Braden Holtby and the Capitals survived another advantage and prevailed in double extension. (1
Washington Capitals 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (2OT)
Series: Columbus Leads, 2-1
Next Game: Thursday, 7:30 pm (Kirk Irwin / Getty Images) ET, Nationwide Arena
• Despite yet another lead, Washington are leading the fourth game after a strange double-overtime goal by Lars Eller with one game behind Columbus. ( Read more)
• Top Takeaways: A new ending to a Famili Script. (Read More)
• A brief summary of game 3. It's not for the faint of heart. (Read More)
• Braden Holtby was back on the net for the capitals on Tuesday. (Read More)
• The capitals have risen from a serial deficit like this one before. That's hopeful, right? (Read more)
Braden Holtby and Lars Eller's Ugly Goal Give Capitals First Win of 2018 NHL Playoffs
By Isabelle Khurshudyan
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Braden Holtby went to the Bank of Washington Capitals an hour before the puck Tuesday night to carry his stick. He leaned his forearm and chin against the blade, staring at an empty ice sheet in an empty arena. It is a preparatory ritual when it begins, a few peaceful minutes before it is the last line of defense for what can often be chaos before him.
When Holtby takes his place in the blue suit, the fans of Columbus Blue Jackets mockingly sang his name. Pucks bounced off and around him. As a game 3 of this first round Stanley Cup playoff series was a marathon, two overtime whirlwind, Holtby was the image of Poise on the net.
Then nine minutes into the second extra period, Lars Eller scored a rebound and the hopes of the capitals went from bleak to slightly less. Washington won, 3-2, and cut Columbus's series lead to two games to one. Holtby was the best player in the game and finished his triumphant return as top goalkeeper of the Capitals with 33 saves.
A sold out Nationwide Arena was quiet to start the third phase as the capitals were scored. Then Dmitry Orlov made an offensive zone turnover, and Blue Jackets, Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson, stormed back the ice with only John Carlson. Panarin went to Atkinson. Atkinson went over to Panarin. Panarin fired into a half-open net as Holtby split from side to side and tried to follow the fast puck motion.
White towels waved. The notorious shotgun cannon of the arena went off. Then the "Holt-by" song started. For the third time in a row, the Capitals and Blue Jackets were tied too late.
Given this, it was a must for the captains, as only four teams have ever recovered from a three-game deficit. Columbus looked just as desperate as Washington, if not more. In front of their home fans, the Blue Jackets had the opportunity to get closer to the organization's first series victory. The captains took a break when Panarin scored a goal post in the final two minutes after the break and overtook the team for a third extra time. Goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer scored four goals in two games with 22 strokes over two seasons on Sunday night, and goalkeeper Holtby, the 2016 Vezina Trophy winner, finished second in the career postseason percentage.
, Holtby had fought in the second half of this season, and he was eventually canceled as the team's starting goalkeeper because Grubauer drove him over the track. But Holtby had improved in the last month and coach Barry Trotz put him back online for Tuesday's game, his 60th postseason start.
Holtby had broken through especially in February; He was 2-5-2 with a .873 save percentage and 4.62 goals against average. He scored three goals in nine shots at Anaheim and was torn in the second period, the third time he was drawn in his last six starts. The next day in Los Angeles, Defiance Holtby said he would start Grubauer for next week because he wanted Holtby to have a "reset" period to work on his game.
"He moved away from some of the basics that made Braden an exceptional goalkeeper," said Trotz before the game on Tuesday. "I think he's back with them, I think when someone grows up in life, you get to different places in their lives and you have to go back to some of their basic foundations and some of their basics, and I think Braden did that."
Penalties were a problem for Washington in the opening two games of the series, as the Capitals traded eight times and scored four Power Play goals. Physical striker Tom Wilson had been one of the main culprits; In both games he was in the pits when the Blue Jackets tied the game to their team advantage unit. Wilson found himself on the wrong end of a whistle on Tuesday and only required 9:26 minutes into the game.
The Capitals survived this injury, and then another, as rookie winger Jakub Vrana went to the pits. stick with 1:33 left in time. Washington's penalty gave Columbus only two shots on the two power games, and then Wilson broke 5:52 into the second period. He reversed a Matt Niskanen point shot to increase the Capitals to 1-0. That was the first shot of Wilson from the series, and it was the first equal goal the team receives from a member of its six leading forward corps.
Less than three minutes later, with traffic in front of the net, winger Brett Connolly pounced on a loose puck and knocked him past Columbus goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky. But coach John Tortorella of Blue Jackets challenged that Connolly was offside when he entered the zone and the finish was dismissed. Washington had lost a two-goal lead in the opening two games of the series, and after the successful task, the Blue Jackets split the game as Pierre-Luc Dubois shot his puck over Holtby's shoulder 11:18 into the second corner.  Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had twice promised that the team would return to Washington for a game 5 with the series. Teams that fall into a 2-0 series have won less than 13 percent of the time. The Capitol's power play was a ray of hope in the first two games, and it gave them another boost on Tuesday. Two consecutive penalties against Columbus gave Washington a 54-second five-on-three, and with Carlson in Ovechkin's usual left-wing Off-Circle office, the defender's one-timer increased the capitals by 2-1 in two periods.
But like any other game in this series, it would take at least fifteen minutes to decide. Washington has now denied ten direct one-goal games in the first round despite defiance. Eight of the nine games of the Capitals in the first round have needed overtime, hockey version of a coin toss. It finally landed on Washington's side.
When a somewhat familiar script runs out, the caps write a new ending: Washington had seen this before. Twice in this series, the Capitals jumped to a lead, twice watching the game in an overtime loss. This time was different. Lars Eller scored nine minutes in the second half to give Washington a much-needed victory in Columbus and retire to a series that is still led by the Blue Jackets 2-1. That target fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way to the ground, but it's doubtful that the district's fans will care a lot.
The abyss over which Washington dangled was daunting. A four-game round would have seriously focused on every aspect of this franchise – one that regularly shines in the season and has been punctuated by the postseason. No team had ever lost the first three games of a series all in extra time, and because of Eller's goal, flaky as it was, this series will continue.
Caps better with equal strength: Washington had more success in Game 3 with equal strength than in the two previous games. The caps finished the Blue Jackets with a high threat between 13 and 9 and were just scoring their third and fourth goals in the series.
Tom Wilson gets on well after bad penalties: Tom Wilson was criticized for silly penalties in Game 1 and Game 2, and both led to critical goals for the Blue Jackets He took another penalty in Game 3, but this one Sometimes things ended in his favor. The capitals killed this penalty and later Wilson Washington gave his first goal of Game 3 on a tip from a Matt Niskanen's shot.
Wilson was a juggernaut in the postseasons past. He scored three goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. In 2015, he was a wrecking ball on the preliminary fight against the New York Islanders. In the postseason, he was more to blame than assets in the face of premature penalties, but maybe that starts after a deciding goal in a competitive match.
Jakub Vrana's stick helps Caps score a goal … in a sense : Jakub Vrana was a healthy scratch in Game 2. In Game 3 he was raised 1:33 in the first time in the offensive zone. Previously, he was unable to capitalize on the hustle and bustle of a strange man when his shot was knocked down by Sergei Bobrowski. It was not the impression he wanted to make when he returned to Nicklas Backström's lineup to replace the injured Andre Burakovsky.
But it went better after Vrana scored two sharp shots, the second led to a 5-5. On-3 goal by John Carlson, who gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead in the third half.
Braden Holtby again looks like Holtbeast: After having served Game 1 and then for the Third Half and in the extra time of Game 3, Braden Holtby appeared in the first half in the Vezina-caliber form too his and stopped nine shots from Columbus. He stayed strong, but in the second he was not perfect. The first shot made by Pierre-Luc Dubois was not an unstoppable target, even if he was well placed in the cage. For what it's worth, NBC analyst Mike Millbury called it an "ace target" and did not blame Holtby.
Artemi Panarin's cross-ice run forced Holtby to move all the way across the fold, and he was off his line when the shot was released. If you want to focus on the strategy, it is the kind of game that the Capitals and other NHL teams want to do, because it leads to better chances to score. If you want to help Holtby's unusually bad second half of the season, he certainly does that in the past few seasons.
Holtby did not stand a chance on goalkeeper Panarin, a two-on-one race centered on defender John Carlson. But he did not let anyone else through him, and the Blue Jackets had some solid chances in the first overtime in particular.
He finished the night with 33 saves on 35 shots to give Washington its first win of the series. You can bet he'll be back in goal for Game 4 after a clutch victory.
Sergei Bobrovsky Dynamite Again: For the second game in a row, most of the spectacular, game-changing parades were played by the Russian goalkeeper. Bobrovsky tracked his 54-saves game 2 with 42 stops to 45 shots in Game 3. Bob was bagged for previous bad playoff shows, but that will not set as one of them.
FINAL – Overtime 2: Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2
Washington started the second overtime by scoring the first six shots, but none of them sneaked nine minutes past goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus Blue Jackets. Instead, it was a fuzzy, bouncing off-the-stick-off-the-shit-over-the-goal dribbler 9 minutes after the second OT, which gives Capitals life in the playoffs. Lars Eller eventually became a game winner who was ugly to watch, but nice to wear those who wear Washington over her chest Tuesday night.
Heading into this game, Eller led the team into overall high risk chances with five, three more than Alex Ovechkin. Eller had two more in Game 3, including the overtime game win.
The capitals go 2-1 on Thursday night in Game 4 in Columbus and there will be at least one game 5 there.  End of overtime 1: Capitals 2, Blue Jackets 2
With the potential for a 3-0 deficit just one goal away, Washington conceded a penalty and will face Columbus in a second extra time. A back-and-forth game provided good opportunities for both teams, with Braden Holtby extending the action with a few clutch stops. It continues to go.
Another potentially crucial punishment for caps but jackets can not result: After hectic 15 minutes of overtime involving several Penalties were missing for both teams, the refs have reported the John Carlson of Capitals after a quick move through the Blue Jackets with 4:18 in the national team's first extra-period. Columbus scored several solid chances in the first minute of the Powerspiel but came away empty handed.
End of Period 3: Capitals 2, Blue Jackets 2
The game takes place in extra time. Again. Again. All three games this postseason have needed extra time. While the fans get free hockey, the media gets free ulcers. In the meantime, digest this fact about the heavily acidic playoff history of the major cities:
Since 2005-06, the capitals have now played 34 overtime playoff games. Only the Chicago Blackhawks (38, 23-15) have appeared in more. However, Washington has a loss record of 14 to 19 years.
And for a franchise story laced with playoff misery, Washington has the opportunity to reach a new low for abdominal cramps, eye wrinkles, and clothing frenzy. 19659054] No team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs has ever lost the first 3 games in a series, all in overtime …
– Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) April 18, 2018
Jackets tie you up it at 2: A strong shift for Washington ended with the puck in the back of the network of capitals. A cross-ice pass in the Columbus zone was missed by Dmitry Orlov, who took a two-on-one break between Artemi Panarin and Cam Atkinson and ended with a goal from Panarin. Both defender John Carlson and goalkeeper Braden Holtby spread to stop the puck, but no one could stop him.
Again the Capitals went into the third period and again it was leveled by the Blue Jackets at the beginning of the period.
End of Period 2: Capitals 2, Blue Jackets 1
For the second time in this series, Washington lead 2-1 in the third half. In two previous games, the game ended in favor of Columbus. How will it be tonight? One thing will definitely justify a close observation: Will Washington impose any penalties? Lunatic penalties led to important hits for Columbus in each of the first two games, and Washington has four power games to Columbus – two Tuesday night. In the playoffs, the penalty book is usually close to the level until the end of the game, so the capitals will want to make sure they will not apologize to the referees for lifting their arms in a third period that could be crucial for them 2017 season -18
Two Slashes Give Caps a Power 5-on-3 Game and a Goal: Washington enjoyed a 5-second powerplay with a lead of just under 6 minutes for 54 seconds after Jakub Vrana hit his stick not once but cut twice into pieces. John Carlson did not waste time to score the goal. A one-time home game by Nicklas Backstrom through the slot with 1:32 remained on the second penalty bench. The caps are back in front – 2: 1
The two penalties that Vrana had drawn depending on the confrontation and because of his speed, led Carlson to the goal-goal. Vrana scored one penalty every 60 minutes for the same amount of time in regular time, ranking 58th out of 413 skaters who played for at least 800 minutes.
Carlson now has 11 shots on the Powerspiel against Columbus, the second team Alex Ovechkin. That was his first powerplay goal in the series.
It's 1: 1: That 2-0 lead would have been pretty good for the caps in comparison to the 1-1 win first period. Pierre-Luc Dubois slammed a wrist shot into the top left corner of the cage and struck Braden Holtby's glove side to knot the score at 1 and rekindle the Columbus crowd.
Connolly almost makes it 2-0: Brett Connolly converted again after 12:33 to 2-0 victory against the hosts a juicy catch-up, which brought the Capitals still a 2-0 lead in this series. .. but wait!
The goal was sidelined by Columbus and it was finally waved off after the replay. For those who believe in ghosts, voodoo, and the supernatural, this could have been a good thing, as Washington returned both games in that series, leading 2-0. Science and mathematics would begin to differ, and one crucial appeal (which seemed correct at the repetition) went against Washington.
Wilson atones: Tom Wilson may have been criticized for his premature punishment in all three games, but he helped to get it right by meeting the first goal of the capitals on a diversion with 14:08 to go in the second period. The goal was attributed to Matt Niskanen, who had sent the shot from the right spot, but it seemed Wilson tilted it.
Too many men for Columbus for the first power play of the second period: The Blue Jackets took the first penalty of the second period, as discipline remains scarce, with too many men on the ice in a monstrous manner. It was not just an extra man who jumped off the bench out of time, but six blue jackets who were involved in the defense for many seconds.
The shorthanded team might have had the better chances in powerplay TJ Oshie's win against Boone Jenner almost gave Blue Jackets a goal. However, the penalty ended with a 0: 0
Ending Period 1: Capitals 0, Blue Jackets 0
Perhaps the wind has shifted for Washington when only two penalties for the first half have not led to a victory momentum-shifting goal for Columbus. Tom Wilson and Jakub Vrana both took penalties when the Capitals were in the offensive zone (although Wilson's injury came in the neutral zone), but the penalty and goalkeeper Braden Holtby kept the score. However, the Blue Jackets will have a certain power play time, which will be transferred to the second period.
Neither the Blue Jackets nor the Capitals were able to generate many chances to score with equal strength or man advantage. Columbus put seven shots on the net with four in the slot or in the fold. Two of these shots (a high-risk opportunity) were during his two power games of the period. Five different skaters for Columbus created at least two scoring chances during the first period.
Washington only managed a high chance of danger with equal strength and another in powerplay. Only Ovechkin and Brett Connolly had several opportunities in the opening frame.
Washington overtook Columbus 11-9 in the 1st period, and Columbus goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky definitely had the harder to make. Still, he did them all and the teams are still scoreless on the way to the second.
Capitals get dry on their first powerplay: Well, that's a new twist in this series. With the two power games, the first and second game, we saw a wave of power gates. Not so by the first two penalties of Game 3. After the capitals killed the first turn of the jackets with the man advantage, Columbus returned the favor after a penalty to Josh Anderson for interference. While the PK unit was the key to the caps, it was Sergei Bobrovsky who got big on the jackets and made a couple of clutch parades.
Tom Wilson. In the box. Again. Tom Wilson had been much criticized at the beginning of the series because he had imposed unnecessary penalties. And he takes the first penalty in Game 3. His first two penalties resulted in Columbus Goals. His third not and the Blue Jackets have also received no scoring.
Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoff: Christian Djoos appears tonight in the lineup of captains for Jakub Jerabek and the Blue Jackets to welcome him warmly.
Columbus is crazy: Columbus has never won a Stanley Cup playoff series, nor has it led them a 2-0 series. So it was understandable that the mood before Game 3 on Tuesday night was buzzing outside the Nationwide Arena. Played live music. Long rows of blue-clad fans stood in line for the beer despite the cloudy sky and the snowflakes scurrying across the floor. Inside, the arena was rocking as both crews picked up the ice for warm-up exercises, and there were few signs of white or red uniforms on fans in the stands, coming from Washington. If the capitals are to pull out of this 2-0 hole, they will have to do it in front of a supremely hostile environment.
Hope for the Hopeless: With a 3-0 series deficit more or less equivalent to a historic series loss, The Game 3 Tuesday night is a must for Washington. A potential sign Things should go in favor of the capital? Your luck is very low with the first two games.
Call it an apology, but the hats can claim that they do not get much luck in this series with consistent strength. They are 0 for 22 on high-risk chances, shots in the slot or fold, while the Blue Jackets have three goals at nine risk chances. The league's average shooting range for high-risk shots was 13 percent in 2017-2018. If Washington had even average luck, it would have added two more goals to the scoreboard.
Washington could get what it said from the Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana line. With Vrana replacing the injured Andre Burakovsky, the trio beat their opponents from 38 to 34 and had a 13-8 lead over high odds chances in seventy-two balanced minutes this season. Vrana also led the team to create high-risk opportunities per 60 minutes (5.1). Alex Ovechkin finished second (4.7), followed by Tom Wilson (3.7) and Lars Eller (3.5).
Braden Holtby: Despite Philipp Philipp, Defiance started to start the series with how Grubauer Holtby had downplayed the track. But then Gruabuer was pulled through two periods on Sunday night after allowing four goals on 22 shots, and considering the Capitals scored nine goals in two games, a move to Holtby was the right call. He has the second best career postseason save percentage, but it's unclear how Holtby will react to getting the starting job back. He was 5-1-0 in the last six games he started with a .911 save percentage and a 2.67 goals against the average. The two-time Vezina Trophy finalist, winner of the 2016 prize, has had the worst season of his career: a .907 save percentage and 2.99 goals against the average.
Cam Atkinson: Atkinson scored two goals in Columbus – 5: 4-extra time wins on Sunday, and the 28-year-old has his three points out of five playoff games as early as last year in just two of these Season reached. After making 35 goals last season, Atkinson missed 17 games over a foot injury this season and finished with 24 goals. But in the last 20 games of the season he has been strong with 14 goals and 11 assists, and now he is part of a top series of blue jackets that gave the Capitals the starting signal for the series.
Dive into the post-season capitals with The Post coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs:
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Sergei Bobrovsky is & # 39; dead in his game when Columbus shakes Washington in Game 2
Barry Svrluga: If the capitals do not get any smarter, it'll soon be too late to learn their lesson
In Game 2, Capitals blew a two – Run again. Losing in OT again.
Capitals & # 39; Kuznetsov, Blue Jackets & # 39; Panarin shared a rink in Russia and the NHL playoff spotlight
The Capitals and Blue Jackets are already bloody. There could be more.
Barry Svruga: It's the capitals. It's the playoffs. And & # 39; easy & # 39; just is not in the vocabulary.
The capitals preach quality over quantity when it comes to shots.
Barry Svrluga: For Capitals – Barry Defiance In The Future In These Stanley Cup Playoffs At Play
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana Nicklas Reverse TJ Oshie
Connolly-Lars Eller-Devante Smith-Pelly's Brett
Alex Chiasson-Jay Beagle-Chandler Stephenson
Scratch: Andre Burakovsky (Torso), Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd, Brian Pinho  Defender
Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny-John Carlson
Brooks Orpik-Christian Djoos
Scratches: Jakub Jerabek, Madison Bowey
Braden Holtby (starter)
Scratch: Pheonix Copley
Artemi Panarin-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner-Nick Foligno-Thomas Vanek
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Josh Anders on
Sonny Milano-Mark Letestu-Oliver Bjorkstrand
Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Ian Cole-David Savard
Ryan Murray-Markus Nutivaara
Scratches: Markus Hannikainen, Alex Broadhurst , Taylor Jackson, Jack Johnson, Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, Lukas Sedlak (upper body), Alexander Wennberg (upper body)
Sergei Bobrovsky (starter)