Capitals

Bobcats beat Magic 106-100 to end 5-game skid

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Bobcats beat Magic 106-100 to end 5-game skid

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Kemba Walker had 25 points and eight rebounds, and Gerald Henderson added 17 points as the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a five-game losing streak with a 106-100 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The Bobcats evened the season series with the Magic and now return home for four consecutive games, beginning with Sacramento on Saturday.

Charlotte started fast and shot the ball well throughout, with its field goal percentage hovering above 50 percent for most of the night. The Bobcats also shot 17 more free throws than Orlando, including some crucial ones in the final minute to secure the victory.

Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 23 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 22.

Orlando has lost its last six games against teams with records below .500.

The Magic seemed to be making some progress following their convincing win over Indiana on Wednesday, when they got production from both the perimeter and inside.

Meanwhile, Charlotte came in rested following a 27-point loss to Indiana on Tuesday.

The Magic were flat throughout against the energized Bobcats, but trailed by just five entering the fourth quarter.

A pair of free throws by Nelson trimmed it to 98-94 with 1:13 to play, but he left the game on the ensuing Charlotte possession following a collision near midcourt.

Afflalo was called for a technical foul for making a demonstrative gesture after a no-call by a referee. Walker knocked down the resulting free throw, and two more to make it 101-94.

Afflalo redeemed himself with a three-point play to close within four, but Charlotte made enough free throws the rest of the way to hang on.

Henderson scored nine of Charlotte's first 11 points and finished the first half with 17 as the Bobcats took a 57-45 lead into the locker room.

Henderson and Walker combined for 33 points in the opening 24 minutes, pacing a Charlotte team that shot 59 percent (23 for 39). It was the best an opponent has shot against Orlando in any half this season.

The Magic didn't have many crisp halfcourt sets and got only 11 minutes out of Glen Davis before he went to the bench with three fouls.

Notes: Charlotte earned its first road win since Jan. 6, improving to 5-14 on the season. ... Magic C Nikola Vucevic finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, ending his string of eight straight double-doubles.

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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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