Capitals

NFL Capsule: Packers at Giants

NFL Capsule: Packers at Giants

GREEN BAY (7-3) At NEW YORK GIANTS (6-4)

Sunday, 8:25 p.m., NBC

OPENING LINE - Giants by 2 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Green Bay 5-5; New York 4-4-2

SERIES RECORD - Packers 31-24-2

AP PRO32 RANKING - Packers No. 5; Giants No. 9

LAST MEETING - Giants beat Packers 37-20, Jan. 15, 2012

LAST WEEK - Packers beat Lions 24-20; Giants had bye

PACKERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (18), RUSH (24), PASS (11)

PACKERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (16), RUSH (11), PASS (21)

GIANTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (11T), RUSH (13), PASS (9)

GIANTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (22), RUSH (15), PASS (25)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Fourth meeting between Giants and packers in three seasons. Green Bay won two regular-season games, New York won playoff game last season. Packers five-game win streak tied with Denver for NFL's longest current streak. ... In past seven games, quarterback Aaron Rodgers 6-1 with 24 touchdowns, four interceptions and 117 QB rating. In last two regular-season starts vs. New York, he has thrown for 773 yards, eight TDs, one interception with a 121.2 rating. Packers 25-0 when Rodgers starts and has 115-plus rating. ...Wide receiver Randall Cobb caught six touchdowns in last four games and aims for fifth straight game with TD. He is only player in NFL with 600-plus yards on kickoff returns, 500-plus yards receiving, 200-plus on punt returns and 100-plus rushing. ...Receiver James Jones tied for NFC lead with eight TDs receiving. Receiver Greg Jennings has 14 catches for 236 yards and TD in last two games against Giants. ...Since 2010, cornerback Tramon Williams tied for NFL lead with 15 interceptions. ...LB Clay Matthews had 38-yard interception return for touchdown, sack and forced fumble in Packers' 38-35 win here last year. ...Cornerback Casey Hayward leads all rookies with five interceptions. ... New York comes off bye on two-game losing streak. ... Quarterback Eli Manning has thrown 197 touchdown passes and needs two to tie Phil Simms for most by Giant. ... In past two games against Green Bay, including playoffs, he has a 106.9 rating with six TDs, two interceptions and 677 yards. Two-time Super Bowl MVP has not thrown TD in last three games. ...Giants 10-0 when halfback Ahmad Bradshaw runs for at least 100 yards. ... Receiver Victor Cruz has 28 catches for 427 yards and five touchdowns in last four home games. ...Receiver Hakeem Nicks had seven catches for 165 yards and two TDs in playoff win over Green Bay. ... In last five games, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has five sacks, forced fumble and interception return for TD. ...Justin Tuck has a sack in all three regular-season games between the teams, while fellow defensive end Osi Umenyiora is two sacks shy of 75 in his career. ...Stevie Brown leads NFL safeties with five interceptions. ... Kicker Lawrence Tynes has already surpassed his single-season career best with 28 field goals. He has a shot to break David Akers (49ers) single-season NFL record for points by player with no touchdowns (166), set last season. The Giants record is 148 points by Jay Feely in 2005. Tynes' career high is 126 points in 2009.

---

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

Quick Links

How former Capital Sergei Gonchar helped the Penguins win Game 1

How former Capital Sergei Gonchar helped the Penguins win Game 1

Hockey is a game of organized chaos.

Sure, pucks can take some unexpected bounces, but a lot of what you see on the ice doesn’t happen by accident.

Trailing 2-0 early in the third period of Game 1, Patric Hornqvist got the Pittsburgh Penguins on the board with a deflection that scuttled past Braden Holtby.

You may dismiss the play at first glance as a lucky deflection off a wide shot, but it actually was much more coordinated than that.

The play starts with defenseman Justin Schultz holding the puck at the blue line. He buys time, sees Hornqvist and fires a wrister at the net. The shot is not going on net, but the net isn’t the target.

You can see the play here:

Schultz is specifically aiming to put the puck in a position for Hornqvist to deflect it on goal.

“Justin does a great job just changing his angle, having some patience and just delivering pucks down to the net that gives our forwards an opportunity to get a stick on it,” head coach Mike Sullivan said after the game.

According to the coach, it is a play the Penguins practice daily and one that is reminiscent of former Capital Sergei Gonchar who routinely made smart plays from the blue line to set up his teammates.

Gonchar was one of the top offensive defensemen in the league over a playing career that spanned from 1994 to 2015. He recorded 811 points in his NHL career, 416 of which came during his 10 seasons with Washington.

Now, however, he serves as an assistant coach for the Penguins helping the defensemen practice plays just like the one Schultz made to set up Hornqvist.

“Sergei is so good at helping those guys with the subtleties of the game and just those little skill sets along the offensive blue line,” Sullivan said. "I don't know that there was anybody better in his generation than Sergei was and he does a great job at relaying some of those subtitles to our guys and those guys, they work at it daily.”

Deflections are obviously very difficult for a goalie to handle. It is nearly impossible to react to the puck’s mid-air change of direction. A goalie has to be positioned perfectly to make the save. It also gives shooters at the blue line more targets. Rather than shooting just at the 42x78 inches of the net, players can shoot on net or in the shooting lane of any of their teammates anywhere on the ice. Essentially, the entire offensive zone becomes a potential target.

There’s a reason the Penguins have been as good as they are for as long as they have. They are not getting lucky bounces, they are creating their own deflections thanks in part to the expertise of the former Cap.

MORE CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Da'Ron Payne's first reaction after being drafted No. 13 by the Redskins

Da'Ron Payne's first reaction after being drafted No. 13 by the Redskins

Many top draft choices chose to head to the NFL Draft, hear their name called and get the pomp and circumstance that comes with all that is the NFL Draft. 

The Washington Reskins' No. 13 pick Da'Ron Payne was not one of those prospects. 

Instead, Payne watched the draft surronded by close friends and family.

The reaction was memorable: 

Some draft picks choose not to come for fear of slidding down draft boards, or worse: not being picked in the first round at all. 

So he doesn't get to meet Roger Goodell. He doesn't get a Redskins' jersey on draft night.

But this video wouldn't exist if the defensive tackle from Alabama chose to go to Dallas, Texas on draft night. 

RELATED: