NFL Capsule: Redskins at Eagles

NFL Capsule: Redskins at Eagles


Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE - Redskins by 5 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Washington 9-5; Philadelphia 3-10-1

SERIES RECORD - Redskins lead 80-70-5

AP PRO32 RANKING - Redskins No. 8; Eagles No. 29

LAST MEETING - Redskins beat Eagles 31-6, Nov. 18

LAST WEEK - Redskins beat Browns 38-21 ; Eagles lost to Bengals 34-13





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Redskins can clinch first playoff berth since 2007 with win plus losses by Giants, Bears and Vikings. ... Redskins have share of first place in NFC East after 15 weeks for first time since 1999. ... Coach Mike Shanahan has 173 wins, including postseason. He's one win shy of tying Mike Holmgren for 11th all-time in NFL history. ... Redskins have scored 30 points seven times, team's most since doing so in eight games in 1991. ... RB Alfred Morris' 1,322 yards rushing seventh-best single-season total in team history. ... K Kai Forbath one field goal shy of tying Garrett Hartley's NFL record for consecutive field goals made to begin career (16). ... Redskins have seven TD passes of 50 yards or more (five by Robert Griffin III, two by Kirk Cousins). It's their most since seven in 1966, all by Sonny Jurgensen. ... QB Nick Foles' 1,356 yards passing second-highest total by Eagles rookie. He trails John Reaves (1,508 in 1972). ... WR Jeremy Maclin's 246 receptions are most by Eagles players in first four seasons. ... Eagles haven't intercepted pass in last eight games. ... Eagles have eight sacks in last two games after defensive line coach Jim Washburn was fired. They had 20 in first 12. ... Last week, FB/TE Emil Igwenagu was 16th player to make NFL debut with Eagles this year. ... RB LeSean McCoy will start in first game back after missing four with concussion.


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Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders


Braden Holtby puts loss to Tampa solely on his own shoulders

The mood in the Capitals locker room following a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday was one of frustration. Forty minutes of strong play from Washington amounted to nothing because of a disastrous opening first period in which the Lightning jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

No one in the locker room was more frustrated than Braden Holtby.

"Obviously you don't want to go down three," he told reporters after the game. "That's on no one else but me. The third goal, especially the third, fourth goal, that's the difference in the game. I thought we played a really strong game against a really good team. We should have got a better result and that's on me why we didn't."

Tampa scored three goals in the first off of only eight shots. For the game, the Lightning managed to pierce Holtby four times off of only 19 shots.


Frustration seemed to boil over on the fourth goal when a normally stoic Holtby was visibly upset after allowing Nikita Kucherov to beat him on a breakaway in a play similar to what we saw in the All-Star Game.

See for yourself:

"The key to getting better is learning from your mistakes and obviously I didn't do that," Holtby said. "I was just trying to play it patient. I wasn't trying to cheat towards that move and he came at it a different way. That's on me for not recognizing it. That's not a goal I can give up in that situation after our team battled the way they did, especially in the third."

The frustration Holtby feels likely is not the result of one goal, but the culmination of a recent slump that continues to plague the Vezina winner.

Holtby has lost four straight starts and has given up at least four goals in each of those games.

While Holtby was quick to take the blame for Tuesday's loss, head coach Barry Trotz was quick to defend his netminder.

"No one takes the loss," he said. "We all take a loss. I take a loss, the group takes a loss and Braden's part of the group. ... He's had a little tough stretch. It's no different than, we've got guys that haven't scored in 15, 20 games. It's no different than a player."

The challenge now is overcoming that slump.

For a slumping skater, Trotz could try different line combinations or play someone in different situations over the course of the game. Getting a starting goalie out of a slump, however, is more difficult. Most of the work has to be done in practice with the hope that it will carry over into the next game.

"You analyze how the goals are going in, what you're doing differently," Holtby said. "There's always some stuff that you can't control and stuff that you can and it's focusing on those contrallables that you can make a difference at. Like the first goal in Chicago, the last two goals here, those are goals that I could and should stop. You get to practice the next day and you focus on that and work hard until you figure it out so you don't do it again."


Part of the problem in Washington is that team defense is the Caps' biggest weakness. For most of the season, and even in years past, Holtby has made up for much of the team's mistakes on the backend. Now that he is slumping those mistakes become much more glaring and costly.

"The goaltenders in this league are erasers," Trotz said.

Lately, Holtby has not been able to erase those mistakes.

But the team has already moved to address the defense. Brian MacLellan added a puck-moving defenseman in Michal Kempny to help the team get the puck out of the defensive zone more quickly. Waiving Taylor Chorney could also signify another move may be coming before Monday's trade deadline.

As for Trotz, even during the slump, he made clear his confidence in Holtby has not wavered.

"He has been a rock since the day I've been here the last four years and he's been an elite goaltender and I look at him that way."

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.