Capitals

NY services held for NFL player in murder-suicide

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NY services held for NFL player in murder-suicide

DIX HILLS, N.Y. (AP) Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life earlier this month, was laid out Tuesday in an open silver casket surrounded by flowers and displays of family snapshots at a church where hundreds of mourners gathered at a wake to remember him.

The wake, to be followed by a funeral on Wednesday, was held at the Upper Room Christian World Center in Dix Hills, east of New York City and a few miles north of the West Babylon home where the 25-year-old Belcher was raised. A woman answering the telephone at the center's office earlier Tuesday said she had no information on details of the funeral but noted members of the center's clergy weren't expected to participate.

The center, which features an auditorium capable of seating at least 1,000 people, describes itself on a website as ``a Bible based non-denominational, multi-racial, family church.''

A man outside the church, who stopped photographers from entering the wake, said the Belcher family had no comment. Mourners leaving the wake also declined to speak with reporters.

Police say Belcher fatally shot 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Dec. 1 at the Kansas City home they shared with their 3-month-old daughter, Zoey. They say he then drove to the Chiefs' practice facility at Arrowhead Stadium, where coach Romeo Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive assistant Gary Gibbs witnessed his suicide.

Friends have said the relationship between Belcher and Perkins was strained. The couple briefly lived apart recently before getting back together by Thanksgiving, friend Brianne York said.

Perkins, who was from Texas, was remembered at two funeral services last week.

Belcher starred at West Babylon High School before playing college football at the University of Maine. He joined the Chiefs in 2009 as an undrafted free agent but became a starter during the 2012 season.

In the days following the shooting, Belcher's family erected a small shrine outside the West Babylon home, hanging jerseys and team banners and displaying trophies and other awards.

Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, who was visiting him and witnessed Perkins' death, declined to speak to an Associated Press reporter in a telephone call on Tuesday. Shepherd has temporary custody of the couple's daughter, Kansas City police said.

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Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

Possible playoff opponents for the Capitals are starting to come into focus

With their 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, the Capitals' playoff future is starting to come into focus. Washington has only one game remaining and can finish in either third or fourth in the round robin standings. That limits the number of possible playoff opponents for the Caps when the games really start to matter.

First, before talking about who the Caps may play, it is important to remember why. Under the NHL's regular format, a normal year would see teams advance in a bracket, meaning each team knows going in they will be playing the winner of a specific matchup if they advance. This year, the NHL is going back to its old format of re-seeding after each round. This makes determining matchups a bit harder to figure out.

Here's what we know. The Caps are going to finish in the bottom half of the round robin meaning they will play one of the highest two seeded teams coming out of the qualifying round. The Carolina Hurricanes swept their qualifying round series against the New York Rangers. As the No. 6 seed coming in, Carolina is going to be one of the top two qualifying round teams.

RELATED: DEFENSIVE BREAKDOWNS AND MORE FROM CAPS LOSS TO FLYERS

Washington's final seed will be determined by Sunday's game against the Boston Bruins. A win in regulation, overtime or a shootout will mean the Caps are No. 3, while a loss in any fashion will bump them down to No. 4.

The simplest scenario for Washington is that If the Pittsburgh Penguins rally to win their series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Caps are guaranteed to play either Pittsburgh or Carolina as the No. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively. It gets a little trickier if the Penguins lose. If that happens, the Hurricanes become the top qualifying team and will play No. 4. The top team behind them then becomes No. 6 which, as of now, could be the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs or the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So a rematch with the Hurricanes is a definite possibility for the Caps, as is a matchup with the rival Penguins.

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Max and Erica Scherzer announce ‘Nats for Masks’ initiative

Max and Erica Scherzer announce ‘Nats for Masks’ initiative

Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, have announced the formation of a new organization called 'Nats for Masks' that will help provide masks to underprivileged and at-risk populations in DMV area.

As part of the initiative, the Scherzers will auction off some of their personal collection of memorabilia to support COVID-19 relief efforts in the DMV. Some of the auction items available included autographed game-used jerseys, caps, and even Max’s 2019 All-Star Game nameplate.

Giving back to the community is nothing new to the Scherzer family. As animal lovers, back in 2017 during the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Scherzer’s rallied to cover adoption fees for all animals at the Washington-based Humane Rescue Alliance in order to make space for animals brought in from Houston.

Erica is also on the Board of Directors of the Humane Rescue Alliance, and Max has also contributed in the past in a PSA to raise awareness for the shelter.

https://twitter.com/HumaneRescue/status/861982319892193284?s=20

As if we needed another reason to adore the Scherzer family and what they do for our community, just add this to the list.

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