Capitals

Jones-Drew, Gabbert depart Jags loss with injuries

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Jones-Drew, Gabbert depart Jags loss with injuries

Jacksonville lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a foot injury. Then quarterback Blaine Gabbert hurt his left shoulder.

This was one rough day for the Jaguars.

Jones-Drew was on the field for just two snaps Sunday, carrying the ball on the first two plays at Oakland before leaving with an ailing left foot. When Gabbert departed midway through the second quarter with the injury to his non-throwing shoulder, Jacksonville was in control of the game.

But the Jaguars managed only two downs after halftime behind backup quarterback Chad Henne went on to a 26-23 overtime loss.

Jones-Drew hurt his foot on the first play and remained on the field for one more run but couldn't come back after that.

``It felt like a little boo-boo but the second time obviously I felt it so I came out,'' he said. ``I wanted to be out there with those guys today.''

The Redskins also lost a key player during a dramatic road loss.

Tight end Fred Davis tore his left Achilles tendon in the first half of Washington's 27-23 setback against the Giants. He needed help to the sideline and then onto a trainer's table before he was carted to the locker room.

``I didn't know what it was right away,'' said Davis, who will miss the rest of the season. ``I have never experienced anything like that. I was unable to walk and then I knew something really was wrong.

``I was running my route and stuck my leg in and either got stepped on or it happened naturally.''

Davis was the team's leading receiver with 23 catches for 312 yards entering Sunday's game.

``I had a lot of things I wanted to do this year and I was doing it,'' he said. ``It's very discouraging.''

Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, who has played in 231 successive games, left in the fourth quarter with a right hamstring injury. Coach Mike Shanahan called it a mild strain.

The status of Tennessee linebacker Zac Diles is uncertain after he hurt his right ankle and was carted off from the sideline during a 35-34 win at Buffalo.

Coach Mike Munchak would only say that Diles' injury initially appeared to be more serious than an injury sustained by reserve linebacker Patrick Bailey, who hurt his chest while covering a kickoff in the third quarter.

Diles was hurt while attempting to tackle running back C.J. Spiller on the Bills' first possession. Diles was leaning to his left when he lost his footing and his right ankle twisted beneath him.

Diles slowly limped off the field after being tended to by Titans trainers, and was then driven off from the sideline. He was starting in place of Colin McCarthy, who missed his fourth game with an ankle injury.

The Bills lost right guard Chad Rinehart early in the third quarter after he hurt his left ankle blocking during a run by Spiller. A Titans player fell on the back of Rinehart's leg, forcing Rinehart to be carted off the field.

Coach Chan Gailey had no update on Rinehart's status following the game. Buffalo was already minus starting offensive linemen Kraig Urbik (knee) and Cordy Glenn (knee).

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights have met only twice in their history. Neither team was expected to get to this point so you can go ahead and throw away the stats, the matchups, the data and the history. A new story will be written in the Stanley Cup FInal.

Who will ultimately win the Cup? Here are four factors that could ultaimtely swing the series.

1. Goaltending

The Caps have faced elimination only twice in the playoffs and Braden Holtby did not allow a single goal in either game. He enters the Stanley Cup Final having not allowed a single goal in 159:27. Andrei Vasilevskiy began to take over the series with his performance in Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5, but Holtby outplayed him to finish off the series in Washington’s favor.

Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, has been the best player in the playoffs. Not the best goalie, the best player.

Through 15 games, Fleury has a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. As good as Vegas has been this postseason, Fleury has stolen several games for the Golden Knights.

Both of these goalies are certainly capable of stealing away a series for their respective teams. Which one will outplay the other?

2. Time off

Rust is a real thing in hockey. Just any team when they come off a bye week. When the Caps and Golden Knights take the ice on Monday, May 28, it will be the first game for Vegas since May 20. That’s over a week off.

Yes, getting rest at this time of the year is important, but too much rest leads to rust and that should be a major concern for Vegas, especially for a team that was playing so well and has so much momentum.

In the Eastern Conference Final, the Caps stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning by winning both Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa. Could they do it again with a rusty Vegas team? Will the long layoff cost the Golden Knights one or even two home games to start the series?

3. The McPhee factor

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was the Caps’ general manager for 17 years starting with the 1997-98 season. He was fired in 2014, but was ultimately responsible for building the core of the Washington team that is now headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

But that also means he knows those players very, very well.

Nicklas Backstrom, Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer and of course, Alex Ovechkin were all drafted by McPhee. Jay Beagle was also signed by as an undrafted free agent.

A general manager does not sign or draft anyone without knowing a good deal about the kind of player they are. Does that give McPhee a bit of an edge when it comes to facing the Caps?

4. Speed

The Golden Knights are fast. When the expansion draft was all said and done it was clear McPhee had targeted two things specifically: defensemen and speed. The result is an exceptionally fast Golden Knights team that no one has been able to keep up with so far.

Vegas' speed mixed with the goaltending of Fleury has proven to be a lethal combination. Their mobility makes it hard to get the puck from them or even keep it in the offensive zone. Once they get it, it’s going down the ice very quickly and you better keep up with them or it's going to end up in the back of the net. Once they build a lead, it is very difficult for teams to dig their way out as evidenced by their 10-1 record this postseason when scoring first.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were both fast teams as well and the Capitals were able to combat that with strong play in the neutral zone. The 1-3-1 trap has given opponents fits and generated a lot of odd-man breaks for the Caps. Will it be as effective against a speedy Vegas team?

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