Digest: Capitals lose 3-goal lead, recover to beat Bruins in OT

Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43), left, of Sweden, Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt (88), Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, celebrate Backstrom's game winning goal against the Boston Bruins during overtime of an NHL game, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Washington. Washington defeated Boston, 4-3.

The Washington Capitals didn't exactly end their overtime victory with a raucous celebration.

No, instead Washington held a players-only meeting, still salty over blowing a three-goal lead.


Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the host Capitals beat the Boston Bruins, 4-3, to avert a disastrous defeat Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.


After Winnik's tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller's power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3.

Backstrom saved the day, but not the Capitals from feeling uneasy.

"In the second and third period they outplayed," Backstrom said. "We were lucky that we came up with two points. We're not satisfied at all. We're happy with the two points, but not the way we played."

The locker room remained closed for approximately 15 minutes after the win, Washington's second in a row after losing three straight.

"We had a little talking here," said T.J. Oshie, who returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring his shoulder Nov. 18. "There are some things we've got to clean up. I think it's more of a mentality more than it is the systems or anything like that. Once we get a step up on someone, we have to get that mentality that we're going to finish them off."

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals, and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night. The Bruins outshot Washington 34-20.

"Hell of an effort. We got a big point for us. To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it's not that easy," Pastrnak said. "Too bad we couldn't get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us."


Backstrom patiently waited on the right side before firing the winner past goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered second in the league with a 1.68 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals in his previous outing, too.

With his 673rd career win, Capitals coach Barry Trotz passed Mike Keenan (672) for eighth place on the NHL's career wins list.


Nationals deal Giolito, two others for Eaton

The Washington Nationals, whose hard line on prospects kept them from acquiring All-Stars such as Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale this winter, traded their top two pitching prospects and 2015 first-round pick to the White Sox for low-cost center fielder Adam Eaton on Wednesday. Lucas Giolito, who rated as the top right-handed pitching prospect in baseball at times last season; Reynaldo Lopez, who cracked the playoff roster with high-90s stuff; and Dane Dunning, a promising left-hander, will go to Chicago for the 28-year-old Eaton. Eaton's arrival all but ends the Nationals' pursuit of McCutchen, but also pushes Trea Turner back to shortstop, his natural position. Defensive metrics have yielded starkly different evaluations of Eaton, who played mostly right field for the White Sox last season, but he brings a fiery attitude, speed, a strong throwing arm and a .284 career batting average to Washington. More importantly, he brings long-term value: Eaton is owed $18.4 million for the next three seasons with affordable options for 2020 and 2021. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Eaton has 9.7 Wins Above Replacement by the FanGraphs calculation, sixth in baseball.

Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post


Et cetera

Phelps to be honored at SI event Monday night in N.Y.

Recently retired swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, will be among the athletes honored at a Sports Illustrated event Monday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James will receive SI's Sportsperson of the Year at the ceremony. Others being honored include football legend Jim Brown and basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "I am honored to be a part of this event recognizing some of the world's greatest athletes, past and present. I look forward to the SI Sportsperson celebration to cap off what has been a truly memorable year for me, and for the sports world at large," Phelps said.

NFL: The New York Jets claimed linebacker Arthur Brown on waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brown was a second-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2013 and was among their final cuts out of training camp this year. After being claimed by Jacksonville, he played primarily on special teams and had three tackles. ... The Washington Redskins reassigned center Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to injured reserve-designated for return and signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips to the practice squad.

Major League Soccer: Luke Mishu, an outside back who started five of D.C. United's last 10 regular-season matches this year, has retired after just two seasons in the league to pursue career opportunities outside soccer. "I had to be realistic. I love soccer, but MLS isn't the NFL or NBA," he said. "I felt like I could play until I was 30-whatever, but I didn't want to leave the league needing to get an entry-level job." Mishu, 25, is aiming to enter the business world, preferably in Chicago. As an undrafted reserve in MLS, he was earning the senior minimum salary of $62,500.

Steven Goff, The Washington Post


Boxing: Lorenzo Simpson of Baltimore decisioned Noah Jones of Rowlett, Texas, 5-0, in the youth 165-pound division Tuesday on the second day of the Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior Open in Kansas City, Mo. Malik Warren of Baltimore was decisioned, 4-1, by Mario Ramos of San Diego in the youth 132-pound division.

Varsity boys basketball: The William Wells Challenge, featuring four of the area's top teams, is set for Saturday at UMBC's RAC Arena. The opening game, at 4:30 p.m., will feature No. 1 Mount Saint Joseph vs. No. 2 Poly. The nightcap, at 6:30 p.m., will pit No. 9 St. Frances against No. 13 Patterson. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door. VIP courtside seats are $50. For more information, call Corrigan Sports at 410-605-9381.

College football: Johns Hopkins' Jim Margraff was named NCAA Division III Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association for the second time in three years and the third time in six years.

Women's college basketball: Stevenson senior Sara Tarbert was named Division III National Player of the Week and made the Team of the Week.

Men's college indoor track and field: Mount St. Mary's senior hurdler Julian Woods (Century) was named Northeast Conference Athlete of the Week.

Women's college indoor track and field: Frostburg State junior Kayla Truesdel was named Capital Athletic Conference Co-Athlete of the Week. ... Mount freshman high jumper Chelsea Wright was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week.


Women's college swimming: Washington College junior Jenni Clune was named's Centennial Conference Swimmer of the Week.