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Foster: Don't expect 100 percent play at Pro Bowl

Foster: Don't expect 100 percent play at Pro Bowl

HONOLULU (AP) Houston running back Arian Foster says players are going to step up at the Pro Bowl this year, but don't expect 100 percent effort.

Foster said Friday after practicing with his AFC teammates that it's unrealistic to expect full effort from the NFL's top athletes when they're limited in the plays they're able to run.

``This isn't basketball - you can't go play a pickup game of football,'' Foster said.

Foster said if the NFL expects 100 percent effort from its stars and league officials are willing to cancel the game if they don't see that, then the game will likely be scrapped.

``I think it's an honor and a tradition, but for you to expect the best athletes in the NFL to come out and play a game 100 percent when you can't game plan, you can't blitz, you can't do all these things, it's not going to be competitive like everybody wants it to be,'' Foster said.

Effort has emerged as the top theme for this year's Pro Bowl as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear the all-star game won't be played going forward if it's second-rate football.

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning said that would be a shame, meaning players have to play better to keep it around.

Manning said the NFL will lose the value of players interacting if the Pro Bowl goes away, which helps to keep the league strong. The true value of the game over the years, he said, is for younger players to have interactions with older veterans, like Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson chatting with former Chargers great LaDainian Tomlinson.

``Don't tell me there's not great value in that conversation,'' Manning said.

``If they cancel this, then I think the NFL will lose that,'' Manning said. ``Is there monetary value in that conversation? I would argue yes. I would argue that's helping keep the NFL as great as it is. So I'd hate for it to be canceled.''

The AFC and NFC squads took team photos at a resort on Oahu's west side before practicing separately on a 50-yard field in front of family, friends and some fans.

AFC defenders played a little more defense than in two prior practices. During seven-on-seven drills, Kansas City safety Eric Berry picked off a Manning pass and Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie intercepted Houston quarterback Matt Schaub. On one play, Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck gave the ball to Foster, who looked downfield to throw a pass but didn't.

``Throw that,'' Colts linebacker Robert Mathis dared Foster.

``I want to make sure Ray Anderson's paying attention,'' a Denver coach shouted to the players after Jets safety LaRon Landry broke up a pass, referring to the NFL executive who earlier this week said the league would make a decision about the Pro Bowl by April. Anderson was at the practice.

Wide receivers A.J. Green and Victor Cruz said part of practice is about getting the timing and rhythm right between players.

``It's just getting comfortable with the plays, getting comfortable with the little nuances of the playbook really quickly and once you get acclimated, it's fairly easy,'' said Cruz, the New York Giants star.

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Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

It would have been understandable if Travis Boyd struggled this past week. Something more important was on his mind.

Boyd spent the week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, who had been experiencing pain in her throat. He spent the enitre week in the hospital, not leaving until Hershey's game against Laval.

Boyd turned this trial into something incredible as he scored four goals Friday in Hershey's 6-3 win.

Boyd spoke about the ordeal with Zach Fisch of the Bears Radio Network (transcription via RMNB).

“It actually started after the game last Sunday against Rochester," he said. "I went straight from the rink to Urgent Care and then from Urgent Care to the ER. Never left the hospital until Friday morning. We had a successful surgery on Thursday night. Basically just a bad infection in her throat that had to be surgically removed. They had to surgically go in and kind of remove the bacteria and drain out the fluids. Everything went well. She’s doing well.”

Following the game, Boyd dedicated his performance to Hayden.

A four-goal game at the AHL level would have been an incredible accomplishment on its own. The fact that it came during such a trying time for him makes this a truly inspirational story.

You can watch highlights of the game including all four of Boyd's goals here:

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S UPDATED CAPS’ PROSPECT RANKINGS HERE

Other prospect notes:

  • In the Bears' game Friday against Laval, Riley Barber dropped the gloves with Markus Eisenchmid.  Barber was given an extra minor and game misconduct for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of the game. That penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension which Barber served Saturday. Here's a look at the fight.

  • Liam O'Brien had a pair of two-goal games over the week, scoring twice against Laval Friday and then two more against Toronto on Monday. Of his four goals, three of them were empty netters.
  • As the Capitals prepare for their Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley—a native of Perth, Australia—made a plea to see Nathan Walker recalled for the game.  “I’ll have to put a quick shout out to the one Australian that’s playing for the Caps now, Nathan Walker. If you could just bring him up for this game, that’d be great. Because an Australian being in a hockey game is like a Jamaican bobsled team. It doesn’t happen very often.”

  • Brian Pinho was honored Friday in Providence College's Senior Night. He has served as captain of the team this season and as an assistant captain in his junior year. He spoke with The Cowl on what being a leader on the team means to him. "I think being a leader of this team is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. I try to keep everything fun at the rink, while also bringing some intensity and competing hard every day.” You can read the full story here.
  • Goalie Adam Carlson, who was on loan to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was reassigned to the Kansas City Mavericks also of the ECHL. He started two games for his new team and turned aside 42 of the 48 total shots he faced.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in his week's updated rankings.

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 61: Capitals at Panthers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Panthers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Panthers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals (34-19-7) take on the Panthers (26-25-6) Tuesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Florida.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Panthers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:30 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Panthers
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:30 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Panthers game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-PANTHERS 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.