Capitals, Jackets roll into playoffs on hot streaks

2018 NHL First-Round Playoff Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Washington Capitals

Capitals will be missing key cog in Game 1 vs. Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals first round matchup is one of the toughest series in to predict. Hockey experts across the continent have summed this series up to a coin flip and their predictions show that. Columbus erased a two goal deficit followed by a late third period deficit in the victory.

Wennberg left the game with an upper-body injury in the third period and didn't return. With AP Photos.Artemi Panarin scored 6:02 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

How They Lose: Washington has been cursed by the post-season yips during the Ovechkin era, and the team needs to find some clutchness.

Maybe the Blue Jackets didn't, but they didn't make it easy on themselves, falling behind 2-0 on power-play goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on Anderson's five-minute major penalty for boarding and injuring Washington's Michal Kempny. A well-conditioned group under coach John Tortorella, they often outscore opponents in the first period, much like they did past year. "And I think he's pretty confident about the team in front of him as well". We're just doing it too often.

Panarin, who didn't address the media after the game, beat Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov up the left wing wall on the rush after Orlov was trapped on the ice after a long shift, and swiftly beat Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to the glove side with seemingly not much of an angle to do so.

Brent Burns also scored and captain Joe Pavelski had two assists during a three-goal second period to help the Sharks easily take early control in the series between California rivals.

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Panarin finished with one goal and two assists, and Thomas Vanek added one goal and one assist.

Jones drew a tripping penalty on Andre Burakovsky late in the third period, then scored 39 seconds into the power play to tie the score at 3 with his first career playoff goal. "I'm happy because it was a hard game and a big win". Holtby was in goal for all four games. Game two of the best of seven Eastern Conference series is Sunday in Washington.

"I'm just trying to finish my check there", Wilson said, via the Washington Post. "We'll sit down and re-evaluate all the goals, evaluate our team and where we're at and go from there".

Sergei Bobrovsky was sharp in game one, turning aside 27 of 30 shots. Despite being in the NHL's top 10 in goals, they ranked last overall in shots per game.

"That's the team effort", Bobrovsky said. Jones, son of former National Basketball Association player Popeye Jones, drew a penalty late in the third period, nearly put the puck in his own net and tied it on the ensuing power play with 4:26 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

"He's been the guy that's been there", Trotz said of Djoos. Trotz continued to call his fourth-line center "day-to-day".

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