Capitals

Cousins helps Kings beat winless Pistons 105-103

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Cousins helps Kings beat winless Pistons 105-103

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings hold off the winless Detroit Pistons for a 105-103 victory Wednesday night.

The Kings took the lead for good early in the second quarter and won their second consecutive game. Strong bench play and the inside game of Cousins proved pivotal in the fourth when the lead was cut to one basket several times.

Greg Monroe had his first triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists for the Pistons, who fell to 0-5. Brandon Knight made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points. Will Bynum had 14 points, and Kyle Singler added 12.

Knight took a pass from Monroe and made a 3-pointer, pulling Detroit to 102-100 with 23.3 seconds left. It was the 10th assist for Monroe, who became the first NBA player this season to record a triple-double.

Jimmer Fredette made two free throws and Cousins hit another to give Sacramento a 105-100 cushion with 10 seconds to go. Rodney Stuckey hit a 3-pointer as time expired.

Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas both had 15 points for the Kings (2-3), who had lost five straight to Detroit. Jason Thompson scored 13 points and Fredette had 12.

After Knight's 3-pointer and a free throw by Singler cut the Kings' lead to a basket, Marcus Thornton responded with a 3-pointer to put Sacramento ahead 100-95 with 1:134 left.

Leading by three, the Kings scored six straight to build a 90-81 advantage. Cousins had the first three points and Fredette followed with a long 3-pointer.

Following a quiet first half, Evans got going in the third quarter, thanks to several twisting drives to the basket in traffic. He had 11 points in the period and the Kings took a 79-71 lead into the fourth.

The early struggles continued for Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, who last season averaged 35.5 points in two games against the Kings. Stuckey opened the season shooting 1 of 23 in the first three games. He had five points against Sacramento, going 2 for 6 in 34 minutes.

Thomas scored 12 points and Cousins had 10 to help the Kings take a 55-46 lead into halftime. Led by the strong play of its bench, Sacramento outscored the Pistons 29-19 in the second quarter. Monroe had 10 first-half points for Detroit.

NOTES: Kings rookie forward Thomas Robinson hit Jonas Jerebko with a vicious elbow, knocking him to the floor early in the fourth quarter. Robinson was promptly ejected from the game. . Thomas made two 3s and scored 12 first-quarter points for the Kings, who trailed 27-26. . The Kings have assigned second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. He played in only 15 games a season ago and, after missing the preseason with an injury, has yet to see any action through the team's first five games. . Jason Maxiell was called for a flagrant foul on Cousins late in the second quarter.

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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.