The Capitals did just about everything necessary to win Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets and even their best-of-seven series at 1-1.
Through two games, Bobrovsky has now stopped 81 of 88 shots against. When we're gonna play third game, it doesn't matter what happen tonight. To win it-let alone advance deep into these playoffs-the Capitals can't afford the trademark lapses that kept them from winning Sunday's game in regulation. They did outshoot the Columbus Blue Jackets. Upon review, the goal was upheld and the score went final, 5-4 Columbus.
The Caps would eventually fall in overtime, but it's not like they went down without a fight. Special teams have defined this series so far because both teams' penalty kills have been shoddy - but this wouldn't be such a grave issue if fewer penalties were committed in the first place.
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WILD 6, JETS 2: In St. Paul, Minn.Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise scored power-play goals in the first period for the spark Minnesota was missing on the road, and the Wild used a four-goal second to roar back against Winnipeg the Western Conference series. Given the franchise's tortured playoff history, overtime heartbreak included, it's surprising that a previous edition of the Capitals isn't among the five teams who endured this double dose of sudden-death disappointment. Neither was the spill that one of the game linesmen, Steve Barton, took after inadvertently tangling skates with a Blue Jacket. "But that's part of their DNA, if you look at them the last 20 games, they've been in a lot of games and they've found ways to hang around", Trotz said.
The Blue Jackets have been a bit below average on offense this year as they come in ranked 17th in the league in scoring at 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots taken (33.7 spg) and 25th in power play conversions, converting on 17.2% of their chances. This team is great in the regular season, but they really suffer disappointment once the NHL's 2nd season starts. Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen and Chandler Stephenson each have been on the ice for three of the four goals allowed.
After the Capitals retook a two-goal advantage, the Blue Jackets scored three straight goals and took a 4-3 lead over the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
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Washington Capitals right wing Brett Connolly couldn't possibly have been more clear who he wanted to have the puck he was tossing over the glass: the little girl. Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the third period of Game 1 when Jakub Vrana executed a slick spin to avoid two defenders and set him up. Burakovsky skated 2:12 in Game 2 before departing. Ovechkin added his first extra-man goal 11 minutes later, and Washington was dominating. The top line hasn't converted an even-strength goal yet. Washington coach Barry Trotz then decided that the only way his team can win this series is with Braden Holtby in goal - the same Holtby who endured a self-described late-season "funk" that cost him his job.
"For the player, it's frustrating", Trotz said. They've lost so many playoff games in so many heartbreaking ways that it's hard to imagine finding a new one. "We just couldn't find the back of the net".
Vegas will go for a sweep in Game 4 on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. "It makes us confident". Now, thanks to Matt Calvert's extra-period goal, they'll head to Columbus facing a 2-0 deficit, which they've never overcome to win a series.
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