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Badgers hold off No. 2 Indiana for 64-59 upset

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Badgers hold off No. 2 Indiana for 64-59 upset

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Wisconsin played Tuesday night like it always does - defended everything, made big shots and limited the turnovers.

Indiana looked like anything but its usual self.

It was just another chapter in a series filled with strange twists.

Ryan Evans scored 13 points, Traevon Jackson added 11 and the unranked Badgers moved into sole possession of the Big Ten lead with a 64-59 upset at No. 2 Indiana.

``We're feeling good about ourselves right now,'' Badgers forward Jared Berggren said. ``It shows we can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime; so I think it shows what we're capable of.''

Especially if the Badgers (13-4, 4-0) keep playing this way.

Wisconsin has won seven straight and has beaten two top-15 teams in four days. It is the last unbeaten team in Big Ten play.

All the Badgers needed to do against Indiana was hold the nation's highest-scoring team to its fewest points of the season, its worst shooting performance of the season and end its 18-game home winning streak.

Mission accomplished.

Wisconsin became the first team to win 11 straight in a series with Indiana since the Badgers last did it in 1919, and the first team to win five straight in Bloomington since Purdue last did that in 1923. No team has ever won six straight on Indiana's home court and only Purdue, from 1908-14, has won 12 in a row against the Hoosiers.

The Badgers just stuck to the game plan.

``We knew that if they got it going in transition they can score in bunches. All you have to do is look at their game films,'' Bo Ryan said, acknowledging he coached with flu-like symptoms. ``Our goal was not to let that happen, but saying it and doing it, having it as a plan, are two different things. It just so happened to work tonight.''

Indiana (15-2, 3-1) felt ill for another reason.

The Hoosiers scored only three fast-break points and watched the Badgers toss in shot-clock beating 3-pointers. Indiana came into the game averaging a Big Ten-leading 17 assists per game, yet managed only seven against the Badgers.

And instead of pressuring Wisconsin into miscues, the Badgers committed just eight turnovers.

Cody Zeller, who made all eight of his shots and had 18 points in the first half, finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds and made only one basket in the second half. Christian Watford had 11 points, and Victor Oladipo had 10.

``That's their style of play. We just didn't defend the dribble well enough, didn't make enough shots,'' Zeller said. ``That's what it boils down to.''

The Badgers followed the script perfectly. They limited the mistakes, took advantage of seemingly every opportunity they got, especially in the second half as Hoosiers fans moaned and groaned about everything from missed shots to errant passes.

Indiana rallied late in the first half to take a 32-31 halftime lead, then opened the second half with a three-point play to make it 35-31. The home crowd figured it was going to be the start of a big run.

Instead, Wisconsin gave up only six points over the next 6:34, a drought that allowed Wisconsin to retake a 38-37 lead with a 7-0 run. A few minutes later, the Badgers were off on a 9-0 spurt that ended when Mike Bruesewitz's 3 beat the shot-clock buzzer to make it 47-39. It was 51-41 before the Hoosiers finally cranked up the pressure.

``When you get momentum going, it's amazing what can happen,'' coach Tom Crean said. ``They played really hard and they got the momentum.''

Indiana looked like it had swung the momentum back in its direction when it scored four straight and after Evans made 1 of 2 free throws, they answered with a 6-0 spurt - the final basket a 3-pointer from Yogi Ferrell that cut the lead to 52-51 with 4:40 to go.

But that was as close as Indiana got.

Ben Brust made a 17-foot jumper and the Badgers closed it out with a game-ending 12-8 run.

``If you just play the game and have the right attitude about it, you make good things happen,'' Ryan said. ``Players have to play.''

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Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson's two-point night including the shorthanded game-winner as the Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday. The win was Washington's third on their six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday in Buffalo.

Here are four reasons Washington won.

1. Braden Holtby’s first period

After the first period, it looked like we were going to have a goalie duel. Frederik Andersen looked absolutely brilliant to start and the Caps needed Holtby to be equally brilliant to keep Washington in it. He was.

Holtby made 12 of his 40 saves in the opening frame, including an absolute beauty to rob Patrick Marleau. Andersen robbed Michal Kempny and Nicklas Backstrom on one end of the ice and Toronto picked up the puck off the rebound for a quick 2-on-1 counter. Kasperi Kapanen fed Marleau beautifully, but Holtby stretched out to make the spectacular save with the blocker. A few minutes later, Holtby made a quick pad save on a William Nylander backhand, then recovered just in time to deny Connor Brown on the rebound attempt.

Because of Holtby’s efforts, both teams went to the locker room locked in a 0-0 tie.

2. Alex Ovechkin draws a penalty, scores the power play goal

Morgan Rielly does not take many penalties. Heading into Thursday’s game, Rielly had taken only two minor penalties all season, which is pretty remarkable when you think about a top defenseman averaging 22:43 of ice time per game.

In the second period, however, Ovechkin managed to draw a hold on Rielly. When you get a team’s top defenseman in the box, you need to take advantage. The Caps did just that off a quick play off a faceoff.

T.J. Oshie won the draw back to John Carlson. As soon as the draw was taken, Ovechkin backed away towards the top of the opposite faceoff circle. Toronto was slow to setup the defense, so when Carlson fed Ovechkin for the one-timer, he had an open shooting lane on net. Ovechkin delivered a fadeaway one-timer from above the circle and beat Andersen glove side.

3. A key forecheck by Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly made a nice play in front of the net to deke around the stretched pad of Andersen and backhand the puck into the open goal. Wilson made that play happen, however, with a great forecheck.

Jake Gardiner went to recover the puck behind the goal line in the defensive zone, but Wilson came streaking in like a freight train and knocked Gardiner off the puck. Lars Eller pounced on the loose puck and fed Connolly in front of the net. He did the rest.

4. The Tom Wilson shorthanded exclamation point

Washington carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and looked to be the better team, but a goal form Andreas Johnsson put the Maple Leafs right back in it. The ice was definitely tilting in Toronto’s favor and less than 90 seconds after Johnsson scored, John Carlson took a hooking penalty.

With the game on the line, however, the penalty kill delivered.

Holtby made a kick-out save and two Leafs went after the rebound, but Brooks Orpik made a key stick lift on Mitch Marner and Eller beat Johnsson to the puck and had a lane for the breakout. Wilson turned on the jets and hustled out of the zone to try to catch up with Eller for the 2-on-1. He got there just in time and Eller delivered the pass to him just past the blue line. Wilson took aim and fired a wrister past Andersen to end any hopes for a comeback.

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Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

To watch the entire video, click "play" in the video player above.

Capitals fan Greg Christian and his late wife, Dona, made a plan to watch their favorite team at every NHL arena. Greg finally achieved that goal.

Gred attended the Caps' tilt with the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 23, taking with him a picture of Dona sporting a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey.

Greg and his wife were long-time Caps fans, and spent road trips talking about hockey and sports. They were soon inspired to follow the Caps on the road and make it to every possible venue to watch them play.

However, those plans would be interrupted in April 2017, when Dona was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The two made it to 34 NHL venues together before she passed away in November, last taking in a Caps game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, according to the Washington Post.

The two have now seen Washington play at 36 venues, including two past arenas and three stadiums. And once Seattle gets an NHL franchise, Greg told WUSA9 he plans to be in attendance.

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