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Worst Game 1 loss since the last worst Game 1 loss — LOVERRO

15 April 2018

Blue Jackets 4, Capitals 3, OT. They won it in overtime off of a handsome top corner delivery from Artemi Panarin. If that was indeed the Blue Jackets' plan, they might want to be careful of what they wish.

"It's a privilege to start, for sure", Grubauer told the Washington Post. Since the start of March, they have the fourth-best record in the National Hockey League.

That would translate the "O" in Alex Ovechkin to "Ouch".

Ondrej Palat recorded a goal and two assists as top-seeded Tampa Bay beat visiting New Jersey in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal. John Carlson led all defensemen in points with 68. That cost us the game. It's not a big deal to them when they lose players. GM Brian MacLellan admitted in the summer that past year was a kitchen-sink attempt at one last run but, even in failing there, the Caps have remained near the top of the standings.

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Evgeny Kutnetsov scored a power-play goal 28 seconds later, and followed it up quickly with a second power-play score 29 seconds later, giving Washington and starting goalie Philipp Grubauer - getting the start in place of Braden Holtby -what should have been comfortable 2-0 lead. Alexander Wennberg cut the Caps' lead to 2-1 with 15:12 left in the second period, and Thomas Vanek's goal early in the third period tied the game at two goals per team.

Evander Kane scored twice in a dominant second period and Martin Jones made 25 saves to record the shutout as San Jose opened the Stanley Cup playoffs with a win over Anaheim.

There's no such controversy for Columbus, which got 27 saves on 30 shots from two-time Vezina victor Sergei Bobrovsky in his most recent chance to put his playoff struggles in the past. Maybe pass up that hit. Overall, the offense has been subpar, and the power play is one of the worst in the league. So, he's spent a lot of time educating himself on what they're looking at and how they look at it and what's the certain things they look for. Pierre-Luc Dubois will be front and center, literally, as he centers the top line for the CBJ.

Three games? The Capitals struggle with one. It's only fair to ask whether his workload down the stretch could have a burnout effect in the playoffs.

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Columbus will look to jump out to a surprising 2-0 lead when these teams meet for Game 2 on Sunday in DC. "You treat it as Game 1 (of the regular season) or Game 82". How will he respond to the pressure of the post-season? Health, hot goaltending and the flukes of a low-scoring sport often mean more than who's wearing the dark sweaters. They regularly get outshot as well.

The Blue Jackets, who at one point were down to just nine forwards, seemed to be galvanized by the quick return of one of them; captain Nick Foligno, who was struck in the face while blocking a slapshot, only missed a shift or two before coming back early in the third period.

On Thursday night, Artemi Panarin showed why the Columbus Blue Jackets traded for him in a blockbuster deal over the offseason.

It's clear the Washington Capitals don't appreciate the postseason hump they carried into the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Thursday night at the arena, because they only made it bigger by blowing a gift of a 2-0 lead, losing game one in overtime 4-3 to the first wild-card team in the Metro Division, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Worst Game 1 loss since the last worst Game 1 loss — LOVERRO