Neymar's fall leaves World Cup without a superstar

Neymar's fall leaves World Cup without a superstar

The last Latin American team is out of the World Cup, meaning Europe will extend its hold on soccer’s biggest prize to 16 years by the time the next tournament rolls around in 2022.

Brazil’s departure means the competition in Russia will finish without a widely recognized international superstar, the kind of player who gets casual fans from Austin to Auckland to turn on their television sets and watch soccer.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have combined to win the last 10 world player of the year awards, both went out one game into knockout stage. Brazil’s exit in the quarterfinals in a 2-1 loss to Belgium on Friday takes Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, with it.

Alex Ovechkin shows off Stanley Cup at World Cup

Alex Ovechkin shows off Stanley Cup at World Cup

MOSCOW — Alex Ovechkin has brought the Stanley Cup to the World Cup.

The Washington Capitals captain took the NHL trophy to a fan zone in Moscow where World Cup games are screened. With the Russian National Guard providing security, Ovechkin lifted the cup above his head in front of a crowd of fans, who were allowed to take photos with the trophy.

[ MORE: England beats Sweden ]

“The cup is with us. The cup is in Moscow, Russia,” Ovechkin said. “I am very happy for the people that can see it and touch it. I am very, very happy.”

Ovechkin said he wishes the Russian soccer team well in its quarterfinal match against Croatia in Sochi.

“The national team did a great a job for the fans. Everyone is so happy. Miracles can happen. We are not far away from the final,” he said. “We need to fight, and our players understand it. They will do everything that they can.”

Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup championship a month ago in his 13th season in Washington.

Other Russian NHL players are also interested in soccer. Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a picture on Instagram showing himself on a luxury jet with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Los Angeles Kings and Alexander Radulov of the Dallas Stars.

“Flying to Sochi” was the caption.

More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

Ovechkin shows off the Stanley Cup at the World Cup

Ovechkin shows off the Stanley Cup at the World Cup

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Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin, from Russia, holds the Stanley Cup trophy at the fan zone in Moscow ahead of the the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup that is being played in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018. Ovechkin is bringing the Stanley Cup to the World Cup. Fresh off winning the NHL title, the Washington Capitals forward is taking the trophy to Moscow on Saturday, where it will be exhibited at a “fan fest” public viewing site ahead of Russia’s quarterfinal game against Croatia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Serebryakov)

MOSCOW (AP) — Alex Ovechkin has brought the Stanley Cup to the World Cup.

The Washington Capitals captain took the NHL trophy to a fan zone in Moscow where World Cup games are screened. With the Russian National Guard providing security, Ovechkin lifted the cup above his head in front of a crowd of fans, who were allowed to take photos with the trophy.

“The cup is with us. The cup is in Moscow, Russia,” Ovechkin said. “I am very happy for the people that can see it and touch it. I am very, very happy.”

Ovechkin said he wishes the Russian soccer team well in its quarterfinal match against Croatia in Sochi.

“The national team did a great a job for the fans. Everyone is so happy. Miracles can happen. We are not far away from the final,” he said. “We need to fight, and our players understand it. They will do everything that they can.”

Ovechkin won his first Stanley Cup championship a month ago in his 13th season in Washington.

Other Russian NHL players are also interested in soccer. Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins posted a picture on Instagram showing himself on a luxury jet with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Los Angeles Kings and Alexander Radulov of the Dallas Stars.

“Flying to Sochi” was the caption.

___

More AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/WorldCup

Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist: Makes 30 saves in Wednesday's OT loss

Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist: Makes 30 saves in Wednesday's OT loss

Lundqvist stopped 30 shots in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Capitals.

A combination of poor play and a sore back has kept Lundqvist out of the lineup for six of the last seven games, but he looked strong in his return to action even if he didn’t get the win. At 36 years old, the netminder isn’t the perennial Vezina contender he used to be and is headed for the worst GAA of his career, but Lundqvist isn’t an outright liability — either for the Rangers or for fantasy GMs — quite yet.

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Game 77 Capitals vs. Rangers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 77 Capitals vs. Rangers Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Rangers will be broadcast on NBCSN.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Rangers game on NBC Sports’ live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-RANGERS GAME?

The Capitals (45-24-7) take on the Rangers (33-35-8) Wednesday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-RANGERS GAME ON?

The Capitals-Rangers game will be broadcast on NBCSN. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 7:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:30 p.m. Check back with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 11:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

7:00 p.m. – Caps FaceOff
7:30 p.m. – Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. – Capitals at Rangers (on NBCSN)
10:30 p.m. – Caps Extra
11:00 p.m. – Caps Overtime

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-RANGERS GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Rangers game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin –  Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Shane Gersich – Lars Eller – Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson – Jay Beagle – Brett Connolly

Defensemen
Michal Kempny – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik – Jakub Jerabek

Braden Holtby starts with Pheonix Copley as backup

Scratches: Jakub Vrana, Alex Chiasson, Christian Djoos, Philipp Grubauer

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-RANGERS GAME?

You can watch the Capitals-Rangers game on NBC Sports’ live stream page.

CAPITALS-RANGERS OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington’s Facebook page.