Bruins will host Caps in playoffs


Bruins will host Caps in playoffs

It seemed that the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators were on a collision course to meet in the first round of the playoffs, but that wont be happening.

Instead it will be Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and, yes, even Dennis Wideman invading Boston with the Washington Capitals as the Sens dropped three in a row while dropping all the way to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins will host the Caps in Game 1 of the series Thursday night at TD Garden, but the Bs had to wait a solid two plus hours to finally learn their fates.

Either way it didnt matter to the Black and Gold, who said it was more about themselves than whichever team they were playing. One could make the argument that Ottawa turned down the intensity over the last week to step into a better matchup for them against the top-seeded Rangers after it seemed they were on track to play the Bruins since the middle of the season.

But Claude Julien gave that theory a flying elbow off the turnbuckle that Macho Man Randy Savage would have been proud of.

Thats the feel that there should be in the dressing room. Anybody who decides who they want as an opponent, whether its, you know, saying, Oh, Id rather play this team than that team, or plays to pick their own opponentsthey dont deserve to win. Thats the way -- this is a game. This is not wrestling, its not a fake sport, said Claude Julien. You dont go out there and pretend to play and make sure you lose because you want a certain team to play against. Karmas a pretty powerful thing, and I believe in doing the things right.

If were going to win, were going to have to beat every team that comes in our way, and thats the way weve approached it.

The Capitals provide an interesting opponent considering their star power and fully healthy Nicklas Backstroms return to the Washington lineup. Its fair to say Washington is much more talented than your run-of-the-mill No. 7 seed, and theyll provide a worthy first round opponent for the Black and Gold.

They also have their weaknesses. Injuries to Tomas Vokoun and Michael Neuvirth have left them with Braden Holtby as their only healthy goaltender during their 4-1 regular season finale win over the New York Rangers.

The Bruins were 1-2-1 this season against Washington with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand as their leading scorers in the four games with five points apiece.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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