After ‘kick in the stomach,’ Capitals believe they can rebound

A five-minute implosion made the Capitals look like the same old team in the playoffs.

They blew a two-goal lead for the fourth time in seven games to ruin an otherwise solid performance in a Game 1 loss to the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Penguins. That Pittsburgh stormed back to win 3-2 seemed to suggest this would be yet another chapter in the long, miserable history for the Capitals against their nemesis: The Penguins have won nine of 10 postseason meetings between the two teams.

One of the most noteworthy parts of Cretors’ testimony was when she admitted, under questioning from McNair’s attorney, Bruce Broillet, that mistakes repeatedly occurred when investigators interviewed McNair. They asked McNair about a call between him and Lloyd Lake — one of the men who provided improper benefits to Reggie Bush while he was at USC — that they told him took place in January 2005. The call actually took place a year later and investigators never circled back with McNair to clarify their questioning after realizing the mistake was made.

Freeland (1-3) provided plenty of heat as the lefty struck out a season-high eight to earn his first win since July 30. But there was a moment of concern when Freeland was hit by a Chase Headley liner in the fourth. Freeland took a few warmup pitches and remained in the game. After that, his mechanics have rarely looked sharper, Rockies manager Bud Black said.

“It smoothed him out. He didn’t overthrow,” Black explained. “His focus might have been more heightened, because he was in a little bit of discomfort.”

Although the heel smarts, Freeland said it will “be all right.”

Colorado outfielder Noel Cuevas notched his first major league hit — a single down the line that looked like a sure double before he slipped on the first base bag. That’s about the only stumble for the Rockies in a game delayed 46 minutes by rain on a 37-degree evening. In an effort to stay warm, Nolan Arenado resorted to wearing a ski mask in the field.sl_cardinals_001

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