Holtby hopes to keep streak alive


Holtby hopes to keep streak alive

NEW YORK -- Braden Holtbys NHL resume is not the most extensive, but it is worth noting he has gone 24 straight NHL starts without losing consecutive games.

I didnt even know how many it is, Holtby said after Mondays morning skate at Madison Square Garden.

Maybe the key is to keep a level head through the highs and lows. Never having two bad games in a row is the key to consistency and I want to have a solid performance.

Holtby allowed three goals on 18 shots in Saturdays series-opening 3-1 loss to the Rangers. One goal came on a wraparound stuffer by Artem Anisimov, another on a gloveside slapper by Chris Kreider and a third on an uncontested 5-hole shot by Brad Richards.

Holtbys loss dropped his post-season record to 4-4 and raised his GAA to 2.13 and his save percentage to .931. His counterpart, Hart Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist, is now 5-3 in the playoffs with a 1.61 GAA and .945 save percentage.

Ive said this before, Holtby said. Its the Caps against the Rangers. My job is to control their offensive pushes and out job is to push against Lundqvist.

Schultz ready: Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz said hes ready to jump back into the lineup after getting scratched in favor of John Erskine in Game 1.

With New York having the benefit of the last line change, look for Rangers coach John Tortorella to match his top line of Richards between Carl Hagelin and right wing Marian Gaborik.

A guy like Gaborik is real fast and he kind of likes to sneak behind you and hang out a little higher in the offensive zone than most wingers, Schultz said. Theyre really good at give-and-goes. We need to be in good passing lines and stay in that guy going to the net.

Ratings sweep: NBCs coverage of its first two Conference Semifinal games averaged a 1.7 overnight rating, the best for weekend coverage of the second round in eight years and up six percent over last years coverage. Capitals-Rangers on Saturday and Devils-Flyers on Sunday produced the best overnight average for weekend coverage of the second round since two-game regional coverage on ABC 1.9 on May 1, 2004.
Saturdays Game 1 between the Caps and Rangers received a 1.5 overnight rating. The game received a 3.5 rating in New York and a 5.2 rating in Washington, down slightly from a 5.3 in 2009 for a second-round game against the Penguins.

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Did DeSean Jackson take a shot at Redskins' offense on Instagram?

Did DeSean Jackson take a shot at Redskins' offense on Instagram?

DeSean Jackson's stats from the past four games look like numbers that a block first, catch second tight end would post, not numbers that one of the NFL's most premier receiving talents would have. But, for a combination of a few reasons, the electric wideout has been unplugged since Week 3.

In Sunday's loss against the Lions, Jackson caught five balls for 35 yards, good for seven yards per catch. On most days, his average reception goes for double that, and pretty often, he's good for triple that.

Therefore, you would expect that No. 11 would be a little frustrated with how things have gone as of late, especially considering that he's in a contract year. That's why this picture on Instagram, which Jackson put up Sunday evening, could be interpreted as a showing of displeasure with his role in Washington's offense since a 96-yard performance in New York: 

I'm tellin ya ' đŸ¤”

A photo posted by Desean Jackson (@0ne0fone) on

For the year, DJax has one score, and since September 25, he hasn't topped five grabs or 55 yards. Some questions as to why they can't get him the ball on anything more than some short comebacks or shallow crossers should be expected this week.


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Redskins' loss leaves them in a muddled situation

Redskins' loss leaves them in a muddled situation

DETROIT—With 1:05 left to play against the Lions the Redskins were in position to pull within a half game of the NFC East lead.

But a Matthew Stafford miracle drive later they find themselves tied for last place in the division.

Life comes at you fast in the NFC East. The last-place Giants, who started the day in last place, were up first on Sunday. They picked off Case Keenum four times in a 17-10 win over the perpetually mediocre Rams.

While the Redskins were battling it out with the Giants, the Eagles were putting the first mark this season in the Vikings’ loss column. It was a sloppy game, with the team committing a combined five turnovers in the first 10 minutes of play. But ultimately the Eagles persevered and won 21-10.

The Cowboys watched all of this unfold while they were on their bye. They were guaranteed to remain in first place at 5-1 regardless of what happened. They are trailed by three teams with four wins each. The Eagles have had their bye so they are in second at 4-2. Both the Giants and Redskins are 4-3. New York is off this week and Washington’s bye comes after their trip to London this week. Some would say that the Redskins are ahead of New York due to their head-to-head win over the Giants. But that tiebreaker won’t really be set until the teams settle it at FedEx Field on January 1. Only a head-to-head sweep matters.

A win would have made the Redskins the only five-win team not leading a division, a good spot when it comes to getting a wild card if they can't stop the Cowboys. But reality is that they are one of five four-win teams and if the season ended today they would be out of the playoffs. The good news is that the season isn't even halfway over. 

One aspect of the Redskins’ loss on Sunday could potentially come back to bite them. When you look across the divisions at the wild card playoff race you see the Lions also have a 4-3 record now. But Detroit holds the tiebreaker now with the head-to-head win. There is plenty of time for things to play out but that could come back to bite the Redskins in terms of either playoff seeding or making the postseason at all.