The quest for Stanley starts tonight

NHL: The NHL playoffs kick off tonight with 10 teams beginning their quests for the hallowed Stanley Cup. Find out everything you need to know about tonight's matchups here.

NBA: The East-leading Bulls' regular season ends tonight against the Nets at 8 p.m. Tuesday night's win over the Knicks put the Bulls into a tie with the Spurs for the best record in the league. A win tonight and a San Antonio loss to the Suns (10:30 p.m.) would give Chicago home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. ... If the Mavericks can beat the Hornets tonight (8 p.m., ESPN), they've got a chance at the second seed in the West. The Lakers would need to lose in Sacramento (10:30 p.m.) in order for Dallas to move ahead of them. The Mavs could fall as far as the fourth seed if they lose and the Thunder beat the Bucks. ... The Knicks visit the Celtics at 8 p.m. in a preview of the opening round of the playoffs -- though both teams are likely to rest their stars and avoid giving away any secrets. No matter the outcome, the two will meet again this weekend. Same stadium, totally different stakes.

MLB: Fifteen baseball games are on the schedule tonight. Here are just a few we'll be keeping an eye on ... After a solid 9-2 start, the Rangers will have to go the next six to eight weeks without star slugger Josh Hamilton, who fractured his arm in Tuesday's loss to the Tigers. Because of Saturday's double-header, Dave Bush, who made the Texas roster as a long reliever, will make his first appearance of the season as a starter in the Rangers' series finale with Detroit today at 1:05 p.m. ... At 6:35 p.m., the 8-3 Reds look to sweep the 4-6 Padres for the first time at Petco Park since 2005. ... The first two games in the three-game set between the White Sox and the A's ended on game-winning 10th-inning home runs. We'll be watching to see if today's 2:10 p.m. finale will have the same late-game dramatics. ... The Rockies can start their season 8-2 for the first time ever with a win over the Mets at 7:10 p.m. tonight. ... Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano looks for a career-best 10th consecutive win when he takes the mound against the Astros at 8:05 p.m.

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