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Capitals Remain Optimistic Despite 0-2 Hole Against Blue Jackets

20 April 2018
Capitals Remain Optimistic Despite 0-2 Hole Against Blue Jackets

Washington entered the playoffs with high expectations after finishing atop the Metropolitan Division but are suddenly down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, which shifts to the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the next two games.

The Capitals won at Nationwide Arena after Columbus won the first two games - both in overtime - in Washington.

You wanted to see more from Alex Ovechkin? The Capitals whiffed on three of their four power plays. Only the Blackhawks have played more overtime games (38) than the Capitals' 34 since the 2005-06 season.

Panarin has arguably been the best player in the series on either team.

Here's another angle of Eller's game-winner, which trickled past the goal line behind Sergei Bobrovsky after deflecting off Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski. He had to face quality shots and all night was making highlight reel saves. Kuznetsov has 29 goals and 56 assists to his credit, and has logged at least one point in 51 games.

After Holtby was pulled in a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on March 6, Grubauer started four consecutive games to give Holtby time to work in practice and reset mentally. The team is 5-1 in those games.

Six of Washington's last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. "It's going to be a battle again in Game 4".

The Capitals took a 2-1 lead in to the third on goals off the sticks of Tom Wilson and John Carlson before Lars Eller won it with his tally at the 9:00 mark of the second overtime.

They seem unlikely to get that far this season.

Well, let's start with discipline. If the Blue Jackets were able to limit that amount of power play opportunities they'll greatly increase their chance of a win. The Blue Jackets got a break two minutes later when a goal by Connolly was waved off after a video replay showed he was offside bringing the puck down the ice. Maybe it all evened out in the end. Last year, there was an average of eight penalties called through 20 games. A cold goalie can lose one. We believe we can win one game at a time.

Seven seconds later, James van Riemsdyk scored to put Toronto ahead 1-0.

"When you're down 2-0, it's nearly like two do-or-die games", said Tom Wilson, who picked up his first goal of the postseason and led the Capitals with a team-high six shots on goal.

Braden Holtby: You could make the argument that Holtby should have been in net from the get-go in the series, given his past playoff performance. And he started the series on the bench while the guy that replaced him struggled.

With two wins stolen and hard-won on the Capital's rink, it's time to move the series to Columbus and capitalize on a bit of home advantage. But we'll be ready to play our next game.

"This is what playoff hockey is", Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. Things happen. Sometimes weird things.