Wednesday’s Sports In Brief
LAS VEGAS (AP) Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals stayed cool in the 100-degree Vegas heat and evened the Stanley Cup Final.
Holtby made 37 saves, Ovechkin scored a power-play goal and Lars Eller added a goal and two assists in the Capitals’ 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2.
The Caps hung on through a scoreless third period for their first Stanley Cup Final victory in franchise history largely because of a bounce-back performance by Holtby, who was battered in Vegas’ 6-4 series-opening win. Holtby capped his energetic performance with a jaw-dropping stick save with 1:59 to play, stretching back to rob Alex Tuch of a possible tying goal.
Brooks Orpik ended a personal 220-game drought with the eventual winning goal for the Caps, who rebounded from a ramshackle loss in the opener and handed the expansion Golden Knights only their second home defeat – the first in regulation – in Vegas’ nine postseason games.
James Neal and Shea Theodore scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots for the upstart Knights.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Nathan Eovaldi pitched six innings of no-hit ball in his return to the majors following a second Tommy John surgery, leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Eovaldi (1-0) faced one over the minimum through six innings in his Tampa Bay debut. He threw 70 pitches and had four strikeouts. The only runner to reach base against him was Matt Chapman, who drew a one-out walk in the first.
Wilmer Font, acquired by the Rays from the A’s last Friday, gave up Jed Lowrie’s one-out single in the seventh for Oakland’s only hit of the game. Vidal Nuno got the last three outs to finish the one-hitter.
Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run home run off A’s starter Sean Manaea (5-6), and Johnny Field also homered for the Rays.
The game drew an announced crowd of 6,295, the smallest at the Coliseum since April 3, 2003.
Eovaldi last pitched in the majors on Aug. 10, 2016, for the Yankees.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Lawyers for the NFL urged a federal judge to appoint a special investigator to look into what the league said is extensive fraud in claims on the $1 billion concussion settlement.
NFL attorneys said a study by the independent auditors in the claims process showed about 440 claims were flagged for denial based on evidence of fraud by attorneys, doctors or former players. Lawyers representing the former players and their estates said most of the opportunity for fraud has been resolved because anyone filing a claim after the settlement’s effective date has to see a neuro-specialist from a list of approved certified physicians.
The settlement, which took effect January 2017, resolved thousands of lawsuits that accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions.
It covers retired players who develop Lou Gehrig’s disease, dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their pro careers, with awards as high as $5 million for the most serious cases.
CLEVELAND (AP) – Browns safety Damarious Randall underestimated two things: the power of social media and passion of Cleveland fans.
Randall said he never imagined that an innocent Twitter posting about the NBA Finals would blow up into a national story – and maybe something he lives to regret.
A big fan of Golden State star guard Stephen Curry, Randall posted a tweet on Monday night promising that if the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Warriors in the ”2018 NBA finals, I’ll buy everyone who retweet’s this a jersey.”
By Wednesday afternoon, Randall’s tweet had been retweeted 869,000 times.
Randall, who came to the Browns in a March trade from Green Bay, said he couldn’t track the number of re-tweets because his phone locked up when he tried to access his Twitter account.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers are easing linebacker Reuben Foster back into the system after he missed the start of the offseason program while dealing with a domestic violence case that was eventually dropped.
Foster was not allowed to participate in the offseason program until a judge ruled last week that he wouldn’t have to stand trial on domestic violence charges. The judge determined there was no evidence that Foster ever hit his ex-girlfriend.
Foster rejoined the Niners last Thursday but has been held out of team drills as he gets back into form after missing more than five weeks of the offseason program while waiting for his case to be resolved.
He took part in individual drills during organized team activities but spent the time during team drills doing conditioning or watching teammates.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers are ditching their ”bumble bee” throwback uniforms for something with a more 1970s feel.
The team announced it will wear replica jerseys of the 1978 and 1979 clubs that won back-to-back Super Bowls when the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 28. Team president Art Rooney II said the choice of using the `78-79 jersey was fitting. The franchise will spend the next two seasons honoring the 40th anniversary of the teams that pushed Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl total during the 1970s to four.
The move means the Steelers are ending the use of their 1933 throwbacks that featured black-and-gold horizontal stripes that made the team resemble a pack of bees.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Philadelphia 76ers said they are investigating whether team president Bryan Colangelo used a variety of Twitter accounts to anonymously trash some of his own players and fellow executives and defend himself against criticism from fans and the sports media.
The allegations, reported Tuesday by the sports website The Ringer, raised questions about Colangelo’s future and that of the NBA team itself, a rising franchise heading into perhaps its most important summer ever as it tries to attract free agents to contend for championships.
The five Twitter accounts under suspicion took aim at Philadelphia players Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and former Sixers players Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, according to The Ringer.
Among other things, the user or users of the accounts complained that Embiid, the 24-year-old All-Star center, was ”playing like a toddler having tantrums” and was ”a bit lazy,” ”selfish” and ”acting like a tool.”