April 14th, 2010
12:15 PM ET

Sports Update: Stanley Cup playoffs begin

Sidney Crosby will lead the Penguins as they try to defend their Stanley Cup win.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way Wednesday with a four-game slate, while the NBA’s regular season closes down for the year. Baseball, soccer and tennis fill out the rest of the sporting docket (all times Eastern).

– Monte-Carlo Masters (6 a.m., Tennis Channel): Early-round coverage from Monte-Carlo, the first of three ATP Masters Series events played on clay courts, is already under way. Five-time defending champions Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are among the big names in action today. If you can’t watch it live, Tennis Channel airs a replay at 6 p.m.

– Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal (3 p.m., ESPN2):
The always-heated North London derby has been a one-sided affair in recent years, with Spurs going winless against the Gunners over the past decade. But Tottenham’s hopes for a spot in next year’s Champions League may depend on the club’s first Premier League victory over Arsenal since a 2-1 triumph at White Hart Lane in November 1999.

– Senators vs. Penguins (7 p.m., Versus): The Pens begin their defense of the Stanley Cup with Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal clash with Ottawa. Familiarity breeds contempt with these sides, who have been first-round opponents in three of the past four postseasons.

– Astros vs. Cardinals (8:15 p.m., ESPN2):
This rematch of the 2005 National League Championships Series pits first-place St. Louis against cellar-dwelling Houston, the last remaining winless team in Major League Baseball. Brad Penny takes the mound for the Cards, while Brett Myers tries to right the ship for the slumping ‘Stros.

– Suns vs. Jazz (10:30 p.m., ESPN):
Utah hosts Phoenix in the regular-season finale for both squads, who bring identical records of 53-28 into the meeting. The Jazz can lock down home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a victory.

By The Numbers

– 1,460 – Number of consecutive days 12-year-old Eric Matecun of Michigan has worn a Detroit Pistons jersey, a streak expected to end Wednesday.

– $120,000,000 – Amount of money a high school in a wealthy northern suburb of Dallas is spending on an 18,000-seat football stadium.

– 27 –
Total number of victories by the Edmonton Oilers, who drew the No. 1 overall pickin Tuesday’s NHL draft lottery. The Alberta franchise became the third team in three years to finish with the league’s lowest point total and win the lottery.

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