Overcoming both an early 2-0 deficit and late 3-2 deficit, Artemi Panarin scored 6:02 into overtime to give the Blue Jackets a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
As the period started to wind down, there was a twist in the game, and Columbus was soon down one man for five minutes, and then for the entirety of the game. The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, are aiming to win their first playoff series in franchise history.
The Capitals entered the third period with a 2-1 lead, only to let the game become tied 1:31 seconds in. A broken play that included a bounce off Vanek's stick at center ice helped the Blue Jackets cut Washington's lead to 2-1 at the 4:48 mark of the second when Boone Jenner found Wennberg for a tap-in goal on the rush.
Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde scored, helping the Lightning build a 3-0 lead that New Jersey trimmed to one goal before Alex Killorn and Kucherov, who added an empty-netter, finished off the win.
Wilson told reporters after the game, "I'm just trying to finish my check there". "That's a critical moment". I've got to be better and maybe pass up on that hit. The Capitals did have control for a good portion in game one and they also outshot the Blue Jackets by a 30-27 margin.
"There was no panic on the bench there", coach John Tortorella said. "Obviously, if he's still standing up, I think there's nothing wrong with that, but he ended up falling and reaching for the puck, and I'm not sure what happened after that". It's not a big deal to them when they lose players. We're just doing it too often.
Killorn's shot over the glove of goalie Kevin Kincaid's glove restored a two-goal lead before Kucherov, who led the Lightning with 100 points this season, ensured there would be no comeback. Jones drew a tripping penalty on Andre Burakovsky that Washington coach Barry Trotz called unnecessary, nearly put the puck in his own net on the delayed penalty and then scored off a pass from Panarin on the ensuing power play with just 4:26 left in regulation. The goalie by committee approach worries me in the playoffs, but whether it's Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer in net, I think Rocket Richard Trophy victor Alexander Ovechkin can lead the Capitals to a series win. This is a must win game and I expect the Capitals to come through with a full 60 minute effort.
Kuznetsov left no doubt on his second goal in 29 seconds, firing a laser from the left faceoff circle past his fellow countryman at 18:21 with Washington still on the power play. Columbus general manager Jermo Kekalainen called Wennberg "doubtful" for Game 2 Sunday at Washington and considered it a "dangerous hit" by Wilson that the league deemed wasn't worthy of further punishment.
"There's no sense chasing Jonesy behind the net there", coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought he was fine". For as good as Grubauer has been this year, and he's been really good, the Blue Jackets still have reigning Vezina victor Sergei Bobrovsky, who had another great season in Columbus this year. Visit SportsLine to get National Hockey League odds and picks for every Stanley Cup Playoff game, all from the advanced computer model on a red-hot 21-8 National Hockey League run. Kempny's head hit the glass, and he never returned, with the Capitals saying he'd be re-evaluated Friday. Trotz continued to call his fourth-line center "day-to-day".