Caps defeat Jackets in 2OT
Lars Eller scored in the second overtime period and the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in Game 3 on Tuesday night to tighten up the their first-round playoff series.
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.
Eller tapped a rebound past Sergei Bobrovsky 9 minutes into the second extra period for his first goal in the playoff series.
Tom Wilson and John Carlson also scored, and Braden Holtby stopped 33 shots for the Capitals, who were in danger of falling into a nearly insurmountable hole had they let the game slip away.
Game 4 is Thursday night back here with Game 5 set for Washington on Saturday.
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 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 the Capitals’ Brett 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.
The Capitals have outshot the Blue Jackets 133-92 through the first three games.
Jets 2, Wild 0
ST. PAUL, Minn.
Mark Scheifele scored both goals for Winnipeg and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his seventh shutout this season, as the Jets grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
Scheifele scored with 28 seconds left in the first period and tacked on an empty-netter with 11 seconds remaining, pushing the Wild to the brink of elimination.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 26 shots for the Wild, who played without star left wing Zach Parise because of a broken sternum suffered in Game 3. After a six-goal outburst in their last appearance, the Wild had trouble generating the same kind of relentless attack and simply couldn’t slide any pucks past Hellebuyck.
Now the series shifts back to Winnipeg, with Game 5 on Friday night.
After a tightly whistled game here Sunday night, there were only three penalties called. The Jets closed up the holes they gave the Wild through the neutral zone in Game 3. Hellebuyck, who was named earlier in the day one of the NHL’s three finalists for the Vezina Trophy that’s awarded annually to the best goalie in the league, bounced back in a big way from the previous game when he gave up six goals and was pulled after two periods.
The crowd, fired up about the opportunity the Wild had to even the series, produced plenty of collective groans after difficult saves by Hellebuyck after jeering him in Game 3 with the customary “Sieve! Sieve! Sieve!” chant. One of Hellebuyck’s most important stops came in the opening minutes of the second period, when a 3-on-1 rush by the Wild set up Matt Dumba for a wrist try denied with a sprawling glove stop.