The Capitals won at Nationwide Arena after Columbus won the first two games – both in overtime – in Washington. It was the Capitals’ turn to prevail in OT, this time on the Blue Jackets’ home ice, to pull to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
”It means a ton, a win like this after playing for that long,” Eller said. ”I’m sure they feel a lot more tired in that room than we are feeling right now. It gives you a lot of energy. It’s going to be a battle again in Game 4.”
Tom Wilson and John Carlson also scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots for the Capitals
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, who were in danger of falling into a nearly insurmountable hole had they let the game slip away.
”We got some good fortune, but we also executed and we were committed today,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
Game 4 is Thursday night back here with Game 5 set for Washington on Saturday.
”We got a break, it’s what we needed,” Capitals forward John Connolly said. ”You need breaks, every team is so good now
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, you need to keep pressing and pressing. ”
Pierre-Luc Dubois and Artemi Panarin scored for Columbus, and Bobrovsky finished with 42 saves after getting 54 in the Game 2 on Sunday.
Panarin knotted the score 4:12 into the third period after he and Cam Atkinson went back and forth with pinpoint passes before he swiped it past Holtby from the left circle.
That’s the way it stayed until the second overtime.
After a scoreless first period, Wilson got credit for the first Washington goal when he deflected Matt Niskanen’s rising shot 5:52 into the second. The Blue Jackets got a break two minutes later when a goal by Connolly was waved off after a video replay showed he was offside bringing the puck down the ice.
Dubois tied it with 8:42 left in the second when he rifled a shot past Holtby’s glove from the right circle.
Later in the period, with Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Murray both in the penalty box for slashing, Carlson connected with 5:17 left on a one-timer 28 seconds into the 5-on-3.
After feasting on the power play in the first two games, the Blue Jackets failed to score on four tries with a man advantage. The Capitals whiffed on three of their four power plays.
”It’s a hell of a series” Columbus coach John Tortorella said.
NOTES: The Capitals have outshot the Blue Jackets 133-92 through the first three games. … Washington F Jakub Vrana played in place of Andre Burakovsky, who is out at least through Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury suffered when he was checked into the boards by Blue Jackets F Boone Jenner on Sunday. Vrana was a healthy scratch for that game. … Blue Jackets F Alexander Wennberg missed a second game after being injured in Game 1. Sonny Milano again played in his place. … The announced crowd of 19,337 was the largest ever for a Blue Jackets game. … Washington star Alex Ovechkin appeared in his 100th career playoff game. … Panarin, who had an assist on Dubois’ goal, has eight straight multi-point games. … It was the 22nd time in NHL history that a playoff series went to overtime in at least three consecutive games.
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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Among the many things the Atlanta Braves have done right on their way to leading the National League East this season, they’ve been getting hits. The Braves began their series against fellow division leader Milwaukee on Thursday night with three of the top four hits leaders in the NL, with outfielder Nick Markakis (108) leading the way and infielder Ozzie Albies (102) and Freddie Freeman (101) close behind in third and fourth, respectively. It’s the first time in franchise history the team has had three players reach 100 hits prior to the All-Star game, and the Braves will continue their series when Mike Foltynewicz and Freddy Peralta face off.
In a season full of highlights for the New York Yankees, right-hander Sonny Gray has been one of the team’s biggest disappointments in his first full season with club. Gray will try and rebound from his worst start of the season when the Yankees begin a weekend series in Toronto against the Blue Jays. After being acquired from Oakland last season, Gray is 5-6 with 5.44 ERA this season and is coming off an 11-0 loss to Boston last weekend in which he allowed six runs in only 2 1/3 innings.
CHICAGO SEEING RED
Two weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs suffered through an embarrassing four-game sweep in Cincinnati – beginning a stretch of six losses in seven games. Chicago has won six straight games since that rough patch
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, and has the opportunity to make amends with the Reds when the two teams begin a weekend series at Wrigley Field. Mike Montgomery (3-2) starts for Chicago, and Tyler Mahle (6-6) takes the mound for Cincinnati.
ACE OF NEW YORK
Despite the struggles of the New York Mets for much of the season, Jacob deGrom has been one of the NL’s most dominant starters. The right-hander leads the league with his 1.84 ERA and will be back at work when he takes the mound against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. He has allowed three runs in each of his last two starts, the first time he’s allowed three or more runs in back-to-back games since April.
Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez (8-6) put together his best full month of the season in June, posting a 3.71 ERA in six starts and lowering his overall ERA from 5.83 to 5.11 in the process. The 2010 Cy Young award winner will try and extend his improved performance into July when he starts in an interleague game against the visiting Colorado Rockies.