Capitals

Steelers, Chiefs head to overtime

201211122004722991097-p2.jpeg

Steelers, Chiefs head to overtime

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ryan Succop hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs entered overtime tied at 13.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left Monday night's game with a right shoulder injury after being sacked by Justin Houston early in the third quarter. He was replaced by Byron Leftwich, who was 7 for 14 for 73 yards.

The Chiefs forced a punt at the two-minute warning and drove 52 yards to set up Succop's tying field goal. Matt Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe for 27 yards to the Pittsburgh 28 on a fourth and 15, and the Chiefs sprinted to the line of scrimmage for a spike to kill the clock with a couple seconds left and set up the field goal attempt.

Succop missed from 33 yards in the third quarter but made a 22-yarder early in the second.

Jamaal Charles had 22 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown for upset-minded Kansas City (1-7), which began the day with a five-game losing streak and had not held a lead in regulation yet this season.

But the Chiefs grabbed a 10-0 at rainy Heinz Field, scoring first on Charles' 12-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter.

Shaun Suisham hit a 35-yard field goal and Mike Wallace had a tying 7-yard touchdown catch for the Steelers (5-3), who carried a three-game winning streak into the game.

The Chiefs had a chance to take the lead on their first possession of the second half, but Dwayne Bowe's 22-yard touchdown reception was called back because of a holding penalty and Succop missed a 33-yard field goal.

Kansas City again thought it had touchdown less than a minute later when Houston scooped up what was called a Leftwich fumble and returned it 21 yards into the end zone. A replay review showed the play was instead an incomplete pass.

The Chiefs also were flagged for a group touchdown celebration, and the 15-yard penalty was enforced, allowing the Steelers to keep the ball instead of facing a fourth and long.

Roethlisberger was 9 for 18 for 84 yards before leaving the game. Leftwich entered, making only his second appearance since Sept. 27, 2009.

Wallace made a terrific catch in the corner of the end zone on a fade route from Roethlisberger with 3:16 left in the second. He pulled the ball in with one hand and secured it between his legs as he rolled toward the out-of-bounds line. The touchdown call withstood a video review.

Kansas City's Matt Cassel, in for the injured Brady Quinn (concussion), was 11 for 25 for 154 yards at the end of regulation.

A week after posting a career-high 147 yards rushing in a 24-20 win at the New York Giants, Isaac Redman spent the rest of the first half on the bench after he fumbled at the Pittsburgh 11 on the Steelers' third possession. After missing the Giants game due to a right quadriceps injury following consecutive 100-yard rushing games, Jonathan Dwyer replaced Redman and had 56 yards on 19 carries through four quarters.

The Steelers would move within a game of AFC North leader Baltimore with a victory Monday night. Pittsburgh hosts the Ravens (7-2) next Sunday night.

Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley is facing Kansas City for the first time since being fired as head coach of the Chiefs late last season.

The Chiefs have 29 turnovers - by far the most in the NFL - but had none in the first half Monday. Redman's fumble was the Steelers' ninth turnover of the season.

As it has been for the past five weeks, Pittsburgh was without All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu due to a calf injury. Also inactive for the Steelers were wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle), running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle).

---

Online:http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

las_vegas-sign-no_caps-stanley_cup_final.jpg
Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

Quick Links

Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights have met only twice in their history. Neither team was expected to get to this point so you can go ahead and throw away the stats, the matchups, the data and the history. A new story will be written in the Stanley Cup FInal.

Who will ultimately win the Cup? Here are four factors that could ultaimtely swing the series.

1. Goaltending

The Caps have faced elimination only twice in the playoffs and Braden Holtby did not allow a single goal in either game. He enters the Stanley Cup Final having not allowed a single goal in 159:27. Andrei Vasilevskiy began to take over the series with his performance in Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5, but Holtby outplayed him to finish off the series in Washington’s favor.

Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, has been the best player in the playoffs. Not the best goalie, the best player.

Through 15 games, Fleury has a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. As good as Vegas has been this postseason, Fleury has stolen several games for the Golden Knights.

Both of these goalies are certainly capable of stealing away a series for their respective teams. Which one will outplay the other?

2. Time off

Rust is a real thing in hockey. Just any team when they come off a bye week. When the Caps and Golden Knights take the ice on Monday, May 28, it will be the first game for Vegas since May 20. That’s over a week off.

Yes, getting rest at this time of the year is important, but too much rest leads to rust and that should be a major concern for Vegas, especially for a team that was playing so well and has so much momentum.

In the Eastern Conference Final, the Caps stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning by winning both Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa. Could they do it again with a rusty Vegas team? Will the long layoff cost the Golden Knights one or even two home games to start the series?

3. The McPhee factor

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was the Caps’ general manager for 17 years starting with the 1997-98 season. He was fired in 2014, but was ultimately responsible for building the core of the Washington team that is now headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

But that also means he knows those players very, very well.

Nicklas Backstrom, Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer and of course, Alex Ovechkin were all drafted by McPhee. Jay Beagle was also signed by as an undrafted free agent.

A general manager does not sign or draft anyone without knowing a good deal about the kind of player they are. Does that give McPhee a bit of an edge when it comes to facing the Caps?

4. Speed

The Golden Knights are fast. When the expansion draft was all said and done it was clear McPhee had targeted two things specifically: defensemen and speed. The result is an exceptionally fast Golden Knights team that no one has been able to keep up with so far.

Vegas' speed mixed with the goaltending of Fleury has proven to be a lethal combination. Their mobility makes it hard to get the puck from them or even keep it in the offensive zone. Once they get it, it’s going down the ice very quickly and you better keep up with them or it's going to end up in the back of the net. Once they build a lead, it is very difficult for teams to dig their way out as evidenced by their 10-1 record this postseason when scoring first.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were both fast teams as well and the Capitals were able to combat that with strong play in the neutral zone. The 1-3-1 trap has given opponents fits and generated a lot of odd-man breaks for the Caps. Will it be as effective against a speedy Vegas team?

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS: