Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals: Game Two Recap

Here’s what happened.

After stealing home ice advantage with their game one victory, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Washington Capitals. The teams had two days of rest between games, enough time for Washington to welcome Jay Beagle back into the lineup. Alexander Wennberg missed the game as a result of a hit sustained in game one. His injury saw Brandon Dubinsky move back to center between Sonny Milano, making just his second playoff appearance, and Josh Anderson, returning after his game misconduct.

Here’s how game two went down.

First Period Recap

The game started extremely poorly for Columbus. Just 2:12 into the game, Jay Beagle got Washington on the board. After a faceoff win in the offensive zone, Brooks Orpik let a shot go which Beagle deflected that beat Sergei Bobrovsky, who had no chance to make the save.

After some extended play in the Columbus zone by the Evgeny Kuznetsov line, Bobrovsky was able to make a glove save and hold on for a much needed change. Bobrovsky then came up huge on a chance by Lars Eller where he made two pad saves in quick succession to keep the Jackets in it.

Columbus went to the power play as Jakub Jerabek went to the box for delay of game just over five minutes into the first. The power play looked, frankly, abysmal. The Jackets struggled to establish zone time and fired few chances, none of any consequence (one on goal). To say Washington had all of the momentum early would be a serious understatement

At the halfway mark of the period, Washington was outshooting Columbus 11-3. That’s probably not ideal, right?

Sergei Bobrovsky played a great opening stanza to this one. He was the only jacket who seemed ready to go. On a rush, Cam Atkinson crushed Phillip Grubauer and took a penalty for goaltender interference. The Jackets put the puck in the net on the rush, but the ref’s arm was up before the goal was scored. Never in doubt that the goal wouldn’t count.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Alex Ovechkin scored on the power play to make it 2-0. The Caps won a faceoff in the offensive zone and the greatest goalscorer in the NHL currently beat Bob to double the lead with 13:26 gone in the first period. If Columbus wanted to make a game of this one, they’d have to do it from behind again.

Dubois and Kuznetsov both went to the box for coincidental minors with 3:55 to go, both for slashing. The teams played four on four to a draw. After the penalties ended, Cam Atkinson made up for his penalty with a breakaway goal, beating Grubauer on a wonderful goal to the near post and cutting the deficit to one.

After one period, the Jackets trailed 2-1. Getting one back at the end was huge to stem the tide of the Washington Capitals. Columbus, badly outshot, wasn’t out of it.

Second Period Recap

Both teams had chances early in the second, but the goaltenders were equal to the challenges to keep the game 2-1. Bobrovsky got the majority of the action early, but was equal to each task, allowing no rebound chances to the Capitals despite several icing calls forcing defensive zone faceoffs. Nick Foligno forced big save from Gubauer with 16:37 remaining in the period.

The Jackets went back to the penalty kill with 4:01 gone in the period as Brandon Dubinsky went off for high sticking. It took no time for Alex Ovechkin to score his second of the night, wide ioen at the back post as he fired the puck into a gaping net. No one marked Ovechkin, a tremendous oversight by the Jackets penalty kill. It was a devastating goal to allow - the entire league knows he is there, the Jackets cannot give that goal up. The penalty Dubinsky took was terrible, and the penalty kill was somehow worse.

On a three on one, David Savard slid to block a Tom Wilson pass to Alex Ovechkin and broke up a bona fide scoring chance for the Capitals to keep the Jackets in the game. ON a four on one, the Jackets plauyed a nice game of tic tac toe that saw Josh Anderson draw the Jackets back within one at 8:49 of the period.

The Jackets went to the power play with 9:24 to go as, unsurpringly, Tom Wilson took a stupid roughing penalty because he is an undisciplined goon. Again, for the second time in two games, he was made to pay as Columbus tied the game. Artemi Panarin found Cam Atkinson on the back post for his second of the night through a window that was big enough for maybe the puck.

Tie game.

Nick Foligno took a goaltender interference penalty with minutes to go in the period as he was taking up space in Grubauer’s crease and prevented him from getting to his feet during an offensive zone play. The Jackets killed the penalty, all players on the kill sacrificing the body to prevent chances from even getting to Bobrovsky.

Devante Smith-Pelly went to the box with 2:20 to go as he was called for holding the stick of Nick Foligno. The Jackets power play, 1-2 on the night, went back to work. Bobrovsky was able to stone John Carlson shorthanded to keep the game tied.

ZACH WERENSKI GIVES THE JACKETS THE LEAD. On a wrister from the blue line, our 20 year old wonderkid gave the Jackets their first lead of game two with just over a minute to go in the period. The Jackets set up and Z found a way to get the puck past Grubauer.

Despite a slow start, the Jackets claimed the lead heading into the second intermission. This team, somehow, never says die.

Third Period Recap

The Washington Capitals made a goaltender change at the start of the third period, swapping out Grubauer for Braden Holtby, a surprising move considering he had been benched for his play of late. After a terrible defensive zone turnover from Werenski, Bob stoned an unmarked Ovechkin to maintain the lead.

Matt Calvert took a tripping penalty as he was sprawled on the ice and could do nothing else to stop the play with two minutes gone in the period. Despite a shooting gallery to open the period, the Jackets killed the Calvert minor. Unreal. Washington had owned the third to that point, but the Jackets weathered the storm.

Werenski and Panarin were both denied on break attempts as the third period neared the halfway mark. Seth Jones layed down in front of the net to prevent a sure goal from Jay Beagle and maintain the lead as Bob covered up with 10:28 to go.

Panarin was denied with 9:56 to go on a quick wrister from the slot as the teams faced the second TV timeout of the third period.

Dubois took a goaltender interference penalty with 7:37 to go in the period. He skated in with speed and was shoved into Holtby by Ovechkin, drawing the penalty (on the second bad call with nothing the skater could do in two games). The Jackets held out to kill it.

my heart, she dead

Zach Werenski took a delay of game penalty with 4:51 to go in the period. Because nothing with this hockey team is ever easy. Finally, the Caps made the Jackets pay with the power play. Give them enough chances and eventually, you’re bound to wilt.  TJ Oshie scored the game winner on a play from the slot that beat Bob just under the crossbar with 3:35 to go. The Jackets cannot stay out of the box, and that has been their downfall tonight.

Boone Jenner took a penalty with 1:59 to go for slashing. Not exactly ideal. Jenner slashed a Capital 140 feet from his own net, a terrible penalty that he had no need to take. Luckily, the team was able to bail him out with a vital kill to end regulation.

With one second left in the Jenner penalty, the teams went to overtime. Of course they did.

First Overtime Recap

The teams played even hockey to open overtime.

The Jackets went on the power play first in overtime as Matt Niskanen took a tripping penalty with four minutes gone. The Capitals killed it despite several excellent chances.


Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter how they did it, only that they did it. The Columbus Blue Jackets struggld, fought back, trailed, and somehow found a way to get it done. This team is different than the Jackets of the past - there is no quit while down in a game. They believe than can win in any situation.

Stick taps to Sergei Bobrovsky. He stole this win.

Game Three is Tuesday night at 7:30 in Nationwide Arena as the boys are coming home up 2-0. Go Jackets. Let’s finish this thing off in Columbus.

14 to go.

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