Best bets

December 23, 2005|By PETER BLAIR

Pro hockey

Canadiens@Capitals

Where -- MCI Center, Washington

When -- Tonight, 7

What now? -- Washington, which has only two wins in its past 10 games and is in last place in the Eastern Conference, looks to find its footing for the first time this season against Montreal and goalie Jose Theodore. If you want to see a team that makes the Ravens look like winners, maybe this game is for you. Tickets are available on the team's Web site and start at $10, but families can purchase a Power Pack - which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips, four small sodas and four Caps hats - for just $86.

Online -- washingtoncaps.com

College basketball

American@Maryland

Where -- Comcast Center, College Park

When -- Tonight, 8

What now? -- It's been almost two weeks since the Terps' upset victory over Boston College, but with their exams behind them, they now face coach Gary Williams' other former Eagles team. Williams coached these Eagles from 1978 to 1982. The Terps will be trying not to exert too much energy as they open a busy stretch tonight that includes three games in eight days. The Terps are looking for their 26th consecutive nonconference win at home. A limited number of tickets are available on the Web site.

Online -- umterps.com

Pro football

Giants@Redskins

Where -- FedEx Field, Landover

When -- Tomorrow, 1 p.m.

What now? -- Solidly in the playoff hunt, the Redskins have something to play for - other than making it home in time to leave milk and cookies out for Santa Claus. Giants second-year quarterback Eli Manning should look out as Washington's defense will be trying to make a statement after failing to land anyone on the Pro Bowl roster. And as if that's not enough motivation, the Redskins also will be out for revenge after being shut out by New York, 36-0, in October. Tickets were selling for more than $125 a pair on eBay yesterday.

Online -- redskins.com

Hiking

Holiday Escape Hike

Where -- Leaves from Hammerman Beach Area on Bel Air Road, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Kingsville

When -- Sunday, 10 a.m.

What now? -- It's not the typical way to spend Christmas or the first day of Hanukkah, but this moderate hike through the Sweathouse Branch of the park is a great way to work up an appetite before sitting down for the holiday meal. And if you look carefully, you just might see some reindeer hoof prints in the mud. Hikers should bring water and be advised that some stream crossings may be icy. The hike is free and directions are available at the Department of Natural Resources' Web site.

Online -- dnr.state.md.us

Pro football

Vikings@Ravens

Where -- M&T Bank Stadium

When -- Sunday, 8:30 p.m.

What now? -- After spending a whole day eating with the family and exchanging gifts, fans who are still awake can end the day by seeing whether Kyle Boller and the Ravens can build on Monday night's 48-3 victory over the Packers. The Vikings, who have won six of their past seven and are fighting for a playoff spot, have a lot more to play for than Green Bay did, so the Ravens should expect a much tougher time. And if it doesn't go the Ravens' way, you might be able to say you saw Boller's final home game. A pair of tickets sold for as little as $61 on eBay yesterday.

Online -- baltimoreravens.com

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