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RG3's TD run gives Skins 14-10 lead in 4th quarter

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RG3's TD run gives Skins 14-10 lead in 4th quarter

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) With the NFC East title on the line, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III had a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Washington Redskins a 14-10 lead over the Dallas Cowboys early in the fourth quarter Sunday night.

Tony Romo threw interceptions on each of Dallas' first two possessions before connecting with Jason Witten for a 9-yard touchdown pass on the team's third drive.

It was a win-or-go-home game moved into prime time to mark the end of the NFL's regular season: Whichever team lost would miss the playoffs, and the winner would host the wild-card Seattle Seahawks in a first-round game next Sunday.

Griffin's scamper with a little more than 3 minutes left in the third quarter capped a nine-play, 82-yard drive and made it 14-7. Dallas cut the lead to four points on Dan Bailey's 48-yard field goal 51 seconds into the fourth quarter.

RG3, wearing a heavy black brace on his mildly sprained right knee, faked a handoff to rookie running back Alfred Morris, who had six carries for 41 yards on the possession - helping him break Clinton Portis' franchise record for rushing in a season.

To that point, Morris had a career-best 141 yards on 21 carries, including a 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Entering the fourth, Morris was up to 1,554 yards for the season. Portis gained 1,516 in 2005.

The game also included Redskins kicker Kai Forbath's first missed field-goal try in 18 career attempts.

After his early miscues, Romo got going on his third drive, a 13-play, 89-yard journey that lasted more than 7 1/2 minutes. It ended with Dallas barely beating an expiring play clock on third-and-goal from the 9, then Romo scrambling around in his trademark fashion before finding Witten in the end zone with about 8 minutes left in the second quarter.

Romo went 4 for 4 for 58 yards on the drive. Witten's first catch of the game, earlier in that possession, gave him 800 for his career, allowing him to join Tony Gonzalez (1,237) and Shannon Sharpe (815) as the only tight ends with at least that many.

Washington responded, going 68 yards in eight plays to tie it on Morris' run around the left side.

Cowboys receiver Miles Austin hurt his left ankle in the second quarter, but he was back on the field in the second half.

The Redskins won the opening coin toss, got the ball first and went three-and-out, with Dwayne Harris' 28-yard punt return setting up Dallas at the Washington 27. But on Dallas' third play on offense, Romo was intercepted by Redskins rookie Richard Crawford. Walking to the sideline, Romo gave intended receiver Kevin Ogletree a talking-to.

The Redskins then drove into field-goal range, before Forbath sent his 37-yard attempt off the right upright, ending his NFL-record streak of 17 consecutive makes to begin a career. Forbath made two field goals last week to surpass Saints kicker Garrett Hartley's old mark of 16 in a row.

Dallas' second drive also ended with Romo's pass getting picked off, this time by cornerback Josh Wilson at Washington's 13. The Redskins again did not capitalize, needing to punt the ball back.

The Cowboys were seeking the first division title and playoff berth since 2009. The Redskins, meanwhile, sought their first trip to the postseason since 2007 - and first NFC East championship since 1999. Washington finished in last place each of the past four seasons.

Washington entered the day on a six-game winning streak and with a 9-6 record, while Dallas came in 8-7.

A victory over Dallas would make Washington the first club since the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars to get to the playoffs after opening 3-6.

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3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

3 reasons why the Caps beat the Sabres

You may think this was an ugly four-game road trip for the Caps, but with a 3-2 win in Buffalo on Monday, Washington managed to earn five out of a possible eight points.

Here is why the Caps beat the Sabres and managed to save the road swing.

A missed high-stick (maybe) from Ovechkin

Ovechkin scored the first goal of the game in the second period as he deflected a high-shot from Christian Djoos down past goalie Chad Johnson. But did the deflection come on a high stick? The play was reviewed and the goal was ultimately upheld. According to the NHL, it was determined that "video review supported the Referee's call on the ice that Alex Ovechkin's stick was at or below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck into the Buffalo net."

NBC Sports Washington analyst Alan May broke the play down during the second intermission and made his case for why the NHL actually got the call wrong.

Was that a high stick? I don't know. As compelling an argument as May made, it still looks inconclusive which means the review made the right call. What surprises me is that the referee did not disallow the goal on the initial call.

Whether the review is truly inconclusive or flat out wrong, Washington was fortunate to walk away from this sequence with the goal.

MORE CAPITALS: BIZARRE SEQUENCE LEADS TO CAPS SCORING AND GETTING PENALIZED AT THE SAME TIME

A centimeter of ice

Hockey is a game of inches and it took less than an inch to put Washington up 2-0. When an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot hit off the boards and bounced back to the front of the net, it sparked a scrum next to goalie Chad Johnson. Eventually, John Carlson was able to get a swipe on the puck sending it trickling to the goal line, but Kyle Okposo was there waiting and appeared to kick it out to safety just before it crossed. A review triggered by the Situation Room, however, revealed that the puck had just barely managed to cross the goal line before Okposo got to it.

Here's the view the NHL released after the review:

Philipp Grubauer's third period

After dominating the first 40 minutes of the game and taking a 2-0 lead, Buffalo predictably made a late push in the third period with two goals to pull within one. Washington outshot the Sabres in the first and second periods, but Buffalo reversed that trend in a big way in the third as they outshot the Caps 17-6. Grubauer turned aside 15 of those shots and was impressive after barely being tested in the first two periods.

RELATED: CHECK OUT THE 3 STARS OF THE GAME FROM CAPS-SABRE

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3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

3 stars of the game: Caps knock out the punchless Sabres

Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a Buffalo Sabres team missing star Jack Eichel was just what the doctor ordered for the Caps to get back on track. Washington dominated the first two periods and then survived a late surge from Buffalo for the 3-2 win.

After battling to a scoreless first, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson spotted Washington a 2-0 lead in the second. They then held on in the third period as Buffalo began to tilt the ice in their favor, with Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the empty-netter to put this game out of reach. Evander Kane would pull Buffalo within one, but with only three seconds left it was too little, too late.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin opened up the scoring in the second period as he deflected down an innocent shot from Christian Djoos past Chad Johnson.

Ovechkin also set a physical tone as he battled with defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen all game long. After taking a high elbow from Ristolainen early in the game Ovechkin skated up to Ristolainen prior to the faceoff on his next shift and let him know that it was on. 

2. John Carlson: Carlson had a hand in both of Washington's first two goals. He recorded a secondary assist on Ovechkin's goal as he made a blue line pass to Djoos which Djoos fired on net and Ovechkin deflected. Carlson then managed to hit the puck past the goal line in a scrum next to Johnson. It looked initially like Kyle Okposo had managed to kick out the puck just before it crossed, but Carlson was awarded the goal as a review showed the puck had completely crossed the line.

3. Philipp Grubauer: A Sabres team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring and that was also without its leading scorer did not test Grubauer much in the first two periods. Facing a 2-0 deficit, however, Buffalo made a third period push to try to tie the game, but Grubauer was up to the task as he turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 32 total saves on the night.