Category Archives: Sports

Detroit Red Wings at NY Islanders

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The Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders meet Monday night at the Barclays Center.

The Detroit Red Wings look for consistency after splitting their last eight games. The Detroit Red Wings are averaging 2.4 goals per game and are scoring on 17.1 percent of their power plays. Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 15 goals, Henrik Zetterberg has 23 assists and Tomas Tatar has 102 shots on goal. Defensively, the Detroit Red Wings are allowing 2.5 goals per game and are killing 80.6 percent of their power play chances. Petr Mrazek has allowed 62 goals on 913 shots faced and Jimmy Howard has given up 49 goals on 531 shots. Mrazek has allowed three goals in his last three games.

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The New York Islanders look for a victory after winning six of their last 10 games. The New York Islanders are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 17.8 percent of their power plays. Brock Nelson leads New York with 18 goals, Kyle Okposo has 23 assists and John Tavares has 136 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Islanders are allowing 2.4 goals per game and are killing 87.9 percent of their power play chances. Jaroslav Halak has allowed 52 goals on 690 shots faced and Thomas Greiss has given up 47 goals on 648 shots. Halak has allowed four goals in his last three games.

The Red Wings are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record and 6-1 in their last 7 road games. The Islanders are 9-4 in their last 13 home games and 14-3 in their last 17 Monday games. The Red Wings are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in New York and 2-8 in the last 10 meetings overall.

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Minnesota Timberwolves at Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly didn’t benefit from any bump in performance in their first game under Tyronn Lue, who says it might take some time to implement his vision for an up-tempo offense.

Things are likely to come easier against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Looking to give Lue his first coaching victory, the Cavaliers hope to avoid dropping consecutive home games for the first time in a year Monday night while dealing the Timberwolves their ninth consecutive road defeat.

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Cleveland (30-12) is 24-6 in its last 30 regular season games against Western Conference opponents (10-5 this season). The Wine and Gold have also won 12 of their last 13 regular season games over the West at The Q.

Minnesota (14-31) is trying to win consecutive games for only the second time since late November following Saturday’s 106-101 home win over the Memphis Grizzlies. In the victory, Shabazz Muhammed bucketed a season-high 25 points and Andrew Wiggins added 19 points.

Last game: The Cavs came up flat in Lue’s debut, losing to the Chicago Bulls 96-83 on Saturday at The Q.

Cavaliers’ probable starting lineup: 6-3 Kyrie Irving (15.8 ppg, 3.8 apg), 6-6 J.R. Smith (12.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 39% 3-pt range), 6-8 LeBron James (25.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.2 apg), 6-10 Kevin Love (15.6 ppg, 10.9 rpg) and 7-2 Timofey Mozgov (6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg).

Timberwolves’ probable starting lineup: 6-4 Ricky Rubio (9.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 8.6 apg), 6-8 Andrew Wiggins (20.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg), 6-9 Tayshaun Prince (3.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg), 6-11 Kevin Garnett (3.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and 7-0 Karl-Anthony Towns (15.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg).

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New England Patriots at Denver Broncos

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Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 3:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver

This season’s AFC championship game looks very familiar, with the New England Patriots battling it out with the Denver Broncos. These two teams are the best when it comes to quarterback power — Tom Brady of the Pats and Peyton Manning of the Broncos. And what’s even more interesting is that these two American football greats will be facing each other in a rather colorful rivalry spanning more than a decade.

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This matchup will be a little different, however. Peyton Manning, not Brock Osweiler, will be the Broncos’ quarterback, and the Patriots will have receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and tight end Rob Gronkowski back and healthy. Jamie Collins, who injured his back Saturday against the Chiefs, also could play after missing the regular-season matchup. The Patriots lost Hightower and Gronkowski to injuries during the game earlier this season before the Broncos won in overtime. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s receivers were Brandon LaFell, Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper (yikes) with Edelman and Amendola out with injuries

The New England Patriots hope to clinch their third Super Bowl appearance since the 2011 season. Tom Brady is completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Brady has three touchdown passes in his last three games. Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski have combined for 183 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Keshawn Martin has two receptions. The New England Patriots ground game is averaging 38 yards per contest, and Steven Jackson leads the way with 16 yards on six carries. Defensively, New England is allowing 20 points and 378 yards per game. Patrick Chung leads the Patriots with nine tackles, Chandler Jones has a sack and Dont’a Hightower has a pass deflection.

The Denver Broncos look to reach their second Super Bowl in the last three seasons. Peyton Manning is completing 56.8 percent of his passes for 222 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Manning has two touchdown passes in his last five games. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas have combined for 125 receiving yards while Bennie Fowler has two receptions. The Denver Broncos ground game is averaging 109 yards per contest, and C.J. Anderson leads the way with 72 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Denver is allowing 16 points and 396 yards per game. Danny Trevathan leads the Broncos with nine tackles, Derek Wolfe has one sack and Aqib Talib has two pass deflections.

The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win. The Broncos are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 home games and 3-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Patriots are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings in Denver and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 meetings overall.

The Broncos defense is good enough to keep them in this game, but Manning is less than a shell of himself. The Broncos struggle to run the football and have a quarterback who can’t throw the ball like he used to. Brady has his weapons back, and the Pats are back to being that scary football team that’s hard to stop

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Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

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While everyone is focused on the other conference championship featuring the rivalry of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, the NFC title game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers has what it takes to grab the spotlight this Sunday.

The Panthers have been superb defensively all season long, and when that defense is tested by one of the league’s best offenses from the Cardinals, it’s a kind of game that shouldn’t be missed.

The Arizona Cardinals hope to reach their first Super Bowl since the 2008 season. Carson Palmer is completing 61 percent of his passes for 349 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Palmer has six touchdown passes in his last three games. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown have combined for 258 receiving yards and one touchdown while Michael Floyd has three receptions. The Arizona Cardinals ground game is averaging 40 yards per contest, and David Johnson leads the way with 35 yards on 15 carries. Defensively, Arizona is allowing 20 points and 386 yards per game. Tony Jefferson leads the Cardinals with nine tackles, Dwight Freeney has one sack and Jerraud Powers has two pass deflections.

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The Carolina Panthers look for their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2003 season. Cam Newton is completing 72.7 percent of his passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Newton has three touchdown passes in his last three games. Greg Olsen and Jerricho Cotchery have combined for 99 receiving yards and one touchdown while Ed Dickson has two receptions. The Carolina Panthers ground game is averaging 144 yards per contest, and Jonathan Stewart leads the way with 106 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Carolina is allowing 24 points and 403 yards per game. Luke Kuechly leads the Panthers with 11 tackles, Josh Norman has a sack and Robert McClain has one pass deflection. Foswhitt Whittaker is questionable and Jared Allen is doubtful.

The Arizona Cardinals struggled to run the ball well against the Green Bay Packers in their playoff game last week. It is fair to ask if they will be able to do anything against Carolina, considering their defense. Center Lyle Sendlein knows they have to do better.

He was asked if Green Bay really stacked the box against them in their game on Saturday. Sendlein said “not really.”

“We should have had a little more success in the run game against Green Bay,” he explained. “We have things in the game plan for when they do stack the box, and we still didn’t execute so it’s something if we want to keep playing, we’ve got to improve our run game.”

And they have themselves a challenge in Carolina, where the Panthers are the league’s fourth-best defense against the rush.

“We see them as the best defense in the league,” Sendlein said. “Their front seven is something special, so we’ll have our challenges this week.”

Head coach Bruce Arians indicated they don’t need to run the ball to take the pressure off the passing game, “because that’s who we are on offense,” but they need to do it more effectively

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Los Angeles Clippers at Cleveland Cavaliers

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will begin their four-game homestand on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.

The Cavaliers have already lost to the top two Western Conference teams over the past week, getting routed 132-98 by the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors as 3.5-point home favorites on Monday.

The Clippers currently sit in the fourth spot in the West and saw their season-high 10-game winning streak come to an end with a 110-103 loss to the Sacramento Kings as four-point home favorites last Saturday.

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It’s the second game in as many night for the Cavaliers (29-11), who beat the Brooklyn Nets, 91-78, on Wednesday night.

In the win, Kevin Love bounced back from his worst game of the year, scoring 17 points and grabbing 18 rebounds. LeBron James chipped in with 17 as well. Timofey Mozgov made his third straight start, getting the nod over Tristan Thompson in an attempt to combat the size of Brook Lopez. Mozgov scored 11 points.

Los Angeles (27-14) has won 11 of 12, including a 140-132 overtime win against the Houston Rockets. The Clippers’ quality stretch has coincided with Blake Griffin’s absence. The power forward is expected to miss his 12th straight game with a partially torn left quad.

Point guard Chris Paul has elevated his play with Griffin sidelined. Paul is averaging 18.2 points and 9.6 assists, which ranks fourth in the NBA.

This will be the first meeting between Los Angeles and Cleveland this season, with the latter sweeping two games last year. The Clippers are just 3-14 SU and 4-13 ATS in the past 17 meetings dating back to 2007, with the under cashing in four of the last five.

The Cavs have not performed particularly well when playing the second game of a back-to-back lately, going 3-3 SU and 1-4-1 ATS in their previous six.

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San Jose Sharks at Arizona Coyotes

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The San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes square off Thursday night at the Gila River Arena.

The San Jose Sharks look to stay hot after winning six of their last nine games. The San Jose Sharks are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 21.2 percent of their power plays. Joe Pavelski leads San Jose with 22 goals, Brent Burns has 23 assists and Patrick Marleau has 113 shots on goal. Defensively, the San Jose Sharks are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 79.5 percent of their power play chances. Martin Jones has allowed 83 goals on 960 shots faced and Alex Stalock has given up 28 goals on 263 shots. Jones has allowed eight goals in his last three games.

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The Arizona Coyotes look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Arizona Coyotes are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 18.6 percent of their power plays. Shane Doan leads Arizona with 16 goals, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has 20 assists and Max Domi has 82 shots on goal. Defensively, the Arizona Coyotes are allowing three goals per game and are killing 76.4 percent of their power play chances. Mike Smith has allowed 59 goals on 598 shots faced and Anders Lindback has given up 41 goals on 380 shots. Lindback has allowed six goals in his last three games.

The Sharks are 1-5 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest and 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference. The Coyotes are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 2 days rest and 12-40 in their last 52 vs. a team with a winning record. The Sharks are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Arizona and 5-2 in the last 7 meetings overall. 

Keys to the Game

Mitigate the Top Line – San Jose’s top line has always been incredibly effective. Even if the Coyotes can’t completely stop them, they need to win the other matchups that might be more favorable to them.

Don’t Lose Your Head – There were a lot of fireworks at the end of Monday night’s affair against the Buffalo Sabres. Nobody appears to have earned supplemental discipline, but the Coyotes are almost certainly on notice. They have to make sure their emotions don’t get the better of them.

Keep Working Early On – Arizona has done a very good job in the past few games of being aggressive early and taking shots. Even if it’s not leading to success right now, the goals will come if they keep pressing.

Injury Report

San Jose’s lone injury is Dainius Zubris, who is nonetheless considered probable for tonight’s game.

Arizona is still only missing Mike Smith and Joe Vitale, who are both on injured reserve.

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Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche

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Buffalo Sabres (19-23-4) at
Colorado Avalanche (23-21-3)
Puck Drop: 10:00 pm EST | Pepsi Center | Denver, CO

The Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche meet Wednesday at the Pepsi Center.

Ryan O’Reilly makes his return to the Mile High City as the Buffalo Sabres seek a season high-tying third straight victory when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. O’Reilly has recorded team highs of 17 goals and 39 points in his first campaign with Buffalo, which acquired the center – along with left wing Jamie McGinn – from Colorado in a five-player trade over the summer after he spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Avalanche.

“It feels like forever ago that I was here,” O’Reilly told the Avalanche’s website. “It’s an exciting experience and I’m looking forward to it.” The 24-year-old, who already has matched his 2014-15 total in tallies, has notched a point in six of his last seven contests but enters with a five-game goal-scoring drought. Colorado is coming off a two-game trek during which it split a pair of 2-1 decisions but has won four of its last five at home. The Avalanche swept the two-game series last season, outscoring the Sabres 10-4 in the process.

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The Buffalo Sabres need a nice win after losing six of their last 10 games. The Buffalo Sabres are averaging 2.3 goals per game and are scoring on 20.4 percent of their power plays. Ryan O’Reilly leads Buffalo with 17 goals, Jack Eichel has 15 assists and Sam Reinhart has 93 shots on goal. Defensively, the Buffalo Sabres are allowing 2.6 goals per game and are killing 79.3 percent of their power play chances. Chad Johnson has allowed 63 goals on 789 shots faced and Linus Ullmark has given up 46 goals on 541 shots. Johnson has allowed four goals in his last three games.
The Colorado Avalanche look for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Colorado Avalanche are averaging 2.8 goals per game and are scoring on 20.9 percent of their power plays. Matt Duchene leads Colorado with 22 goals, Nathan MacKinnon has 23 assists and Jarome Iginla has 110 shots on goal. Defensively, the Colorado Avalanche are allowing 2.8 goals per game and are killing 80.5 percent of their power play chances. Semyon Varlamov has allowed 83 goals on 939 shots faced and Reto Berra has given up 29 goals on 374 shots. Varlamov has allowed nine goals in his last three games.
OVERTIME

  1. The Sabres have won four of their last five overall games and two straight on the road.
  2. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has gone five games without a goal and has registered only three in his last 22 contests.
  3. O’Reilly also leads Buffalo with seven power-play goals after totaling two in 82 games with Colorado last season.

 

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Detroit Pistons at Houston Rockets

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Detroit Pistons (22-19) vs. Houston Rockets (22-21)
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Toyota Center.

These two teams have similar records and are both the seventh seeds in their respective conferences, but have taken different routes to get there. The Pistons are trying to end the longest playoff drought in the Eastern Conference and are taking their lumps (Monday’s loss to Chicago) while making an impact on the national scene (Saturday’s win over Golden State). The Rockets were in the Western Conference finals a season ago, but stumbled out of the gate and head coach Kevin McHale paid for it with his job. James Harden, Dwight Howard and crew have since rebounded.

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The 140 points scored by the Clippers on Monday were the most the Rockets have allowed since the Mavericks scored 156 in April, 1995. … The Rockets are 6-9 against Eastern Conference teams after going 23-7 last season. … After scoring a season-low 77 points against the Cavaliers, the Rockets averaged 122 in back-to-back games against the Lakers and Clippers. … Guard Pat Beverley left Monday’s game with soreness in his sprained left ankle. He had sat out Sunday against the Lakers and missed the only two shots he took against the Clippers. … The Rockets trailed by 28 points against the Pistons in November, cutting the lead to as few as four points before the Pistons pulled away for a 116-105 win.

The Pistons have lost 3 of their past 4 games and are 8-12 on the road. … They rank 28th in field goal percentage and 30th in free throw percentage. … The Pistons are ninth in defensive rating, allowing 100.3 points per 100 possessions. … The Pistons starting lineup — Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson — has played nearly 300 minutes more together than any starting lineup in the NBA. Every starter is averaging in double figures.

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Indiana Pacers at Phoenix Suns

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What: Phoenix Suns host Indiana Pacers
When: 7:00pm AZ Time
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix AZ

After beating the Phoenix Suns handily last week, the Pacers have lost three straight games. They come into Phoenix looking to get better, and judging by the team they face the Pacers have a good shot at just that.

Projected Starting Lineups

Pacers:

  • Point Guard: George Hill
  • Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis
  • Small Forward: Paul George
  • Power Forward: Lavoy Allen
  • Center: Jordan Hill

Suns:

  • Point Guard: Brandon Knight
  • Shooting Guard: Devin Booker
  • Small Forward: PJ Tucker
  • Power Forward: Markieff Morris
  • Center: Tyson Chandler

The Pacers have lost four of their last five overall and will be looking to avoid a fourth straight loss after falling to the Nuggets in a 129-126 shootout on Sunday. Myles Turner led the team with a season-high 25 points off the bench, Monta Ellis added 24 points while Paul George had 19, but it still wasn’t enough as the Pacers allowed a season-high 45 points in the fourth quarter which was capped by a game-winning clutch three from the Nuggets’ Randy Foye. With the painful loss, Indiana drops to 22-19 on the season and 9-13 on the road.

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The Suns have lost 13 of their last 14 games and are coming off a horrific 117-87 loss to the Timberwolves. Brandon Knight led the Suns with 20 points, Markieff Morris added 17 points while Devin Booker had 11, but the Suns could do little to slow down the Wolves who shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field. With the loss, Phoenix falls to 13-29 on the season and 4-18 on the road where they’ve lost their last 10 games.

In ATS trends, the Pacers are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall, while the Suns are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 home games and 8-22 ATS in their last 30 games overall.

Injury Report

Indiana: Rodney Stuckey is out, Ian Mahinmi is questionable with his heel injury, and George Hill is questionable with his personal reasons.

Phoenix: Eric Bledsoe (knee) and Ronnie Price (foot) are both out, while Alex Len (hand) is expected to return on Tuesday.

Last Meeting

The Pacers and Suns just played on January 12th, exactly a week from Tuesday. Indiana would wind up winning 116-97 on their home court, as Paul George led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds. The game was close all throughout until the fourth quarter hit. The Pacers were only up four points entering the fourth. The Pacers started off the fourth with a 9-2 run and never looked back.

George Hill had 20 points and five assists, while C.J. Miles had 19 points and eight rebounds. The leading scorers for the Suns wereMirza Teletovic and Devin Booker, each scoring 19 points apiece.

 

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Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets

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The Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets meet Tuesday night at the Nationwide Arena.

In their first eight games of the 2016 calendar year, the Washington Capitals have only lost two games: once against the Blue Jackets in Columbus (more on that later) and once against the Sabres in Buffalo.

The Washington Capitals look to stay hot after winning six of their last seven games. The Washington Capitals are averaging 3.3 goals per game and are scoring on 26.1 percent of their power plays. Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with 27 goals, Evgeny Kuznetsov has 29 assists and Justin Williams has 115 shots on goal. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.1 goals per game and are killing 85.2 percent of their power play chances. Braden Holtby has allowed 71 goals on 1,024 shots faced and Philipp Grubauer has given up 20 goals on 267 shots. Holtby has allowed six goals in his last three games.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets look for some consistency after splitting their last eight games. The Columbus Blue Jackets are averaging 2.5 goals per game and are killing 17.5 percent of their power plays. Brandon Saad leads Columbus with 16 goals, Scott Hartnell has 16 assists and Boone Jenner has 114 shots on goal. Defensively, the Columbus Blue Jackets are allowing 3.2 goals per game and are killing 81.5 percent of their power play chances. Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed 60 goals on 713 shots faced and Curtis McElhinney has given up 39 goals on 349 shots. Bobrovsky has allowed three goals in his last three games.

The Capitals are 8-3 in their last 11 road games and 38-15 in their last 53 overall. The Blue Jackets are 2-6 in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference and 7-15 in their last 22 overall. The home team is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings.

Previous meeting

The Blue Jackets opened the 2016 portion of their campaign against the Capitals on Jan. 2 at Nationwide Arena. It was a crazy game, to say the least, with a lot of adversity for Columbus, but the Jackets found a way to win in a shootout.

Jack Johnson and Brandon Saad each scored twice during regulation to match Washington’s four goals from T.J. Oshie, Jason Chimera, Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Both of Johnson’s goals were scored on the power play, and Saad’s second goal of the night came at 18:52 of the third period to tie the game and push it to overtime.

Columbus goaltender Curtis McElhinney had to leave the game with 4:05 left in overtime when he fell and was unable to return to the game. McElhinney suffered a sprained ankle on the play, was placed on injured reserve on Jan. 4 (out indefinitely).

Backup goaltender Anton Forsberg, on emergency recall, took over netminding duties in a tough spot and stopped six shots in overtime and two of three in the shootout to help the Jackets defeat the Capitals, earning his first NHL win.

The Blue Jackets are 9-10-4 in the all-time series against the Capitals and 4-1-1 in their last six at home, including the aforementioned shootout win on Jan. 2.

 

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