Capitals

Harris' 17 lead Virginia past Florida State, 56-36

Harris' 17 lead Virginia past Florida State, 56-36

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) Joe Harris scored 17 points and Virginia used a 22-4 run late in the first half and stifling defense throughout to beat Florida State for the first time in eight tries, 56-36 on Saturday.

Akil Mitchell added 13 points for the Cavaliers (12-5, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led 33-15 at halftime - the fifth time this season they have held an opponent under 20 first-half points. It was the first time they have done it in an ACC game since they led Clemson 28-14 on Feb. 10, 1996.

Michael Snaer scored nine points to lead the Seminoles (10-7, 2-2), who shot 37 percent, missed 14 of 15 3-point attempts and committed 18 turnovers that Virginia turned into 20 points.

The games was delayed for several minutes with 3:58 remaining when Terrance Shannon dropped to the floor after appearing to slam his head into Evan Nolte's hip in a scramble under the basket. Shannon fell and lay motionless for several minutes and was placed on a backboard and then a stretcher. There was no immediate word of the condition of his injury.

Virginia led 11-9 when Jontel Evans scored on a drive with 13:57 left in the half. The basket sparked a 22-4 run for the Cavaliers, who held Florida State scoreless for nearly nine minutes in one stretch.

The Seminoles shot 7-for-22 in the half, while the Cavaliers were 7-for-9 on 3-pointers. Akil Mitchell and Justin Anderson scored six each in the burst for Virginia. Anderson had a pair of 3-pointers, including one just moments after blocking a dunk attempt by 7-foot-1, 290-pound Michael Ojo at the other end.

The Seminoles made a run with six straight points early in the second half, closing to within 35-21, but the Cavaliers countered with eight of the next 11 points, rebuilding the lead to 19 points, and Florida State never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.

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Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

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NBC Sports Washington

Blackhawks fans tossed after directing racist remarks at Washington's Smith-Pelly

CHICAGO—Four fans were ejected from United Center on Saturday night for taunting Devante Smith-Pelly as the Capitals’ winger sat in the penalty box.

The fans, according to a team spokesman, yelled “basketball, basketball, basketball” at Smith-Pelly, who is black. Smith-Pelly was in the box for fighting in the third period of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

The taunts were confirmed by an off-ice official, the spokesman said, and the fans were subsequently removed from the arena.

Smith-Pelly did not speak with reporters after the game but is expected to address the incident at the team’s next media availability. The team is scheduled to practice Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz did not hold back when asked about the fans' comments.

“There’s absolutely no place in the game of hockey or our country for racism,” Trotz said. “I think it’s disgusting, and there’s no place for it. …It just shows ignorance.”

The Blackhawks responded on Twitter with an apology to Smith-Pelly, who is one of roughly 30 black players in the NHL.

February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the NHL.

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3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

3 stars of the game: Caps suffer ugly loss to scuffling Blackhawks

Just about everything that could go wrong did for the Capitals on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Caps were coming off a strong 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, but none of that carried over in the trip to Chicago. The Caps took on a Blackhawks team that had lost eight in a row, but Chicago quickly took control in the first period and never looked back.

Washington gave up 21 shots on goal in the first period and found themselves down 3-1 after the opening frame. Things did not get much better from there as they gave up another three goals in the final four minutes of the second.

Here are the three stars of the game.

1. Jonathan Toews: Toews opened up the scoring in the first period with a quick shot from the corner that caught Braden Holtby by surprise.

Later in the first, he recorded an assist as his pass sparked a breakout that led to Brandon Saad's deal that gave Chicago back the lead. The Caps tried to make a game of it in the second period, but Toews intercepted a pass from Brooks Orpik that led to a 2-on-0 with himself and Patrick Kane that Kane netted to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead and signaled to everyone that the rout was on. Saturday was only the second three-point night of the season for Toews.

2. Patrick Kane: Toews helped the Blackhawks take control early, but Kane helped provide the knockout punches in the second period. A bad pass from Orpik was intercepted by Toews that led to a 2-on-0 with Kane. Holtby made the initial save on Toews, but Kane was able to knock in the rebound for the goal.

Kane also added an assist on Artem Anisimov's power play goal which extended Chicago's lead to 6-1.

3. Tom Wilson: Before this one got out of hand, it looked like Wilson had erased the tough start for the Caps as he deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen into the net to get Washington on the board.

Saturday's tally was his third goal in two games and his 10th of the season, marking the first time in his career he has reached double digits in goals.