no-hit bid in the seventh inning and gave way to the bullpen, but relievers Manny Acosta, Tim Byrdak and Frank Francisco finished off the 7-5 victory.
Monday night, the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals on the strength of a walk-off single from second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Mike Pelfrey gave New York (4-0) another strong start, giving up 10 hits but allowing just three earned runs. Jon Rauch, who pitched the final two innings, earned the win.
The Mets will face Washington again Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, with the latter game featuring Johan Santana against Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.
Yankees Start Season 0-3, Defeat Orioles
The New York Yankees endured one of their most frustrating starts in recent memory, dropping three straight contests to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays opened up early against left-hander CC Sabathia in the first game, as Carlos Pena belted a first-inning grand slam. In the ninth, he drilled another home run off closer Mariano Rivera (0-1) to give Tampa Bay a walk-off win.
The next day, the Rays ruined Hiroki Kuroda's Yankees debut, scoring six runs in the first six innings. Nick Swisher's ninth-inning home run brought the Yankees within striking distance, but Rays reliever Fernando Rodney finished them off by inducing an Alex Rodriguez ground out.
After two straight high-scoring games, pitching was the story on Easter Sunday as the Yankees ran into a nearly unhittable Jeremy Hellickson. The young right-hander hurled 8 2/3 shutout innings, and Rodney again finished off the Yankees for his second save of the season.
On Monday, the Yankees finally secured their first win of the season against the Baltimore Orioles. Second-year started Ivan Nova (1-0) pitched seven innings and held the Orioles to two runs.Derek Jeter's four-hit night helped New York (1-3) to a 6-2 victory.
The last time the Yankees started a season 0-3, they went on to win 114 games and the 1998 World Series. Fans hope for a similar outcome in 2012.
Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees against Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on Tuesday.