Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Capitals-Blue Jackets, 1st Ld-Writethru,628

Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Preview 4/17/18 Capitals beaten in OT, facing 2-0 deficit
Felix Bryan | 21 April, 2018, 03:56

Eller froze for a moment, looking nearly stunned as his teammates climbed over the boards to celebrate a 3-2 victory in a must-win affair in Game 3 of this first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 54 saves, Matt Calvert scored the victor 12:22 into overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets overcame two goals from Alex Ovechkin beat the Washington Capitals 5-4 in Game 2 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Although Columbus still leads the series 2-games-to-1, the Capitals have reason to be upbeat after avoiding the dreaded 0-3 hole. The 28-year-old had a.886 save percentage over his final 17 starts of the season starting February 1 with an 8-7-2 record. "If you don't win the do-or-die Game 3, you're probably up against the wall".

On the season, the Capitals are averaging 3.1 goals and 22.5 power play percentage per game. "Now we can look to the next one".

The start time of Game 5 of the First Round Series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins has been set for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 21, in Boston. With a win, the Capitals would regain home-ice advantage.

"We got some good fortune, but we also executed and we were committed today", Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "It's a happy group coming in here". It's been a lot of zone time and five guys in front of the net the whole time in both ends.

Tom Wilson and John Carlson also scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots for the Capitals, who were in danger of falling into a almost insurmountable hole had they let the game slip away.

Six of Washington's last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. Matt Calvert snapped home the victor in the second game, and head coach John Tortorella has seen his team get strong contributions throughout the lineup.

Cam Atkinson scored twice, Anderson had a goal at even strength and Zack Werenski added one on the power play for the Blue Jackets, who have the odds on their side.

The Blue Jackets had never led a playoff series until Thursday night.

The home team will be led on offense by Artemi Panarin (28 goals, 59 assists).

This series has now essentially spanned four games with each outing extending past regulation, but Eller wagered that the Blue Jackets felt much more exhausted than his group Tuesday night. The former third overall pick recorded 48 points in the regular season and has three points against Washington.

Holtby Carries the Load: Braden Holtby made 33 saves in his first start of the series and turned aside all nine shots he faced beyond regulation.

Mark Scheifele scored both goals for Winnipeg and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his seventh shutout this season, as the Jets took a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Although there has not been any official declaration, it's safe to say that Holtby is back to being the No.1.

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