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Preds end skid, beat Kings 2-1 in 8-round shootout

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Preds end skid, beat Kings 2-1 in 8-round shootout

LOS ANGELES (AP) Sergei Kostitsyn scored in the eighth shootout round, and the Nashville Predators snapped their three-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Pekka Rinne made 23 saves and stopped five of Los Angeles' eight shootout attempts as the Predators survived a weak offensive performance thanks to their Finnish goalie's sturdiness and a timely shot by Kostitsyn, who finally ended the lengthy shootout.

Captain Dustin Brown scored his first goal of the season for the Stanley Cup champions, who are off to a 2-2-2 start.

Jonathan Quick stopped 13 shots for the Kings, whose NHL-worst power play went 1 for 6 while Nashville and Los Angeles slogged through a largely dull game between two of the NHL's lowest-scoring teams.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: College football's elite well represented

2020 NFL Mock Draft 7.0: College football's elite well represented

The College Football Playoff committee announced the four schools selected for this playoff, and each program is full of NFL talent.

So it's not a shock to anyone that in our latest mock draft, LSU, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma all have multiple players projected to go in the first round.

<<CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 7.0>>

LSU, the No. 1 seed in the playoff, also has on its roster the likely Heisman Trophy winner and consensus No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Joe Burrow. The Tigers have multiple players in their secondary expected to go in the first round, such as safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton. Where will they end up?

While Burrow may be the consensus top pick, Ohio State has whom many consider to be the best player in the draft in edge rusher Chase Young. Could he be an option for the Redskins at No. 3, where they would select if the season ended today, or will he be off the draft board by then? 

The Buckeyes defense is a lot more than just Young. Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah is widely considered the top cornerback in this year's class, and safety Jordan Fuller would likely be a first-round pick in past years.

Clemson's offense deserves a lot of credit, but perhaps their best NFL prospect comes from the defensive side of the ball in linebacker Isaiah Simmons. He has the ability to go after the quarterback, but also make plays in coverage and is all over the field.

A little undersized, Simmons will be an impact player for any team right away. Where does he land?

<<CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 7.0>>

Oklahoma has had the NFL's No. 1 overall pick the past two seasons in quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. While Jalen Hurts has had a spectacular season, he's not the prospect either one of those signal-callers was.

However, the Sooners do arguably have the best wide receiver in the draft in CeeDee Lamb. In a deep wide receiver class, can Lamb jump over Alabama's Jerry Jeudy or Clemson's Tee Higgins to be the first receiver selected?

The 2019 College Football Playoff will be without Alabama for the first time in history. Although the Crimson Tide won't compete for a National Championship, the amount of NFL talent they have on their roster is impossible to ignore.

In our latest Mock Draft, the Crimson Tide have nine (!!) first-round selections, by far the most of any school. 

A lot can change between now and April, but college football's elite programs are expected to dominate the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

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Davey Martinez confident in Nationals' future despite uncertain free agency

Davey Martinez confident in Nationals' future despite uncertain free agency

On the heels of the first World Series championship in franchise history, the Nationals could look a lot different when they open the season in New York.

Here's how to live stream Nationals Talk for comprehensive Winter Meetings coverage

The man tasked with maximizing any roster Mike Rizzo gives him is Davey Martinez, who sat down with our own Todd Dybas to address his mindset as Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon headline the team's free-agent class. 

"I wouldn't say you worry about it," he said. "But you build relationships with these guys, and all of a sudden they become free agents and you can sign with whoever you want."

The Nationals took plenty of heat from the fan base after Mark Lerner said the team could not afford to bring back both Rendon and Strasburg. Scott Boras, who represents both players, then cryptically scoffed at the notion in a story by Ken Rosenthal. 

But neither player has signed with anyone yet, and Martinez voiced confidence in his front office. 

"I know our ownership, [Mike Rizzo], we're very competitive," he said. "They're going to do everything they can to keep us competitive for next year and years to come.

"But that being said, I love those guys, every one that's a free agent, I love them all." 

A number of big market contenders have expressed interest in Strasburg and Rendon. The Yankees, Dodgers and Padres have expressed interest in Strasburg, though the Yankees reportedly believe he will return to DC

The Phillies, Rangers and Dodgers are the teams rumored to be in on Rendon for big money as well. 

Sometimes when big spenders are trying to sway free agents away from their incumbent teams, reminding players of the advantages of familiarity and continuity can go a long way. But for Martinez, his strategy is to give them all the space they need to make their decision. 

"They're free," he said. "And that's the beauty of this game that at some point you become a free agent and you get to explore and look around and see other teams.

"They've got a lot of decisions to make for not only them but for their families," he said. "So I kind of let them be and let them decide on what they want to do."

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