Capitals

Bo Van Pelt wins Perth International

Bo Van Pelt wins Perth International

PERTH, Australia (AP) Bo Van Pelt won the Perth International on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over American countryman Jason Dufner.

Van Pelt extended his one-shot overnight lead with the help of six birdies and two bogeys to secure his first victory in a European Tour-sanctioned event. He finished at 16-under 272 at Lake Karrinyup and earned $333,330.

``We had a good battle there,'' Van Pelt said. ``We both played well.''

Dufner, a two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, shot a 69. Spain's Alejandro Canizares was third at 11 under after a 68.

New Zealand's Michael Hendry had a 69 to finish fourth at 9 under, and Englishmen Paul Casey (67) and David Howell (71) were another stroke back along with Scotland's Scott Jamieson (68), Wales' Rhys Davies (69) and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo (74).

Van Pelt had five birdies in his first 11 holes to increase his lead to three shots, but then stumbled on the 14th when he three-putted for bogey while Dufner hit an approach to within inches of the flag and tapped in for birdie to pull within one.

However, Van Pelt responded with a birdie on the next hole while Dufner bogeyed the 16th to give his rival a comfortable cushion.

``I had a bit of a lead there and made bogey on 14,'' Van Pelt said. ``I thought I hit a pretty good shot but it definitely got tight there at the end. A little tighter than I wanted but luckily for me I came out on top.''

It was Van Pelt's first victory of the year, despite having 10 top-10 finishes. His last victory came in the Asia-Pacific Classic in Malaysia last year, a title he is due to defend next week.

``I felt I had a good year last without a win, though I won in Malaysia, and this year was kind of the same thing,'' he said. ``I had a lot of top-10s but let a couple of chances slip by.

``Whenever you get to lead you want to try to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.''

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

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NBC Sports Washington

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.