Capitals

Gaborik rallies Rangers past Maple Leafs 5-2

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Gaborik rallies Rangers past Maple Leafs 5-2

NEW YORK (AP) Defenseman Marc Staal scored the tying goal early in the third period and then set up Marian Gaborik's game-winner late to rally the New York Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

This one had all the signs of being another tough loss for the Rangers, who had already dropped three of their first four in the lockout-shortened season. But Staal got New York even at 2 at 7:36 of the third and then fired the drive that Gaborik deflected in with 7:03 left.

The Rangers held a commanding shots advantage throughout and finished with a 42-17 edge, but they trailed 2-0 in the first period.

Brad Richards, who also assisted on Gaborik's winner, got the Rangers within 2-1 in the second. Gaborik added two assists and an empty-net goal with 1:15 to go.

On the go-ahead goal, Richards nudged the puck up the wall to Staal, who unleashed a one-timer that Gaborik tipped past screened goalie James Reimer.

Brian Boyle then deflected in Michael Del Zotto's drive to make it 4-2 with 2:52 remaining.

Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk scored first-period goals for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 2-1 on the road.

Defenseman John-Michael Liles assisted on both early goals for Toronto, which blew a lead for the second straight game. On Thursday, the Maple Leafs allowed five straight goals in a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders after jumping out to a 3-1 edge.

Reimer was strong throughout before his rough third period. He had to be nearly perfect for much of the game because his teammates generated so few shots at opposing goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

It was a much-needed win for the Rangers, who were 0 for 4 on the power play and are 2 for 22 overall this season.

Toronto forged a 2-0 lead in the first period despite being outshot 14-3. The only save Lundqvist made in the opening 20 minutes was off a shot by van Riemsdyk, who instantly put the rebound in for his third goal.

The power-play tally was set up when the Rangers were caught with too many men on the ice.

The only other shot that came Lundqvist's way in the first period was Grabovski's goal. Despite their low shot total, the Maple Leafs had nine drives blocked by New York defenders.

Grabovski gave Toronto a 1-0 lead when he was left alone in front of Lundqvist, stickhandled and then shoved in a shot at 6:25 for his third goal of the season.

The Rangers had a couple of potential scoring chances, but were denied by Reimer. His best stop came with just under nine minutes left in the first after Nash was sprung free on a long stretch pass. Nash snapped off a hard shot that Reimer calmly gloved at his midsection.

New York finally had something to show for its efforts when Richards cleaned up a loose puck in front to get the Rangers within a goal at 5:43 of the second.

Nash's drive from the outer edge of the right circle was deflected in front by Gaborik, who put the puck back in on Reimer. The puck slid toward the left post, and Richards took a backhanded swipe for his second goal of the season.

New York held a 17-4 shots advantage at the time of its first goal and a 25-9 edge through 40 minutes.

Fans got so frustrated with the lack of positive moments from the slumping home team that when Lundqvist made his simple glove save to stop play 40 seconds into the middle period, the crowd let out a sarcastic cheer.

NOTES: New York appeared close to signing veteran free-agent center Jason Arnott, pending a physical. ... Rangers RW Arron Asham returned after missing two games because of a groin injury. He has engaged in a fight in both games he has played this season. ... New York RW Benn Ferriero made his Rangers debut after being recalled from Connecticut (AHL). ... Toronto LW Nikolai Kulemin, who had a career-high three assists Wednesday at Pittsburgh, earned another on Grabovski's goal. Van Riemsdyk had two goals and an assist in that game. ... Phil Kessel, who scored a career-high 37 goals last season for Toronto, has none through five games.

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Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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USA Today Sports Images

Capitals vs. Panthers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Washington Capitals (3-2-1, 7pts) are coming off of an overtime thriller at home over the Rangers thanks to Matt Niskanen's crafty timing.

Through the first six games of the season, Washington is undefeated on Wednesdays, yet has failed to win consecutive games. The Caps hope to change that trend Friday night at home vs. the Florida Panthers (0-2-2, 2pts).

The Panthers have yet to win a game this season, with each of the four games being decided by just one goal. The Panthers have no problem scoring, netting at least five goals in two of the first four games, but have failed to seal the deal. This is where the defending Stanley Cup champions will need to capitalize.

Only the Maple Leafs (33) and Hurricanes (33) have scored times more than the Capitals (24). Washington has a clear advantage in firepower. The biggest key to victory is keeping the space in front of Braden Holtby clean as a whistle. If the Caps control their goalmouth, they should have no issues dispatching the Panthers.

Here is everything you need to know about the Friday night game, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington. 

CAPITALS-PANTHERS GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Friday, October 19, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Panthers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: Watch Capitals vs. Panthers on the NBC Sports Washington live stream page and the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS-PANTHERS TV SCHEDULE:

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: NHL: Florida Panthers at Capitals 
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS INJURY REPORT:

Capitals: Travis Boyd (OUT, IR), Tom Wilson (OUT, Suspension)

Panthers: Michael Haley (OUT, Leave of Absence), Roberto Luongo (OUT, MCL injury), Mike Matheson (OUT, Suspension) 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Evgenii Dadonov, W, Panthers: Dadonov is leading the Panthers this season with two goals and two assists on the season.

John Carlson, D, Capitals: Carlson had a heck of a game vs. the Rangers Wednesday night with a goal and two assists. The Capitals practiced faceoffs in practice leading up to Wednesday night's game and all of the practice paid off with Carlson's goal coming right off the faceoff from Backstrom. 

CAPITALS vs. PANTHERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 123

All-Time Series Record: 64-50-9

Playoff Record: N/A

Last Meeting: Panthers beat Capitals 3-2 (2/22/2018)

Last 10 Meetings: Tied 5-5 

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Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

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NBC Sports Washington

Kelly Oubre turns into 'Spooky Papi' ahead of home-opener vs. Heat

As the weather in Washington, D.C. drops below 60 degrees, most athletes typically arrive at their games in sweatsuits for comfort or suits for luxury. 

Kelly Oubre, on the other hand, is going full gothic for the Washington Wizards' home-opener against the Miami Heat. Oubre is the self-proclaimed "Wave Papi," but tonight he is giving off a vampire-slayer vibe.

Maybe he didn't get the memo that Halloween is roughly two weeks from now.

For the sake of it still being October, let's call him "Spooky Papi."

His black belts and buckles match his rockstar lifestyle, but the bloody, disfigured skull accessory is one of the most ridiculous things we've seen at Capital One Arena. Ever. 

Maybe there's a hidden meaning to it all, or maybe it's just yet another in a long line of Kelly Oubre fashion statements. 

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