Capitals

Eagles en route to Arizona to continue interviews

Eagles en route to Arizona to continue interviews

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles' search to replace Andy Reid took another twist Saturday with Chip Kelly still on the market and within their grasp.

Owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and President Don Smolenski went to Arizona to continue interviews for the team's coaching vacancy, and the team released a statement naming three candidates.

``The Eagles are committed to finding the right fit for head coach and are heading to Arizona now to kick off a week of interviews with a variety of candidates including Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Indianapolis offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley,'' the statement said.

Two people familiar with the plans told The Associated Press that Kelly and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone also would meet with the Eagles. The team wouldn't confirm either interview.

Another person familiar with the negotiations told the AP on Friday that Kelly was nearing a deal with the Cleveland Browns. So, the Eagles continued with their plans to interview other candidates.

However, Kelly didn't finalize a deal with the Browns and he also interviewed with the Buffalo Bills on Friday before meeting the Eagles on Saturday afternoon. Kelly was expected to have dinner with the Browns, but there were reports he was still meeting with the Eagles late into the night.

Kelly had no reason to cancel interviews with teams interested in him, keeping his options open and probably driving up his price tag. It's likely his agent, David Dunn, used that as leverage for negotiations.

But the Browns may have gambled by not locking up Kelly and allowing the Eagles to possibly steal him away. There's a long history between Lurie and Browns CEO Joe Banner, adding a soap-opera element to this coaching drama.

Banner, a longtime friend of Lurie, spent 19 seasons with Philadelphia, the last 12 as president. He left the team last year after a falling out, and the Eagles could be using that in their talks with Kelly.

Banner had a knack for rubbing people the wrong away in Philadelphia, and wasn't popular in the locker room because of the way he handled contract dealings.

Former Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was extremely critical of Banner last year, and former linebacker Jeremiah Trotter ripped Banner on a Philadelphia radio station Thursday.

``No player I played with trusted him,'' Trotter said.

Whether any of that plays a role in Kelly's decision remains to be seen.

The Eagles interviewed Penn State's Bill O'Brien on Thursday and met with Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong on Wednesday. O'Brien is remaining at Penn State.

The interviews with Arians and Bradley will likely take place by Tuesday.

Arians was 9-3 as interim coach in Indianapolis filling in for Chuck Pagano. He previously served as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator from 2007-11. The 60-year-old Arians is quite familiar with Philadelphia, having coached Temple from 1983-88.

Bradley is in his fourth season in Seattle. His defense finished first in the NFL in points allowed (15.3), fourth in yards (306.2) and tied for fourth in takeaways (31).

Marrone is 25-25 in four seasons at Syracuse. He previously served as the offensive coordinator in New Orleans under Sean Payton from 2006-08.

The Eagles' search could last until after the Super Bowl. There are several other coaches on playoff teams that could get interviews with Philadelphia, including Cincinnati's Jay Gruden and Mike Zimmer, Green Bay's Ben McAdoo, Seattle's Darrell Bevell, Washington's Kyle Shanahan and Houston offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.

Former coaches Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy - all Super Bowl winners - are not on Philadelphia's radar at this time.

The Eagles went to the playoffs nine times in Reid's 14 seasons, but not since 2010. They last won a playoff game in 2008.

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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.