Capitals

Rex Ryan is getting creative with his roster

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Rex Ryan is getting creative with his roster

From Comcast SportsNetFLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Joe McKnight walked into the Jets' offensive meeting room and Rex Ryan broke the news to the backup running back."He said I've been traded," McKnight recalled Wednesday. "I was traded to the defense."McKnight will start working "a ton" at cornerback to help offset the loss of All-Pro Darrelle Revis, who's likely out for the season with a knee injury. McKnight, whose role on offense has been limited this season, played the position in high school and practiced at cornerback in Week 2 when Revis was sidelined by a concussion.Still, finding out about his new role on Monday wasn't exactly an exciting moment for McKnight."I mean, I was drafted as a running back," the former Southern California star said. "The way I took it as was I wasn't good enough to play running back. I don't know if that's the case or not, but that's the way I'm looking at it right now."McKnight didn't ask Ryan if that was the situation, and insisted he's not disappointed. After all, it could mean getting on the field a lot more after carrying the ball just three times for 14 yards in three games."I kind of get tired of just standing on the sideline watching," McKnight said. "I'm just happy to play right now."McKnight practiced on defense Wednesday, wearing a green No. 25 jersey instead of the offense's usual white, and intercepted Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy once each."He'll have a role on offense, but we're also teaching him to play corner in almost, not quite a full-time capacity, but he's going to be over there a ton -- in the meetings and everything else," Ryan said.Ryan first mentioned the idea of using McKnight in the secondary in the running back's rookie season in 2010. McKnight, who's also the team's primary kickoff returner, even got into New York's game at Baltimore last season on defense as a blitzing defensive back who forced Joe Flacco into throwing an interception."He's a guy we saw on scout team as a rookie that he has the necessary skills to be able to play corner," Ryan said. "He's got the speed, the size, the athleticism, the ball skills -- everything you look for in a corner. ... I definitely would not bet against Joe McKnight becoming a good corner."Revis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at Miami on Sunday, and will be replaced by Kyle Wilson as a starter. While the Jets also have Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant as backups, the athletic McKnight gives Ryan another option in the secondary.McKnight was actually an outstanding cornerback in high school in Louisiana, returning three picks for touchdowns in his junior season."It's been a while since I've played cornerback," he said. "Maybe if I would've played it four years in college, that would've helped. But me playing cornerback in high school doesn't help me right now. I've got to work on some things."He was even better as a running back back then, with his speed and shiftiness making him a top recruit after his senior year. After an up-and-down career at USC, the Jets drafted him in the fourth round in 2010 -- but he hasn't yet made the impact on offense that was expected. Instead, New York is hoping McKnight can help make up for the loss of arguably the league's top defensive player.And that might start Sunday, when the Jets take on the San Francisco 49ers."Hey, they can go ahead and do it," McKnight said. "I'm ready for it. If they want to come throw to my side, I can easily show them I can play."

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Evgeny Kuznetsov is embracing his D.C. sports friendship with Bradley Beal

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kuzy092/Instagram

Evgeny Kuznetsov is embracing his D.C. sports friendship with Bradley Beal

Washington Capitals sixth-year forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has a unique D.C. sports friendship you may not have known existed. 

We've seen similar cross-team bonds form before in this city. Remember the Tom Wilson-Chris Thompson jersey exchange

Kuznetsov has formed a similar bond with Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal, and the blossoming friendship isn't all that new. 

The 26-year-old posted this photo with Beal on Instagram in November 2017. 

"Been to his house a couple times," Kuznetsov told Sports Illustrated. "Big fan of hockey." 

Just one calendar year separates the two respective stars and both have been seen attending each other's games from time to time. 

Beal was most recently in the house for the Washington's game against San Jose Tuesday night inside Capital One Arena. 

Kuzy hopes to cultivate a similar friendship with D.C. United star Wayne Rooney in the future to pick his brain on business-related aspects of being a professional athlete. 

"I will for sure when I get older," he told SI, "when I am not shy." 

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Capitals at Maple Leafs: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals at Maple Leafs: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Things aren't going great for the Washington Capitals of late.

After leading for 59:59 of Tuesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks and with one second left in regulation, Evander Kane scored to force overtime and Tomas Hertl eventually scored the game winner. The late collapse extended the Caps' losing streak to six for the first time in five years, and now they must travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs for one final game before the All-Star break. 

Wednesday's matchup will also be the final game for the Leafs before the All-Star break. Just like the Caps, they too are in need of a week off. Since the NHL's holiday break, Toronto has won only three of 10, scoring 24 times in that 10-game stretch. 

At home, the Leafs have a 13-11-1 record this season but have lost four straight and six of their last seven. 

Here's everything you need to know before the Caps hit the ice for the last time until Feb. 1. 

CAPITALS at MAPLE LEAFS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs, 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON, Canada
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: You can live stream Capitals at Leafs on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the NBC Sports App.
Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS at MAPLE LEAFS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals vs. Leafs on NBCSN
10:90 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
11:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

CAPITALS at MAPLE LEAFS INJURY REPORT

Capitals: 
Maple Leafs: D Jake Gardiner (day-to-day with back spasms) 

CAPITALS at MAPLE LEAFS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Braden Holtby, G, Capitals (17 wins, 11 losses, 3 OT losses, 97 GA): The Caps were a second away from snapping their five-game losing streak until Evander Kane got one past Holtby and Tomas Hertl scored the winner. In their six-game losing streak, the Caps have given up 30 goals and 52 in their last 10. A solid performance from Holtby and a W heading into the All-Star break could help the Caps get out of their funk. 

John Tavares, C, Maple Leafs (30 goals, 23 assist, 53 points): Tavares currently leads the Maple Leafs with 30 goals, with his last one coming Jan. 20 against the Arizona Coyotes. The centre is already making an impact for the Leafs after parting ways with the New York Islanders after nine seasons. 

CAPITALS at MAPLE LEAFS SERIES HISTORY 

Number of all-time Meetings: 151
All-Time Series Record: Caps lead 77-64-10
Last Meeting: Leafs win 4-2 (10/13/18)
Last 10: Caps lead 6-4 (including playoffs) 

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