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Dec 2, 2012 8:48pm
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WASHINGTON —Blow a two-goal lead, win in the shootout for the second game in a
row. Eric Decker Jersey . But this one was
different for the Washington Capitals, if only because Nicklas Backstrom was on
the ice. Welcome back, Backstrom, just in time for the crucial games that will
determine if the Capitals make the playoffs. Washingtons best player over the
first half of the season returned Saturday night after 40 games away due to a
concussion, and he won 12 of his 18 faceoffs and provided an immeasurable
psychological boost in a 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens. “Hes one
of those guys that lightens the room up,” Washington forward Troy Brouwer said.
“Hes very well-liked by everybody on the team and you always have a good time
when youre with him, so whenever you get to see him back—plus the smile on
his face, how hes been feeling and acting around the room the last couple days,
knowing he was going to play tonight—its a big pick-up.” The win, coupled
with Buffalos 4-3 loss to Toronto, moved the eighth-place Capitals two points
clear of the ninth-place Sabres with three games to play in the regular season.
Washington also moved within two points of Southeast Division leader Florida.
But if theres a worrying trend for the Capitals, it comes from the fact that
they essentially put on a repeat performance from Thursday, when they also lost
a 2-0 lead at Boston before getting a 3-2 shootout win. “Two leads the last two
games,” Washington defenceman Dennis Wideman said. “We have to find a way to
keep pushing and keep pressing and not letting teams back in the game.”
Michal Neuvirth, making a bid to be the post-season starter, had 39 saves for
the Capitals, including one that hit him in the mask and left him flat on his
back late in the second period. He also kept his net clean in the shootout,
stopping David Desharnais attempt and standing his ground as Max Pacioretty
missed wide. Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin scored in the shootout for the
Capitals, and Mathieu Perreault and Jay Beagle scored first-period goals. But
the main attraction was Backstrom. The top-line centre received a roaring
reception when he was the last player introduced in the starting lineups, and
even the singer of the Canadian and American national anthems wore a Backstrom
No. 19 jersey. The 24-year-old forward, who is fifth on the team with 42 points
despite all the games he missed, then took the faceoff that began the game.
Backstrom had been out since Jan. 3, when he was elbowed in a game against
Calgary by Rene Bourque, who now plays with the Canadiens. Backstrom played
nearly 20 minutes Saturday night. “Ive got to play the same way that I usually
play,” Backstrom said. “I cant be worried about getting hit again, and thats
what I did from the start and it felt all right, but I can be a little bit
better. My lungs were a little tired there after a while.” Erik Cole and
Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who have lost four straight.
Peter Budaj made 31 saves. The Canadiens are the worst team in the East, and
they looked like it early. They gave the Capitals three power plays in the first
14 minutes, including one after Budaj was whistled for playing the puck outside
the trapezoid behind the net. The Capitals didnt convert any of those
man-advantage chances, but they scored with a pair of easy odd-man rushes. On a
two-on-one, Semin had his shot saved but corralled the rebound and passed to
trailer Perreault for the goal. Beagle made it 2-0 with his third goal of the
season, skating in unmarked to tap in a pass from Hendricks. But Washington
again found a way to lose the lead. Montreal cut it to one in the final minute
of the period when Cole poked in a rebound, and the Canadiens assertive play in
the second period was rewarded when Plekanec skated around defenceman
Roman Hamrlik to put a shot over Neuvirths glove. “The guys worked hard tonight
and they deserved maybe a better fate,” Montreal coach Randy Cunneyworth said.
“We certainly crawled out of the deficit we had and the first goal (by Cole) was
a big one, obviously turning the game around for us and getting us going in the
right direction. ... I liked the effort overall.” Notes: Canadiens C
Petteri Nokelainen left the game in the second period with an upper body injury.
... The Capitals placed D John Erskine on injured reserve with a lower body
injury. He hasnt played since Feb. 12. ... The Capitals have won six straight
over Montreal. Champ Bailey Jersey . LOUIS
Adam Wainwrights first two RBIs of the season helped knock out Dodgers ace
Clayton Kershaw in the sixth inning in a game that began in 103-degree heat as
the St. Shannon Sharpe Jersey . Nike Inc. claimed in
a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that Reebok International Ltd. has used Tebows
name on Jets-related apparel without permission since it was announced last week
that Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to New York. http://www.shopthebroncos.com/john-elway-jersey
. Frazier hit a two-run homer in a six-run second inning and Johnny Cueto
overcame a pair of rare long balls to pitch into the eighth inning Thursday,
leading the surging Reds to their 13th win in 14 games, 9-4 over the Padres. Elvis Dumervil Jersey . —The rain wouldnt
go away, and neither would a couple of Tom Lehmans challengers. Peyton Manning Jersey . NBA executive
vice-president Stu Jackson issued the decision Saturday. Vogel called Miami the
“biggest flopping team in the NBA” and told reporters that it would be
“interesting” to see how much flopping the officials reward.LONDON, Ont. - A
third quarter touchdown gave the East just enough to top the West 24-16 at the
10th annual East West Bowl Saturday afternoon at TD Waterhouse Stadium on the
campus of Western University in London, Ont. The game marks the third
consecutive year that the East has garnered the win. A quick first quarter had
the East and West tied at six points each resulting from two field goals apiece.
The West got out of the gates first as they were able to get within 31-yards of
the end zone, putting Western kicker Lirim Hajrullahu (St. Catharines, Ont.)
into perfect position. The result: a field goal and a 3-0 lead for the West.
Seconds later, Saskatchewans Joel Seutter (Sherwood Park, Alta.) recovered the
ball as Lavals Tristan Grenon (Quebec City, Que.) rushed and fumbled for a loss
of eight yards. The next drive for the West, after one complete and one
incomplete pass, resulted in another successful field goal from Hajrullahu. The
six-point deficit was enough for the East. Two consecutive field goals for the
Easts Brett Lauther (Truro, N.S.) tied the affair after the first quarter.
Austin Kennedy (Windsor, Ont.) from Windsor and Billy Mcphee (Burlington, Ont.)
from Queens started the second quarter in the quarterback positions for the West
and East respectively and at the end of two, the East led 12-8. Three drives
later, the East, deep in the red zone once again, attempted another field goal
to take a 9-6 lead, one they would not relinquish. Penalties plagued both teams
before the half, and after a 12-yard run for Steven Lumbala (Calgary, Alta.) of
Calgary, East conceded a safety, allowing the West to come within one point. The
West tried to gain some ground late in the second with a 26-yard drive, but a
late field goal for Lauther put the spread at 12-8 going into halftime. The
firrst and only touchdown of the game came at 13:16 of the third quarter as
Acadia running back Zack Skibin (Edmonton, Alta. Knowshon Moreno Jersey. ) rushed 58 yards.
Lauthers field goal was good for the point after, widening the gap to 19-8.
Manitoba quarterback Khaleal Williams (Winnipeg, Man.) was sacked on the next
West drive, and the East gained another two points. As the West offense pushed
the East defensive line back, the East was forced into another safety. With less
than two minutes on the clock in the third, solid rushing from Montreal running
back Rotrand Sene (Montreal, Que.) put the East within field goal territory for
the fifth and final time. Lauther made the kick. The West gave the East a run
for their money in the fourth with a pair of field goals, but one last attempt
at a touchdown was unsuccessful. The East took the win 24-16. The East went 16
for 31 in passes, while the West went 27 for 41. Each team had one fumble.
Defensively, St. Fxs Brett Hubbeard (Peterborough, Ont.) led all players on the
field with 9.5 tackles. For the West, McMasters Benjamin DAguilar (Hamilton,
Ont.) had six solo tackles.Lauther finished the game with five field goals on
five attempts. Hajrullahu went four for four. NOTES: Western was hosting the
event for the fourth straight year. The contest was previously held at McMaster
(2008), Laval (2007, 2006) and Wilfrid Laurier (2005, 2004, 2003). The East team
was comprised of players representing schools from the Atlantic and Quebec
conferences, as well as from Queens, Ottawa and Toronto, while the West squad
was made up of players from Canada West and from the remaining OUA universities.
Stefan Ptaszek from reigning Vanier Cup champion McMaster and Glen Constantin
from 2010 Vanier Cup champion Laval were the West and East head coaches,
respectively. ’ ’ ’ 

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