From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- President Barack Obama sees the presidential contest as a clutch moment in his favorite sport -- the fourth quarter of a taut basketball game.Fundraising with the help of current and former National Basketball Association stars, Obama told a small group of donors gathered Wednesday night at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center that the current campaign is like the final minutes of a basketball contest with his team up by a few points."But the other side is coming strong," Obama said. "And they play a little dirty. We've got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We have a couple of injuries. And I believe they have one last run in them."Obama raised 3 million with the help of the players, who included former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan and former New York Knicks Walt Frazier and Bill Bradley. NBA Commissioner David Stern also was there.Invoking Jordan's competitive nature, Obama concluded, "If you have seven minutes to go and you have a little bit of a lead, that's when you put them away."The players were part a daylong fundraiser. Earlier, former and current players participated in a 250-per-person autograph session and in a skills camp priced at 5,000 for two people."It is very rare that I come to an event where I'm like the fifth or sixth most interesting person," Obama joked at the Lincoln Center dinner.Later, Obama changed out of his dark suit to shoot baskets with some of the players out of sight of the press. Obama, an avid basketball fan and a player, made a splash during his 2008 campaign by sinking a 3-point shot while visiting troops in Kuwait. His most recent star-studded game, also played in private, featured actors George Clooney and Tobey Maguire.
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.
he 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.
COLUMBUS — Alex Ovechkin confidently predicted earlier this week that the Caps were going to win twice at Nationwide Arena and take their first round series back to Washington knotted, two games apiece.
And, on Thursday night, that’s exactly what Ovechkin made sure his team did.
No. 8, who was playing in his franchise-record 101st playoff game, scored his third goal of the playoffs early in the final frame and the Caps beat the Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4.
Tarik’s Three Stars of Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 4
1. Tom Wilson, Capitals
After a slow (and penalty-plagued) start to this series, Wilson has become a force. Yes, he took another minor, but the good is far outweighing the bad these days. Big Willy recorded a goal, an assist and a team-high seven shots.
2. Braden Holtby, Capitals
Holtby had his best game in, well, a long time. He stopped 23 shots, including all eight he saw in a contentious second period.
The goal he surrendered was a nearly unstoppable tip-in by Boone Jenner.
3. T.J. Oshie, Capitals
Osh just plays the game so dang hard.
So it should come as no surprise that he delivered in his team’s biggest game of the season to this point. Oshie, of course, scored the game-winning goal on the power play midway through the second period.
It was No. 77’s second tally of the series. He also directed six shots at the Columbus net and made a couple of hits...all from a player who's been fighting through injury the past few weeks.
Let us know what you think in the comments.