Capitals

Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) Baseball's all-time home run king and its most decorated pitcher likely will be shut out of the Hall of Fame in January. A survey by The AP shows that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, as well as slugger Sammy Sosa, don't have enough votes to get into Cooperstown.

With steroid scandals still very much on the minds of longtime members of the Baseball Writers' Association as they cast their ballots, the trio failed to muster even 50 percent support among the 112 voters contacted by the AP - nearly one-fifth of those eligible to choose.

Candidates need 75 percent for election

Bonds is baseball's only seven-time MVP and Clemens its only seven-time Cy Young winner.

NFL

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - It appears Tim Tebow will be watching from the sideline again.

And this time, the Jets' backup quarterback might be in sweats instead of his uniform.

Tebow was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals because of two broken ribs that limited him all week. Coach Rex Ryan wouldn't officially rule out Tebow, but it sounded unlikely he would play.

Tebow was injured at Seattle on Nov. 11, played three offensive snaps the following week at St. Louis and was active but didn't play Thanksgiving night against New England. Tebow spent most of the 49-19 loss standing on the sideline while Mark Sanchez played the entire game.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - His seven Tour de France titles erased from cycling's record books, Lance Armstrong still holds claim to one piece of sports hardware - an Olympic medal.

But for how much longer?

The fate of Armstrong's medal will be addressed when the International Olympic Committee executive board meets next week in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Twelve years after Armstrong won bronze in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the IOC wants the medal back after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report of widespread doping by Armstrong and some teammates during his seven Tour de France victories from 1999-2005.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A former U.S. senator brought in to monitor Penn State said the university has gotten ``off to a very good start'' in responding to NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

George Mitchell's first quarterly report as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor noted there was a looming deadline to complete a set of reforms, including implementation of a college sports code of conduct, but he said he believes university officials are acting in good faith.

The 68-year-old Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant coach, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for abusing several boys, some on campus. He maintains his innocence.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota judge has dismissed child pornography charges against a college football head coach accused of making pornographic videos of his children.

A district court judge dismissed the case for lack of probable cause.

Todd Hoffner, the head coach at Minnesota State, Mankato, was charged in August with two felonies. Prosecutors said he made filmed his children performing suggestive acts while naked.

Hoffner and his wife insisted all along that the videos were not inappropriate, and were merely images of children acting silly and dancing after taking a bath.

No evidence of child porn was found and social workers found no evidence of abuse.

TENNIS

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors have suddenly dropped a murder case against professional tennis referee Lois Goodman in the death of her husband.

A judge dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning it could be brought back.

The 70-year-old Goodman was accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband Alan to death with a coffee cup in April.

Authorities initially believed he fell down stairs at home while his wife was away, but later decided it was homicide after a mortuary reported suspicious injuries.

Goodman was arrested in August as she arrived to serve as a line judge at the U.S. Open.

BASKETBALL

ATLANTA (AP) - A lawyer for former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw says he's investigating the circumstances that led to assault and weapons charges against the Olympic gold medalist.

The 35-year-old is accused of smashing the windows and firing a shot into a car belonging to Jennifer Lacy, who plays for the Tulsa Shock. No one was injured. Lacy told police Holdsclaw was an ex-girlfriend and they were Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009.

After an appearance in Fulton County Magistrate Court, lawyer Patrick Sullivan said the case hasn't been indicted yet. Holdsclaw is out on bond and has been ordered to wear a monitoring device and have no contact with the 29-year-old Lacy.

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - VCU women's volleyball coach James Finley is fighting to get his job back after he says he was fired because he is gay.

Finley, 52, has filed a complaint with VCU's Office for Institutional Equity. University spokesperson Pamela D. Lepley said an investigation is being conducted and must be completed within 45 days.

The findings will be provided to Finley and VCU President Michael Rao. The coach said he would consider taking legal action if he is not reinstated.

He was fired Nov. 19, one day after losing in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

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John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

In each of the first three games of the series, the Columbus Blue Jackets always had an answer for the Washington Capitals.

The Caps built a two-goal lead in each game and Columbus was able to battle back and tie it each time.

In Game 4 on Thursday, however. the Blue Jackets had no answer in a 4-1 loss to Washington and that includes head coach John Tortorella.

"We weren't good," Tortorella said to the media after the game. "There's no sense asking me things about the game. I'm telling you, we laid an egg. I'm not going to break it down for you. We sucked. We sucked."

Tortorella is known for having some fiery interactions with the media. By his standard, Thursday's postgame presser was fairly tame.

The Capitals may have won Game 3, but Columbus certainly looked like the better team for most of the night. That was not the case in Game 4 as Washington dominated from start to finish. That led to the contentious postgame presser.

"We laid an egg," Tortorella said. "That's all I have to say, guys. I'm sorry, I'm not going to break it down for you. Nothing went well for us. It's on us, we have to figure it out and we will."

Reporters continued to press the head coach until he finally walked out.

Before you laugh too hard at this, it is important to consider that this may be a calculated move by Tortorella.

Sure, there have been times in which he has lost his temper in the past, but these outbursts may be more premeditated than we think.

Consider this. After their worst game of the series, a game in which the Blue Jackets only scored once and saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate in two games at home, we're talking about the head coach. We're not talking about the loss or the performance of the players. Instead, we are talking about Tortorella walking out on reporters.

Even if Tortorella was not willing to give any answers on Thursday, he will need to find some soon. The series now shifts back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday with all the momentum on the Caps' side.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

The win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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