Braden Holtby made 30 saves for his second straight shutout and fifth of the season and the Capitals beat the Senators, 1-0, on Saturday night for their fifth straight victory.
T.J. Oshie scored 1:38 into the game to help Washington improve to 25-9-5.
Mike Condon made 19 saves for Ottawa. The Senators have lost four straight to drop to 20-14-4. They played for the first time since falling, 2-1, to the Capitals last Sundayon Jan. 1.
On the goal, the Capitals broke into the Senators' zone and Oshie released a one-timer off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom past Condon.
Ottawa had a late power play in the third period after Karl Alzner was called for boarding Mark Stone. The Senators had some solid chances during the advantage but were unable to beat Holtby. They pulled Condon with 1:20 to play, but could only manage one shot on goal.
Oshie took a hard hit from Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf in the second period and sat out the third.
Navy, AAC oppose Group of 5 playoff idea
Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk and American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco are in agreement about a proposal for a Group of Five playoff. "It's absolute lunacy," Gladchuk said. "In my opinion, it's a nonstarter. I can't imagine there would be any interest in creating some sort of secondary competition of this nature." A recent article by Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com said there is growing interest in a Group of Five playoff. Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier was quoted prominently as being in favor of a postseason tournament to determine a champion among the AAC, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference. "It's time to have a realistic conversation about creating a playoff for the Group of Five," Frazier told ESPN. "Why not?" ESPN.com contacted Aresco for reaction and he panned the idea. "The answer is an emphatic no," Aresco said. "We compete for national championships like anyone else in FBS, including the Power 5, and have no interest in any kind of separate championship." Aresco, who has launched a campaign for the American to be considered a Power 6 conference, elaborated on his thoughts during an interview with Baltimore Sun Media Group last week, saying: "From an American Athletic Conference standpoint, this would be a major step backward. It's not the direction we're going."
— Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Honor: Towson punter Jake Ryder was one of 44 players selected to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team. Ryder is majoring in exercise science and has a 3.706 GPA. He is set to graduate this spring.
Banach returns to coach Meade's boys soccer team
Mike Banach, who coached Meade in boys soccer from 2010 to 2015, will return as coach this year, replacing Pat Hulede, who went 13-2-2 in his one season, winning the school's first Anne Arundel County championship since 1991, the school announced last week. Hulede's team had nine shutouts, scored a school-record 55 goals and surrendered just 11, losing only to Class 4A East region champion Severna Park during the season. Hulede was informed at the end of the season that, because he is not a teacher at the school, his position had to be made available for 10 days after the season to see whether a teacher at the school was interested. "There is no drama here, no hostility. Mike and I are good friends," Hulede said. "This was a great experience for me, and a good fit." Under Banach, the Mustangs won 10 games each in 2011 and 2013, then won a school-record 17 in 2015, including their first region crown since 1991, and advanced to the state final for the first time since 1978.
— Brian Burden, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Men's college lacrosse: NCAA associate director for championships and alliances Anthony Holman wrote to Inside Lacrosse last week that no waiver was granted for the Atlantic Coast Conference to extend the grace period of its NCAA tournament automatic qualifier and, as a result, there will be only one play-in game for 2017, essentially shrinking the field from 18 to 17 teams this May. When the Big Ten added men's lacrosse for the 2015 season, it became the 10th conference in Division I to earn an automatic qualifier for the NCAA tournament. Concurrent with that move was Maryland's departure from the ACC, sinking that league below the six-team threshold necessary for an automatic qualifier and starting the clock on a two-year grace period that let the ACC retain its automatic bid in 2015 and 2016.
Women's college basketball: Kailyn Williams blocked Braennan Farrar's layup with one second left to preserve a 50-48 victory by Bethune-Cookman (6-9, 2-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) over visiting Morgan State (2-13, 0-2 ). Zuri White made a 3-pointer for the Bears to cut the Wildcats' lead to 49-48 lead with 10.7 seconds left before Bethune-Cookman's Angel Golden went 1-for-2 from the foul line for the final score. ... Genesis Lucas scored a career-high 27 points to lead visiting Coppin State (2-12, 2-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) to a 70-62 win over host Florida A&M (2-12, 0-1). ... A strong second half carried host Maine (8-9, 1-1 America East) to a 72-40 victory over UMBC (5-10, 0-2). The Black Bears shot 52.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc in the half. Freshman Lucrezia Costa had 12 points for the Retrievers. ... Host Bryant (7-7, 2-1 Northeast Conference) used a 12-4 fourth-quarter run to pull away from Mount St. Mary's (3-11, 1-2) and win, 78-62. Caroline Hummell scored 15 points and Katrice Dickson had 14 points for the Mount.
More college basketball: Saturday's doubleheader between UMES and host North Carolina Central has been rescheduled because of inclement weather. The games have been moved to Wednesday, with the women starting at 4 p.m. and the men at 6 p.m.
College administration: Johns Hopkins hired Jonathan Kindred to the newly created position of assistant director of student athlete success. He was assistant director of academic services at UMBC the past two years.