This weekend’s sporting events include Wimbledon 2021, the Stanley Cup Final, and the NBA playoffs. Two NASCAR races in Wisconsin, as well as hundreds of soccer and MLB regular-season events, round out the holiday weekend schedule.
The finest sports action takes place in Montreal and Tampa, Fla., with the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning competing for hockey’s highest prise: the Stanley Cup.
The Lightning are the defending champions and heavy favourites to win the championship. The Canadiens have an NHL-record 24 championships, but they must overcome a 2-0 series disadvantage to end Canada’s 28-year Stanley Cup drought.
“This series is still a long way from being over,” Canadiens center Eric Staal told reporters Thursday. “You feel good with a 2-0 lead, but it’s a race to four wins.”
Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is at 8 p.m. EDT Friday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The series, which airs on NBC, continues with Game 4 on Monday in Montreal.
Veteran right wing Nikita Kucherov, who missed the regular season due to injury, leads the NHL with 30 postseason points and sparks the Lightning attack. The Lightning beat Canadiens goaltender Carey Price for eight goals though the first two games of the series.
Lightning right wing Blake Coleman scored the go-ahead goal in Game 2 with a diving slapshot past Price as the horn sounded to end the second-period.
“It was just one goal,” Coleman told reporters Wednesday. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us. We will put that game behind us. It’s time to move forward.”
Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevsky pushed his series save total to 60 with 42 stops in Game 2.
“He has been the absolute competitive gamer we know him as,” Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh told reporters Wednesday. “He is the backbone of this team. … He is an absolute warrior and competitor.”
The world’s best tennis players continue grass court play in the third Grand Slam of the season this weekend at Wimbledon 2021 in London.
Americans Serena Williams and Sofia Kenin exited early and Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Japan’s Naomi Osaka opted out of participation, but several elite tennis stars are still active at the All England Club.
Wimbledon action airs through July 11 on ESPN and ESPN2. The third round airs Friday and Saturday. The round of 16 starts Monday. The women’s final is July 10 and the men’s final is July 11.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, No. 7 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, No. 11 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, No. 12 Denis Shapovalov of Canada and Great Britain’s Andy Murray are among the top men’s players in action Friday.
Djokovic battles American Denis Kudla in his third-round match. Americans Frances Tiafoe and Sebastian Korda also advanced to the third round.
Madison Keys, Madison Brengle, Shelby Rogers and Sloane Stephens are among the American women who advanced to Friday’s second-round slate.
No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, No. 9 Iga Swiatek of Poland, No. 12 Garbine Muguruza of Spain and No. 13 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic are among the top women’s players with Friday matches.
No. 1 Ash Barty of Australia. No. 14 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and No. 23 Cori “Coco” Gauff, of the United States, are among the top women in action Saturday in London.
No. 8 Roger Federer of Switzerland, No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, No. 6 Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 9 Matteo Berrettini of Italy are the top men in action Saturday.
The Phoenix Suns punched their ticket to the 2021 NBA Finals with a Game 6 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
They now have to wait until the end of the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks series to find out who their opponent will be in the title series.
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals is at 8:30 p.m. EDT Saturday in Atlanta. Game 7, if necessary, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. EDT Monday in Milwaukee. The series airs on TNT.
The best-of-seven NBA Finals start July 8.
Wimbledon: Third round from 6 to 11:30 a.m. EDT on ESPN, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN2
Euro 2020: Switzerland vs. Spain at noon EDT on ESPN
Euro 2020: Belgium vs. Italy at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Copa America: Peru vs. Paraguay at 5 p.m. EDT on FS1
Copa America: Brazil vs. Chile at 8 p.m. EDT on FS1
Dodgers at Nationals at 7:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Mets at Yankees at 7:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Stanley Cup Final
Game 3: Lightning at Canadiens at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC
Wimbledon: Third round from 8 to 11:30 a.m. EDT on ESPN, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN2, 2 to 5 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Euro 2020: Czech Republic vs. Denmark at noon EDT on ESPN
Euro 2020: Ukraine vs. England at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC
MLS: New England at Columbus at 5 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Copa America: Uruguay vs. Colombia at 6 p.m. EDT on FS2
MLS: Miami at Montreal at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: New York Red Bulls at Orlando at 7:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Atlanta at Chicago at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: San Jose at Minnesota at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Philadelphia at Nashville at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Cincinnati at Houston at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Copa America: Argentina vs. Ecuador at 9 p.m. EDT on FS1
MLS: LAFC at Salt Lake at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Mets at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Padres at Phillies at 4:05 p.m. EDT on FS1
Red Sox at Athletics at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Dodgers at Nationals at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Astros at Indians at 7:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Giants at Diamondbacks at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Rangers at Mariners at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Xfinity Series Henry 180 at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBC
NBA Eastern Conference Finals
Game 6: Bucks at Hawks at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
Dodgers at Nationals at 11:05 a.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Padres at Phillies at 1:05 p.m. EDT on TBS
Red Sox at Athletics at 4:07 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Orioles at Angels at 4:07 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Mets at Yankees at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Cup Series Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBC
MLS: Vancouver at Dallas at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Seattle at Colorado at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
MLS: Kansas City at Los Angeles Galaxy at 10:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+