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Gabby Douglas joins Jay Leno on 'Tonight Show'

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Gabby Douglas joins Jay Leno on 'Tonight Show'

From Comcast SportsNet
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Olympic champion Gabby Douglas basked in the "Tonight" spotlight and the admiration of fellow guest Michelle Obama, but the teenager already is thinking ahead to 2016. Host Jay Leno, who noted that Douglas' last name was an anagram for "USA gold," asked Monday if the gymnast intended to compete in the next Summer Games, in Rio de Janeiro. "Oh, definitely," she replied, reaffirming previous statements. The 16-year-old looked like a winner, dressed in a gold metallic skirt and a fitted, black motorcycle jacket. Her hair, worn in a utilitarian bun during the Olympics, was gathered in a chic ponytail. Her best accessory were the two gold medals she carried onstage, handing one to Leno and the other to Mrs. Obama for closer inspection. "I don't even deserve to hold this," Leno said later as he returned it. Douglas became the third consecutive U.S. athlete and first African-American to win the all-around title. She and her teammates gave the U.S. its first Olympic title in women's gymnastics since 1996. Leno asked Douglas about meeting Prince William's wife, who offered her congratulations to the team, including Aly Raisman. "It was definitely an exciting experience. ... Aly told her she liked her fashion, and she was like, Well, I love your leos (leotards),'" Douglas said. She admitted indulging in post-Olympics fast food to the wrong person: healthy eating advocate Mrs. Obama, who teased the champion. "You're setting me back, Gabby," Obama told her. "Sorry!" replied the athlete, who confessed to chowing down on a McDonalds' breakfast sandwich to celebrate her victories. But she impressed Mrs. Obama and Leno with a detailed description of how, starting at age 6, she learned to navigate the 4-inch-wide balance beam. The host wanted to know if the dream of winning matched the reality. "I think it's very different, and when I mean different,' it's in a better way," Douglas replied. "I mean, I never thought I would be doing the show with the first lady, or even you, Jay." Leno started to reply, when Mrs. Obama jumped in. "Even you too, Jay!" she said. On another sports-related topic, Leno put the first lady on the spot about what he called "this whole kiss cam thing" at a recent basketball game. Last month, she and President Barack Obama were at a U.S. Olympic men's basketball team exhibition game in Washington when the arena's "Kiss Cam" panned to them. She appeared to shake her head "no" to a smooch. That's not what happened, Michelle Obama told Leno. "I had just walked in and sat down, and I just saw my face on the Jumbotron. And I'm still a little embarrassed. ... I didn't see the kiss cam' part," she said. After the couple was booed, daughter Malia set them straight. "She was just disgusted with us," Obama recounted. "She said, Why didn't you kiss?'" The 13-year-old quickly proved her skills as a problem-solver. "I've arranged for you to get another chance on the kiss cam," she told her parents, according to the first lady. The president delivered, giving the first lady a big kiss on the lips and adding a peck on the forehead for good measure. Then Leno turned serious, asking Obama what she's proudest of in her husband's first term. "Truly, health reform," including protection for those with pre-existing conditions," she said.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Lightning

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USA TODAY Sports

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Lightning

The Caps started a daunting back-to-back on a high note with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. Tampa scored first, but the Caps would score the next three goals to earn the win.

Here's why Washington won.

A good response to Tampa’s early goal

When Alex Ovechkin tied the game at 1 late in the first period, it felt inevitable. Tampa Bay took an early 1-0 lead off a power play goal by Vladislav Namestnikov. Rather than spark the Lightning, however, it seemed to wake the Caps’ up from their turkey coma. When Tampa scored, they held an early 3-0 shots-on-goal advantage over Washington. For the rest of the period, the Caps outshot the Bolts 16-4. Ovechkin was a man on a mission as he was all over the ice. In recent weeks, we have seen the Caps at times lack energy at the start of games, but their response to Tampa’s early goal was impressive.

RELATED: TARIK'S 3 STARS IN CAPS' WIN OVER BOLTS

Caps gave Philipp Grubauer a lead to protect

It's been rare this season for Grubauer to protect a lead. So rare in fact that it has not happened since his first start of the season on Oct. 9 which also came against the Lightning. When you are playing from behind, the skaters have to take more chances offensively which can sometimes leave goalies out to dry. Grubauer knows all about that from some of his recent games. When the Caps took a 2-1 lead on Friday, defense became the priority and Grubauer played with a level of confidence we have not seen since his strong performance in a 2-1 loss to Calgary.

Philipp Grubauer

While the Caps could afford to give Grubauer more defensive help as they protected the 2-1 lead, Grubauer himself made some top-notch stops to earn his first win of the season. After a shaky start in which he failed to freeze the puck on two opportunities allowing Tampa to keep the puck in play and score the power play goal, Grubauer was dominant in the crease. He made two especially key saves as he stoned Ondrej Palat in the second period on a one-timer from the slot and denied Vladislav Namestnikov in close midway through the third when a blue line shot from Anton Stralman was deflected behind the defense right to Namestnikov's stick.

MORE CAPITALS: THE CAPS' PRESENCE WAS FELT AT THE REDSKINS' THANKSGIVING GAME

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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps beat the NHL-leading Bolts, 3-1

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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps beat the NHL-leading Bolts, 3-1

If Friday’s game against the NHL-leading Lightning was the barometer many considered it to be, the Caps’ 3-1 victory certainly proved this much: Despite an uneven recent stretch, Alex Ovechkin and Co. are still capable of beating any team in the league on any given night.

Washington has won two games in a row, three of the last four overall and seven of the last eight on home ice. The Caps now head to Toronto for a Saturday showdown with the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1- Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

The Caps’ captain had some good chances early but passed them up. Then, late in the first period, he called his own number. On an odd-man rush, Nicklas Backstrom moved the puck to Tom Wilson on the right wing, and Wilson fired a perfectly-placed setup to Ovechkin, who drilled a one-timer past Andrei Vasilevskiy. The goal was Ovechkin’s second in two games and moved him into a tie with Mike Bossy for 21st on the all-time goals list (573). Next up is Mark Recchi at 577 and Jari Kurri at 601.

2-Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

After a rough start—he allowed a power play goal just 82 seconds into the game—the Caps’ backup rebounded and had an excellent game. A bunch of big stops in the second period, highlighted by a point blank save on Ondrej Palat, likely was the difference for the home team. The victory was Grubauer’s first in seven starts this season. Grubauer (25 saves) is now 4-0-1 all-time against the Bolts.

3-Jay Beagle, Capitals

The fourth line center finished with a goal, a primary assist and a dominant percentage in the faceoff circle. Beagle’s goal was scored, backhanded, into an empty net late to clinch the win. The assist came on a shot that kicked off of Vasilevskiy’s pads right out to Devante Smith Pelly, who buried the rebound for a 2-1 lead. Beagle also won 13 of his 17 draws (82-percent). With a pair of points, Beagle now has 101 career points.  

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.