Last night, the Columbus Blue Jackets welcomed the Washington Capitals into Nationwide Arena. The Jackets were looking to extend their series lead to three games, while the Capitals were looking to get on the board in the win column.
Columbus made no lineup changes in advance of this one - Sonny Milano stayed in, and no update was given on Alexander Wennberg. Andre Burakovsky, meanwhile, did not make the trip for Washington, and Jakub Vrana drew back in. Sonny Milano moved to the fourth line, swapping places with Matt Calvert after pregame rushes.
Here’s what happened.
First Period Recap
The first line got the start against the Evgeny Kuznetsov line. LEO! got some screen time pregame, thankfully. He’s the best. The Jackets opened the game flying, with Atkinson deflecting a shot just wide of the mark seconds into the game. The game started very choppy, with neither team possessing the puck well and several icing calls in the first few minutes. Washington gained momentum after the first few shifts but were unable to generate a shot on Bobrovsky. An excellent shift from the third line saw Matt Calvert and Josh Anderson just miss chances wide. A Washington break came to nothing as Sergei Bobrovsky stood tall after a Markus Nutivaara turnover. End to end hockey for the first seven minutes, but no score despite solid chances for either team.
Both teams seemed to settle down after some early hectic minutes. You got the sense watching the game that the first goal was going to be huge for whichever team got it. Both goaltenders made great plays as defensemen sold out to block shots at every opportunity. The first penalty of the hockey game came as Human Trash Can Tom Wilson went off for high sticking Pierre-Luc Dubois in the face. The Jackets generated no shots on goal as Washington was able to kill it. It was a hideous power play.
Immediately after, Josh Anderson took an interference penalty, putting the Jackets down a man for the first time. Columbus’ penalty kill has been lacking of late, so a kill would be huge to maintain momentum - staying out of the box was a key for Torts pregame, and Anderson put his team behind the eight ball early. Bobrovsky made a big pad save halfway through the penalty to keep it scoreless. A monster kill kept the game scoreless as Anderson returned to the ice. The Jackets passed their first big test of the night.
Sergei Bobrovsky is doing Sergei Bobrovsky things pic.twitter.com/4A2agte14E— x - The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 18, 2018
A Washington turnover allowed Dubois to get a shot from the slot, but it was deflected high and out of play. A big Bobrovsky glove save with 4:24 to go shortly followed after a scrum in the neutral zone, denying Vrana. Bjorsktrand saw a shot denied with three minutes to go. Cam Atkinson fired high with 2:23 to go, easily the Jackets’ best chance thus far. A Washington rush was broken up with 1:45 to go. The Jackets went back to the power play as Jakub Vrana went off for high sticking with 1:33 to go.
Despite several excellent chances, the Jackets were unable to put one behind Holtby. The period ended with the teams tied at zero, shots favored Washington 10-9.
Also, this happened:
Artemi Panarin is not of this world. pic.twitter.com/TsYugyHR94— x - The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 18, 2018
Second Period Recap
Washington killed the final seconds of the Jackets power play to open the period. Josh Anderson had a beautful chance with 75 seconds gone that ... well, I have no idea how he didn’t score. He waited and waited and just ... couldn’t bury it, ringing it off the iron. The Jackets went back to the kill at the 2:15 mark as they were called for too many men in the defensive zone which happened, somehow. The Jackets had a couple shorthanded chances but were denied. For the second time on the night, Columbus killed a Washington penalty. Matt Niskanen helped Washington to open the scoring with a wrister early in the second and was able to capitalize off a deflection from Tom Wilson as the Capitals first line was able to get on the board with 5:02 gone.
Shortly after, the Jackets drew iron for the second time in the period behind a Panarin shot. Washington made it 2-0 as a scramble around the net allowed Brett Connolly to bury the puck behind a sprawling Sergei Bobrovsky with 8:09 gone in the second. Columbus challenged the goal for offsides, and it was overturned, restoring the one goal advantage. It was the right call, but y’all know how these things go.
The Jackets were carrying play for the most part in the second, but still found themselves trailing. Getting a goal in this period seems almost imperative after Panarin, Nutivaara, and Anderson all hit posts. Matt Calvert was denied on a semi-break with 9:22 remaining in the second.
On a rush up the ice, PLD finally - FINALLY - got the Jackets on the board. After taking a feed from Artemi “God” Panarin, Dubois waited and waited and waited and fired it high glove side to equalize with 8:42 remaining. Unreal shot from the rookie.
Pierre-Luc Dubois with a ROCKET and it's a 1-1 game in Nationwide pic.twitter.com/9S0y7zLEAQ— x - The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 18, 2018
After the goal, Columbus went to their third kill of the night as Brandon Dubinsky sat with 6:52 remaining for slashing. It was a stupid, retalitory penalty, the type the team cannot afford to take. With 54 seconds to go, Ryan Murray went to the box for slashing. Stupid, stupid penalties. Washington was able to capitalize because the Jackets cannot stay out of the box. John Carlson fired one in from the blue line with 5:17 remaining. Josh Anderson got hit with a high stick that wasn’t called as Columbus was able to kill the second stupid penalty.
After two periods, Columbus trailed 2-1. Shots favored Washington 25-16. Shots favored Washington 14-7 in the period.
Third Period Recap
Pierre-Luc Dubois (19 years, 297 days) is the second youngest player in @BlueJacketsNHL franchise history to score a playoff goal, trailing just Zach Werenski (19 years, 271 days). #NHLStats #CBJvsWSH #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/YGKbxvqQaF— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 18, 2018
The Jackets opened the third period with a push. Matt Calvert was hit in the face with a high stick that went uncalled.
AT 4:12, ARTEMI PANARIN EQUALIZED. Cam and Bread played a tic tac toe up the ice to score. Bread/Cam 2020.
Columbus flat out took over after Panarin’s goal. And the arena went nuts. It was so loud. Also, let’s see it again.
Artemi Panarin. What more can you say? pic.twitter.com/YcwdM8YyOf— x - The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 18, 2018
Oh look, a player got hit in the head with a puck and they stopped play! Wonder what Zach Werenski thinks. Anyway, Ovechkin was fine - he stayed on the bench. The Jackets went to the power play with 9:05 gone as Brooks Orpik sat for interference. The Jackets were unable to find the go ahead goal, generating no shots on goal. Back at even strength, Panarin and Calvert had glorious chances turned aside by Holtby.
Hi, this is officially a Panarin fan account for the foreseeable future. pic.twitter.com/E3Q2dIcktw— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 18, 2018
Columbus controlled the flow of play following the Panarin goal. Bob saved an Orlov shot after a long shift in the defensive zone. With 2:35 to go, Bobrovsky again held on. Panarin hit the goalpost with just over a minute to go.
First Overtime Highlights
The teams traded chances early, but neither was able to find a high danger chance. The Capitals poured on the pressure with four minutes gone but Bobrovsky was equal to it. Ryan Murray saw a shot gloved with 15:39 to go.
Bob denied a huge shot on a line chance with six minutes gone before Holtby saved a Panarin backhand on the ensuing rush.
Bobrovsky is good.
POWER PLAY. Werenski got dumped with 4:18 to go as John Carlson went off for tripping.
POST AGAIN - ATKINSON
The Capitals killed it.
No goals. Onward.
Second Overtime Highlights
Washington scored in double overtime. The goal was reviewed for a distinct kicking motion, but counted.
Washington Capitals 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (OT)
Here’s the key - we caved Washington’s face in at five on five. Stay out of the box, don’t take stupid stick and retalitory penalties, and we win. The end.