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SAN JOSE Ryan Suter Jersey , Calif. (AP) On a road trip where Washington struggled to generate any offense, Nicklas Backstrom’s goal was enough to send the Capitals home on a good note.Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for his fifth career shutout and Backstrom broke a scoreless tie late in the second period to help the Capitals salvage the final game of their California swing with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.”I just thought it was a pretty complete team effort,” coach Barry Trotz said. ”I would probably say the last seven, eight periods we played pretty well. We just didn’t get the results that we wanted in all three games here.”Washington was outscored 7-1 in losses to Anaheim and Los Angeles to open the trip before a narrow win in San Jose moved the Capitals one point ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Metropolitan Division, pending the Penguins’ game in Toronto later.Alex Ovechkin, two goals short of 600 for Washington, was held scoreless for the third straight game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic thwarted one chance for Ovechkin to get goal No. 599 with a strong back check and goalie Martin Jones robbed Ovechkin on a partial breakaway midway through the third period to keep San Jose’s deficit at 1-0.Lars Eller’s empty-net goal sealed the win for the Capitals.The Sharks were unable to get anything past Grubauer and fell to 3-2 on their six-game homestand. San Jose failed on two power-play chances, falling to 1 for 32 with the man advantage over the past 14 games.”We were one shot away from tying that game or maybe going the other way, but definitely that second period we didn’t have that push that we needed,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said.Jones made 24 saves for the Sharks but couldn’t stop Backstrom’s one-timer late in the second period after Washington appeared to enter the zone offside.Brett Connolly found Backstrom alone in the faceoff circle and he beat Jones high to the glove side for his 17th goal of the season. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer didn’t challenge for offside, and the goal stood.”It wasn’t offside. It wasn’t offside,” DeBoer said. ”He didn’t touch it before the other (player) came out and tagged out, so it clearly wasn’t offside. That’s why we didn’t call it.”The Sharks controlled play for much of the first period but were unable to turn that into goals as Timo Meier hit the post during a power play on San Jose’s best opportunity. Tomas Hertl also hit the post on the power play in the second period as San Jose failed to take advantage of two penalties by Tom Wilson.”It could have gone the other way today,” Grubauer said. ”They had four or five posts. It could have gone a different way Evgeny Svechnikov Jersey Womens , too. Lucky and blessed to get the two points.”The Capitals took over in the second, outshooting the Sharks 12-3. That heavy pressure finally paid off late in the period with Backstrom’s goal that was Washington’s second on the trip.”It’s hard to be satisfied with your game when you’re not scoring or winning,” Backstrom said. ”That’s something we all are as a hockey player. We want to win and that’s what counts. We weren’t happy with our situation. But obviously it’s nice we turned it around tonight and got two points. That’s huge.”NOTES: The Capitals had not won in regulation at San Jose since their first trip to the Shark Tank on Oct. 30, 1993, when they won 4-2. Washington had 13 losses, one tie, one overtime win and one shootout win since then. … The Capitals are 24-3-3 when scoring first.UP NEXTCapitals: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.Sharks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.— As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a decade of junior and pro hockey, he was eager to avoid painkillers.Early on, marijuana was touted to the enforcer as a healing option.“I started noticing some therapeutic benefits,” Cote said. “It helped me sleep, helped with my anxiety and general well-being.”Now a handful of years into retirement, Cote is a proponent of cannabis and its oils as an alternative to more addictive drugs commonly used by athletes to play through pain. Marijuana can be detected in a person’s system for more than 30 days, is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency without a specific therapeutic use exemption and is illegal in much of the United States.Canada on Wednesday will become the largest country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. That means it will be available under the law in seven more NHL cities (it’s been legal to adults in Denver since 2012). The move is a step forward for those who, like Cote Womens Zach Parise Jersey , believe marijuana has been stigmatized and should be accepted as a form of treatment.“It was so tainted for a long time,” Ottawa Senators forward Matt Duchene said. “And now people are starting to learn a little bit more about it and there is definitely some positive uses to different elements of it.”The NHL and NHL Players’ Association plan no changes to their joint drug-testing policy, under which players are not punished for positive marijuana tests. It is the most lenient approach to cannabis by any major North American professional sports league.“The Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program for decades has been educating players on using drugs, legal or illegal,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “That process will continue and we will consider what changes, if any, in our program have to be made. But right now, we think based on the educational level and what we do test for and how we test, at least for the time being, we’re comfortable with where we are.”While the NFL and NBA can suspend and MLB can fine players for multiple marijuana infractions, only a significantly high amount of the drug found in NHL/NHLPA testing triggers a referral to behavioral health program doctors. Cote estimated about half of players during his NHL career from 2007-2010 used some sort of cannabis for medicinal purposes, though players suggest use in hockey currently is lower than the population at large.More than two dozen U.S. states allow marijuana use for a variety of ailments, but the federal government has not approved it for any medical use. Some players have already done research into the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) oils. There’s a curiosity about whether marijuana could one day replace or limit painkillers like oxycodone, even if players aren’t yet ready to make that leap.“There’s not a lot of science out there yet in terms of long-term effects Andrew Shaw Jersey ,” said Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele, who is still on the fence about cannabis use for medical reasons. “I think it’s something that still needs to be thought really clearly about in terms of understanding the long-term effects.”Through his Hemp Heals Foundation and work with Lehigh Valley University in Pennsylvania, Cote is doing his part to increase the information available. He’s quick to point to studies on cannabis that suggest it can help people after PTSD or head trauma. And yet he acknowledges there’s a long way to go.“There’s a lot of different things that point to the fact that the science is now backing it up,” Cote said. “There’s probably billions of anecdotal stories, but those don’t mean anything unless it’s backed by science, unless it follows the order of the way it’s supposed to be.”Bettman contends the mainstream medical community has not concluded that cannabis prevents or heals injuries, and said an argument could be made to the contrary. NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said it’s a subject that is “at best in its infancy and is going to develop over time.”Given the looming Wednesday legalization in Canada, the league and union opted for education over policy changes.“What we feel was an important element is at least educating the players better on the current marijuana landscape both from a legal and illegal perspective and what’s permitted and not permitted,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “But also ‘What are the products out there?’ because there’s probably publicly a great misconception of what marijuana is, how it’s used, what it’s used for to what the reality is.”Players who aren’t yet educated about marijuana are willing to ask around about potential benefits as more studies are done.“I say this more talking about the CBD side of it, obviously: You’d be stupid not to at least look into it,” Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “
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