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By Sara Ziegler
We’re getting closer to crowning champions in pro hockey and basketball, while college softball is showcasing the best of its sport. Here’s what I’ll be watching (all times are Eastern):
Who will hoist the Stanley Cup? The Florida Panthers took down the Boston Bruins, who set the N.H.L. record for wins in the regular season, on their way to the finals. The Vegas Golden Knights are back in the finals for the second time in their six-season history. The teams start their battle on Saturday in Las Vegas (8 p.m., TNT).
The Denver Nuggets got a long layoff after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers; the Miami Heat got a much shorter rest after building a 3-0 series lead over the Celtics but then letting Boston force a Game 7. But no matter now: The N.B.A. finals get going in Denver with plenty of star power and interesting story lines. (Game 1, Thursday, 8:30 p.m., ABC; Game 2, Sunday, 8 p.m., ABC).
The Women’s College World Series is taking over Oklahoma City this week, with the familiar softball forces Oklahoma and Oklahoma State feeling right at home. They’re joined by Alabama, Florida State, Stanford, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. The winners from the four opening games on Thursday will meet in two Saturday games (3 p.m., ABC; 7 p.m., ESPN).
Soccer rivals in the Pacific Northwest are facing off in an M.L.S.-N.W.S.L. doubleheader. First up, the Seattle Sounders will host the Portland Timbers (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Fox), before the O.L. Reign (also based in Seattle) take the field to host the Portland Thorns (Saturday, 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
The singles draws get more compelling as the French Open approaches the halfway point. In the women’s third round, the American Jessica Pegula, who is seeded third, will face the 28th-seeded Elise Mertens (Friday, 5:45 a.m., Tennis Channel). On the men’s side, Carlos Alcaraz, the No. 1 seed, should get a strong test from the 26th-seeded Denis Shapovalov (Friday, 2:15 p.m., Tennis Channel).
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