Penguins, Capitals meet in playoff showdown for 3rd straight year

25 April, 2018, 01:05 | Author: Donnie King
  • Welcome back Carter Rowney

Foligno would give Columbus a little life as he got his second of the game with an easy tap-in past Holtby nearly nine minutes into the third period. Ultimately, the Caps bounced back with a double-overtime win in Game 3 and never looked back, ripping off four straight against the Jackets and clinching Game 6 on the road. There are bright spots for Columbus' young team but also questions heading into the offseason. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, were decidedly weaker in this category. Just like the last three times, they failed to advance past the first round. The Blue Jackets handed the Capitals the most man advantage opportunities of anyone in the first round and they earned five more goals on the power play than did Columbus, the biggest difference of any first-round series.

Once the pre-series hype concludes, the Capitals will be led by Ovechkin, as they have been for more than a decade. We've got a lot of young guys in the room. That's why you're out in six.

Also, Foligno knows it's tough to win in the playoffs. "We didn't get off to a good start and had to dig ourselves out".

There are reasons to be optimistic about the future of this young team.

Penguins' X-Factor: With Marc-Andre Fleury in Vegas, Murray no longer has a high-calibre backup fully capable of assuming No. 1 duties in case of injury or poor play. They were an impressive regular season team, finishing hot down the stretch. "I want us to realize the potential we have in here, and I want it to happen now". Without him, the Blue Jackets became a one-line team. A rally came in the third though with Artemi Panarin bagging himself three points on the evening. Plekanec, who had two points in 17 regular-season games with Toronto, has four points (2 G, 2 A) in the series, while Marner has a team-leading eight points (2 G, 6 A) in six games... The Blue Jackets led for 20:47 in the series. He was just plainly better than Grubauer, and Holtby's performance in one round, while not flawless, is going to do a lot to make Capitals fans forget about a mediocre-at-best regular season.

The Blue Jackets have a pretty outstanding top line. Yeah, but he's 19.

The Capitals struck first again Monday night. Both set franchise scoring records for defensemen with 16 goals apiece. They remain the only active National Hockey League franchise never to win a playoff series.

A significant number of the Blue Jackets' shots on net came from the outside the slot and from the point.

Another elite sniper to complement Panarin?

However, most of the rest of their forwards weren't able to make an impact. Capitals D Brooks Orpik had a pair of assists at Columbus, his first multi-point game of the season... Both Russians have contracts that run through next season but are eligible for extensions in July.