Capitals

Parker lifts Spurs over Jazz 110-100

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Parker lifts Spurs over Jazz 110-100

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tony Parker had 24 points and 10 assists to help the San Antonio beat Utah 110-100 on Saturday night.

Tim Duncan added 19 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio (3-0). Danny Green had 21 points and Kawhi Leonard 13.

Duncan and Parker combined to score seven points in the final 4 minutes to preserve the victory and give the Spurs their best start since the 2007-2008 season.

Mo Williams scored 29 points to lead Utah (1-2), leading the team's rally in the third quarter. Paul Millsap added 17 points, Al Jefferson 16 and Gordon Hayward 15.

San Antonio squandered a 19-point lead in the third quarter when Utah went on a 24-5 run to tie the game.

Williams hit a pair of free throws to cap the run and tie the game at 79 at the close of the third quarter. Williams had 11 points during the run and Millsap eight.

The Spurs then turned to their two stars in the fourth.

Manu Ginobili made his season debut with 3:06 left in the first quarter, drawing thunderous applause from the sold out crowd. Ginobili scored his first points in typical style, driving from behind the three-point line for a scooping left-handed layup. His entry in the second half drew an equally loud response from the crowd.

The Spurs shot 74 percent from the field in racing to a 62-44 lead at the half. They made 5 of 7 3-pointers in the first half.

NOTES: San Antonio holds a 63-20 record at home against the Jazz and lead the overall series 91-73. ... The Spurs eclipsed their previous high for points in the first half (43) set in their season opener against New Orleans. . The Spurs' record for field goal percentage in a half is 84 percent, which they set in the first half against Cleveland on Dec. 11, 2004.

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Referees miss blatant boarding by Paquette on Orpik

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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

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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.