Capitals

NFL Capsule: Bills at Texans

NFL Capsule: Bills at Texans

BUFFALO (3-4) At HOUSTON (6-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Texans by 11

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Buffalo 3-4; Houston 5-2

SERIES RECORD - Bills lead 3-2

AP PRO32 RANKING - Bills No. 28; Texans No. 3

LAST MEETING - Texans beat Bills 31-10, Nov. 1, 2009

LAST WEEK - Bills had bye; Texans had bye

BILLS OFFENSE - OVERALL (19), RUSH (4), PASS (29)

BILLS DEFENSE - OVERALL (31), RUSH (32), PASS (22)

TEXANS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (6), PASS (18)

TEXANS DEFENSE - OVERALL (3), RUSH (4), PASS (5)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Bills 16-8 in games following bye week since 1990. ... Bills have allowed eight sacks, second-fewest in NFL. ... Bills lead AFC in average yards per carry (5.3). ... RB C.J. Spiller averaging NFL-best 7.26 yards per carry. He has six rushes of 20 yards or more, tied for second in league. ... RB Fred Jackson needs 9 yards rushing to reach 4,000 in five-plus seasons with Buffalo. ... QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown 71 touchdown passes for Buffalo, fourth on team's career list. ... WR Stevie Johnson has 21 touchdown catches since 2010, fourth among AFC receivers. He has 13 TD catches on road since 2010. ... DE Mario Williams, top overall pick in 2006 draft by Houston, has 56 1/2 career sacks. ... Bills' defense ranks last in scoring (32.4 points per game), and has allowed at least 35 points in three of last four games. ... Texans 2-4 after bye week under Gary Kubiak. ... QB Matt Schaub has won nine of last 10 starts. He ranks fourth in AFC in passer rating (93.1). ... Houston QBs have completed 65.3 percent of passes under Kubiak, the league's second-highest percentage. ... RB Arian Foster is AFC's second-leading rusher (659 yards) and leads NFL with 10 total touchdowns. He has 19 career 100-yard rushing games. ... RB Ben Tate missed Wednesday's practice with sore hamstring. ... Texans 38-5 under Kubiak when rushing 30 times or more. ... WR Andre Johnson averaging 78.3 yards receiving per game in career, highest average in NFL history among players with at least 100 games played. Johnson averaging 5.74 receptions per game, second-most in NFL history among players with at least 500 catches. ... Texans have scored 54 points (six touchdowns, four field goals) off 13 takeaways. ... DE J.J. Watt leads NFL in sacks (9 1/2) and tackles for loss (15). He also leads all defensive linemen and linebackers with 10 passes defensed.

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Barry Trotz returns to DC and hands the Capitals a fourth straight loss

Barry Trotz returns to DC and hands the Capitals a fourth straight loss

The New York Islanders outlasted the Capitals in a defensive battle Friday with two third period goals to hand Washington a 2-0 loss in Barry Trotz's return to Capital One Arena. The loss is now the Caps' fourth straight and knocks them down to third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Here are three reasons Washington lost.

Defense

You could definitely see the effect Barry Trotz has had on this Islanders team in this one. Last year, the Islanders were laughably terrible on defense. On Friday, they frustrated the Caps offense all night long.

New York was positionally sound all game long, forcing the Caps to the outside and limiting all of their offensive opportunities. Every time it looked like Washington had a rush developing, the Islanders got back and got in front of the puck. Every time the Caps tried to set up their offense, New York forced them to the perimeter and kept them from the high-danger areas. Thomas Greiss was there to clean up the rest as he recorded his second shutout of the season.

Washington was limited to just 19 shots on goal on the night, 15 through the first two periods.

A third period breakthrough

Braden Holtby looked very sharp for the Caps all night long in his first game since he suffered an eye injury on Jan. 12. He was finally beaten in the third period thanks to a great deflection by Josh Bailey.

Mathew Barzal showed some great puck control as he entered the offensive zone, wheeled around away from the initial defensive pressure, carried it to the high slot and fired a shot. By wheeling around, that allowed Bailey the chance to park himself in front of Holtby for the deflection.

In such a tight defensive game, you knew it was going to be an ugly goal like Bailey’s that would finally break through.

A third-period 2-on-0

John Carlson pinched into the offensive zone. When that happens, that means it’s Michal Kempny’s job to hightail it back on defense if the puck gets past Carlson.

Instead, Kempny tried to step up and to try to keep the puck in at the blue line. Cal Clutterbuck got the puck past him, and it was off to the races with him and Matt Martin on a 2-on-0. Clutterbuck called his own number and finished off the play with the goal to put the Islanders up 2-0.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Ranked and red hot, Terrapins crush Buckeyes in Columbus to extend winning run to seven

terps-block-maryland-ohio-state-ap.jpg
Associated Press

Ranked and red hot, Terrapins crush Buckeyes in Columbus to extend winning run to seven

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 20 points, and No. 19 Maryland won its seventh straight game, 75-61 over Ohio State on Friday night.

Bruno Fernando added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and had 15 rebounds for the Terrapins (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten), who shot 58.1 percent from the field. Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell each scored 11, and Jalen Smith had 10. Maryland went 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) from 3-point range.

C.J. Jackson scored 15 points for the Buckeyes (12-5, 2-4), who lost their fourth straight. Duane Washington Jr. scored 14 and Kaleb Wesson had 11.

Fernando continued his strong play after being named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and Big Ten Player of the Week. He averaged 17.5 points and 12 rebounds in victories over Minnesota and then-No. 22 Indiana. The 6-foot-10 sophomore from Angola has 10 double-doubles this season.

Ohio State kept it close through most of the first half before Maryland went on an 8-0 run, including a three-point play by Fernando, to move ahead 38-30. The Buckeyes got within one early in the second half before Maryland responded with a 13-2 burst, including five points from Fernando. Ohio State got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins have been one of the surprise teams of the Big Ten thus far, but their schedule won't get any easier, with a road matchup looming at No. 6 Michigan State and two games against second-ranked Michigan.

Ohio State: Foul trouble and the Terps' hot shooting doomed any chance of an end to the Buckeyes' skid.

UP NEXT

Maryland visits No. 6 Michigan State on Monday night.

Ohio State hosts Purdue on Wednesday.