Capitals vs. Penguins, NHL playoffs odds: Washington set as road favorite for Game 4

The Washington Capitals broke a three-game postseason losing streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins with their win on Monday in Game 3. The Capitals will attempt to even up their second-round series at two games apiece with another road win in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
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Washington is a -125 betting favorite in Pittsburgh at sportsbooks monitored by The Penguins are going off at +105 to take a 3-1 series lead.

Lars Eller, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson are all expected to play for Washington. Only Karl Alzner (upper body) is sitting out Game 1.

On the Penguins side, Kris Letang (neck) is out for the year, while Matt Murray (lower body) is doubtful. Carl Hagelin and Chris Kunitz are questionable but considerable possibilities.
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Vanderdoes overall body of work isn’t the reason he makes this list; he played a full four years at UCLA and appeared in 38 games. Instead, his inclusion comes because he may have peaked early in his college career, failing to match the recruiting hype that surrounded him as a former five-star prospect.

Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp and East Carolina’s Zay Jones are in the same boat. Hansen played last season in Sonny Dykes’ air raid offense at Cal, in a scheme that emphasized quick distribution to wide receivers. A receiver’s numbers balloon in a system like that. But the point, for Hansen, is that he can play anywhere an NFL team asks him to play, and in whichever type of offense.

I think there’s always a knock on receivers that only play in like an air raid, spread offense, Hansen says. I think there is some truth to that. We don’t have the ability to run the full route tree like the NFL does, and that, I think, hurts you as a receiver in the offense.

Blues vs. Predators 2017 odds: Nashville a Game 4 betting favorite over St. Louis at the sportsbooks

The Nashville Predators will be seeking a fourth straight postseason win at home Tuesday night as they take on the St. Louis Blues as chalk at the sportsbooks.

Some of Toronto’s best defense was done at the free throw stripe. Antetokounmpo missed six himself and the team shot 18-of-28 as a whole.

The Bucks almost made another mini-comeback in the final seconds of the game as well, and had the ball down just three points in what could have been the final possession. Antetotkounmpo made a big mistake as he dunked through a wide-open lane while his team had no timeouts left, playing into the Raptors’ trap.

A final last-second chance saw the Raptors intercept a pass and DeRozan spike the ball down in celebration.
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Paul Posluszny Elite Jersey As always, there’s no reason to be too confident in Toronto going forward.

His performance at the free-throw line hurt, but playing all but two minutes of this game, he finished with 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting, three assists and nine rebounds. He was huffing and puffing his way down the floor, but provided for his team on both ends of the floor in a game he needed to play nearly all of.

He had help on the outside with clutch deep-ball shots from Khris Middleton and Jason Terry, and the offensive rebounding efforts of Greg Monroe, who finished with four, was felt.

Meanwhile Toronto’s offense fell off a cliff.

With less than three minutes to play, the Raptors had scored all of seven points for the entire quarter. By the finish, they only made three field goals for the entire quarter.

DeMar DeRozan showed big with 32 total point on 12-of-24 shooting, but nobody else came to support.

Kyle Lowry was a forgotten man with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting despite playing 44 minutes and no other Raptor finished with double-digits in points.

What’s next for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder?

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder were bounced in five games by James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Man, that’s a loaded sentence.

Everything about the season of Russ and Harden was condensed into those five games. The Rockets were clearly superior and had far more depth. Harden was excellent for the most part, but other Rockets had moments of glory. OKC was thin and too dependent on Russ, who may have tried to do too much.

We get into all that on this week’s Drive & Kick, along with Warriors talk, the carnage that is the Clips-Jazz series, and the Cavs’ inevitability.

For example, you tell a new partner where you need to be, but he does not manage to get there with his feet…

I was suffering all this season, because I couldn’t find perfect chemistry with other partners. I played with Drouin once and it was good, but the coaches didn’t put us together again. Some guys have stayed too long on the team. They’ve got money and stopped working. They knew there was no competition for their positions, and the organization was not going to take someone else. They did not play really well this season. You can see it in their stats. When we played together and I made a pass, they were not expecting it. That’s why this season was hard for me despite good stats.

Elite Mens Todd Gurley Jersey What did you feel, when Nikita Nesterov was traded?
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No one wants to lose their friend. We’ve become closer after all these years. I got upset at first. But this is hockey, it happens. You need to accept it. But then I was happy for him. He wanted to go, because he wanted to play more and he didn’t have a chance at Tampa. I’m happy for my friend, because he got a chance at Montreal. We are still in contact.

The biggest move the Eagles made was turning their No. 1 receiver into their No. 3 receiver.

I know the Seahawks would still have a huge hole at cornerback in this situation, but I just don’t know if it’s even possible that they’d let Davis sneak by at 58 if he was there. In fact, if he fell out of the top 40, I wonder if they’d get on the phones and use one of their three third-round picks to move up. It’s not the biggest need, but he would be the best player they could possibly get with their second rounder if the board fell like this.

With Garett Bolles in the first and Davis here, Seattle is maybe getting their starting right tackle (at least) in 2017 and a new SAM to replace Mike Morgan. Those aren’t the greatest areas of interest for most teams, but it is definitely an upgrade for next season, and as players leave or retire in coming seasons, Bolles could become a premier left tackle and Davis has a ceiling that could put him on virtually any pedestal. These picks would be good for now but possibly great in 2-4 years.

Analysis: I agree on this leaving the Seahawks with a need at cornerback, but it comes down to value. The best cornerback available in this mock draft is Cordrea Tankersley of Clemson. Although he’s a good player, he’s more of a third-round pick. If you’re arguing against value for a cornerback, you have to love the pick of Davis because of the value. Davis is an aggressive linebacker who thrives on being physical. At Florida, he knew how to make an impact even in sometimes limited starts. In a situation like Seattle that could help him.

The biggest move the Eagles made was turning their No. 1 receiver into their No. 3 receiver. The team went out and picked up Alshon Jeffery, the best wide receiver on the free agent market.

Caleb Brantley has a major red flag, but Browns rolled the dice on his talent late

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At 6’3, 307 pounds, Caleb Brantley is the kind of defensive lineman who can swallow up blockers and eclipse running lanes. But the Cleveland Browns are betting he’ll be more than just a run specialist, selecting Brantley with the 185th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

On the field, the Florida product flashed the power and explosion to be a pass-rushing presence from the interior. The All-SEC honoree lacks the speed of an edge rusher, but his ability to grind through blocks and into the pocket could make him valuable in the NFL. He tallied 16.5 tackles for loss — including 5.5 sacks — in his final 23 games as a Gator.

But that production and potential are mitigated by character concerns. Brantley is facing a misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly striking a woman on April 13. The outcome of that case is still pending, but the Browns seem aware that things could get worse.

Game Mens Mike Moustakas Jersey This pick is so close to happening that Garrett recently followed Browns players Joe Haden, Carl Nassib, and Danny Shelton on Twitter. If that doesn’t make it official, I don’t know what else would. Don’t screw up the No. 1 pick, Cleveland. Don’t listen to Warren Sapp. Take the draft’s top player and then use your stockpile of picks to come back up and get a quarterback.

Morgan says everyone on the football field has to communicate in order to click on all cylinders. But offensive linemen must know each other like the back of your hand.

It’s a sense of camaraderie that comes with that position. You have to be able to communicate, you gotta know your guys, and you gotta be able to work together, Morgan explained.

Rams make small-school TE Gerald Everett their first pick of 2017 NFL Draft

Gerald Everetts path to the NFL took detours through one shuttered FBS program and another that didnt exist before 2008. This weekend, he became South Alabamas first-ever draft pick.

The show he put on at the Combine solidified his status as one of the drafts premier blockers, but questions remain about his ability to consistently take on NFL linemen. The major concern is whether his relatively short arms will prevent him from ever moving to the exterior of the line, where hed carry the most value as a pro. Lamp is sound in almost every other aspect — good fundamentals, great workout numbers, and tremendous college production.
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Authentic Youth Johan Franzen Jersey Hell likely move to the interior of the line with the Chargers, which hampers his value. Early-round picks are traditionally saved for blind-side saving tackles, rather than path-clearers like Lamp. Hell have high expectations to live up to at offensive guard.

Theres a chance he pans out on the edge in the NFL as well. Former NFL defensive end Stephen White was quick to praise his dominance against Conference USA opponents — and Alabama — last fall.

Lamps success at left tackle boiled down to his lateral movement. The Hilltoppers kept edge rushers at bay thanks to the kind of strength that negated swats and spin moves and the quickness to shut down speed rushes intended to collapse the pocket from the corner. Here he is showing off the ability to shadow his man in a 2015 game against Indiana.

NFL Referees Association: Dean Blandino replacement should have on-field experience

Blandino, whose NFL departure was announced Friday, is expected to segue into broadcasting. Green believes the vacancy will be filled fairly quickly.

Greg Bird Mens Jersey Green also knows what type of replacement he hopes gets a job that carries the responsibility of grading officials: Someone who has the on-field background that Blandino didnt.

Josh Norman Mens Jersey This one’s tricky. North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson are good bets. Texas Tech’s Pat Mahomes is getting to that point. That leaves Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and California’s Davis Webb to crash the party. There are too many questions about the quality of this class to trust the quantity.

This one’s easy. Three backs taken in Round 1 would mean Florida State’s Dalvin Cook joining Fournette and McCaffrey. Any more than three backs being selected in Round 1 would be shocking, but three is all you need, and three is what you’ll get.

Lookout Landing wants its fans to stay fit, so it’s developed a workout routine to help everyone stay in shape while they’re watching the Mariners. Or to stave off misery. Whichever.

There was a scary moment for umpire Dale Scott last night, who took a foul tip off his mask and left the field on a stretcher. His injuries were limited to a concussion, which seems like a small miracle, all things considered.

When anonymous sources question Leonard Fournette’s passion, show them this hit

From Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer: This season, Terrance Ferguson signed a shoe deal with Under Armour and played in the Australian National Basketball League instead of college. Jennings, Mudiay, and Maker were all lottery selections, and Ferguson is currently projected to go in the middle of the first round this year.

One question that’s faced LSU RB Leonard Fournette concerns his passion for football. And there’s a widespread feeling he’s driven by stardom. My guess is Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone would address that quickly.

Fournette skipped LSU’s bowl win over Louisville after an injury-hampered junior season, claiming head coach Ed Orgeron insisted he sit out.

Holding leads at all is a rough lesson to learn for most young teams. Learning how to do it in the playoffs is another lesson entirely. Edmonton got a crash course.

Joe Thornton. The veteran and future Hall of Famer missed Game 1 with a nagging injury. But he skated in practice on Thursday and could join the lineup for Game 2 on Friday. Just another weapon with tons of playoff experience for the Sharks.

Penalties. Edmonton shot out like a cannon, but that reckless energy came with a cost. San Jose had six power plays and 11:58 in power play minutes, draining the Oilers’ momentum out of the building as the game dragged on. Not to mention that the Sharks own the best power play in the business. Edmonton can’t afford to keep doing that.

But when the game’s on the line, the buck stops with one Pacers player. The Raptors’ All-Star guard is averaging just 13.3 points in the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons. Lowry averaged 13.9 points on 17 percent three-point shooting in Toronto’s first-round series against Indiana last season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was called for a dumb technical after celebrating his huge block

Kelvin Benjamin Mens Jersey The Milwaukee Bucks demolished the Toronto Raptors in a 97-83 Game 1 victory on Saturday, and Giannis Antetokoumpo capped off the win with a demoralizing swat on DeMar DeRozan.

He celebrated the play with an emphatic fist pump and stared DeRozan down — which was somehow enough to warrant a technical foul: All-conference center Jake Bennett returns, but all-conference guard Fred Zerblis does not, nor do honorable mention all-MWC guys Nick Callender or Paul Thurston. CSU returns two starters and two others with starting experience, but the Rams combined a No. 9 ranking in power success rate with a No. 11 ranking in stuff rate (run stops at or behind the line). Thats a nice combination, and it might be hard to replicate.

Meanwhile, injuries could create issues in the receiving corps. That Gallup and Johnson are back is great, but the No. 3 and 4 wideouts are gone, as are the top two tight ends. Dawkins is the only other returnee who caught more than seven passes last year. Bobo has recruited well, and leaning on three-star youngsters like sophomore Anthony Hawkins, freshmen Warren Jackson or E.J. Scott, or redshirt freshman tight end Isiah Pannunzio might pay off. But you never want to have to rely on young guys.

Seriously, how is this a tech? Giannis had a dominant night (28 points, eight rebounds and three assists), and damnit, Id pump my fist too after pulling off a block like that.
This is playoff basketball — its expected players are going to show a little more emotion than normal. He may have said something after the block, but we cant know for sure. Either way, this looks like a pretty tame celebration on the surface.

Limited Chris Watt Jersey The Greek Freak chatted with the refs after the call, which he claims was to tell them they did a great job.

James Harden was unanimous MVP in Game 1 vs. Thunder

Butler makes the game look easy. He isn’t a flashy dribbler or a deadeye shooter, but he’s calculated with every move. Give him enough space, he’ll blow by you. If there’s a visible mismatch, he’ll exploit it. Not careful enough with the ball? He’s going to swipe it.
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For all these reasons and more, Butler’s an All-Star starter.
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Just as Thomas was headed to the rack for a momentum-shifting layup, Butler rode him and swatted it off of IT4’s face, stealing possession and Boston’s hopes at a comeback.

With spring games comes the latent competition we’re all thrilled to follow: Whose reported attendance figure is the highest? The Buckeyes currently hold the top three all-time figures, cracking 100,000 in 2016, but who’s leading 2017?

So far, the Ohio State Buckeyes have the highest figure, with 80,134 fans packing into The Shoe, which had its upper deck closed off. OSU fans were even seen scalping tickets before the game.

Clemson saw 60,000 at Memorial Stadium (according to the school) on an absolutely gorgeous April Saturday. The day had already started pretty well for the Clemson Tigers, with the commitment of the No. 2 player in the country, DE Xavier Thomas.