NHL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)Nikita Kucherov scored on a breakaway and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 33 saves, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the New York Rangers 4-1 and even the NHL’s Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.

Kucherov took a pass from Ondrej Palat in the middle of the ice and skated in on goaltender Igor Shesterkin to give the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions a two-goal lead just over 13 minutes into the second period.

Pat Maroon, Steven Stamkos and Palat also scored for the Lightning, who have rebounded from losing the first two games of the series on the road to keep their bid to become the first team in nearly 40 years to win three consecutive Stanley Cup titles alive.

Game 5 is Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers won Games 1 and 2 and are 8-1 this postseason.

NFL

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – The Waltons, heirs to the Walmart fortune and America’s richest family, have won the bidding to purchase the Denver Broncos in the most expensive deal for a sports franchise anywhere in the world.

The Broncos announced late Tuesday night they had entered into a sale agreement with the Walton-Penner ownership group led by Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner.

Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed, but KUSA-TV in Denver reported it was for $4.65 billion.

The price tag far surpasses the $3.1 billion sale last month of Chelsea, one of European soccer’s blue ribbon teams, to an American-led consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.

Boehly reportedly was among the investors with one of the five finalists who were invited to make bids for the Broncos by Monday’s deadline.

The agreement for the Walmart-Penner group to buy the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust must be approved by the NFL, but that is considered a formality.

BASEBALL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Angels matched a franchise record with their 13th straight defeat hours after firing manager Joe Maddon, falling 6-5 to the streaking Boston Red Sox on Christian Vazquez’s go-ahead single in the 10th inning.

Interim boss Phil Nevin lost his managerial debut and Angels star Mike Trout exited with left groin tightness as Los Angeles tied the franchise mark for its longest skid set in 1988-89.

Boston won its sixth straight with a 15-hit effort, including two from Vazquez. Bobby Dalbec had two RBIs.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Angels fired manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday with the team mired in a 12-game losing streak.

Third base coach Phil Nevin was the interim manager when the Angels faced Boston on Tuesday night.

The 68-year-old Maddon went 130-148 with the Angels, who hired him before the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season for his self-described dream job. Maddon spent three decades of his career as a player and coach for the Angels before going on to an impressive managerial career that has included three Manager of the Year awards.

After finishing with losing records in Maddon’s first two seasons, the Angels were off to a strong 27-17 start this year before their current losing streak began. They began the day 8 1/2 games behind Houston for the AL West lead after being in first place on May 15.

The Angels were shut out 1-0 in Maddon’s final game by the Boston Red Sox and journeyman starter Michael Wacha, who threw a three-hitter against the Halos’ star-studded lineup Monday night.

GOLF

ST. ALBANS, England (AP) – Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson has resigned his PGA Tour membership to participate in the new golf series backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

The first LIV Golf Invitational, which offers $25 million in prize money, is taking place outside London starting Thursday.

Johnson said he ”had to think long and hard” about leaving the PGA Tour, seemingly ending his hopes of competing in the Ryder Cup for the United States.

Johnson, whose last victory was the Saudi International in 2021, is No. 15 in the world, the highest-ranked player in the field. He has held the No. 1 spot in the world longer than any player since Tiger Woods.

NEW YORK (AP) – Tiger Woods withdrew from the U.S. Open, saying that his damaged right leg needs more time to get stronger to contend in the majors.

Woods made a surprise return at the Masters, just 14 months after he broke bones in his right leg and ankle in a February 2021 car crash outside Los Angeles. He made the cut at Augusta National, then played the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Even though he made another cut, Woods was limping badly on Saturday and withdrew after the third round, the first time he had withdrawn on the weekend at a major.

Woods posted Tuesday on social media, ”My body needs more time to get stronger for major championship golf.”

He said he hopes to be ready to play in a charity pro-am event in Ireland ahead of the British Open at St. Andrews, where he won two of his three claret jugs.

This will be the sixth time in the last 12 years Woods does not play the U.S. Open, which he has won three times, most recently at Torrey Pines in 2008. He last played in 2020 at Winged Foot and missed the cut.