tiptrot.com May 27, 2018

Game 1 set Thursday for Capitals, Penguins

25 April 2018, 09:01 | Susie Olson

Game 1 set Thursday for Capitals, Penguins

Washington Capitals: 3 Reasons They Will Upset The Penguins

The Capitals star said he "can't wait" to get another shot at the Penguins after spearheading Washington's first-round win over Columbus in six games.

Chandler Stephenson - The Capitals' rookie LW had a goal and an assist in at Columbus, the second straight game in which he's recorded two points.

Tortorella guaranteed that the Jackets would win game six and extend the series.

While this will hurt every Jackets fan, the Capitals may have thrown their hat into the true contender ring as they showed a determination to turn around a two game deficit. After rattling off three straight wins against the Blue Jackets last week, they completed the comeback with a 6-3 shellacking in Columbus on Monday. He had a.900 save percentage which isn't good enough given his pedigree. If Washington wants to get to the third round for the first time with Ovechkin on the team, they'll have to do something they've never been able to do.

It's not as though there was some great change in play once the goaltenders were swapped, either. Nikita Zaitsev added two assists, and Marner and Plekanec each had one. This would change after losing the first two games at home, starting Braden Holtby in Game Three.

Of course, none of it matters once the puck drops in Game 1.

After Monday night's thrilling 6-3 win, the Washington Capitals have clinched their Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets and secured their spot in the second round. There were questions surrounding how Sergei Bobrovsky would perform, and he was nothing short of stellar. Mostly for the fact that four of the six games went into overtime.

Columbus didn't get much production out of their fourth line, but otherwise there were contributions throughout the lineup.

In fact, entering the series against the Capitals, Bobrovsky had only posted a single-game SP better than his post-2012-13 rate on four occasions in 18 games - and only two of those games had come since he really hit his stride as a No. 1. After falling behind 1-0 early in Game 5 on a shorthanded goal, Washington responded quickly with a Backstrom goal. In a closely-decided series, the Blue Jackets probably needed better results with Jones on the ice if they were going to advance. Secondly, facing the Penguins isn't just any other series.

Instead of making a big splash at the trade deadline, Washington played it safe and picked up depth players instead of pricey superstars.

Speaking of Carlson, fresh off career highs in goals (15), assists (53) and points in his ninth National Hockey League season, the 28-year-old from Natick, Mass., matched the Capitals record for most points in a playoff series by a defenceman with nine against Columbus, a mark set by Kevin Hatcher in the 1988 division semifinals against Philadelphia.

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