The Columbus Blue Jackets are taking a two-game lead back to Nationwide Arena in their best-of-seven series with the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In a 5-4 win at Capital One Arena Sunday night, the Blue Jackets scored a game-winning goal in overtime and took control of home-ice advantage in the series against the Capitals, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs.
Left winger Matt Calvert tallied the game-winner when he controlled a rebound in front of Washington’s backup net-minder, Braden Holtby, and jammed it into the back of the net. A replay review confirmed the goal.
Down by two goals after the Capitals got tallies from center Jay Beagle and left winger Alex Ovechkin in the first 13-plus minutes of play, the Blue Jackets went to work on the offensive end of the ice and registered their first score of the night when right winger Cam Atkinson tipped a shot into the back of the net.
Atkinson accepted a lead pass from captain Nick Foligno that sailed untouched through the neutral zone, got behind four Capitals players on a mini breakaway and jammed the puck into the net between the post and the outstretched leg of Washington goaltender Philipp Grubauer with just 1:35 left in the first period.
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.
Right winger Josh Anderson started the barrage when he controlled the puck along the far boards and slipped a cross-ice pass to left winger Matt Calvert at center ice. After crossing into the attack zone, Calvert forwarded a pass to defenseman Seth Jones, who then sent it to fellow blue-liner Zach Werenski.
Werenski fed it to his former Cleveland Monsters teammate, and Anderson roofed it into the net for the goal.
Atkinson tallied his second goal of the night at the 8:49 mark of the second period.
With a man advantage because of a minor penalty on Tom Wilson for roughing, left winger Artemi Panarin fired a cross-ice feed pass from the left faceoff circle to Atkinson, and he rifled the wrister into the net for the game-tying goal.
Werenski tallied the go-ahead goal when he got a shot from the point to go beyond the reach of all four Capitals penalty killers and into the net with 1:08 to play in the second period.
second period.April 16, 2018
While the offense gave the Blue Jackets enough support to win, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 54 of the 58 shots he faced in the win over the Capitals. In doing so, Bobrovsky set a single-game personal record with the 54 saves.