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Game 4 Preview: Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets

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Here’s what you need to know

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 7:30 PM EST
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports Ohio, USA - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Japers’ Rink

Blue Jackets lead series, 2-1

Schedule and Results

Game 1 (4/12/18): CBJ 4 @ WSH 3 (OT)
Game 2 (4/15/18): CBJ 5 @ WSH 4 (OT)
Game 3 (4/17/18): WSH 3 @ CBJ 2 (2OT)
Game 4 (4/19/18, 7:30 p.m.): WSH @ CBJ
Game 5 (4/21/18, 3:00 p.m.): CBJ @ WSH
Game 6 (4/23/18): WSH @ CBJ (if necessary)
Game 7 (4/25/18): CBJ @ WSH (if necessary)

Stats

Washington Columbus
3.33 (8) GPG 3.67 (6)
3.67 (11) GAPG 3.33 (9)
35.3% (3) PP% 33.3% (4)
66.7% (12) PK% 64.7% (14)
55.13% (2) EV Corsi % 44.87% (15)
95.0 (14) EV PDO 105.1 (3)
Evgeny Kuzetsov and Alex Ovechkin, 2 G Leader Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson, 2
John Carlson, 6 A Leader Artemi Panarin, 5
John Carlson, 7 P Leader Artemi Panarin, 7
Noted pile of dog poop Tom Wilson, 6 PIM Leader Josh Anderson, 17
1-0 Home / Road 0-1

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner Nick Foligno Thomas Vanek
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Josh Anderson
Sonny Milano Mark Letestu Oliver BJORKSTRAND
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Ian Cole David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin Evgeny Kuznetsov Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana Nicklas Backstrom T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly Lars Eller Devante Smith-Pelly
Chandler Stephenson Jay Beagle Alex Chiasson
Dmitry Orlov Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny John Carlson
Brooks Orpik Christian Djoos
Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

Preview

What a series, huh? This matchup has been as close as can be, with all three games so far requiring extra time. Tuesday’s double overtime thriller was the longest game in Blue Jackets franchise history. Both teams took yesterday off to rest and recover. Will we see any lingering effects tonight?

Fun fact from our friends at Japers’ Rink:

2 - Number of career overtime goals, regular season or playoffs, for Lars Eller in 657 games with the second coming last night in Columbus (you know, in case you missed it). Eller’s previous extra-time tally came as a member of the Canadiens back in April of 2015 against Detroit.

Eller joins Nicklas Backstrom (3), T.J. Oshie (1), Tom Wilson (1) and Brooks Orpik (1) as current Caps who have lit the lamp in playoff overtime. And yes, you read that correctly - the NHL’s all-time leader in regular season overtime goals (with 20) hasn’t done it in the playoffs... yet.

In a related note, 105.7’s Lori Schmidt uncovered this gem of a stat:

Don’t expect any lineup changes tonight, as Alexander Wennberg has once again been ruled out, still recovering from that dirty, underpunished hit by Tom Wilson in Game 1.

For further reading, check out this Washington Post profile of Seth Jones, and his brief time in DC as a child.

Keys to the game:

  • Stop taking penalties, dummies
  • Find ways to get more shifts for Sonny Milano and BJORKSTRAND. Of all 312 skaters in the playoffs this year, Sonny is dead last with 4:33 time on ice per game. (Seth Jones is #1 with 32:42 per game, followed by 4 Caps: Orlov, Carlson, Niskanen, Ovechkin)
  • Crash the net. No, not to get more goalie interference penalties. Go at the net to make Braden Holtby work more. The Jackets are not creating enough high danger chances. They have only 32.08% of high danger chances at 5v5, worst in the league in these playoffs. (it was 50.33% in the regular season, good for 13th in the league. Stat courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.)