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Price, Sankey lead Washington past Utah 34-15

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Price, Sankey lead Washington past Utah 34-15

SEATTLE (AP) Keith Price and Washington's offense finally broke out, with the quarterback throwing for two touchdowns and running for another, and Washington become bowl eligible for the third straight season with a 34-15 win over Utah on Saturday night.

Washington (6-4, 4-3 Pac-12) became the last BCS conference team to top 21 points against an FBS opponent when Bishop Sankey scored on a 2-yard toss sweep late in the third quarter to give the Huskies a 27-15 lead.

Sankey finished with 162 yards on 36 carries and became just the 10th 1,000-yard rusher in Washington history, with two games remaining in the regular season. Sankey has 1,017 yards rushing after entering fall camp the Huskies' No. 3 running back.

Price threw touchdowns to Kasen Williams and DiAndre Campbell and ran for a 4-yard TD, his first rushing touchdown this season.

Utah (4-6, 2-5) remained winless on the road and must win its final two games to be bowl eligible for the 10th straight season.

Price had struggled for most of the season, thanks in part to protection issues on the offensive line, and rarely looked like the dynamic star that threw for 33 touchdowns a season ago. Some of that spark was finally back against Utah. Price kept plays alive with his feet and, for the most part, was very accurate with his throws.

Price finished 24 of 33 for 277 yards, easily his best performance of the season. Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had seven catches for 99 yards to break the school record for receptions by a tight end that was previously held by Mark Bruener at 95. Seferian-Jenkins also pitched in with a handful of plays on the defensive line, where the Huskies have been depleted by injuries.

Williams finished with seven catches, including a beautiful toe-tapping 8-yard TD reception in the first half as Price was engulfed by a Utah blitz. Price connected with eight different receivers.

John White rushed for 142 yards for Utah, including a 46-yard TD spurt in the first quarter, but the Utes had zero offense otherwise. Travis Wilson was 8 of 23 for 55 yards and an interception. Utah had been 11-0 when White topped 100 yards rushing and - after scoring 49 points each of the past two weeks - the Utes were lost on offense. Utah has not won on the road since last November at Washington State.

Washington led 14-8 at halftime and got a break on the opening possession of the second half when Utah's risky attempt failed.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham took a chance and went for it on fourth and 1 from his own 43. White was met in the hole by Danny Shelton and John Timu, who intercepted Wilson late in the first half deep in Washington's end, and the ensuing measurement was short.

Washington quickly took advantage of the field position, with Price hitting Seferian-Jenkins for 24 yards down to the Utah 9 and finding Campbell wide open on a quick throw against blitz pressure to give the Huskies a 21-8 lead. White scored on a 20-yard run midway through the third quarter to cut the Washington lead to 21-15, but Sankey's TD late in the quarter pushed the lead back to two scores.

The Huskies capped the victory with a 16-play, 82-yard drive in the fourth quarter that drained nearly 9 minutes off the clock and was finished off by Sankey's second TD run.

The only time this season Washington had topped 21 points before Saturday was in a 52-17 blowout of FCS Portland State.

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John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

John Tortorella has no answers, walks out of postgame press conference

In each of the first three games of the series, the Columbus Blue Jackets always had an answer for the Washington Capitals.

The Caps built a two-goal lead in each game and Columbus was able to battle back and tie it each time.

In Game 4 on Thursday, however. the Blue Jackets had no answer in a 4-1 loss to Washington and that includes head coach John Tortorella.

"We weren't good," Tortorella said to the media after the game. "There's no sense asking me things about the game. I'm telling you, we laid an egg. I'm not going to break it down for you. We sucked. We sucked."

Tortorella is known for having some fiery interactions with the media. By his standard, Thursday's postgame presser was fairly tame.

The Capitals may have won Game 3, but Columbus certainly looked like the better team for most of the night. That was not the case in Game 4 as Washington dominated from start to finish. That led to the contentious postgame presser.

"We laid an egg," Tortorella said. "That's all I have to say, guys. I'm sorry, I'm not going to break it down for you. Nothing went well for us. It's on us, we have to figure it out and we will."

Reporters continued to press the head coach until he finally walked out.

Before you laugh too hard at this, it is important to consider that this may be a calculated move by Tortorella.

Sure, there have been times in which he has lost his temper in the past, but these outbursts may be more premeditated than we think.

Consider this. After their worst game of the series, a game in which the Blue Jackets only scored once and saw a 2-0 series lead evaporate in two games at home, we're talking about the head coach. We're not talking about the loss or the performance of the players. Instead, we are talking about Tortorella walking out on reporters.

Even if Tortorella was not willing to give any answers on Thursday, he will need to find some soon. The series now shifts back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday with all the momentum on the Caps' side.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

4 reasons the Caps beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

The Caps put together their best performance of the series Thursday in a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of their 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series.

The win pulled Washington even with Columbus in the series 2-2.

Here's how the Caps got the big win.

4 Reasons why the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets in Game 4

1. Tom Wilson factors in the offense

Wilson’s hands are good for more than just punching.

He proved that again on Thursday as he scored the first goal for the second consecutive game. Chandler Stephenson and John Carlson provided the pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky scrambling in the crease, Evgeny Kuznetsov passed the puck back to Wilson who fired the one-timer past the Columbus netminder.

In the first two games of the series, Wilson had no points and no shots. In the last two games, he has two goals and 13 shots on goal.

2. A great keep-in by John Carlson

We saw how dangerous it was when penalty killers fail to clear the puck in Game 1 when the Caps failed to clear in the third period leading to the game-tying power play goal.

In Game 4, the roles were reversed. Trying to kill off an Artemi Panarin penalty, Cam Atkinson attempted to clear the puck with the backhand. Carlson skillfully corralled the puck out of the air at the blue line to keep it in the zone.

The power play was able to reset and T.J. Oshie scored the rebound goal soon after.

3. Braden Holtby closes the door to finish the second period

After the Caps took the 2-0 lead, the Blue Jackets made a late push to try to pull one back.

In the last 10 minutes of the second period, Columbus had 13 shot attempts, five of which were not net. Several of those shots were high-quality opportunities, but Holtby came up with the big saves that the team was not getting earlier in the series.

His play ensured the Caps took the 2-0 lead to the locker room.

4. Alex Ovechkin extends the lead to three

Washington entered the third period up 2-0. In each of the first three games, the Caps held a two-goal lead and allowed the Blue Jackets to battle back and tie the score. Even with a two-goal lead, it still felt at the start of the third that the next goal would decide the game. If Columbus pulled within one and got the crowd back on their side, we have seen what that momentum can do for them.

This time, however, Ovechkin struck first. After a board battle behind the net, the puck trickled out to the faceoff circle. Ovechkin grabbed it and quickly snapped the puck past Bobrovsky before anyone could react.

The goal gave Washington their first three-goal lead of the series and shut the Blue Jackets’ comeback down before it could begin.

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