ARLINGTON, Va. -- Alex Ovechkin apologized for Russias hockey performance at the Olympics, a sentiment put in perspective by the encouraging news that his father was on the way home after heart surgery. Far more upset was Nicklas Backstrom, who remains clearly miffed that an allergy medication hes taken for years cost him a chance to play for a gold medal. The Washington Capitals held their first post-Olympics practice Tuesday, a session overshadowed by residue from the Winter Games even as they tried to focus on the resumption of their NHL schedule. Ovechkin was one of the faces of Sochi, bent on winning the gold on home ice. Instead, the Russians were eliminated in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive Olympics. "First of all, I want to say sorry to the fans," Ovechkin said. "Because its once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics, and you didnt get the results, you didnt get any medal. Of course the fans, the media and the people who support Russia, family, was upset, but life goes on." Ovechkin took the Olympic disappointment especially hard four years ago, but this time he had to immediately turn his attention to his family. His father, who has a history of heart problems, became ill following one of his sons games and required surgery. Ovechkin wasnt told until three days later, after Russia had been eliminated. "Soon as I found out that hes in hospital and hes feeling not that good and he could be dying, I just forget the game that we lose against Finland. ... Just go there and spend time with him and saw him," Ovechkin said. "It was great feelings to see whats happening and how hes feeling. Thats most important thing." Ovechkin said his father, mother and brother were flying home to Moscow on Tuesday. Ovechkin said he understands the criticism he received for his play during the Olympics -- "I didnt score lots of goals out there" -- but the 28-year-old three-time league MVP appears ready to refocus on the Capitals, who resume play Thursday at Florida. "This is a very tough loss for me and for Russia, but Im almost 30," Ovechkin said. "I have to handle it. I have to fight through it." The lingering Olympic sting was more evident on the face of Backstrom, who helped lead Sweden to the gold medal game but was pulled from the lineup shortly before faceoff because he had failed a doping test. Without one of its top players, Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada. "Ive had allergies for seven years, since I got here," Backstrom said. "Everyone that lives in the Washington area knows how bad it is here. Ive been taking Zyrtec-D for the last seven years and I havent been doing anything differently. Ive been playing internationally, in the world championships (and) Olympics before, and so I havent done anything differently." An ingredient in the allergy medicine is on the list of banned substances for Olympic competition, but Backstrom said he was told by the Sweden team doctor that he could take one pill a day without triggering a positive test. "Who do I blame?" Backstrom said. "Well, I followed the doctors recommendation." Backstrom said he expects a two-week wait to find out whether he will be awarded his silver medal, which is being held at the International Ice Hockey Federation offices in Zurich. "Obviously, its not fun to deal with," Backstrom said. "I dont wish no one to have to go through this, if Im going to be honest with you. Its not fun. But Ive got to look forward to play next game on Thursday. Ive got to focus on Washington right now." Backstroms teammates, much like the international hockey community in general, were shocked at how his situation was handled. "Its just ridiculous that it can happen at a big tournament like this," forward Martin Erat said, "at the Olympics just before the finals when everybody is ready to go and you just want to enjoy the sport. It just happened because of some stupidity, and its just unbelievable that this can happen in the Olympics." The Capitals sent five players to Sochi, and four of them have dealt with some sort of unexpected life event that has derailed an attempt to return to normalcy after the Olympics. Ovechkin had the health scare with his father, Backstrom has the fallout from the doping test, Swedish forward Marcus Johansson is stuck in Stockholm because of an visa issue -- the Capitals expect him to join them in Florida for Thursdays game -- and Erat returned to his family in Nashville, Tenn., as soon as he could after the Czech Republic was eliminated. "We just finished our quarterfinal game, and I went for my phone, and our friend had called me and said your baby girl, Victoria Bella, is born," Erat said. "First we lost in the quarterfinal, it was hard to swallow, and when I got the news, it brought back a smile on my face." Cheap Lions Jerseys China
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.com) - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson lost an appeal to have his indefinite suspension overturned, the NFL announced Friday.ARLINGTON, Texas -- Robbie Grossman and the Houston Astros finally got to Yu Darvish -- and moved out of last place in the AL West. Grossman snapped an 0-for-28 slide with a career-high four hits as the Astros completed a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers with an 8-4 victory over the All-Star pitcher who dominated them so many times in the past. "The way we came into here, after losing seven in a row, for our guys to respond the way they responded in this three-game series, Im extremely proud of them," manager Bo Porter said. Grossman and rookie George Springer homered for the Astros, who moved into fourth place by a percentage point over slumping Texas. It is the first time in their two seasons since switching leagues that the Astros have not been in fifth place in the five-team AL West after mid-April. "When you look at where were at today, obviously we feel like we have improved as a ballclub," Porter said. "At the same time, when we get to the end of the year, well see where were at. It definitely feels good to be playing good baseball right now." Springer also made an incredible running catch in the third inning. The centre fielder leaped on the warning track, reached over his head and held onto the ball when he slammed into the wall. Houston had 28 runs and 42 hits in the series against its in-state rival that won 17 of 19 against the Astros last season. The Rangers lost for the 10th time in 11 games and have dropped 18 of 21 overall. At 38-53, their .418 winning percentage is the worst in the majors -- just behind Arizona and Houston, both 39-54 for a .419 mark. "Its been really tough. Its been frustrating," outfielder Alex Rios said. "This is a season that I believe that were all going to remember in a bad way." Dallas Keuchel (9-5), one of five candidates in Internet balloting for the final spot on the AL All-Star team, allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings. While it wasnt his best performance, he was happy to beat the Rangers. "Just bbecause theyve beaten us up the last couple years," Keuchel said.dddddddddddd "Theyve been the big brother, of sort." Darvish (8-5), who had thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings while winning his last three home starts, gave up a season-high 10 hits and six runs. He struck out eight and needed 109 pitches to get through six innings. Against Houston at home in April, Darvish allowed one hit over eight scoreless innings. The Japanese ace also had two near no-hitters on the road against the Astros last season, one in which he retired the first 26 batters. Carlos Corporan had a two-run double in the sixth to break a 4-all tie. An inning later, Springer hit his 19th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Jason Frasor. Grossmans solo homer, about 329 feet into the right-field corner, made it 4-all with two outs in the fifth. He also had a double in the first inning and an RBI single in the third. Before getting recalled this week by the Astros, Grossman had an 18-game hitting streak at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But he was hitless in a span of 28 at-bats in the majors after going 0 for 4 on Tuesday night to start his third stint with Houston this season. Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the Texas first. The All-Star third baseman is batting .494 (38 for 77) in his last 20 home games, and is second in the AL at .336 overall. Houston took a 2-1 lead in the second when Corporan hit a two-out double before Enrique Hernandez tripled and scored on a wild pitch. "The team is in a skid, but Im telling you, theyre playing," Texas manager Ron Washington said. " Were not pitching very well. ... We just dont have a sustainable offence to support whats going on right now." NOTES: Springer also made a running catch in the right-centre gap to end the third. ... Beltre was called out on strike three in the third when he stepped out of the box but wasnt granted time. When he came to bat in the sixth, Beltre had an animated conversation with plate umpire Bill Miller. 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