Evgeny Kuznetsov continued his dominance against the Vegas Golden Knights, scoring a goal and assisting on three more as part of a 5-2 Washington Capitals victory Wednesday night in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup Final.
Kuznetsov assisted on two goals by Alex Ovechkin and one by Nicklas Backstrom and scored his own on the power play. The leading scorer in the Cup Final with eight points in five games, Kuznetsov has seven points through the defending champions' first three games of the regular season.
Coming off a 49-goal season and a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, Ovechkin has four goals in three games. The 610th and 611th goals of his career put him in sole possession of 17th on the NHL's career list, passing Bobby Hull.
Braden Holtby, who made "the save" with his stick in Game 2 of the Final, stopped 29 of 31 shots and bailed out his teammates during an especially sloppy second period. Holtby allowed goals to Cody Eakin in the second period and Reilly Smith in the third.
In other NHL action:
Jakub Voracek and Scott Laughton scored two goals apiece, and the Philadelphia Flyers rebounded from an embarrassing loss to beat the Ottawa Senators 7-4 on Wednesday night. Sean Couturier, Robert Hagg and Claude Giroux also scored for the Flyers, who were coming off an 8-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in their home opener a night earlier. Calvin Pickard stopped 31 shots.
Nick Cousins scored in the shootout, Antti Raanta made 23 saves and the Coyotes earned their first win of the season. Dylan Strome and Brad Richardson scored for Arizona (1-2), which dropped its first 11 games last season. The Coyotes got their first goal this season when Strome converted a power-play opportunity with 2 1/2 minutes left in the first. They were the last NHL team to score. Anaheim was trying for the first 4-0 start in franchise history. Ryan Kesler and Ben Street scored for the Ducks (3-1), and John Gibson made 37 saves.
Thursday on the ice:
The Oilers takes on the Bruins at 7 p.m.
Buffalo goes against Colorado at 7 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils face off against Washington at 7 p.m.
The San Jose Sharks take on the New York Rangers at 7 p.m.
Players on the four remaining playoff teams are getting a couple days to regroup.
The National League Championship Series gets going first, with the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday at 8:09 p.m. L.A. beat Milwaukee 4-3 in the season series. Both teams won division titles with one-game playoff victories the day after the regular season.
The Red Sox are set for a postseason rematch with the World Series champion Astros Saturday at 8:09 p.m. Boston eliminated the Yankees with a dramatic 4-3 victory Tuesday night in Game 4 of their AL Division Series, and now rookie manager Alex Cora and his club will wait until Saturday night to open the AL Championship Series against Houston at Fenway Park.
Ace lefty Chris Sale figures to get the ball for the Sox after making an impressive turn in a setup role for the eighth inning last night.
In other MLB news:
The Yankees have lost four straight postseason home games to the Red Sox, and now they'll watch on TV as Boston chases a fourth World Series title in 15 years — New York has just one pennant and championship during that span (2009). The Yankees begin an offseason that's sure to bring a few changes. CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner, David Robertson and J.A. Happ can become free agents, and New York could be major a player in an anticipated free agent market that will likely include Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel and possibly even Clayton Kershaw.
Braves manager Brian Snitker expects to find out this week whether general manager Alex Anthopolous will bring him back. Snitker is not yet under contract for 2019, though there's nothing to indicate he won't return for his third full year at the helm — especially after a season that makes him one of the leading candidates for NL manager of the year. Still, Anthopolous met with Snitker and the coaching staff yesterday and didn't make any promises.
The Washington Nationals picked up righty reliever Kyle Barraclough from Miami in their first offseason move to rebuild the bullpen. The Nationals gave the Marlins $1 million in international slot allotment as part of the deal. The hard-throwing Barraclough went 1-6 with 4.20 ERA and 10 saves in 17 chances, with 61 appearances this year.
San Diego is hunting for a new hitting coach a day after firing Matt Stairs. The rebuilding Padres continued to rank at or near the bottom of the majors in key offensive stats in their first year under Stairs. His replacement will be the Padres' 10th hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed former Cleveland Browns linebacker Nate Orchard to shore up their pass rush with linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford hobbled by injuries.
Houston could miss several weeks after hurting his hamstring in Kansas City's win over Jacksonville.
Ford has dealt with a series of minor injuries this season. The 25-year-old Orchard was a second-round pick of the Browns in the 2015 draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles take on the New York Giants at 8:20 p.m.
Elsewhere around the league:
The Jacksonville Jaguars have ruled out running back Leonard Fournette for their game at Dallas. It will be the fourth game Fournette has missed this season. Coach Doug Marrone says Fournette (hamstring), left tackle Josh Wells (groin) and cornerback D.J. Hayden (toe) will all miss Sunday's game. The Jaguars signed veteran Jamaal Charles yesterday with the expectation that Fournette would be sidelined an extended period.
The Detroit Lions have acquired cornerback Lenzy Pipkins via waivers from the Indianapolis Colts and released linebacker Marquis Flowers. Pipkins spent time on the Colts' practice squad and active roster earlier this season, appearing in one game. Detroit has an open date this week.
The Tennessee Titans have filled their fifth wide receiver spot by promoting Cameron Batson from the practice squad. The Titans filled the open roster spot a day after waiving receiver Nick Williams, who was beaten by a defender that turned the play into an interception and also dropped a would-be touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in Tennessee's loss in Buffalo. Batson signed with Tennessee as an undrafted rookie free agent in May.
Kansas fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham with six games left in the season Wednesday, ending the short tenure of what coach David Beaty hailed as a game-changing hire just last year.
Meacham had spent the previous three seasons as the co-offensive coordinator at Big 12 rival TCU when Beaty lured him to the Jayhawks.
Meacham was expected to install a variation of the Air Raid offense that would put up the kind of points not seen in Lawrence in a decade.
Instead, the Jayhawks managed just 18.7 points per game last season. That has ticked up to 27.7 this year, but the Jayhawks are averaging just 19 points during three conference losses.
Beaty plans to handle play-calling duties when the Jayhawks face Texas Tech on Oct. 20.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and three-time major champion Jan Stephenson are among five people selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
A 16-member panel of mostly golf administrators also selected retired Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, LPGA charter member and renowned teacher Peggy Kirk Bell and Dennis Walters, who has been inspiring golfers through clinics despite being paralyzed from the chest down since he was 24.
The induction will be June 10, the Monday of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Jimmy Butler has returned to practice with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the first time this season.
He told ESPN in an interview taped and aired Wednesday that he was "brutally honest" with teammates and other officials during that workout.
Butler asked the Timberwolves to trade him elsewhere last month, and said much of an earlier ESPN report Wednesday stating he had outbursts during the practice session was largely accurate.
Butler is a four-time All-Star who can become a free agent after the season.
Tex Winter, the innovative "Triangle Offense" pioneer who assisted Phil Jackson on 11 NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has died. He was 96.
Kansas State University said Winter died Wednesday in Manhattan.
Winter published "The Triple-Post Offense" in 1962 and teamed with Jackson to use the system to great success with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Winter assisted Jackson on championship teams with the Bulls in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998, and the Lakers in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009.
Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011, Winter spent more than six decades in coaching. He was 451-336 as a college head coach at Marquette (1951-53), Kansas State (1954-68), Washington (1969-72), Northwestern (1975-78) and Long Beach State (1978-83). He coached the Houston Rockets in 1972-74, going 51-78.
There will be no eighth NASCAR title for Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.
Hendrick Motorsports will split the driver and crew chief at the end of this season.
Johnson and Knaus were partnered in 2002 when Knaus built the No. 48 team as part of a Hendrick expansion. They won a record-tying seven titles and made the playoffs in all 15 years of its existence.
Kevin Meendering will return to Hendrick Motorsports after a stint as crew chief for Elliott Sadler in the Xfinity Series to lead Johnson.
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