Sunday, April 11, 2021

March 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — Capitals players and coach Peter Laviolette sounded as if they’d lost after holding on to beat the New York Rangers 5-4 Sunday. That’s a good sign for the first-place team in the East Division after tying the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the NHL.

Washington has won 10 of 11 games to move two points up on the second-place New York Islanders and looks primed for another deep playoff run. Instead of celebrating two goals by Tom Wilson, the 724th of Alex Ovechkin’s career or three points from T.J. Oshie, the Capitals lamented a sloppy third period that turned a blowout into a nail-biter.

This veteran team has grown to appreciate the value of piling up points and learning lessons along the way, and this game serves as another teachable moment after almost letting what should have been an easy victory slip away.

“If there’s a trend, we want to address it,” said Wilson, who has five points in four games since returning from a seven-game suspension. “The whole season is definitely just to get ready for the meaningful hockey. You want to win games, you want to get there and you want to build your game and feel good about it going into the playoffs.”

The Capitals have been outscored 40-34 in third periods this season. They led 4-0 on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s goal 5:15 into the third before a Rangers scoring flurry made things interesting.

Oshie’s deflection goal with 8:14 left proved crucial, standing up as the game-winner. Colin Blackwell scored twice on his 28th birthday, No. 1 pick Alexis Lafrenière scored the fifth goal of his rookie season and Chris Kreider scored on the power play, cutting New York’s deficit to one with 3:52 left.

Ilya Samsonov made a few final saves to give him 16 in his second consecutive victory. But the Capitals had to sweat it out.

“There’s been times throughout the year where we’ve gotten ourselves in good positions going into the third and we maybe take our foot off the gas — not a lot, but just a little bit,” said Oshie, who also had two assists. “We didn’t really stay on the attack, so that’s definitely something that we’ve got to address going forward.”

The good news for the Capitals is they improved to 18-1-0 when leading at the second intermission. And their best players are producing: Ovechkin has 11 goals in 11 games and leads the team with 18; Kuznetsov has 12 points in 10 games and Jakub Vrana picked up his first point in five games.

Keith Kinkaid made 17 saves for the Rangers, who have lost back-to-back one-goal games after a three-game winning streak.

 “Some bounces went their way,” Rangers defenseman Adam Fox said. “We responded well in the third and came up just short, but obviously a good effort there to keep it going in the third.”

SAMSONOV AGAIN

Samsonov started two games in a row for the second time this season and first since March 11 and 13 against the Flyers. He had been rotating with Vitek Vanecek, who started all but one game while Samsonov was out with COVID-19, but Samsonov’s 24-save shutout of New Jersey was enough to earn the nod in net again.

“His last game, he played really well,” Laviolette said. “He had a day off and a break, so it wasn’t a stress situation for either goaltender. There’s plenty of games coming up, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

QUINN BACK

Rangers coach David Quinn was back behind the bench after missing the past six games while in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

“He definitely brought some energy today behind the bench,” Blackwell said. “When we got down, he was cheering everybody on, telling them that there’s still plenty of time left.”

Quinn, who said he “didn’t get hit too bad by it” and experienced only mild symptoms, spoke to Vegas coach Peter DeBoer about the predicament of missing games after testing positive for the virus. They agreed there was a silver lining to it.

“Me being away from the team was a little bit longer than his, so mine was probably a little bit more painful,” Quinn said. “You see things a little bit differently. I think you can give yourself a chance to do some self-evaluation. I think it was a good opportunity for me to kind of reset and watch things from a different light.”

Kris Knoblauch, who went 4-2 as acting coach, remained on the bench with assistant David Oliver still out.

ELLER STILL OUT

The Capitals played their seventh consecutive game without Lars Eller because of a lower-body injury and eighth of the past nine without their third-line center. Despite that lengthy absence, Laviolette isn’t considering Eller out long term.

RANGERS LOGJAM

Phil Di Giuseppe entered the Rangers lineup after Brendan Lemieux was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday for a fourth-round pick. Quinn said a “logjam” of forwards precipitated the trade.

“It seemed like the right thing to do,” Quinn said. “It’s going to give (Lemieux) an opportunity to maybe play in a little bit more of a role that he’s looking for. He was a good player for us, and we’re going to miss him.”

LAST IN D.C. WITHOUT FANS?

The Capitals played in front of empty stands for the 19th and perhaps final time at home this season. They’re the last in the East Division — and one of just five U.S. teams — without fans or plans announced for their return at a limited capacity. Washington next plays at home April 8 against the Boston Bruins.

UP NEXT

These teams face off again Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, the opener of the Capitals’ five-game road trip all in the New York area with games at the Rangers, Islanders and New Jersey Devils.

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Entertainment

April 10, 2021  BERLIN (AP) — The Australian photographer and actress June Newton — also known under her pseudonym Alice Springs — has died at 97, the Helmut Newton Foundation said Saturday in Berlin. Newton, who was also the wife of the late photographer Helmut Newton, died Friday in her home in Monte Carlo. The cause of death was not given. “We mourn the loss of an outstanding person and internationally recognized photographer,” the foundation wrote on its website. Newton, who was born June Browne in Melbourne, Australia in 1923, trained as an actor and often performed under her stage name June Brunell, the foundation said.

April 9, 2021  -Melissa McCarthy and her husband, filmmaker Ben Falcone, have managed to put out not one but two movies during this global pandemic. It prompts two questions: What did we do to deserve them? And how do we stop it? McCarthy enlists — and immediately wastes — the services of Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer for the superhero buddy comedy “Thunder Force,” a meandering nothing-burger of a film. It’s the fifth team-up between McCarthy and Falcone — they previously did “The Boss,” “Tammy,” “Life of the Party” and “Superintelligence.” It’s clear they’ve gotten progressively worse and McCarthy’s welcome manic, anarchic energy is no longer disarming.

April 10, 2021  LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince Charles offered a heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa” on Saturday as Buckingham Palace offered the broad outlines of a royal funeral that will be attended by the family and broadcast to the world. As Queen Elizabeth II and other relatives mourned, Charles offered a personal video message saying the royal family was “deeply grateful” for the outpouring of support they’ve received following the death Friday of his 99-year-old father, Prince Philip. The heir to the throne said he was touched by the number of people around the world who have shared his family’s loss and sorrow.

April 9, 2021  -The St. George’s and Jamaica College Old Boys Associations of Florida will host their first-ever friendly sound clash on Saturday, April 10. The True Blue Sound Clash of 2021 is replacing the traditional True Blue weekend soccer event held every year. This year marks the 17th year for the South Florida event though it will be held in a different format. The True Blue Sound Clash will be hosted online by VP Records and broadcast on their Facebook page (facebook.com/vprecords/) & YouTube Channel (youtube.com/vprecords) starting at 7:00 p.m.

Business News

April 11, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — Two big South Korean electric vehicle battery makers have settled a long-running trade dispute that will allow one of them to move ahead with plans to make batteries in Georgia, a person briefed on the matter says. LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation reached the settlement, ending the need for President Joe Biden to intervene in the dispute, the person said Saturday. The person asked not to be identified because the companies have not yet announced the settlement. No details were available. The U.S. International Trade Commission decided in February that SK stole 22 trade secrets from LG Energy, and that SK should be barred from importing, making or selling batteries in the United States for 10 years.

April 10, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, was fined 18.3 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) by Chinese regulators on Saturday for anti-competitive tactics, as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over fast-growing tech industries. Party leaders worry about the dominance of China’s biggest internet companies, which are expanding into finance, health services and other sensitive areas. The party says anti-monopoly enforcement, especially in tech, is a priority this year. Alibaba was fined for “abusing its dominant position” to limit competition by retailers that use its platforms and hindering “free circulation” of goods, the State Administration for Market Regulation announced. It said the fine was equal to 4% of its total 2019 sales of 455.712 billion yuan ($69.5 billion).

April 11, 2021  MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and e-commerce mogul Marc Lore signed a letter of intent Saturday to buy the Timberwolves and keep the NBA team in Minnesota, owner Glen Taylor said. The agreement, which also includes the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, opens a 30-day window for negotiations to be finalized. If accountants and attorneys for both sides agree, the deal would then need to be approved by the league. The Athletic first reported the $1.5 billion sale.

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