Capitals

Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

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Gore, Brown set to play Sunday for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Frank Gore carries a heavy load every week for the 49ers and it will be more of the same when San Francisco hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

``Frank is one of the best, if not the best, back in the league,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday. ``So, he's going to run and he's feeling good. He had a good week at practice.''

Gore, who gained 58 yards on 23 carries last Sunday against the Rams, and cornerback Tarell Brown took a little time off to heal nagging injuries this week - but both insisted they will be ready for the Dolphins.

``I could play right now,'' Gore said. ``I feel all right.''

Gore is nursing a wrist problem, while Brown's hamstring has been problematic.

``I'll be fine, I just have to listen to the trainers,'' Brown said. ``I just needed a day to let it rest.''

San Francisco will be trying to rebound from a 16-13 overtime loss to St. Louis.

``We've responded well,'' Brown said. ``You never want to lose, but at the same time it's part of the game. You just have to stay focused.''

Harbaugh said there were two ways to respond after a loss.

``You're ticked off, and when you're ticked off you're going to do one of two things: You're going to come back and do something about it, or you go cower in the corner and shrivel up in the fetal position,'' he said. ``I haven't seen any of the latter around here. You come back, chest somebody up and let's do something about it.''

Wide receiver Mario Manningham remains doubtful with a shoulder injury, and several other players are listed as probable.

Manningham's absence could clear the way for rookie A.J. Jenkins to make an impact.

``Yes, I've seen progress from A.J.,'' Harbaugh said. ``He's been on his assignments. He's executed well when he's been out there. He's given great effort and football rewards that effort.''

Gore, who went to the University of Miami, needs 28 yards rushing against the Dolphins to reach 1,000 for the sixth time. Only the Rams' Steven Jackson has more 1,000-yard seasons (seven) among active players.

Gore also needs one touchdown to match Roger Craig and Joe Perry (50) for most in franchise history.

``Whatever it takes,'' Gore said. ``If there's a successful play and we win, and I'm part of it, I'm good.''

Harbaugh did say the coaching staff has been talking about ways to share the load at running back.

``It's part of the game plan,'' he said. ``We have some other backs that we feel confident with.''

The 49ers have won nine consecutive home games in December, second only to the New England Patriots (19). The Dolphins have won the past two meetings between the teams, the last on Dec. 14, 2008, in Miami. The Dolphins also won in San Francisco in 2004.

The 49ers last beat Miami at home in 2001.

NOTES: Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin played for Harbaugh at Stanford. ... The 49ers' defense has allowed 23 opposing drives to reach the red zone, the fewest in the NFL.

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NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Hurricanes tie series with Caps, Blues take series lead, Sharks avoid elimination

NHL Playoffs 2019 Roundup: Hurricanes tie series with Caps, Blues take series lead, Sharks avoid elimination

As the first-round starts to head into the final games, each matchup is getting more and more critical, as was evident Thursday. Not only did the Carolina Hurricanes have the chance to even up the series with the Washington Capitals in Game 4, but the St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets were playing for the 3-2 series lead and the San Jose Sharks found themselves in a must-win situation in order to avoid elimination against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Thursday's slate of games proved to be crucial and ultimately, played out well for the Hurricanes, Blues and Sharks. Here's how each series stacked up Thursday.

Hurricanes tie series against Caps with narrow 2-1 win

It was a close matchup between Washington and Carolina Thursday, but thanks to a couple of key goals and a big night for Petr Mrazek between the pipes, the Hurricanes were able to take Game 4 with a 2-1 victory.

Warren Foegele opened the scoring for Carolina just 17 seconds in, crashing the net and scoring on a lay-up that beat Braden Holtby. It was his third goal of the playoffs and the fastest playoff goal for Carolina in franchise history.

Alex Ovechkin was able to even the score in the second period with a one-timer on the man advantage, putting an end to 11 straight penalty kills for the Canes. The goal was Ovechkin's second of the playoffs, with both tallies coming on the power play. However, just before the second period came to a close, Teuvo Teravainen returned the lead for Carolina to make it 2-1.

Petr Mrazek made 30 saves on the night, including eight in the third period to guarantee the victory for the Hurricanes, while Holtby made 22 saves on 24 shots. Washington also lost T.J. Oshie to injury late in the game after he was hit from behind by Warren Foegele. The series is now tied 2-2.

Blues edge Jets with comeback victory, take series lead

Although the Jets were up 2-0 over the Blues heading into the third period, Winnipeg surrendered three unanswered goals as St. Louis took a 3-2 victory.

Adam Lowry scored just 12 seconds into the opening frame for the Jets' fastest playoff goal in franchise history to make it 1-0, and Kevin Hayes added a goal a little over halfway through the first to make it 2-0.

The lead would carry over until the final 20 minutes of regulation, where the Blues kicked it into full gear. Ryan O'Reilly beat Connor Hellebuyck on the power play a little over a minute into the third to pull the Blues within one. With about seven minutes to go, Brayden Schenn would tie the game at 2 with his first goal of the playoffs.

With the final minute winding down, it appeared that the game would be headed to overtime; however, Tyler Bozak was able to knock the puck loose and find a wide-open Jaden Schwartz in front, who fired the puck past Hellebuyck with just 15 seconds remaining to make it 3-2.

With the victory, the Blues now hold a 3-2 series lead and can eliminate Winnipeg in Game 6 Saturday.

Sharks stay alive with statement 5-2 win over Golden Knights

Thursday's game was a must-win for the Sharks, and thanks mainly to the effort of Tomas Hertl, they were able to dominate on home ice with an impressive win over Vegas.

A little over a minute in, Tomas Hertl jumped on a pass from Erik Karlsson and scored his third of the playoffs to make it 1-0 early. Later in the period, Logan Couture would beat Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Sharks up by two, but with 30 seconds to go in the opening frame, Reilly Smith was able to pull Vegas within one with his first of the postseason.

While it looked like Vegas would be able to shift the momentum with their end to the first, Barclay Goodrow redirected a Justin Braun shot past Fleury and the Sharks regained their two-goal lead.

Jonathan Marchessault would strike for the Golden Knights on the power play over halfway into the third to cut the lead to one, but Hertl soon after scored his second of the night on the rebound of a Joe Pavelski shot to make it 4-2. With less than two minutes to go in regulation, Pavelski scored on the empty net for his second point of the game, which ultimately sealed the deal for the Sharks.

Martin Jones, who had been struggling but was given the start regardless, proved his worth with 30 saves on 32 shots, and Erik Karlsson also put up a multi-point performance for San Jose in the win.

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Why Daron Payne switched to No. 94 as soon as it was available

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Why Daron Payne switched to No. 94 as soon as it was available

Redskins' defensive lineman Daron Payne will be sporting a new number in his second season, reverting back to No. 94 after playing his rookie season in the Burgundy and Gold at No. 95.

Payne, who had preferred No. 94 through his days in high school as well as while down in Tuscaloosa as a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide, didn't have the option to choose it after being selected 13th by the Redskins in the 1st Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, as the number was already claimed by then-Redskin Preston Smith, who had chosen it three years earlier.

With Smith off to Green Bay, Payne pounced on the opportunity to shift back to the jersey number that he'd gone with for so long before coming to the nation's capital. 

Payne performed admirably in his inaugural season with Washington, recording 35 solo tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble, while suiting up in all 16 games and receiving praise for his outstanding play from the Pro Football Writers Association as one of the premier up-and-coming interior linemen in the NFL.

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