Final Score: Blue Jackets 5 – Capitals 4
Who knew the playoffs could be so stressful? For the second consecutive game overtime was needed to decide this contest. The Jackets were super fortunate to be in this position; Washington was by far the better team in this game.
Washington outshot Columbus 58-30 almost a two to one margin for the game. At 5 on 5 the Caps had the puck more, a 62.26% Corsi, and were pelting the Jackets with high danger opportunities. In three and half periods the Jackets managed five high danger chances, Washington had 17. That is embarrassingly bad for the Blue Jackets. Washington knew what was at stake and came out ready. The Jackets were unable to match that and it showed.
The Jackets had one player up to the task and it was their goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. This was one of the first true times Bobrovsky has stolen a game in the playoffs. He allowed four goals, but still had a .931 save percentage. This was just the 36th time in NHL history a goalie has faced 58 shots and had at least a .930 save percentage in the playoffs. Bobrovsky was close to perfect at even strength. He stopped 39 of 40 shots, many of which were high quality chances.
This save was easily Bobrovsky’s best of the night. Zach Werenski is a little too casual with the puck turns it over to Alexander Ovechkin of all players. Ovi has a partial break with a chance to tie the game and Bob shuts the door.
Bob also had a little luck too.
This shot beats Bobrovsky but not the post. Seth Jones does a real nice job to box out the Caps player and not give him an easy tap in. Bob is quickly able to find the puck and cover it up. Another stressful moment in a game that had many. Bob was sharp all night the only area that gave him problems was the penalty kill, as once again the Jackets could not stay out of the box.
The Jackets had 16 PIMS in this game, giving the Caps seven power play chances. In the regular season the Jackets had double digit penalty minute games just 10 times. They have already done it twice in the series. The most power play opportunities the Jackets allowed was six in the season. The officiating has not been kind to the Jackets in this series. The Jackets have deserved many of the penalties they have received. The Boone Jenner slash was obvious, that was a two hander that broke the stick. The Werenski puck over glass, that’s the rule, pretty cut and dry. The goalie interference ones were terrible again. If the Jackets get anywhere near the goalie it’s being called a penalty. They took three goalie interference penalties this game, that’s unheard of.
The Jackets though were able to overcome it all. They had so few chances they needed to be perfect on the ones they got and they certainly were.
Nick Foligno are you serious with this pass? This is remarkable springing Cam Atkinson in on the breakaway. Cam as he always does makes that little move and the puck is in the net. This was a huge goal late in the first period. The Jackets really needed this, down 2-0 early, they had nothing going their way, this goal helped get them settled and set things up for that second period.
The Jackets had a great second period. They controlled the play, to the tune of a 53.33% Corsi; they outshot Washington 14-12 and scored three goals.
The second period didn’t start out great with Ovechkin scoring his second power play goal of the game, but the Jackets answered with another close to perfect play.
The Caps turned the puck over in the offensive zone and all five Jackets immediately jumped up into the play. This was a five on two rush. Matt Calvert gains the zone, dishes to Jones, Jones drops it back to Werenski, Werenski gives it over to Josh Anderson and it’s a 3-2 game.
High end passing was the Jackets offensive strategy in this one. Artemi Panarin makes a filthy royal road pass on the power play, setting up Atkinson for his second of the night.
The Jackets took the lead on another power play goal. This time Werenski takes the shot from up high. He’s able to get through all the traffic and into the net.
Werenski has that uncanny ability to find lanes and get pucks through. It’s remarkable what he can do and the vision he has to do this. This is the reason he scored 16 goals this season.
In overtime it was Matt Calvert as he's done before, plays the hero. His second playoff OT winner in his career sends the Jackets home to Columbus with a 2-0 series lead.
Stat of the Night
Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick
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