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Cavs' Kyrie Irving named NBA All-Star for 1st time

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Cavs' Kyrie Irving named NBA All-Star for 1st time

CLEVELAND (AP) Still not old enough to legally toast any of his accomplishments, Kyrie Irving joined one of the NBA's most elite groups.

And to top it off, he was named his city's top professional athlete - all in the same day.

Irving, the Cavaliers' dynamic point guard whose dazzling game belies his youth, was voted an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference on Thursday night, just hours before he was named Cleveland's top professional athlete for 2012, when he won the league's Rookie of the Year award.

``One of the best days of my life,'' Irving said backstage at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards.

Irving, who won't turn 21 until March 23, is the sixth-youngest player ever named to an All-Star team and one of only seven to make it before their 21st birthday. The other six: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Isiah Thomas and Shaquille O'Neal are either in the Hall of Fame or well on their way to induction.

``It's a big deal for me and a big deal for the city of Cleveland,'' Irving said after receiving his award before a ballroom filled with some of the area's top sports figures and civic leaders. ``It means a lot. To be picked as an All-Star for the first time and be with those guys, to see those names on TV, it's truly a blessing.''

Irving was at home alone watching the All-Star selection when his name flashed on the screen. He admitted to a solo celebration.

``I did jump around,'' he said. ``I didn't do any backflips and cartwheels. I didn't want to get hurt.''

Irving said his first phone call was to his girlfriend and the next to his father, Drederick, who raised him and his sister after their mother, Elizabeth, died when he was 4.

``It was an emotional moment,'' Irving said, ``real emotional.''

Soon after, Irving received a surprising text from his college coach, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.

``First time ever,'' Irving said smiling. ``I don't think Coach K has ever sent one of his players a text. I didn't even know he could text. I think his assistant sent it for him. My freshman year at Duke he told me never to text him because he didn't know how to text. So, times are changing.''

Irving said he's not intimidated about sharing the stage at the Feb. 17 game in Houston with the NBA's best players.

``I just hope I don't air ball my first shot,'' he joked.

Irving is the first Cavaliers player to make the All-Star team since 2010, when James was voted in as a starter. Irving is averaging 23.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds, but his selection by the East head coaches wasn't a given because of the Cavs' woeful 11-32 record.

Cleveland coach Byron Scott didn't do any campaigning for Irving, who scored 40 points on Tuesday night in a win over Boston. Scott believed Irving deserved the selection and was thrilled that his peers agreed.

Scott, who greeted Irving with a big hug when he arrived at the Renaissance Hotel, doesn't think a first All-Star selection will change his young star. Scott said it only make Irving hungrier for more.

``The thing that keeps him going is continuing to have new goals,'' Scott said. ``This year he's a reserve and next year he should want to be a starter. That should be his next step and in order to that he has to work even harder. The thing that is so good about him is that he's willing to work. He's going to continue to get better.

``And he's not 21 yet. He's well on his way to being one of the best.''

Irving's double win was perhaps the highlight of the star-studded event, which brought out some of Cleveland's top sports celebrities. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and new coach Rob Chudzinski introduced themselves to guests eager to talk football. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer received a warm ovation as did boxing promoter Don King, who wore a sequined jacket and waved American flags while working the room as only he can.

Doug Dieken, who has spent 42 seasons with the Browns as a player and broadcaster, received a lifetime achievement award.

The show was emceed by ESPN's Scott Van Pelt.

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup FInal for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre- and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals.

In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference.

That goal sent the Capitals to its first and, before 2018, only Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Ovechkin’s name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career. His goal in Game 7 stood as the game-winner meaning it was the goal that sent the Capitals to their second Cup Final.

You can watch it here:

It did not come in overtime and was not quite as dramatic as Juneau’s. In fact, no one knew the significance of the goal at the time. It came just 62 seconds into the contest. It was a significant goal, but no one realized right away that it would be an historic one.

How fitting is it that Ovechkin scored the game-winner? Ovechkin who this team was built around, who reignited the franchise and built Washington into a hockey city. After all the criticism over the years, all the talk about how he can’t win, all talk about how the team should take away the C and all the talk about how the Caps should trade him and start over, this goal was not just a moment of history, but one of vindication.

When we look back on Ovechkin’s career, at all the individual awards and accomplishments, this one single goal will stand above the rest. This was the biggest game of his career and he scored the biggest goal of his career just 62 seconds in.

There’s one way he can top that: lead the Caps past Vegas for their first Stanley Cup.

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