Capitals

NFL Capsule: Browns at Colts

NFL Capsule: Browns at Colts

CLEVELAND (1-5) At INDIANAPOLIS (2-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Colts by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Cleveland 3-2-1; Indianapolis 2-3

SERIES RECORD - Browns lead 16-14

AP PRO32 RANKING - Browns No. 30; Colts No. 26

LAST MEETING - Browns beat Colts 27-19, Sept. 18, 2011

LAST WEEK - Browns beat Bengals 34-24; Colts lost to Jets 35-9

BROWNS OFFENSE - OVERALL (25), RUSH (27T), PASS (16)

BROWNS DEFENSE - OVERALL (30), RUSH (25), PASS (30)

COLTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (13), RUSH (26), PASS (9)

COLTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (17), RUSH (29), PASS (3)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Colts have won five of last six meetings vs. Browns. ... Indy coach Chuck Pagano and interim coach Bruce Arians were both on Browns staff from 2001-03. ... Reggie Wayne has 41 receptions, sixth in NFL, and 523 yards, third in NFL, despite already having bye week. Wayne needs one TD to pass Edgerrin James (75) for third in franchise history and four points to pass James (458) for No. 7 on franchise list. ... Andrew Luck first rookie quarterback in league history to top 1,200 yards and win two games in first four games and needs one more 300-yard game to become franchise's second rookie quarterback to have four 300-yard passing games in season, joining Peyton Manning. ... Indy DE Dwight Freeney has seven sacks vs. Browns, most of any team outside AFC South. ... Colts K Adam Vinatieri needs 10 points to reach 1,800 in career. ... Browns have lost 10 straight road games, dating to last season's win in Indy. ... Cleveland playing for first time since sale of team became official Tuesday - first time since new owner said Mike Holmgren would be out as team president. ... Browns haven't won two straight in series since 1988 when won playoff game in January and regular-season game in September. ... Cleveland playing third road game in four weeks. ... Browns LT Joe Thomas has not missed offensive play since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2007. ... QB Brandon Weeden set franchise rookie record with 322 yards passing in win vs. Bengals. Weeden and Luck rank first and second among NFL rookies in yards passing. ... Cleveland third in NFL in interceptions (10). ... RB Trent Richardson first Browns rookie to score TD in each of first four games.

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Referees miss blatant boarding by Paquette on Orpik

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USA TODAY Sports

Referees miss blatant boarding by Paquette on Orpik

A rough hit to the back of Brooks Orpik left him down on the ice and slow to get up. Cedric Paquette skated back to his bench and waited for the trainer to attend to Orpik and (probably) for the referees to call his number and send him to the box.

The penalty, however, never came.

You always hear in hockey that if you can see a player's numbers, you should pull up on the hit.

What that refers to is the numbers on the back of a player's jersey. You are not allowed to hit a player directly in the back into the boards.

The official definition of boarding according to the NHL rule book is, "any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously." Hitting a player "in the numbers" is a defenseless position.

Apparently Cedric Paquette didn't know that and, unfortunately for the Capitals, neither did the referees.

Someone explain to me how this is not a boarding penalty:

Sometimes referees are put in a tough position because a player turns his back right before they take the hit, thus putting themselves in a vulnerable position to draw a penalty. That was not the case here. Orpik never turned.

When Tom Wilson hit Pittsburgh Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese in the second period, the hockey world spent the next day debating whether it was an illegal hit. There is no debate here, no grey area. Just a clear board.

And no call.

You can understand referees wanting to put away the whistles for a Game 7, but you have to call the blatant dangerous plays like this. This was a bad miss by the referees, plain and simple.

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Capitals advance to Stanley Cup Final for first time in 20 years; will face inaugural Golden Knights

Capitals advance to Stanley Cup Final for first time in 20 years; will face inaugural Golden Knights

The Capitals' magical run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues, moving on to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998 after a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 on Wednesday night to face George McPhee's expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, 5/27 at 8:00 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The Golden Knights ended the regular-season with four points more than the Capitals, meaning the inaugural Vegas team will have home-ice advantage.

After taking a 2-0 series lead over the Lightning, Tampa won three straight to put the Capitals on the brink of elimination before back-to-back wins helped them advance past the Eastern Conference Final. 

This wasn't even supposed to happen in many people's eyes. The Capitals trailed the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 in the first round, before winning four straight to then face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third straight year. 

After winning that series in six games, eliminating the Penguins from the playoffs for just the second time ever, the Caps went into Tampa and shocked the Lightning with a 4-2 win in Game 1, following that up with a 6-2 win in Game 2

Now, the greatest expansion team in modern sports history is all that stands in the way of a Stanley Cup. Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights knocked off the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday in Game 5 of the Western Conference final to advance. 

The Knights, whose historic inaugural 109-point season included a Pacific Division crown, sweeping the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, before knocking out the San Jose Sharks in six games.

The Jets had the NHL's second-best record with 114 points in the regular season. They advanced to the first conference final in the city's history with a five-game victory over the Minnesota Wild in the opening round before topping the Presidents' Trophy-winning Nashville Predators in Game 7 on the road.

Now, in the Stanley Cup Final, the Capitals will try and avoid being a part of the wrong side of history, while making their own history in the process.