Two nights removed from a devastating Game One loss Washington returned to Verizon Center night looking to make amends. Unfortunately the Capitals fell victim to their bad habits again and face a daunting two game deficit heading into Ohio after losing in overtime.
Here’s Sunday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: The Capitals took control of the contest early, putting two behind Sergei Bobrovsky and allowing the Verizon Center to come to a rolling boil.
Minus: Washington allowed two separate two goal leads to be erased in less than five minutes of play. Or undisciplined penalties (it’s probably the penalties).
Fourteen more notes on the game.
- Two minutes into the contest Jay Beagle deflected a chest high Brooks Orpik shot that slid past Bobrovsky’s left leg pad and into the goal. The Verizon Center’s early energy evolved into roars that would carry through the first ten minutes of play.
- Columbus appeared to tie the game ten minutes later but a quick arm from Steve Kozari overturned the goal and placed Cam Atkinson into the penalty box for Goalie Interference against Philipp Grubauer.
- And Alex Ovechkin would make the Blue Jackets pay for it with his first of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the power play. T.J. Oshie and John Carlson moved the puck to Ovechkin in his office and the Capitals’ Captain wired a wrist shot that snuck through Bobrovsky’s right side.
- But Atkinson would get Columbus on the board legally with 95 seconds to play in the first period, On a breakaway from the blue line on in Atkinson deked to his forehand before stuffing the puck between Grubauer’s left skate and goal post for the late tally.
- Ovechkin would tally his second of the night early in the second frame with Brandon Dubinsky in the penalty box. A Nicklas Backstrom pass cut the offensive zone in half and allowed Ovechkin to kneel into a one touched shot that Bobrovsky never had a chance against.
- But once again the Blue Jackets would strike quickly to draw within one. The second time it was Josh Anderson finishing a nice passing play up ice by snapping a quick shot from the right circle up and over Grubauer’s glove.
- Halfway through the second, with Tom Wilson in the penalty box for Roughing, Atkinson tallied his second of the contest to knot the game at three apiece.
- And with Washington down a man once again (Devante Smith-Pelly, Holding the Stick) the Blue Jackets scored for their first lead of the game. Zach Werenski deftly feathered a shot from sixty feet that beat Grubauer to his glove side (again).
- After being outplayed by Bobrovsky for 106 minutes Washington elected to return Braden Holtby to the net to start the third period.
- With the assistance of three third period power plays Oshie connected with less than four minutes to play to tie the game at four. Calm, confident puck movement from Carlson and Backstrom put the puck on Oshie’s stick in the slot, and he made no mistake.
- A little more than twelve minutes into overtime Matt Calvert snuck a shot past Holtby to close the curtain on the contest.
- Ovechkin’s pair of power play tallies makes tonight’s contest his first playoff performance with multiple man advantage markers.
- During the second intermission the Capitals announced that Andre Burakovsky would not return to the contest after an injury (upper body) sustained during the first frame. He would only skate six shifts (2:31 TOI).
- Barry Trotz scratched Jakub Vrana in a puzzling pregame decision, citing a need for the young winger to clear his game up.