Capitals

Friday's Sports In Brief

Friday's Sports In Brief

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) Baseball's all-time home run king and its most decorated pitcher likely will be shut out of the Hall of Fame in January. A survey by The AP shows that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, as well as slugger Sammy Sosa, don't have enough votes to get into Cooperstown.

With steroid scandals still very much on the minds of longtime members of the Baseball Writers' Association as they cast their ballots, the trio failed to muster even 50 percent support among the 112 voters contacted by the AP - nearly one-fifth of those eligible to choose.

Candidates need 75 percent for election

Bonds is baseball's only seven-time MVP and Clemens its only seven-time Cy Young winner.

NFL

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - It appears Tim Tebow will be watching from the sideline again.

And this time, the Jets' backup quarterback might be in sweats instead of his uniform.

Tebow was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals because of two broken ribs that limited him all week. Coach Rex Ryan wouldn't officially rule out Tebow, but it sounded unlikely he would play.

Tebow was injured at Seattle on Nov. 11, played three offensive snaps the following week at St. Louis and was active but didn't play Thanksgiving night against New England. Tebow spent most of the 49-19 loss standing on the sideline while Mark Sanchez played the entire game.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - His seven Tour de France titles erased from cycling's record books, Lance Armstrong still holds claim to one piece of sports hardware - an Olympic medal.

But for how much longer?

The fate of Armstrong's medal will be addressed when the International Olympic Committee executive board meets next week in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Twelve years after Armstrong won bronze in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the IOC wants the medal back after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report of widespread doping by Armstrong and some teammates during his seven Tour de France victories from 1999-2005.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - A former U.S. senator brought in to monitor Penn State said the university has gotten ``off to a very good start'' in responding to NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

George Mitchell's first quarterly report as Penn State's athletics integrity monitor noted there was a looming deadline to complete a set of reforms, including implementation of a college sports code of conduct, but he said he believes university officials are acting in good faith.

The 68-year-old Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant coach, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for abusing several boys, some on campus. He maintains his innocence.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota judge has dismissed child pornography charges against a college football head coach accused of making pornographic videos of his children.

A district court judge dismissed the case for lack of probable cause.

Todd Hoffner, the head coach at Minnesota State, Mankato, was charged in August with two felonies. Prosecutors said he made filmed his children performing suggestive acts while naked.

Hoffner and his wife insisted all along that the videos were not inappropriate, and were merely images of children acting silly and dancing after taking a bath.

No evidence of child porn was found and social workers found no evidence of abuse.

TENNIS

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors have suddenly dropped a murder case against professional tennis referee Lois Goodman in the death of her husband.

A judge dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning it could be brought back.

The 70-year-old Goodman was accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband Alan to death with a coffee cup in April.

Authorities initially believed he fell down stairs at home while his wife was away, but later decided it was homicide after a mortuary reported suspicious injuries.

Goodman was arrested in August as she arrived to serve as a line judge at the U.S. Open.

BASKETBALL

ATLANTA (AP) - A lawyer for former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw says he's investigating the circumstances that led to assault and weapons charges against the Olympic gold medalist.

The 35-year-old is accused of smashing the windows and firing a shot into a car belonging to Jennifer Lacy, who plays for the Tulsa Shock. No one was injured. Lacy told police Holdsclaw was an ex-girlfriend and they were Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009.

After an appearance in Fulton County Magistrate Court, lawyer Patrick Sullivan said the case hasn't been indicted yet. Holdsclaw is out on bond and has been ordered to wear a monitoring device and have no contact with the 29-year-old Lacy.

COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - VCU women's volleyball coach James Finley is fighting to get his job back after he says he was fired because he is gay.

Finley, 52, has filed a complaint with VCU's Office for Institutional Equity. University spokesperson Pamela D. Lepley said an investigation is being conducted and must be completed within 45 days.

The findings will be provided to Finley and VCU President Michael Rao. The coach said he would consider taking legal action if he is not reinstated.

He was fired Nov. 19, one day after losing in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Players to watch

It doesn't take an expert to tell you players like Alex Ovechkin or Marc-Andre Fleury will play a big role in the Stanley Cup Final.

Both the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights will need their best players to be at their best to take home the Cup. But who will be the unexpected heroes? Who are the players no one is talking about who will have a big hand in their team's success or defeat in this series?

Here are five players you should be watching in the Stanley Cup:

1. Devante Smith-Pelly: Smith-Pelly had seven goals in 79 games in the regular season. Now he has four goals in just 19 playoff games.

Smith-Pelly has been one of those unlikely playoff heroes for the Caps this postseason with very timely performances such as scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Columbus Blue and scoring the goal that put the game away in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The physical play has really stood out as well for him, which fits well on the fourth line role he has settled back into now that the team is healthy again. Barry Trotz tried moving him to the top line in the absence of Tom Wilson and the results weren't great. He is best suited for the role he currently has and that will allow him to thrive.

2. James Neal: Neal came up just short of the Stanley Cup last season as a member of the Nashville Predators. He totaled nine points in 22 games during that run, a number he has already matched in just 15 games this postseason.

There are very few players on either team that boast the kind of postseason experience Neal has. He will be leaned upon this series for his leadership.

Vegas is a young team and their unprecedented success in the playoffs may make this feel like the first run of many for the Golden Knights, but not for Neal who is on the last year of his contract and came tantalizingly close to the Cup last season. He will play like there is no tomorrow because, for him, there may not be in Vegas.

3. Andre Burakovsky: Burakovsky was one of the heroes of Game 7 with two goals to put away the Tampa Bay Lightning. That marked just the latest peak in a career full of peaks and valleys for the young winger. Just two games before, Burakovsky was a healthy scratch and spoke to the media about his plans to speak with a sports psychologist in the offseason.

The talent is there and it certainly appears that the injury that kept him out earlier in the playoffs is largely behind him. Burakovsky’s issues have always been mainly between the ears. In a series against a fast team with strong depth, he can be an absolutely critical piece for the Caps. Hopefully, his Game 7 performance gave him the confidence he needs to continue to be effective.

4. Ryan Reaves: Vegas acquired both Reaves and Tomas Tatar around the trade deadline. If I were to tell you that through three rounds of the playoffs, both players were healthy, had played the same number of games (6) and had the same number of points (1), you’d think I was crazy. Yet, here we are.

Reaves was largely an afterthought in a complicated trade between Vegas, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators, but he has carved a nice role for himself on the Golden Knights’ fourth line and even scored the goal that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Reaves is also an agitator on the ice, but what do the Caps do against a player like that when their normal fighter plays on the top line? We may see Reaves and Wilson come to blows this series, but it won't be very often because that is a bad tradeoff for the Caps.

5. Brooks Orpik: The elder statesman of the blue line, Orpik is the only player on the Caps with a Stanley Cup to his name and is the only one who has any idea what this experience is going to be like for the team.

Orpik is very diligent about keeping in shape which has allowed him to play in 81 games this season and all 19 playoff games despite being 37 years old, but you do have to wonder how much is left in the tank. Despite being the favorite whipping boy for the proponents of analytics, his physical play has been effective this postseason. The focus he placed on the skating in the offseason has paid dividends so far in matchups against the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Golden Knights will be the fastest team they have played yet. There is no denying Orpik is much more suited towards a physical style of game. Wil he continue to be effective or will Vegas exploit the Caps' third defensive pairing?

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

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AP Images

Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Livestrem

The wait is finally over. 

After two decades, the Capitals are back in the Stanley Cup Final. 

After a convincing 4-0 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Capitals are in Vegas to take on the Golden Knights. They'll be facing off against a handful of familiar names, with former Caps GM George McPhee, fan favorite Nate Schmidt, and ex-Penguins goalie Marc Andre-Fluery are just a few of the names that'll be suiting up for Vegas. 

What will the X-factors in the series be? Who will be the unexpected heroes of Game 1? The action is almost underway, and here are all the details you need to know.

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

WHEN IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES?

Game 1 of the Capitals-Golden Knights 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

WHAT TV CHANNEL IS GAME 1 OF THE CAPITALS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS SERIES ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 1 between the Capitals and Golden Knights is on NBC. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

5:00 p.m. — Caps Cup Preview
6:00 p.m. — Caps GameDay Live
6:30 p.m. — Caps Face Off
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Game 1 Capitals vs. Golden Knights
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1?

Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights is available for online stream on the NBC Sports App. Click here for the NBC Sports live stream page.

CAPITALS vs. GOLDEN KNIGHTS GAME 1 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals digital producer JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.