<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Capital Games]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/capital-games http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:38:07 -0400 Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:38:07 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Prince George's Co. High School Celebrates First-Ever NBA Draft Pick]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:22:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/062915+Marcus+Thornton.jpg Bishop McNamara High School in Prince George's County is celebrating after graduate Marcus Thornton was drafted 45th overall by the Boston Celtics. "Overnight success didn't come in one night," Thornton told News4's Carol Maloney. "It's a lot of long summers, long days putting the work in."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[David Aldridge Talks NBA Draft Free Agency With Carol Maloney]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:12:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010997469_1200x675_473238083546.jpg TNT NBA analyst David Aldridge spoke with News4's Carol Maloney about free agency and his predictions for the Washington Wizards.]]> <![CDATA[NBA Dream Comes True for U.Va.'s Justin Anderson]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:18:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/draftpick21.jpg Former Virginia Cavalier and Montrose Christian star Justin Anderson is heading to the NBA. News4’s Carol Maloney was with the Anderson family as Anderson was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft. "I'm just ecstatic right now. So many tears of joy," he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scherzer Pitches No-Hitter, So Close to Perfect Game]]> Sun, 21 Jun 2015 02:52:45 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150620+Scherzer.jpg

Just one strike from a perfect game, Max Scherzer saw it slip away with a misplaced slider. Or, some thought, a misplaced elbow.

Scherzer lost his bid in agonizing fashion, plunking a batter with two outs in the ninth inning before finishing off a no-hitter Saturday in the Washington Nationals' 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A letdown? Yeah, a little.

"I mean there is, just because you're so close, one strike away from a perfect game,'' he said. "But to get a no-hitter in front of these fans, there's nothing better."

Pinch-hitter Jose Tabata was all that stood between Scherzer and pitching's ultimate achievement. Tabata fouled off three 2-2 deliveries, then seemed to slightly drop his left elbow and got nicked.

Scherzer immediately grimaced as the ball ricocheted to the ground. The crowd at Nationals Park seemed stunned, too, and surely many wondered whether Tabata leaned into the 86 mph pitch with his elbow protector to get hit.

"He tried to throw me a slider inside,'' Tabata said. "The slider, no breaking. I stayed right there and it got me."

"That's my job. I got to get on base whatever the situation,'' he said.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos had a different view.

"His elbow was a little bit in the strike zone. That's what I saw in the videos. But it's happened,'' he said.

Scherzer came within one strike of throwing the 22nd perfect game in major league history since 1900.

If anything, Scherzer's teammates seemed to take the near-miss harder than he did.

"I got down into a squat and just, I don't know, I wanted to cry,'' right fielder Bryce Harper said. "To be able to see a perfect game, be a part of that, would've been awesome.''

Said Nationals manager Matt Williams: "He hit him with the baseball. It's difficult when that happens.''

As to whether he thought about discussing the play with plate umpire Mike Muchlinski, Williams said, "I think that's irrelevant at this point. The last thing I'm going to do is walk onto the field and mess up Maxie's rhythm. That would be a crying shame. I ain't doing that.''

Scherzer (8-5) retired Josh Harrison on a deep fly to left for the final out and was swallowed up by jubilant Nationals near the mound.

"Pretty easy to do,'' Scherzer said of keeping his cool. "Probably took two seconds. I realized I lost the perfect game. You just move on. Finish this thing out.''

The 30-year-old righty struck out 10 in his second straight dominant performance, and was cheered by a crowd of 41,104.

Scherzer got help from his infield in the late innings.

In the eighth, shifted second baseman Danny Espinosa barely threw out Pedro Alvarez from shallow right field to end the inning.

"I got to that ball and just knew I had to get rid of it quick,'' Espinosa said. "I was able to get him.''

Leading off the ninth, third baseman Anthony Rendon ran hard to catch a foul pop by Gregory Polanco, and wound up bent over the dugout railing.

In his previous start, Scherzer took a perfect game into the seventh at Milwaukee and finished with a one-hitter and 16 strikeouts. The lone hit was a leadoff single by Carlos Gomez just beyond reach of Rendon, who was playing second base.

Scherzer turned in perhaps the most magnificent consecutive starts in the majors since Johnny Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no-hitters for Cincinnati in 1938.

Scherzer threw his third career shutout. He had one in 219 lifetime starts before these two in a row.

"My last few starts, this is some of the best baseball I've thrown,'' he said.

Signed to a $210 million, seven-year contract in the offseason after leaving Detroit, the 2013 AL Cy Young winner pitched the second no-hitter in Nationals' history. Jordan Zimmermann threw one against the Marlins last year to end the regular season.

"He's just an unbelievable pitcher, unbelievable clubhouse guy, and he's worth every penny he gets,'' Harper said.

It was the fourth no-hitter in the city's baseball history. Walter Johnson and Bob Burke threw them for the old Washington Senators.

This was the second no-hitter of the season. San Francisco rookie Chris Heston did it June 9 against the Mets.

Scherzer's gem marked the second major feat in the big leagues in two days. On Friday night, Alex Rodriguez got his 3,000th career hit for the Yankees.

Scherzer threw 106 pitches, 82 for strikes. He was throwing fastballs in the upper 90s and used a wicked slider in lowering his ERA to 1.76.

The Pirates twice hit balls to the warning track in his first time through the order.

Harper hit his 23rd homer and drove in two runs. He had missed two games after straining his hamstring.

Francisco Liriano (4-6) took the loss.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Ultimate Nats & Orioles Summer Guide]]> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 15:33:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/shutterstock_82623397-%281%29.jpg

We're in the peak of baseball season -- so it's time to check out all the freebies, specials and promotions offered at Nationals Park and Camden Yards this summer.

There are plenty of opportunities to catch a game; the teams play at home about two weeks of each month this summer. Read on for info on home games and highlights up to Labor Day:

THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Nats Park, 1500 S Capitol St. SE

Every Sunday home game, you can get autographs from two pre-selected players. You must have a free voucher, which are distributed on a first come, first serve basis at Sections 109 and 140 when the gates open on game day. Also, kids ages 4-12 can go down to the field and run the bases after the game.

JUNE:

Home Games:

  • Atlanta Braves, June 23-25

Promotions:

  • College Rivalry Day, June 24
    • Fans of Virginia Tech and Virginia get to duke it out; buy tickets online to receive a limited edition college-themed tailgate chair.
  • Business Professional Day, June 25
    • The perfect opportunity to leave work while the sun is out and get a special discount on the game.

JULY:

Home Games: 

  • San Francisco Giants, July 3-5
  • Cincinnati Reds, July 6-8
  • Los Angeles Dodgers, July 17-18
  • New York Mets, July 20-22

Promotions: 

  • Freedom Fireworks, July 3
    • Celebrate the Fourth of July a day early with fireworks after the game.  
  • Independence Day Celebration, July 4
  • Free Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead for the first 25,000 fans, July 5
  • $1 Ice Cream, July 6
  • Free 10-Year Lapel Pin for the first 10,000 fans, July 7
  • Boy and Girl Scout Day July 18
    • see description above
  • Star Wars Day, July 19
  • U.S. Marine Corps Day, July 21
    • Show your love and support for our nation's Marines with a pregame ceremony. The Nationals dedicate one game to each of the five branches of the military and strive to highlight the individuals and ideals unique to each branch.
  • Summer Camp Day, July 22
    • The annual summer camp celebration is back as participating summer camps from the DMV area are invited to spend the afternoon at Nationals Park.
  • Business Professional Day, July 25
    • The perfect opportunity to leave work while the sun is out and get a special discount on the game.

AUGUST

Home Games: 

  • Arizona Diamondbacks, Aug. 3-5
  • Colorado Rockies, Aug. 7-9
  • Milwaukee Brewers, Au. 21-23
  • San Diego Padres, Aug. 25-27
  • Miami Marlins, Aug. 28-29

Promotions

  • $1 Hot Dogs, Aug. 3
  • Free replica 2005 ticket for the first 10,000 fans, Aug. 4
  • Free Jayson Werth Chia Pet for the first 20,000 fans, Aug. 5
  • U.S. Coast Guard Day, Aug. 6
    • description above relating to U.S. Marine Corps Day
  • Business Professional Day, Aug. 6
    • The perfect opportunity to leave work while the sun is out and get a special discount on the game.
  • Freedom Fireworks, Aug. 7
  • Harris Teeter Food Drive, Aug. 8-9
    • Anyone who donates at least three non-perishable food items will recieve two tickets to a Nationals home game. Donations will be accepted outside the Center Field Gate and will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. 
  • Free Miller Lite Cap to the first 15,000 fans, only for ages 21 and up, Aug. 21
  • Free Anthony Rendon Garden Gnome for the first 25,000 fans, Aug. 25
  • $1 Ice Cream, Aug. 26
  • Pet Day, Aug. 27 
    • The Nationals players are bringing their pets to the game for good luck and help to support the Washington Humane Society. Purchase tickets online for a complimentary Nationals Player Pet Calendar.
  • '80s Night, Aug. 29 
    • Nationals Park is going back in time to the '80s and is inviting you along for the trip. Buy tickets online and get a free Nationals Rubik's Cube.
  • Free Jayson Werth Bobblehead for the first 25,000 fans, Aug. 30
  • School Supply Drive, Aug. 30
    • Help D.C. area students by donating any new school supplies. Donations will be accepted outside the Center Field Gate. 

SEPTEMBER

Home Games: 

  • Atlanta Braves, Sept.3-5
  • New York Mets, Sept. 7-9

Promotions:

  • Free Nesting Doll for the first 20,000 fans, Sept. 3
  • Pups in the Park, Sept. 3
    • Your pup should be able to enjoy the game too! Buy a "ticket" for your dog and bring them along.
  • Kids Run the Show, Sept. 6

THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES

Orioles Park at Camden Yards, 333 W Camden St. 

Every Tuesday game day is Ollie's Bargain Night, where fans get Upper Reserve seats for just $10, when tickets are purchased in advance. Every Monday and Thursday home game features the Alumni Autograph Series, where former Orioles players will sign autographs on Eutaw Street from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

JUNE

Home Games:

  • Cleveland Indians, June 26-28
  • Texas Rangers, 29-30

Promotions:

  • AT&T Student Night, June 26
  • Postgame Fireworks, June 26
  • Free Buck Showalter Garden Gnome for the first 25, 000 fans ages 15 and up, June 27
  • Free Orioles Cap for the first 20,000 fans ages 15 and up, June 28
  • Free Bud Norris "My Home. My Team" T-shirt for all fans, June 30

JULY

Home Games:

  • Texas Rangers, July 1-2
  • Washington Nationals, July 10-12
  • Atlanta Braves, July 27-29
  • Detroit Tigers, July 30-31

Promotions:

  • Free Orioles tote bag for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, July 1
  • Free Orioles plaid floppy hat for the first 20,000 fans, ages 21 and up, July10
  • AT&T Student Night, July 10 and 31
  • Free Orioles Hawaiian shirt for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, July 12
  • Free J.J. Hardy "glove," T-shirt for all fans, July 30
  • Postgame fireworks, July 31

AUGUST

Home Games:

  • Detroit Tigers, Aug. 1-2
  • Oakland Athletics, Aug. 14-17
  • New York Mets, Aug. 18-19
  • Minnesota Twins, Aug. 20-23
  • Tampa Bay Rays, Aug. 31

Promotions:

  • Free Oriole Bird Bobblehead for the first 25,000 fans, ages 15 and up, Aug. 1
  • Kids Run the Bases, Aug. 2
    • All kids 14 and younger get an opportunity to go down to the field and run around the bases after the game
  • Orioles Hall of Fame Pregame Ceremony and Postgame Fireworks, Aug. 14
    • Melvin Mora, John Lowenstein and Gary Roenicke will be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame 
  • AT&T Student Night, Aug. 14 and 21
  • Free J.J Hardy orange replica jersey for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, Aug. 15
  • Free Chris Tillman growth poster for the first 7,500 fans, ages 14 and younger, Aug. 16
  • Free Orioles T-shirt for all fans, Aug. 19
  • Free Orioles high socks for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, Aug. 21
  • Free Orioles trucker hat for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, Aug. 22
  • Free Orioles pet leash for the first 20,000 fans, ages 15 and up, Aug. 23

SEPTEMBER

Home Games:

  • Tampa Bay Rays, Sept. 1-2



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Announce Training Camp Schedule]]> Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:41:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453831984.jpg

The Washington Redskins have announced their schedule for this summer's training camp in Richmond.

Training camp begins July 30 and runs through Aug. 16. 

All sessions are free and open to the public. Of the 13 practices, three will include the Houston Texans, who will join the Redskins from Aug. 6 to Aug. 8. Fans will need tickets to attend the joint practice sessions. The team will announce their ticketing procedures at a later date. 

Thursday, July 30
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Friday, July 31
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Saturday, Aug. 1
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Sunday, Aug. 2
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Monday, Aug. 3
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Tuesday, Aug. 4
No Practice. Camp Closed.

Wednesday, Aug. 5
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Thursday, Aug. 6
8:35 a.m. Practice
4:10 p.m. Walkthrough

Friday, Aug. 7
8:35 a.m. Practice
4:10 p.m. Walkthrough

Saturday, Aug. 8
10:35 a.m. Practice

Sunday, Aug. 9
No Practice. Camp Closed.

Monday, Aug. 10
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice

Tuesday, Aug. 11
1:35 p.m. Practice
Gates open at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 12
No Practice. Camp Closed

Thursday, Aug. 13
No Practice. Gameday.
Preseason Game at Browns at FirstEnergy, 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 14
No Practice. Camp Closed.

Saturday, Aug. 15
Fan Appreciation Day
1:35 p.m. Practice 
Gates open at 10 a.m. 

Sunday, Aug. 16
10:35 a.m. Walkthrough
3 p.m. Practice
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UMD Approves Beer Sales at Sports Events]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 09:13:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Beer-Tap-Generic.jpg

The University of Maryland has approved a trial plan for the school to sell beer at its football stadium and other athletic venues beginning this fall.

The student-initiated plan will be announced Thursday in an open letter to the campus. The Prince George's County Board of License Commissioners, which holds final approval authority, will address the proposal during a public hearing July 8.

If the plan is approved, Maryland would join several dozen universities that permit alcohol to be sold to the public at athletic events.

The plan calls for university dining services to begin beer and wine sales at athletic venues, including 54,000-seat Byrd Stadium and the 17,950-seat Xfinity Center.

The proposal is controversial and is opposed by some ono campus as well as prominent public health advocates.

]]>
<![CDATA[Nats' Rendon Meets 78-Year-Old Fan]]> Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:02:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/rendon+fan.jpg

Bryce Harper wasn't the only Washington Nationals player to make a fan's day this week. Another player took the extra step to meet with a fan who was wowed to meet her favorite Nationals member.

Harper took a selfie on the field with a fan's cellphone before Tuesday night's game. Before Saturday's game, it was Barbara Lynch's turn get close and personal with a Nationals player.

Lynch, 78, has been an Anthony Rendon fan since his 2013 rookie season.

"I fell in love with him when he was first here. I've called him my kid for years," said Lynch.

But she had to be content with watching her favorite player on television. Her husband, Jim Lynch, was in poor health and unable to attend games.

The couple viewed nearly every Nats game together at their Rockville home. When Jim Lynch passed away 2 1/2 months ago, Barbara's children decided it was time to get her to the ballpark.

They also hoped she could meet Rendon. Son Steve Lynch and daughter Betsy Lynch Lanning arrived at the ballpark Saturday with their mom and began to tell their story about Barbara's dream of meeting Rendon.

They somehow made their way into the first row of seats next to the Nats dugout. An usher and a season ticket holder stepped in and helped get Rendon's attention.

Shortly after the player introductions, Rendon walked straight to the stands where Barbara Lynch was waiting. She told him she'd watched him every game.

"He said, ‘Thank you very much.’ It was very sweet of him to come over," she said.

She got her baseball signed and had a chance to wish Rendon a happy birthday. The Nationals infielder turned 25 on Saturday.

The Nationals didn't get the win against the Chicago Cubs for Barbara, but her son said that didn't darken the day.

"Once she met Anthony and got that ball signed, she didn't even care about the game," said Steve Lynch.

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<![CDATA[Redskins' Bruce Allen Talks Jackson, Griffin and OTAs]]> Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:28:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010687246_1200x675_455145539640.jpg Bruce Allen, president of the Redskins, talks with News4's Carol Maloney about DeSean Jackson, Robert Griffin and the OTAs.]]> <![CDATA[D.C. Sports: A Spelling Bee]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 13:51:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010640834_1200x675_452701763779.jpg Dianna Russini challenges Doreen Gentzler, Jim Vance and Doug Kammerer to spell the names of some Washington sports figures.]]> <![CDATA[Robert Griffin III, Wife Welcome Baby Girl]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 08:21:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20130725+RGIII.jpg

Robert Griffin III took to social media Thursday to announce the birth of his daughter, Reese Ann Griffin. 

The Washington Redskins quarterback said his wife, Rebecca Liddicoat, gave birth to the little girl on Thursday. 

"May 21, 2015 has forever changed our lives for the better!" Griffin said in posts published to Facebook and Instagram. 

The couple announced the pregnancy earlier this year on social media. They've been married since 2013.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[GW Baseball's Light-Hearted Winning Ways]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 21:51:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010532189_1200x675_448504899652.jpg For the first time in 10 seasons, the George Washington University men's baseball team finished with 30 wins, and that had everything to do with keeping it light. Dianna Russini reports.]]> <![CDATA[Wizards Lose Another Nail-Biter 82-81]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 23:38:07 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Washington+Wizards+Atlanta+Hawks+John+Wall+Game+5+051315+473220234.jpg

Al Horford snatched away an offensive rebound and dropped in the winning basket with 1.9 seconds left after Dennis Schroder's drive to the basket was blocked by John Wall, giving the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks an 82-81 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night and a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

 

Paul Pierce, who made a buzzer-beating winner in Game 3, appeared to have doomed the Hawks again when his 3-pointer from the corner gave the Wizards an 81-80 lead with 8.3 seconds left. Pierce taunted the Hawks bench and home crowd on his way back down the court before bowling over Wall, who was playing for the first time since Game 1 after fracturing several bones in his left hand. Wall didn't mind, throwing up his hands in celebration.

But Atlanta had one more chance.

The Hawks gave the ball to Schroder, who ignited a fourth-quarter rally and was still in the game with All-Star point guard Jeff Teague watching from the bench. Schroder drove and had the shot swatted off the backboard by Wall.

Horford snatched the ball away from Nene, who tumbled to the court, leaving the Hawks center all alone under the basket. He put in the easy shot on a night when both teams struggled offensively, then watched the Wizards throw up a wild shot from halfcourt that didn't come close as the horn sounded.

The sellout crowd nearly stormed the court, held back by security while the Hawks celebrated. Horford pumped his fists to the crowd, having saved the Hawks with their magical season on the brink. He led the Hawks with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

Atlanta is one victory from advancing to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since moving from St. Louis in 1968. Game 6 is Friday night in Washington, and the Wizards must win to force the series back to Atlanta for a decisive Game 7.

Wall's return was the major storyline before the game. The Wizards star was injured in the series opener, fracturing several bones in his left hand when he tumbled to the court. He managed to finish that game, scoring 18 points and dishing out 13 assists as the Wizards pulled off an upset in Atlanta, but he missed the next three games.

He looked just fine in Game 5, but didn't put up his usual numbers as both offenses slogged through a tough night. Wall wound up with 15 points, seven assists and four steals, but also turned it over six times. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 23 points.

This was a game of runs. The Hawks produced the biggest one of all, a 14-0 spurt in the fourth quarter after missing their first nine shots of the period, along with four turnovers. Kyle Korver finally scored Atlanta's first basket of the quarter, a 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining. Horford followed with another 3 from the corner, and it was tight the rest of the way.

Washington closed the first half on a 19-6 run, taking a 47-41 halftime lead. Atlanta missed seven of eight shots and turned it over three times, allowing the Wizards to pull ahead for the first time since the opening minutes. It could have been worse, but the Hawks finally made two baskets in the final 45 seconds of the half and Washington's Otto Porter missed a shot at the buzzer.

Early in the second half, the Wizards pushed their lead to 51-41 as the Hawks struggled just to hang on to the ball. After DeMarre Carroll missed a 3-pointer, Atlanta turned it over on four straight possessions. Korver threw it away twice, drawing some scattered boos from the home crowd for one of the team's most popular players.

But Washington was also careless with the ball, and the Hawks stormed back in front with a 20-7 run of their own. Atlanta led 63-62 heading to the final period, as two of the league's most talented offensive teams settled into a defensive slugfest.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Pierce scored 11 points and hit 3 of 6 from 3-point range. ... Porter had nine points and 10 rebounds. ... Washington shot 37.5 percent.

Hawks: Korver's big 3 provided his only points of the game. He did have two blocks in the first half. ... Atlanta outrebounded the Wizards 50-46. ... The Hawks shot 41 percent.

UNLEASHING THE MOOSE

Mike Muscala was barely used by the Hawks during the first eight games of the playoffs, logging only 10 minutes of court time -- and much of that coming in the closing stages of a blowout win that clinched the first-round victory over Brooklyn.

But, after leading a furious comeback that came up just short in Game 3, Muscala has become a key member of Atlanta's rotation off the bench. He scored Atlanta first eight points of the second quarter, and had three rebounds in nearly 15 1/2 minutes.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Capitals Fall Short 2-1 in OT, Head to Offseason]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 23:57:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Capitals-Rangers-May-2015.jpg

 

Make the resilient Rangers play a Game 7 and they don't even flinch.

 

Dump them into a 3-1 hole in a playoff series and they simply work harder.

And win.

Derek Stepan scored 11:24 in overtime, lifting New York past the Washington Capitals 2-1 and into the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.

Stepan's wrist shot from the left wing after he won a faceoff -- a rarity for the Rangers -- capped the comeback. The Rangers are the only team to manage that in successive years, doing the same thing to Pittsburgh in the second round in 2014.

"It's a very special win," said Henrik Lundqvist, who made 35 saves and became the third goalie to win six Game 7s, joining Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur.

New York, which had the NHL's best record this season, will face Tampa Bay for a spot in the Stanley Cup finals, where the Rangers lost to Los Angeles last spring. The series begins Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Alex Ovechkin scored in the first period for Washington, which has lost five Game 7s in as many tries when leading a series 3-1. Kevin Hayes tied it in the second.

Although the Rangers were badly outplayed early in overtime, Lundqvist stood tall with eight saves as the Capitals couldn't find that winning touch. That's something the Rangers seem to own in a seventh game: New York has won six in a row, including the last three series against Washington.

It was the Rangers' fourth overtime win in as many tries this year, all by 2-1 scores. It was a cruel finish for Braden Holtby, who was superb all series and made 37 saves Wednesday night.

Perhaps a welcome harbinger for the Rangers: The last time they won a Game 7 in overtime was 1994, when they beat the Devils and, one round later, hoisted their most recent Stanley Cup.

Washington was quicker to the puck than the generally faster Rangers in the first period, when Lundqvist was much busier than Holtby, making 14 saves. The difference through 20 minutes: Washington's top goal scorer connected on his best chance, New York's didn't.

Ovechkin, who scored 53 times to lead the league, somehow got wide open in the slot after the Capitals won a faceoff and worked the puck off the boards. His wrist shot beat Lundqvist to the glove side.

Late in the period, while killing a penalty, the Rangers' Rick Nash, who trailed Ovechkin by 11 goals during the season, got free on a breakaway. He tried to deke Holtby and go through the legs, but his backhander was stopped as the fans lamented a missed opportunity.

The Rangers' sometimes-anemic, sometimes-opportunistic power play tied it in the second period. Tireless defenseman Ryan McDonagh kept in a clearing attempt at the right point and passed to J.T. Miller. His cross-ice feed to a cutting Hayes was perfect and Hayes put it past Holtby.

That sparked the Rangers for a while, but by the end of the period, the Capitals were buzzing the net. No one could score, and into the third period they went.

And then into overtime after a spotty, nervous session in which the best opportunities came very late. Lundqvist made a pad save off Ovechkin's wrist short following a Washington faceoff win, and Holtby stopped Dominic Moore's backhander in the final minute.

NOTES: New York lost D Dan Boyle in the second period after he was hit in the head by Brooks Orpik's elbow. ... Hayes is the first Rangers rookie to score in a Game 7 since Muzz Patrick in 1939. ... The Rangers extended an NHL record with their 14th straight one-goal game, dating to last year's Stanley Cup finals loss to Los Angeles. ... The Capitals did not score a power-play goal in the final five games. ... Tampa Bay swept three games from New York this season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caps Stunned by Revitalized Rangers, 4-3]]> Sun, 10 May 2015 22:04:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150510+Caps.jpg

The Caps could have put the series away on home ice, sent New York packing. But instead, they were left trying for a third-period rally as the revitalized Rangers controlled Sunday's game from the first 40 seconds and then won, 4-3.

Their playoff series is now tied and returns to New York Wednesday.

The Rangers' Chris Kreider did the most damage to the Caps, scoring less than a minute into the game and then again with just three-tenths of a second left in the first period. Jason Chimera scored for the Capitals in the second, but the Rangers rebounded with two goals in the third.

The Caps' Evgeny Kuznetsov managed to cut the Rangers lead to two with a goal in the third, and a goal from Joel Ward seemed to change the momentum in the third period. But the Rangers were able to hold on to win.

Stay with NBC Washington and News4 at 11 for complete coverage and player interviews.

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<![CDATA[Harper Walk-Off HR Beats Braves, 8-6]]> Sun, 10 May 2015 09:38:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/472776842.jpg

Erasing a five-run deficit was far easier for the Atlanta Braves than putting an end to Bryce Harper's home-run streak.

After rallying the late innings to pull even with the Washington Nationals, the Braves lost 8-6 Saturday when Harper hit a two-run drive in the bottom of the ninth.

Harper homered for the sixth time in his last three games, one off the major league record set by Shawn Green in 2002.

Washington's cleanup hitter sent a 1-0 pitch from Cody Martin (1-1) into the center-field seats after Atlanta dug out of a 6-1 hole with two runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth.

``I'm really proud of the way we battled back,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``There's no column for that _ we didn't get the W, we got the L _ but I'll tell you what, I'm proud of those guys in there.''

After the comeback, Atlanta had to shut down the hot-hitting Harper, who, at 22, had already become the youngest player in big league history to hit five home runs in two games.

``Right now, no matter what age he is, he's not missing too many pitches,'' Gonzalez said. ``He's swinging really well. Good for them, bad for us.''

Harper's one-out drive pushed the Nationals, a preseason favorite to win the World Series, over .500 for the first time this year.

``It looked like (catcher Christian) Bethancourt was going to go pick it out of the dirt, but when the guy is going that good, that hot, you're almost going to have to bounce it there,'' Gonzalez said. ``And maybe even then he could hit it out of the ballpark.''

Harper homered three times versus Miami on Wednesday and connected twice against Atlanta on Friday night. On Saturday, his teammates ripped his jersey in the home-plate scrum, then pitcher Max Scherzer punctuated the party with the team's newest victory celebration _ he poured chocolate sauce over Harper during a postgame interview.

``Around the bases, got to home plate, and to enjoy that with the team is huge,'' Harper said.

Harper has 12 RBIs in his last three games. He also made a nifty, running catch in right field in the eighth inning.

Drew Storen (1-0) pitched the top of the ninth for the win.

Washington has won nine of 11, going 4-0 against the Braves in that span. The Nationals were 7-13 before getting on a roll with three straight victories in Atlanta.

Harper hit it big on a day the Nationals celebrated their 10th season in Washington by having Hall of Fame slugger Frank Robinson throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Robinson was the Nationals' manager in their first two years after moving from Montreal.

Washington used home runs by Jose Lobaton and Ryan Zimmerman to go up 6-1 in the fifth. By that point, everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit against Julio Teheran.

Teheran gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings. In two starts against Washington this season, the right-hander has yielded 13 runs and 20 hits.

Nationals starter Doug Fister took a three-hitter into the seventh and got the first two outs before allowing three straight hits _ the last a two-run double by pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco.

The inning ended with Harper making a stretching, over-the-shoulder catch of Nick Markakis' liner.

Atlanta pulled even in the eighth when Jace Peterson had an RBI grounder and Bethancourt added a two-out, two-run double.

In the bottom half, pinch runner Michael A. Taylor was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Kelly Johnson trying to score from second on a single.

STREAKING

Braves: Andrelton Simmons has hit in eight straight games, going 12 for 29 (.429).

Nationals: Escobar is 10 for 24 with five RBIs in his last six games.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg said a flaw in his mechanics forced him from Tuesday's game, and that the problem has been solved. Strasburg said he changed his delivery because of an ankle injury, which in turn affected his back. Manager Matt Williams declined to specify a date for Strasburg's return.

ON DECK

Braves: Alex Wood (1-2, 4.32 ERA) seeks his first win since April 7 when he takes the mound Sunday in the series finale.

Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann (2-2, 4.15 ERA) is 5-2 lifetime against the Braves, including a win on April 29 in which he outdueled Wood.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wizards' John Wall Has Five Fractures in Wrist]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 14:58:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/usa-john-wall-larry-drew.jpg

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has five fractures in his left wrist and hand, the team announced Thursday.

Wall went through multiple medical exams Wednesday that showed "five non-displaced fractures," the Wizards wrote in a statement.

The Wizards say Wall's playing status is not yet decided; the team is talking with specialists to figure out what to do next.

Wall sat out Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks after finishing the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals because of his injured hand. 

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<![CDATA[Bowser Wants Redskins Back in D.C.]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 21:45:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/156660236.jpg

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reopened the debate about bringing the Washington Redskins back to the city. 

The mayor asked her followers on Twitter to weigh in Tuesday about the potential for the Washington football team to return to the site of RFK Stadium or another location in D.C.

"We know that the perfect location for the Redskins is where they played for decades very successfully. We have the infrastructure sitting on top of a Metro station," Bowser told News4.

"We have the ability to make [RFK] more than just a sports stadium. The surrounding neighborhoods want more play spaces, want more active areas for children and families," the mayor said.

Team owner Dan Snyder said last year that the football team was designing a new stadium. Snyder said the team was considering locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. 

Plans for D.C. could include a new stadium to be built at the site of RFK. The Redskins played there between 1961 and 1996 but moved to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, in 1997. The team's lease at FedEx Field runs for another 12 years. 

"There's no better site than the RFK site in the metropolitan region," said Council member Jack Evans of Ward 2. "Our hockey team, basketball team, soccer team, baseball team, all located in the city, are all doing great."

Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen, who represents the area including RFK, said he does not support the team returning there.

At-large Council member Anita Bonds offered conditional support.

"Residents would love to bring the ... team back to RFK ... but I think it is important that affordable housing is part of the deal and the team's name is changed," Bonds said. 

Native American groups say the team's name is offensive and have mounted campaigns calling for it to be changed

Mayor Bowser told News4 in a January interview that she agrees the name should be changed.

"I think they have to change their name, but we'll get to that conversation," she said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Holtby's Shutout, Beagle's Goal Lift Caps Over Rangers]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 05:38:36 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150504+Caps.jpg

Braden Holtby made 30 saves Monday night for his second career playoff shutout and Jay Beagle scored his first goal of this postseason, giving the Washington Capitals a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers.

Washington has a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Alex Ovechkin was held without a goal for the first time in the series. It was one of the Capitals' less-heralded players, Beagle, who put the puck past Henrik Lundqvist on a second-effort, deflected shot 7 1/2 minutes into the second period.

Holtby was at his glove-catching best, including stopping Martin St. Louis on a 1-on-1 six minutes after Beagle scored, and the crowd chanted the goalie's last name at the final buzzer.

Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is at Washington on Wednesday night.

This was the type of nail-biter the Rangers play: They have participated in 10 consecutive playoff games decided by one goal, an NHL record.

And in seven of its eight games in this year's playoffs, New York has allowed two goals or fewer.

But under first-year coach Barry Trotz, and with Holtby matching Lundqvist save for save, the Capitals are proving just as adept at this sort of tight, low-scoring hockey.

Despite getting outshot 30-22, the Capitals did manage stretches of sustained pressure in the Rangers' zone, including leading up to the only goal. And the score came from a surprising source: the line of Beagle, Troy Brouwer and Andre Burakovsky. They had zero goals through Washington's first nine games of this postseason.

Off passes from Brouwer and Burakovsky, Beagle sent a shot on net that Lundqvist swept aside. But Beagle kept at it, going to the boards to collect the rebound, then swooping around the back of the net for a backhand shove of the puck. It appeared to ricochet off defenseman Keith Yandle, then Lundqvist's left skate on its way in.

That gave Beagle three goals in 33 playoff games following a regular season in which he scored 10 times.

Not too long afterward, the Rangers had a great opportunity to tie it. Capitals defenseman John Carlson's shot from inside the blue line was blocked by St. Louis, who raced the other way all alone. But Holtby made the save with a flick of his glove, drawing roars from the crowd.

Rangers forward Rick Nash took seven shots and leveled Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik early in the third period, but remains without a goal in the series.

Early on, the Rangers dominated. It took more than six minutes for Washington to generate its first shot on goal, with Joel Ward's snap shot easily grabbed by Lundqvist. By then, the Rangers had sent a half-dozen pucks at Holtby; they wound up outshooting Washington 11-6 in the scoreless first period.

Not quite as large a disparity as New York managed in the first period of Game 2, 15-4, and, more significantly, not the same margin on the scoreboard. The Rangers led 2-0 in Game 2 en route to a 3-2 victory.

The Capitals had their league-best power-play on the ice twice in that period, but couldn't break through. They did get one superb chance, when Marcus Johansson found Ovechkin alone in front of the net, but the man known as Alex the Great sent the puck right at Lundqvist's chest.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wizard Beat Hawks to Take Game 1, 104-98]]> Sun, 03 May 2015 15:32:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/wizards+hawks+game+1.jpg

Guard John Wall had a double-double in points and assists to lead the Washington Wizards to a game one victor over the Atlanta Hawks, 104-98.

The game was also a very physical one as Wall apparently injured his wrist, and Bradley Beal left in the 4th quarter after hurting his ankle. Both players returned after getting treatment.

The back and forth game wasn’t decided until deep into the last quarter.

Game two is also in Atlanta on May 5.



Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wizards to Face Atlanta Hawks in East Semi-Finals]]> Sat, 02 May 2015 07:31:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/199*120/Wizards+Raptors+042415+471007448.jpg

The Washington Wizards will face the number one seed Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, with Game One taking place on Sunday, May 3 at Philips Arena.

The Wizards will host Games Three and Four on Saturday, May 9, and Monday, May 11, at Verizon Center.

The Wizards, who finished 46-36 to earn the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, recently defeated the fourth seed Toronto Raptors 4-0 in their first round matchup. The 4-0 victory over the Raptors marked the first time in franchise playoff history that the Wizards have swept an opponent in a seven-game series.

It also marked only the second time in NBA history that a five seed swept a four seed. The team is heading to the conference semifinals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1977-78 and 1978-79.

Game 1 Sunday, May 3 Washington at Atlanta 1:00 p.m. ABC
Game 2 Tuesday, May 5 Washington at Atlanta 8:00 p.m. TNT
Game 3 Saturday, May 9 Atlanta at Washington 5:00 p.m. ESPN
Game 4 Monday, May 11 Atlanta at Washington 7:00 p.m. TNT
Game 5* Wednesday, May 13 Washington at Atlanta TBD TNT
Game 6* Friday, May 15 Atlanta at Washington TBD ESPN
Game 7* Monday, May 18 Washington at Atlanta 8:00 p.m. TNT
*If necessary



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tiger Woods to Compete at Local Tournament]]> Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:52:03 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tlmd_tiger_woods_dep_470_265.jpg

Tiger Woods has announced plans to compete in the 2015 Quicken Loans National at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Virginia.

Woods will also host the tournament, scheduled for July 30--August 2.

Woods has won the tournament twice, in 2009 and 2012. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation. You can buy tickets to the tournament through the foundation's website; various ticket packages are available.

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<![CDATA[Wizards Sweep Raptors With 125-94 Win]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:54:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150426+Wizards.jpg

This was not just a sweep. It was more like an old-fashioned rug beating.

The Washington Wizards dominated the Toronto Raptors in Game Four of their playoff series, winning 125-94 and moving on to the next round of the NBA playoffs.

The Wizards were out in front all night and led by more than 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Raptors struggled. Meanwhile, the Wizards -- who were deadly on offense -- looked like playoff veterans.

This is the second year that the Raptors have left the playoffs after the first round.

Stay with NBC Washington for updates and News4 at 11 for player interviews and highlights.



Photo Credit: Greg Fiume/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Islanders Defeat Capitals, 3-1, Force Game 7]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:54:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/caps+islanders+game+6.jpg

The New York Islanders defeated the Washington Capitals 3-1 Saturday, forcing the playoff series to Game 7 in Washington Monday.

The game was rough and marked by big hits, including Alex Ovechkin's hit on John Tavares in the middle of the third period, which led to the Caps losing track of the puck and the Islanders breaking a tie that had lasted most of the game.

The Caps thought they had tied the game again with a goal later in the period, but under review it was clear the puck had hit the crossbar of the goal and had not scored.

The Islanders scored again on an empty goal with less than a minute to go.

The Islanders played with passion in what could still be the last game of professional hockey in their home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The team moves to Barclays Center next season.

Now, the series returns to Washington for the final game on Monday.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington for updates on this story.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wizards Take Commanding 3-0 Series Lead Over Raptors With Win]]> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:59:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/199*120/Wizards+Raptors+042415+471007448.jpg

The Washington Wizards took a commanding 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Toronto Raptors with a 106-99 win Friday night.

Complete recap to follow.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Wizards Defeat Raptors 117-106 in Game 2]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:35:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/182*120/Wizards+Raptors+042115+470582372.jpg

John Wall had 26 points and 17 assists, Bradley Beal scored 28 points and the Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 117-106 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Marcin Gortat scored 16 points, Otto Porter had 15 and Paul Pierce added 10 for the Wizards, who host Game 3 on Friday night.

Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Sixth Man Award winner Lou Williams scored 20 points for the Raptors, who have lost four straight playoff games over the past two seasons.

Washington lost 15 of its final 19 regular season road games, but has won seven of eight away from home in the playoffs over the past two years. The Wizards won all three road games while beating Chicago in last year's first round.

DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, Patrick Patterson had 15 and Amir Johnson added 10 for Toronto, which has won just one playoff series in six previous postseason appearances.

All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who fouled out of Game 1 with seven points after missing eight of 10 shots, struggled again. Lowry limped to the locker room midway through the fourth quarter and did not return. He finished with six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

The Wizards connected on 27 of 39 field goal attempts in the second and third quarters.

Washington, which out rebounded Toronto 61-48 in Game 1, was dominant on the glass again. The Wizards finished with 45 rebounds while the Raptors had 28. Toronto didn't get a single offensive rebound in the first half.

Patterson made two 3-pointers in a 10-0 run as the Raptors cut it to 102-89 with 6:35 left. After a Wizards timeout, Beal stopped the run with a jumper.

A 3 by Greivis Vasquez made it 106-96 at 3:23, but the Raptors couldn't get any closer.

Toronto took a 12-2 lead and held a 31-26 edge after one quarter. DeRozan scored nine points in the first and Valanciunas had eight.

Just as they did in Saturday's Game 1 win, the Wizards used a second-quarter surge to take the lead. Beal scored 16 points in the second, including a 3 that started a 13-0 run to put the Wizards up 60-49 at halftime. The Raptors struggled after Lowry picked up his second and third fouls in an 11-second span and spent the final 9:18 of the half on the bench.

The Raptors opened the third with a 12-3 spurt, cutting the deficit to 63-61, but Washington responded with 10 straight points to restore its double-digit lead. Wall scored 10 points in the third as the Wizards took a 97-75 lead into the fourth, leading to boos from the Air Canada Centre crowd.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>