Mystics head west to face Beard, Sparks

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Mystics head west to face Beard, Sparks

I dont have an explanation for it except that people werent ready to play and that is unacceptable and inexcusable.What Im going to do is find the five people that want to play together, that want to play defense and want to play (with) energy for the entire game.That is what Mystics coach Trudi Lacey had to say following the June 8 loss to New York, at the time Washingtons fourth straight setback. It also marked another game the revamped roster opened with a less than full-throated effort and in turn fell behind by more than 20 points in the first half.With a week to prepare before facing Indiana on Friday and Lacey staying true to her lineup shakeup pledge, Washington may have found the right mix at least the result for one night said as much. They stayed in contact early and made enough plays late for a 67-66 home win over the Fever."We have felt like this has been coming for a long time, Lacey said following the Mystics second win of the season. As I try to explain that when you have so many fresh faces to the offense the chemistry takes some time, our defense has been pretty solid. It was a total team effort.Now, starting Monday night in what is a de-facto reunion Los Angeles against Alana Beard, Washingtons all-time leading scorer, Lacey will see if the lessons learned travel as the Mystics (2-5) start a three-game road trip. Dating back to last year and including two games this season, the Mystics have dropped 11 straight away from the Verizon Center.Crystal Langhorne heads west with a streak of three straight games of 20 or more points. That level of production from the All-Star forward is baked into the Mystics winning formula recipe. Its the other ingredients enhancing her post presence that changed the taste from bitter to winning.Assertive wing guard Matee Ajavon, making her first start of the season along in the new-look backcourt with fellow newbie start Jasmine Thomas, scored 15 points, shooting 3-for-5 from three-point range. In the opening lineup for a second straight game, center Michelle Snow, one of the man y newly acquired players added this off-season, pulled down 12 rebounds. Simply new altogether, 5-foot-2 guard Shannon Bobbitt, signed as a free agent on Wednesday, finished with eight points and five assists n 19 minutes of play on Friday.
Well, she maybe the smallest player on the court but shes the toughest player on the court.The Mystics will need some toughness against the Sparks (7-3), winners of all four of their home games this season, but entering Monday on a two-game losing skid.Los Angeles defense has sparked those home wins as opponents are scoring just 68.7 points per game. Offensively, Candice Parker leads the Sparks in scoring with 19.4 points and Kristi Tolliver, Langhornes former teammate at the University of Maryland, averages 16.2 points.The current Mystics will also have to contend with all the ex-Mystics now playing on the left coast starting with Beard. After missing two seasons with injuries, the 30-year-old guard is averaging 9.8 points and shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. DeLisha Milton-Jones, Marissa Coleman and Coco Miller are also part of the Sparks rotation. No matter the players, the two sides have been even over the years. The Mystics and Sparks have split their last seven season series.

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Capitals send Chandler Stephenson back to Hershey after brief call-up

Capitals send Chandler Stephenson back to Hershey after brief call-up

The Capitals have re-assigned forward Chandler Stephenson to AHL Hershey after a brief call-up to the NHL, the team announced Tuesday.

Stephenson, 22, was recalled on Saturday as a precaution and was a healthy scratch for the team's games on Sunday and Monday.

Washington has been playing with the minimum of 12 forwards at home. With the Caps facing a quick turnaround with a game in Washington on Sunday and in Pittsburgh on Monday, the team needed a spare forward in case of an emergency to ensure the team had someone to plug into the lineup if there was an injury.

The Caps returned home after Monday's game in Pittsburgh and have Tuesday off making carrying Stephenson unnecessary. He may be back very soon, however, as the team will almost certainly call up another player prior to leaving for Thursday's game in St. Louis.

In Hershey, Stephenson has scored 23 points this season in 36 games. He played in nine games with the Caps in 2015-16.

RELATED: Prediction recap: Defense was optional in Pittsburgh

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Prediction recap: Defense was optional in Pittsburgh on Monday

Prediction recap: Defense was optional in Pittsburgh on Monday

It was crazy, it was controversial and unfortunately for the Caps, it was a loss. Washington saw its nine-game win streak come to an end on Monday in a crazy 8-7 overtime loss to the Penguins.

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. Washington will not score on the power play - Wrong

Defense was optional on Monday so it is perhaps not surprising that one of the Caps’ seven goals came on the power play. T.J. Oshie struck in the third period to make the score 7-6. More on that later.

RELATED: Williams calls the Caps' loss 'a reality check'

2. Pittsburgh will score three goals or more - More right than I expected

I thought four, maybe five goals on Monday. I didn’t expect eight. You see one of these games every once in awhile where everything just seems to find the back of the net and this was definitely one of them. Things in professional sports always tend to even out. The Caps had four shutouts in six games and were due to allow some goals, I just didn’t expect it to catch up with them all of them in one game.

3. T.J. Oshie will have a multi-point night - Correct

With seven goals, it would have been hard for me to miss on this one. Oshie had three points including his power play goal in the third period for a three-point night.

2017 Results: I finally had a good night with predictions and it was Washington’s first loss in ten games. I’m guessing most readers are going to be rooting against me the next few weeks.

Correct: 7
Wrong: 20
Push: 0

MORE CAPITALS: Caps' win streak snapped in crazy loss to Penguins