Capitals

NFL Capsule: Saints at Cowboys

NFL Capsule: Saints at Cowboys

NEW ORLEANS (6-8) At DALLAS (8-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

OPENING LINE - Cowboys by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - New Orleans 6-8; Dallas 7-7

SERIES RECORD - Cowboys lead 15-9

AP PRO32 RANKING - Saints No. 17; Cowboys No. 12

LAST MEETING - Saints beat Cowboys 30-27, Nov. 24, 2010

LAST WEEK - Saints beat Buccaneers 41-0; Cowboys beat Steelers 27-24 OT

SAINTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (3), RUSH (24), PASS (2)

SAINTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (32), RUSH (31), PASS (31)

COWBOYS OFFENSE - OVERALL (8), RUSH (31), PASS (4)

COWBOYS DEFENSE - OVERALL (14t), RUSH (15), PASS (14)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Saints have won six of last seven games in series. .... Eleven of 24 games in series decided by at least two touchdowns, though 10 of last 14 by less than 10 points. ... Series has been played at Cotton Bowl, Tulane Stadium, Superdome, Texas Stadium and Cowboys Stadium. ... Despite having NFL's worst overall defense, Saints coming off first shutout victory in 17 years. ... Saints QB Drew Brees surpassed 45,000 career yards passing last weekend. Tony Romo of Cowboys went over 25,000-yard mark. ... New Orleans has averaged 400 total yards a game (292 passing) since 2006. ... Cowboys have won five of six games, and three in row. Win would give them 34th winning season. ... With two games left, Romo has already set single-season team records with 379 completions and 568 attempts. He is 215 yards shy of surpassing his record 4,483 yards passing set three years ago. ... WR Dez Bryant, playing with broken finger, extended his streak to six consecutive games with a TD catch last week. .... Dan Bailey has ended last two games with game-winning kicks, and has three this season. ... Dallas 6-1 in overtime games since start of 2009. ... DeMarcus Ware (11 1/2 sacks) and Anthony Spencer (10) give Dallas first double-digit sack duo since 2007 with Ware and Greg Ellis.

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

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T.J. Oshie a game-time decision, but will almost certainly be in the lineup against the Red Wings

T.J. Oshie a game-time decision, but will almost certainly be in the lineup against the Red Wings

The Capitals return home after a three-game road swing to host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Caps fans may not get to see Tom Wilson, who will be out with an upper-body injury, but there are still plenty of things to watch as the Caps try to improve to 2-0 against Detroit this season.

Here are four things to watch on Tuesday.

Oshie is back

Todd Reirden called T.J. Oshie a game-time decision, but he certainly looked and was treated like a player who would be in the lineup for Tuesday’s game. Oshie – who has been out with a concussion since Nov. 14 – will be back in the lineup on Tuesday just one day after returning to practice. But he is not going to be eased back in. Oshie moves right to the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and also back onto the top unit of the power play.

Oshie suffered a concussion last season after a hit from San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton and really seemed to struggle when he got back into the lineup. He was asked on Monday what he learned from that experience that can prepare him for what he will face on Tuesday.

“You expect the game to feel a little fast when you get back,” Oshie said. “You expect your game shape to not be there, the reads and the maximal effort that you get in battles and back-checking situations or even forechecking situations. It's just hard to simulate that when you're out there skating around cones and stopping on lines.”

With Oshie back in, here is what the lines looked like at Tuesday’s morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson – Lars Eller – Devante Smith-Pelly
Travis Boyd – Nic Dowd – Dmitrij Jaskin

Forward Andre Burakovsky is a surprise scratch for the game. Points have been hard to come by for the 23-year-old forward who has just five goals and eight points in 29 games.

How does Bowey look?

Madison Bowey had to be helped off the ice during morning skate and was not putting any weight on his left leg. He slowly made his way off the ice and to the locker room, but returned soon after and jumped right back into the drills. I spoke to him after the skate and he said he took a shot off the inside of his leg, but he was fine and would be good to go for the game.

The team also did not seem concerned as Jonas Siegenthaler stayed on the ice after the skate to get extra work with the scratches. It certainly appears like Bowey is fine, but he may feel differently while trying to keep up with a speedy Red Wings team. How he plays and how that left leg looks is certainly something that bears watching.

Power boost

The Caps’ power play unit was so dominant to start the season, but it has gone cold recently and now it has fallen all the way to seventh in the NHL. Washington has not scored a power play goal in three straight games and has only three goals in its last 24 opportunities (12.5-percent).

The return of Oshie should provide a boost to that unit as Todd Reirden mentioned on Monday.

“He's a special player in all aspects of the game, but certainly in the power play for us in that diamond spot,” Reirden said. “He does a really good job on the entries in terms of controlled entries. When we do have to dump pucks in, he's great on recoveries. His work ethic and instincts to be able to win puck battles, I just think in increases our whole intensity of the way our power play recovers pucks and then obviously his ability to get open and just create spots for Nick or Evgeny to find him in that diamond area as we call it for the ability to finish from the middle of the ice there.”

Familiar foes

Detroit and Washington last met on Nov. 23, a game that resulted in a 3-1 win for the Caps. What was rapidly turning into a lackluster performance was saved by Wilson who scored in the second period to tie the game at 1. Wilson also added an assist in the third period. 

The Caps were outshot 32-20, but Braden Holtby turned in a strong performance to keep Detroit out of the net for the final two periods of the game.

The Red Wings will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back Tuesday meaning Washington is likely to see Jonathan Bernier in net again – just as they did on Nov. 23 – after Jimmy Howard started on Monday. Bernier could only save 17 of the 20 shots he faced, but he won’t have to worry about Wilson on Tuesday.

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Otto Porter Jr. leaves Wizards' game vs. Pacers with right knee injury

Otto Porter Jr. leaves Wizards' game vs. Pacers with right knee injury

Already down two starters against the Pacers on Monday night, the Wizards saw another go down due to injury in the first half. 

Small forward Otto Porter Jr. exited after bruising his right knee. He played seven minutes and left with zero points and two rebounds.

Porter was shown on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast grimacing as he walked off the floor and later while testing his knee on an exercise bike. 

His absence was a tough blow for the Wizards in the 109-101 loss, who were playing without John Wall and Dwight Howard, and had Markieff Morris in early foul trouble. 

Porter's departure left them with nine available players, one of them Sam Dekker, who was dressed for the first time since coming over in a Friday night trade.

Porter, 25, entered Monday's game averaging 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds this season. He has played in all but two of their games. One of the games he missed was due to personal reasons.

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