OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has been taken to the hospital with a neck injury after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers safety Ryan Mundy that was not penalized. Heyward-Bey was running across the end zone early in the fourth quarter Sunday to catch a pass from Carson Palmer when Mundy launched his body and lowered his helmet into Heyward-Bey's facemask. Heyward-Bey's neck jerked violently and his head also crashed into the ground. The pass was incomplete. The Oakland Coliseum crowd fell silent. Mundy and players from both sides kneeled in prayer. The home fans also started a derogatory chant at the replacement officials. Heyward-Bey's eyes were shut for the 10 minutes trainers attended to him as he lay motionless. He was strapped to a table and placed on a cart. As the cart started to leave the field, he raised his right hand to roaring cheers.
John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.
The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.
What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
When: 3:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.
Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.
WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?
The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?
Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)
2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?
Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.
WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?
Here are the Caps' projected lines:
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly- Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson
Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos
Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.
Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek
CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS OPEN THREAD
Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans.
For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.
Perhaps Toronto and their fans would disagree, but through two games the first round playoff series between the Wizards and Raptors had been relatively uneventful, maybe even boring to the casual observer. For those who have watched the Wizards in recent years, something just seemed off with them.
Not only were Bradley Beal and Otto Porter struggling to score, but the energy and grit we're used to from the Wizards in the postseason just wasn't there. Three minutes into Game 3 on Friday night, that all changed.
Wizards forward Markieff Morris got tangled with Raptors rookie OG Anunoby and fell to the ground. He rose up, shoved Anunoby and gave Serge Ibaka a push for good measure. It cost Morris a technical, but he wasn't ejected. From there, the tone was set.
This was to be a physical game and the Wizards were going to make sure of it. That's how they prefer to play and that nastiness had been missing thus far in this series.
"I think OG [Anunoby] did not know the scouting report because he did not know that Keef is one of the people you do not mess with in this world," forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. said. "He will learn.”
The fireworks didn't end there. Beal and Jonas Valanciunas got into it and so did John Wall and Anunoby, and then Wall and Ibaka.
The Wizards made a name for themselves in the 2016-17 season when they won 49 games and were one win away from the conference finals as a team that would instigate contact and talk trash. They prided themselves on being old school in that regard and were praised for it by former NBA tough guys like Paul Pierce and Stephen Jackson.
This season, they just haven't been able to do it as often.
"We have been there at spurts throughout the year, we just have not been there consistently," Oubre said. "Now it is do or die. We just need to bring that Death Row mentality.”
Oubre also joked that rapper Drake started it all by sitting courtside in Toronto and talking trash. Truthfully, their backs were against the wall and they had no choice but to punch back.
The Wizards entered Friday's game down 0-2 to the Raptors with Game 2 a dispirited blowout. If they went down 0-3, they would essentially have been dead in the water. No team has come back from that deficit in NBA history.
This time, they weren't going to go down without a fight.
"It sounds crazy, but sometimes we need that. The crazy part is that it's always [Morris]," center Marcin Gortat said. "If you see your teammate fighting, I'm going to fight with him. That's the bottom-line."
"We came out tonight with an edge about ourselves," Beal said. "Keef is a bully... we are physical team."
As for Morris, the enforcer himself, he let his actions speak for themselves. He didn't take the bait on most questions, but did wear a 'Death Row D.C.' shirt during his media availability. Morris came up with that nickname last season to convey the toughness he wants the Wizards to play with.
"We need some physicality," Morris said. "I feel like when we were in Toronto, they were doing everything too freely. This kind of set the tone for the whole series... we need to keep our same mean mentality. If they wanna fight, we will fight."
The Wizards fought the Hawks and Celtics last year tooth-and-nail and often used physical play to their advantage. It worked in Game 3 against the Raptors. Now the Wizards will have to counter however Toronto chooses to respond.
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