Capitals

Top 25 Preview Capsules

Top 25 Preview Capsules

No. 19 Rutgers (6-0, 3-0 Big East) at Temple (3-2, 2-0), noon (SNY)

Line: Rutgers by 5 1/2.

Series Record: Rutgers leads 19-15.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

With a win, Rutgers would improve to 7-0 for the third time since 1976 and just the second time since joining the Big East in 1991. Kyle Flood would become the first coach in the Scarlet Knights' 143-year history of college football to start 7-0. Temple looks to remain unbeaten in the Big East and establish itself as a contender against the elite team in a conference it rejoined this season.

KEY MATCHUP

Temple's defensive line vs. Rutgers' offensive line. The Owls are ranked 10th in the nation in sacks (3.2). But the Scarlet Knights have allowed just three sacks all season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Rutgers: RB Jawan Jamison leads the conference with 665 yards rushing and 158 carries. Jamison hopes to get back on track against a Temple defense that's poor against the run after his string of 100-yard games ended at six last week when he had 64 yards on 28 rushes against Syracuse.

Temple: QB Chris Coyer has a 124.2 passer rating. He's 54 of 101 for 662 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 302 yards and two TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

It's the first meeting between the schools since 2004. ... The Owls are second in the conference with 176.8 yards rushing per game. ... RB Montel Harris has 275 yards rushing and three TDs in the last two games. ... Rutgers ranks second in the nation in rushing defense, yielding an average of 60.8 yards and hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 10 games. ... Scarlet Knights QB Gary Nova has 11 TD passes, including eight without an interception in the last five games. ... Rutgers leads the nation in turnover margin at plus-2.17, while Temple is 12th at plus-1.2.

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No. 21 Cincinnati (5-0) at Toledo (6-1), 7 p.m.

Line: Cincinnati by 7 1/2.

Series record: Cincinnati leads 4-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Bearcats face a deceptively tough road test to stay unbeaten before rivalry game at Louisville. Cincinnati has won eight consecutive games going back to last season while Toledo has won six straight since opening with an overtime loss at Arizona.

KEY MATCHUP

Toledo QB Terrance Owens vs. DEs Walter Stewart and Dan Giordano. Owens has thrown for 300 yards or more in three games this season and has deep threats in WRs Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell, but he must figure out how to get enough time to throw against an experienced line led by Stewart, who has seven tackles for a loss this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Toledo: RB David Fluellen rushed for 188 yards and two scores last week and a season-high 213 yards against Western Michigan. Getting him going is a key to key to Toledo's passing game, which is averaging 285 yards per game.

Cincinnati: RB George Winn gets overshadowed by multitalented QB Munchie Legaux, but he's making a name for himself too. Winn is averaging 104 yards per game on the ground, second best in the Big East. He's averaging just over six yards per carry.

FACTS & FIGURES

Cincinnati's eight-game winning streak is four shy of the school mark of 12 set in 2009. ... The Bearcats lead the all-time series with Toledo 4-2, but the Rockets have won the last two. Toledo most recently beat Cincinnati in the 2001 Motor City Bowl. ... The last time Toledo began a season at 6-1 was 2005 when it won nine games, including the GMAC Bowl.

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No. 22 Stanford (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) at California (3-4, 2-2), 3 p.m. (Fox)

Line: Stanford by 2 1/2.

Series Record: Stanford leads 57-46-11.

WHAT'S AT STAKE:

Besides bragging rights and the coveted Stanford Axe in one of the country's oldest rivalries, Stanford is looking to keep pace with Oregon and Oregon State and stay in contention in the Pac-12 North. California, which has won two straight for the first time this season, is looking to stop a two-game losing streak to Stanford in the first Big Game at the remodeled Memorial Stadium.

KEY MATCHUP

Stanford QB Josh Nunes against the California defense. The Cardinal have yet to score an offense touchdown in two road games - both losses - this season, including last week's 20-13 defeat at Notre Dame in overtime. The redshirt junior played shaky in both losses. His receivers, who dropped four balls against the Fighting Irish, also have done little to alleviate the stress on Andrew Luck's successor.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Stanford: TE Zach Ertz. One of the nation's top tight ends, Ertz sat out last season's Big Game because of a right knee injury. He has a team-leading 25 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns this year.

California: RB Brendan Bigelow. The speedy, change-of-pace back is listed third on the depth chart but has the kind of athleticism and big-play ability that gives Stanford fits. Bigelow has 23 carries for 277 yards and two touchdowns. He also has three catches for 37 yards and one touchdown.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is the 115th meeting between the Bay Area schools. ... Since the first Big Game on March 9, 1892, the schools have never played before November. ... Only 52 points separates the teams throughout the years. Stanford has outscored Cal 1,878-1,826. ... The game will mark the 30th anniversary of ``The Play,'' when Cal scored on a five-lateral, 57-yard kickoff return while the Stanford band ran on the field to win 25-20. ... Stanford held off a late surge to beat Cal 31-28 last season.

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Michigan State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 23 Michigan (4-2, 2-0), 3:30 p.m. (BTN)

Line: Michigan by 10.

Series Record: Michigan leads 67-32-5.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

With a win, the Wolverines can avoid a school-record, five-game losing streak against the Spartans and stay at least tied for first in the Big Ten's Legends Division. The Spartans are playing for pride in what has been a disappointing season and can boast that they made program history against college football's winningest team if they pull off an upset.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State QB Andrew Maxwell vs the Wolverines' D. Michigan will set up its defense to slow down RB Le'Veon Bell, who has ran for 900-plus yards and eight TDs, and force Michigan State's first-year starting QB to make plays through the air.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

MICHIGAN: QB Denard Robinson. The speedy senior has accounted for 10,000 yards of total offense in his career, but has been shut down in two straight starts by Michigan State.

MICHIGAN STATE: DE William Gholston. The senior who twisted Robinson's face mask last year and was suspended for a game for punching a Michigan lineman, will be one of the key players assigned to keep Robinson in the pocket.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan is a win away from being the first college football program with 900 wins. ... The Wolverines have not beaten Michigan State since 2007, when former RB Mike Hart famously referred to the Spartans as a little brother. ... The team that has more yards rushing has won 39 of the last 42 matchups. ... The winner gets - or can keep - the Paul Bunyan Trophy, a 4-foot high wooden statue that was donated by former Governor G. Mennen Williams in 1953 to celebrate Michigan State's entry into the Big Ten.

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UNLV (1-6, 1-1 Mountain West) at No. 24 Boise State (5-1, 2-0), 3:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)

Line: Boise State by 28 points.

Series Record: Boise State leads 4-3

WHAT'S AT STAKE

UNLV is trying to find a way to bounce back after a tough loss against Nevada and look for a positive start to the season's second half. The Rebels were leading by 17 at the half last week, but couldn't hold back Nevada and lost their third straight game. If Boise State is serious about winning the league title before splitting for the Big East, dispatching teams such as UNLV is paramount.

KEY MATCHUP

UNLV RB Tim Cornett vs. Boise State's front seven. Cornett is the leader of a balanced attack and comes into the game averaging 106.7 yards per game, with five games of 100-plus yards. Boise State's opponents have learned it's possible to find running lanes in the defense. The Broncos are allowing more than 161 yards per contest this year, but the front seven has shown it can close holes fast inside the red zone.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

UNLV: WR Marcus Sullivan is fourth in the conference in receiving yards with an average of 72 yards. The redshirt sophomore is quick and speedy and also a threat on kick returns. Sullivan has four touchdown catches this season and has become a favorite target of freshman QB Nick Sherry.

Boise State: LB J.C Percy is a tackling machine. The senior linebacker is third in the conference in tackles, grabs an average of 9.3 per game and is coming off a game-high 14 stops against Fresno State last week. If the Rebels hope to run the ball, they'll need to find a way to get blockers on Percy.

FACTS & FIGURES

Boise State has held opponents scoreless in the first half in each of the last four games, and in six games the defense has allowed 19 points total in the first two quarters. ... The Broncos have not trailed an opponent since taking a 15-9 lead over Miami (Ohio) with 1:43 to go in the second quarter, a span of more than 271 minutes. ... Black Out in Boise. The Broncos will be wearing all black uniforms for the first time Saturday. ... UNLV is 0-3 against the Broncos in games played in Boise. ... Sherry is already second in UNLV history for most TDs thrown in a season by a freshman with 11. ... Sherry is also leading a passing offense that ranks third in the Mountain West in yards, averaging 253 yards per game.

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Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

When the Capitals take the ice in Game 6, they will be playing for their playoff lives. After losing Game 5 on Saturday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps must win on Monday or their season will be over.

In order to do that, the Caps will have to change some things. First, they have to figure out how to win at home, something they have yet to do in this series. Second, they will have to find a way to get to Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been dominant the past three games. Alex Ovechkin also needs to win the matchup against the fourth line since he has only two five-on-five points through five games. Finally, the defense will have to be better. Matt Niskanen took the blame for Game 5, but really it was a tough night all around.

Also, a few penalty calls against Tampa Bay would be nice too.

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBCSN

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Lightning Game 6 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING PLAYOFF SERIES?

Game 6 of the Capitals vs. Lightning 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Monday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Capital One Arnea.

WHAT CHANNEL IS GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is on NBCSN. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 on NBCSN
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING SERIES?

Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is available to stream online on Monday, May 21 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING?

Capitals projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Devante Smith-Pelly -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Lightning projected lines:

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts with Louis Domingue as backup.

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING GAME 6 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners, offense

Need to Know: Redskins player one-liners, offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 21, one day before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.  

Redskins player one-liners, offense

A few weeks ago, I did an early projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster on offense and defense. As the team gets ready for OTAs here is a comment on each player expected to make the team on offense; the defense will be up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks

—It seems likely that Alex Smith will jump right into the leadership role on the offense, unlike his predecessor, who often seemed to be a reluctant leader. 

—Since Smith has missed a few games with injuries here and there, the chances of the team needing Colt McCoy to come in and win a key game are greater than they were the past three years. 

Kevin Hogan has from now until the end of the season to show that he can be a viable No. 2 quarterback to help ensure that he has a job here in 2019. 

Running backs

—It’s been a while around here since expectations were this high for a player picked late in the second round but Derrius Guice will try to meet them. 

Chris Thompson could be ready to participate in OTAs but look for him to get a very light workload if he puts on a helmet at all. 

—If Rob Kelley wants to be a regular on the 46-man game day inactive list he will have to play a lot of special teams, something he has done sparingly in his two years in the league. 

—Since the team likely will monitor Guice’s workload as a rookie, Samaje Perine will get some carries in key situations this year. 

Wide receivers

—While Josh Doctson does need to get more chances to use his huge catch radius and take balls away from defenders, he also could benefit by working to get more separation on a regular basis. 

—Smith was one of the best deep ball throwers in the league last year and if he is going to maintain that status he will need to look for Paul Richardson at least a few times per game. 

—After his play leveled off in his second and third years in the league, will Jamison Crowder have a contract year breakout? 

—It will be interesting to see what Maurice Harris can do if he stays healthy and get some consistent playing time. 

—Will Trey Quinn be a project or will the last pick in the draft have some instant impact on the offense? 

Tight ends

—​Jordan Reed could be an All-Pro or he could be a cap casualty in 2019. 

—The numbers say that Vernon Davis needs to have Reed on the field to be consistently productive; he had no more than two receptions in any of the last six games. 

—​Jeremy Sprinkle will be relied upon to block and play special teams and anything he produces in the receptions department will be a bonus. 

Offensive line

—After making the Pro Bowl while dealing with a serious knee injury last year, who knows what Trent Williams can accomplish if he can, you know, practice during the week.

—Right now Shawn Lauvao is the Redskins’ starter at left guard but a trade or free agent signing could change that in a heartbeat.

—Jay Gruden has a great deal of confidence in Chase Roullier as the starting center and the hope is that he keeps the job for many years to come. 

—Will Brandon Scherff take the next step and attain All-Pro status?

—​Morgan Moses dealt with injuries to both ankles last year, but he was the only offensive lineman who didn’t miss at least two starts.

—If I had to bet right now I’d say that Ty Nsekhe will start the season as the backup tackle on both sides and not as the starting left guard. 

—As long as Nsekhe is the swing tackle, Geron Christin is likely to be inactive on game days. 

—​Tyler Catalina will have to battle his way onto the roster but his ability to play both guard and tackle will land him on the 53. 

—​Tony Bergstrom is the answer to the question, “Who is the Redskins backup center?”

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 22
—Training camp starts (7/26) 67
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 81

The Redskins last played a game 140 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 112 days. 

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