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Manning powers Giants to big lead against Packers

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Manning powers Giants to big lead against Packers

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Eli Manning threw for three scores to become the Giants' career leader in touchdown passes, and rested New York led the Green Bay Packers 38-10 after three quarters on Sunday night.

Manning's TDs covered 16 yards to rookie Rueben Randle, 9 to Victor Cruz and 13 yards to Hakeem Nicks. The two-time Super Bowl MVP also set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown with a 59-yard screen pass to Ahmad Bradshaw, who had a 13-yard scoring run late in the first half.

Manning now has 200 career TD passes, one more than Phil Simms.

The Giants carried a two-game losing streak into this weekend, but they looked much better after a week of rest. The 31-point first half was their biggest of the season, and it put them on the road to taking a two-game lead in the NFC East.

The Giants' defense also helped the offense break out of a slump by setting up 10 points with two turnovers.

Corey Webster's first-quarter interception led to a 43-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes a little more than two minutes after Randle's first career touchdown gave New York a 14-7 lead.

A strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers by Osi Umenyiora and a 10-yard return by Jason Pierre-Paul late in the half set up Bradshaw's scoring run that gave the Giants a 21-point lead.

Rodgers and Jordy Nelson hooked up on a 61-yard scoring pass for the Packers on their opening series, but Green Bay looked nothing like the team that came into the game with a five-game winning streak. The Packers needed to win to stay tied with Chicago (8-3) in the NFC North.

Each team scored a touchdown on its opening possession, with the Giants accomplishing the feat for the first time since playing Carolina in the third week of the season.

The Manning-to-Bradshaw screen, which was set up by a fake end around, gave New York a first and goal at the Packers 2.

Rodgers needed only four plays to take the Packers 77 yards. The scoring pass came after he eluded a pass rush, allowing Nelson to get behind Webster. The play was reviewed when it momentarily appeared that the receiver stepped out of bounds before making the catch.

Green Bay had a chance to take the lead on its second possession but Mason Crosby was wide left on a 55-yard field goal. He converted a 28-yarder in the second quarter to cut the Giants lead to 24-10.

The Giants went 55 yards for the TD after Crosby's miss, with Manning keeping the drive alive with a 13-yard, third-down scramble on which he tried to run over cornerback Tramon Williams.

Webster came off receiver James Jones to step in front of Randall Cobb and intercept Rodgers on the next play from scrimmage. Tynes kicked his field goal four plays later.

Cruz's touchdown capped an eight-play, 61-yard drive that featured a 25-yard pass to Nicks, who got the only score in the third quarter by extending the ball over the goal line as he lay on top of cornerback Davon House.

The Packers lost running back Johnny White (concussion) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (knee) to injuries in the first half, while backup linebacker Jamari Lattimore hurt a calf.

Giants tackle David Diehl had a first-half stinger and was replaced by Sean Locklear. Safety Kenny Phillips, who was playing for the first time since injuring a knee against Philadelphia in September, left with another knee injury in the third quarter and was ruled out.

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The human side of the NHL's trade deadline

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USA TODAY Sports

The human side of the NHL's trade deadline

Congratulations! You just got a new job. There’s just one catch: it’s in a new city.

Oh, and by the way, you start tomorrow. Good luck.

That would be a pretty big shock for anyone, but it is the reality that hockey players constantly face and one that is exacerbated as the trade deadline approaches.

“I know fans and media get really excited about it, but they're not the ones that have to pick up and move their families,” Brooks Orpik said following Sunday’s practice. “I think players are looked at as kind of objects at times, just a number. People don't know there's a human side to trades.”

This season’s NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. on Monday. Until then, every locker room faces a degree of uncertainty.

RELATED: KEMPNY GETS QUICK PROMOTION TO THE TOP-FOUR

Almost no player or prospect is untouchable. Even if there are no rumors surrounding a team or things seem set, the threat of a trade hangs over the heads of the players like the sword of Damocles until the deadline finally comes and goes.

Even for those players who know they won’t be moved or who can’t be moved because of various clauses in their contracts, it still remains a stressful time as they could still see friends shipped to another city.

“I think what happens on that day is all the players, as soon as they get off the ice at morning skate, they're all looking at their phones and trying to see what happens,” Barry Trotz said. “They want to see what happens around the league.”

Sure, a player can go from a last place team to a contender. On the surface, they should be happy. Behind the scenes, however, midseason trades always carry family implications.

“It's tough on guys,” Orpik said. “Guys have kids in schools or have roots in the community of the teams they play for. As fun as it is for some people, I think as players it can definitely be nerve-wracking for people.”

MORE CAPITALS: TRADE TO CAPS POTENTIALLY OFFERS JERABEK WHAT HE NEVER GOT IN MONTREAL

When those trades do happen, they obviously can throw a player’s life upside-down.

For those players who are not traded, the team has to adjust both to losing familiar faces and to embracing new ones into the locker room.

“When someone comes into a new group, it's not much changed except for obviously a new piece,” Jay Beagle said. “But it's definitely harder on them so you try to make it as easy as possible on them.”

Thus far, the Capitals have added defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek over the past week. While both trades were done in exchange for draft picks, Taylor Chorney was a casualty of the trades as he was placed on waivers to make room for the new additions and was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“It's tough losing guys, especially guys that are well-liked in our room,” Orpik said. “Taylor Chorney is a really well-liked guy so I think that impacted us a little bit.”

On Monday, fans, analysts, players and coaches alike will all be frantically checking their phones looking for the latest trade news, but while the deadline brings excitement for fans, it bears very different feelings for the players involved. Those players are people working a job and those trades mean uprooting their life in a matter of days. Regardless of whether a player is better off in terms of the team situation, there is still a human cost to doing business.

“It can affect certain guys because their names are obviously spread all over the place,” Trotz said. “They're human too. They pretend to not hear it, but they do.”

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Michal Kempny already promoted to top-four at Sunday's practice

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Michal Kempny already promoted to top-four at Sunday's practice

After two games, it looks like Michal Kempny is already moving up in the lineup.

At Sunday’s practice, Kempny played on the team's second defensive pairing, lining up on the left of John Carlson. Previously, the Czech defenseman had been playing on the right of Brooks Orpik. The move to the left allows him to play on his natural side as he is a left-handed shot.

Here are the pairs from Sunday’s practice:

Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny – John Carlson
Brooks Orpik – Christian Djoos
Jakub Jerabek – Madison Bowey

Acquired on Monday from the Chicago Blackhawks, Kempny has played in two games for the Capitals and has received glowing reviews thus far.

“He's a really good pro, that's what sticks out,” head coach Barry Trotz said. “He takes care of himself, he works at his game off the ice and with the guys, he has fit in very well.”

RELATED: THE TRADE TO WASHINGTON OFFERS JERABEK THE CHANCE HE NEVER SEEMED TO GET IN MONTREAL

“I've gotten to play a little bit with [Kempny] the last couple games,” Brooks Orpik said. “I think he's a guy that, he moves pretty well and he moves the puck pretty well and likes to keep things pretty simple. He's very consistent and predictable so he's very easy to play with.”

When the Capitals first acquired Kempny, it seemed like the best fit for him would be alongside Carlson. It’s a natural fit with Kempny being a left-shot and Carlson a righty. It also bumps down Christian Djoos to a third-pair role which is preferable to having a rookie in the top-four come the playoffs.

Should Kempny play well with Carlson, that would likely solidify Washington’s top two pairs. The Orlov-Niskanen pair was not going to be changed and Carlson was going to be on the second pair. The only question was who would ultimately play with him in the postseason?

The third pair, however, remains a work in progress.

The Caps will have to wait at least another day for the debut of their second recent acquisition as Jakub Jerabek cannot yet play due to visa issues and will miss Monday's game, reports Isabelle Khurshudyan.

Considering the issues Washington has had on defense, they would not have brought in another defenseman just to be a healthy scratch. He will get his shot to earn a spot in the lineup.

With two new defensemen in tow, obviously the team will need to experiment over the next few days and weeks to find the right combinations.

“We're going to have to probably spend at least the next 10 to 12 games doing that and then we'll have to sort of settle in,” Trotz said. “With eight defenseman, you sort of want to see which guys you’re going to play and who to play as partners and sort of a little bit of ranking. If someone goes down, who's filling that extra role?”

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