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Colts' momentum stopped cold by Patriots

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Colts' momentum stopped cold by Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) It wasn't pretty and the Indianapolis Colts know it.

Now all they can do is try to bounce back after an embarrassing 59-24 loss at New England on Sunday.

The Colts had four turnovers, and two of Andrew Luck's three interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Interim coach Bruce Arians said the mistakes the rookie quarterback made were just technical errors.

``Both pick-sixes he was throwing right to the exact perfect read,'' Arians said Monday. ``They were technical errors. If he was throwing to the wrong guys, into coverage, those types of interceptions, then you would worry about it.''

For Luck, it's simple. He wants to learn from the mistakes.

``Especially not repeating any of the mistakes that you made,'' Luck said. ``I think that goes for any game or any practice you're in, you're going to watch the film and realize, `OK where did the wheels come off and why,' and make sure we don't do that again.''

Luck sat down with quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen to critique the film.

``You think about it until after you watch the field with Clyde,'' Luck said. ``Once you sit down and watch the film, the critiquing and the criticism, and once that happens, you sort of flush it and realize it's on to the next one. If this was the last one of the season and you're done, it would sting a lot more.''

Arians reminded Luck that Peyton Manning did the same thing during his first trip to New England back in 1998. The Colts lost that game 29-6 and Manning threw three interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown.

``I basically told him in the fourth quarter that he was no different than the guy you replaced in his first trip up here,'' Arians said. ``It was almost like deja vu.''

New England tied the game at 14 early in the second quarter on a 68-yard punt return by Julian Edelman and then took a 21-14 lead a minute later on a 59-yard interception return by Aqib Talib. At the start of the fourth quarter, Alfonzo Dennard returned an 87-yard interception to the end zone to make it 45-17.

``You can't give good teams two pick-sixes,'' Luck said. ``You can't score on the first two drives and then sort of peter out. You can't make mistakes because elite teams like the New England Patriots will beat you with them.''

Still, life in Indy has been exciting and inspirational of late. The Colts are fighting for a playoff spot and playing for their leukemia-stricken coach, Chuck Pagano. This is a young team, and even rookie receiver T.Y Hilton said he knows how important it is to forget about the last game in the NFL.

``You have to,'' said Hilton, who tied the franchise record for a rookie to have three games of 100 or more yards receiving. ``Every loss we've had we find a way to bounce. Right now, we have to bounce back and we're at home and you know how we play at home.''

The only time this season Indy has lost back-to-back games was early in the season when they lost to Pittsburgh and Washington to fall to 1-2. After the Colts host Buffalo on Sunday, they host Tennessee, go on the road to Kansas City and play the Houston Texans twice.

``You realize it's just one loss,'' Luck said. ``It doesn't count any more or any less in the column and realize that we're still in a decent position, I think that some other teams would like to be in. Our goals are still obtainable.''

What's the key to bouncing back and becoming successful?

``Staying Chuckstrong,'' Hilton said, referring to Pagano. ``If he's fighting, we're fighting and we have to fight back.''

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE

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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.