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The Boston Celtics say forward Gordon Hayward had surgery to
remove a plate and screws in his broken left leg and will be ready to start next

Hayward missed almost the entire season after breaking his leg in the first
quarter of the season opener. The Celtics went on to reach Game 7 of the Eastern
Conference finals before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The team says his leg and ankle are sound Youth Jacksonville Jaguars
, but the plate and screws that were implanted to help the
injury heal were irritating his tendons. He is scheduled to resume basketball
activities in six to eight weeks and be ready for training camp.

Also Wednesday: the Celtics said center Aron Baynes had successful surgery to
repair a nasal fracture he sustained during Game 6 of the Cleveland series. He
is expected to be back on the court in two to four weeks.

Three straight
overtime finishes to start the postseason? No problem.

That’s what the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals were saying
after Tuesday night’s double- OT game, one that finally ended when the puck
pinballed around the front of the net, hitting Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski
and the Capitals’ Lars Eller before squirting past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

”Real ugly” was how Eller put it afterward.

But it was a win, one that Washington badly needed after losing two straight
overtime games at home. The Capitals needed 89 minutes to win Game 3, the
longest game in Blue Jackets history and one played in front of the largest
hockey crowd ever at Nationwide Arena.

Of the first 26 games of the NHL playoffs, there have been four overtime
games in all, with three of them in this series (Vegas and Los Angeles also had
a double OT game during the Golden Knights‘ sweep). It is the sixth time in
playoff history that the first three games of a series went to OT.

Care to make it four?

The two teams go at it again on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. EDT, USA) with
Columbus looking to take a 3-1 lead. Despite the extra hockey and nail-biting
drama, nobody is feeling the burn. At least not that they’re saying.

”I didn’t see any guys dying out there Kendall
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,” Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. ”I think
we’re in really good condition for this time of year. I don’t think any guys
worried about that.”

Washington coach Barry Trotz said his team is accustomed to managing overtime
games and then coming back. It all builds character, he said.

”The playoffs are a test of will, even if it’s not overtime,” he said. ”What
I think overtime makes you do is concentrate when you’re tired. You have to be
in that moment. You can’t cut that corners, you can’t do that fly-by when you’re
really tired, you can’t cheat because those are the times the puck ends up in
the back of your net.”

Columbus coach John Tortorella said he thinks his guys are fine.

”I’ll tell you right now, if we’re fatigued three games in, holy crap,” he
said. ”We’re just starting. It was a long game last night and we’ve had some
overtime games Cheap DJ Moore
, but that’s all part of it. You just can’t be tired. I
don’t even think you can start talking about fatigue until you’re in a couple of
rounds from now.”


After recording 20 points in the first two games against the Maple Leafs, the
Boston line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron was held
scoreless in Game 3. The Bruins are counting on their production to return for
Game 4 in Toronto on Thursday night.

”I thought our top line was fine for the most part, they just didn’t finish,”
coach Bruce Cassidy said after the 4-2 loss that cut Boston’s lead in the series
to 2-1. ”They (the Maple Leafs) were determined to keep them off the score
sheet, and they did.”

While the Leafs had bad luck in the first two games – though that wasn’t
their only problem, as the combined 12-4 score could attest – in Game 3 it was
Pastrnak who hit the post on one shot and then Toronto’s Frederik Andersen made
great saves on two others, first with his glove and then with his stick.

After two games, four Bruins led the NHL in postseason scoring – Pastrnak (4
goals Cheap
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, 5 assists), Marchand (1, 5), Bergeron (0, 5),
plus defenseman Torey Krug (0, 5). Pastrnak’s nine points still led the league
heading into Wednesday night’s games.


Cassidy took issue with a penalty call he says NHL officials made on a hunch
in a 4-2 loss to Toronto in Game 3.

Bruins forward Riley Nash was handed a delay of game penalty for clearing the
puck over the glass on Monday. But the puck touched the glass before entering
the crowd, which would negate the minor penalty, and officials missed it. Nash
was sent to the box at 16:58 of the first period.

Seven seconds later Authentic
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, James van Riemsdyk scored to put Toronto
ahead 1-0. It was the first time in the series the Leafs scored first.

Cassidy, whose team leads the series 2-1, spoke to the officials at the
beginning of the second period and wanted to know who of the four (two referees,
two linesmen) decided to give Nash the two-minute penalty.

”My question was: who made the call? There’s no call immediately,” he said.
”When a referee makes a call you kind of live with it because it’s decisive. So
now they get together and I assume they want to make the right call, that’s the
idea, but to me they got together and clearly they guessed because it hit the
glass and we saw that. I think you’re kind of innocent until proven guilty.”

Game 4 is Thursday at Air Canada Centre (7 p.m. EDT, NBCSN).

AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed to this report.


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