The Capitals' caliber of play with a dozen games left to go is light years away from what we saw last season when they moon-walked their way into the playoffs and then to D.C. area golf courses. Washington is the hottest team in hockey, and teams with momentum heading into the playoffs are especially dangerous in the NHL.
Jake Arrieta was pleased with his command in the Orioles' 8-2 win over the Pirates on Monday even though he allowed eight hits in four innings. ... The Orioles' spring training MASH unit had a busy day. ... Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is scheduled to fight two more bouts in a span of two weeks in Atlantic City. ... Their season unexpectedly over, the Terps turn their attention to next year. ... "Terps" could give way to "Maryland" on new football uniforms.
The Capitals, peaking at the right time, won their eighth straight game on Sunday, beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, 4-3, in overtime. The bigger story, though, was that DJ Pauly D of "Jersey Shore" fame attended the game at Verizon Center as Alex Ovechkin's special guest.
The Capitals have had trouble cashing in this season, but playing five Washington forwards paid off for Jimmy Smith, a Capitals fan from Alexandria, Va. Smith won the Virginia Lottery's Cash 5 game last month with the lucky combination of 8-19-21-22-28, the numbers of Capitals' top five point-getters.