Stanley Cup Playoffs: Capitals eliminate Blue Jackets

Clyde Nash
April 25, 2018

The Capitals won four straight games over the Columbus Blue Jackets after fumbling the first two in overtime at home, capping their opening-round playoff series with a 6-3 victory Monday night in Game 6. And all three times the Penguins used the win as the springboard to a raucous mid-June parade with the Stanley Cup in tow. The only time the Capitals have triumphed over their division rivals was in 1994 when the Caps won a first-round series in six games. T.J. Oshie, who had a very disappointing season relative to expectations, had a solid series. Grubauer was shaky in the first couple of games - looking particularly awful in Game 2 - and so the Caps made a change.

The Penguins are the Bizarro Capitals - a team without a Presidents' Trophy, but three Crosby-era Stanley Cups instead.

"It's all about team", Ovechkin said. It didn't always look like the Pens would even get this far, though.

The Capitals went ahead 1-0 at 12:12 in the first frame after Dmitry Orlov beat Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes.

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Alex Ovechkin celebrates after scoring his second goal on Monday. While that was still a below-average mark, it somewhat stabilized a troubling trend in the first half. Oshie had three goals and an assist during the series. "It's just a great process for him to go through early in his career". The Jackets experienced firsthand why it's important to have good special teams. The Capitals' man-advantage ranked seventh in the National Hockey League during the regular season, with their penalty kill ranking 15th.

He gets a chance to change that in this second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. And with players as talented as Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson on the first powerplay unit, it is hard to understand how they failed to score at least a single powerplay goal throughout the series.

Crosby is the leading playoff point-getter and he's boosted linemate Jake Guentzel yet again as the 23-year-old is out of the gate as a goal-a-game player.

Game 7 is Wednesday night in Boston, with the victor advancing to face Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Despite their good performance against the Flyers, the Penguins know they must elevate their game in the next in hopes of keeping their championship dreams alive.

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"Any time you get further in the playoffs, and you play a team multiple times in the playoffs, things get a lot more intense and a little more heated", Penguins forward Bryan Rust said.

Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 1: Frederik Andersen stopped 32 shots to lead Toronto over visiting Boston, forcing a decisive Game 7 in the first-round series.

John Carlson was a key contributor from the back end and, of course, Ovechkin was the driver up front. The Penguins shutout the Capitals 2-0, including 29 saves by Marc-Andre Fleury, to advance to the Eastern Conference Final. The safety net is gone. The goalie said he was fine, but given his play, it's a situation worth watching. The Penguins held a 3-1 after four games last season but were pushed to Game 7 by the Capitals. He finished the series with a.900 save percentage. "I want us to realize the potential we have in here, and I want it to happen now".

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Other reports by Info About Network

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