Jackets-Caps: Washington Gets Upper Hand Again in Playoff Rematch

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 8, 2018 2:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 2:24 PM UTC

For the first time this year Friday, the Columbus Blue Jackets get a look at the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs: The Washington Capitals.

Columbus (8-6-1) at Washington (7-4-3)Friday, 7 p.m. ETFree NHL Pick: Caps PLBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3494002, "sportsbooksIds":[999991,1096,93,1275,169], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Nowadays, we think of the Washington Capitals as deserving Stanley Cup champions and Alex Ovechkin on a Mount Rushmore of NHL all-time legends now that he finally has a Cup.

However, flash back to last April. The Capitals were still known as a team that always flopped in the playoffs. It sure looked like that would happen again when Columbus went to Washington in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and won 4-3 and 5-4, both in overtime, to take a commanding 2-0 series lead back to Ohio. Series over, right? Very few teams in hockey have lost the first two of a series at home and come back to win it.

Well, Washington was up to the task. In Game 3 in Columbus, Lars Eller scored at 9:00 of the second overtime to give the Capitals a 3-2 win and some life, and they would win the next three to shock the Blue Jackets. The Capitals would then beat the Penguins, Lightning and Golden Knights for their first Cup. Columbus, meanwhile, has yet to win a postseason series in four tries.

Columbus visits Washington on Friday night in the teams' first meetings since. The Capitals were 3-1 vs. the Blue Jackets last regular season and are 13-6-1 all-time at home in the series including playoffs.

[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "

Malkin gets 5 minute major, 10 minute game misconduct for this high hit on Oshie. Oshie heads to locker room.

Stream #CapsPens here: https://t.co/rAu9MLCCJF pic.twitter.com/rbzqOu1IwG

— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 8, 2018
\n\n"}[/]

Jackets Back on Road

The Blue Jackets returned from the California Swing on Tuesday and stopped a two-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over Dallas. Sergei Bobrovsky hasn’t had a great season but stopped 26 of 27 shots in that one to improve to 4-6-0 with a 3.09 goals-against average and .902 save percentage this season. Bobrovsky is 11-1-1 against Dallas in his career. Anthony Duclair, Markus Nutivaara, Nick Foligno and Ryan Murray scored for the Blue Jackets. Three of the past four Jackets games have ended 4-1.

Coach John Tortorella tried something different vs. the Stars in splitting up top defensive tandem Zach Werenski and Seth Jones in the second period. Columbus outscored Dallas 2-0 in the period. “I loved what it looked like," Torts said.

Artemi Panarin leads the team with 16 points (no goals since Oct. 27), while Josh Anderson is tops with seven goals. Columbus is struggling on special teams, ranking 29th on the power play and 24th on the PK.

Washington is 2-1 on a five-game homestand following Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. T.J. Oshie left the game injured twice (see one injury in above tweet) but returned both times and scored the game-winner at 18:46 of the third. It was a great game, with both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby scoring power-play goals.

As of this writing, Ovechkin is tied for the league lead with 12 goals. He sits 17th on the all-time list, six behind Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic for 15th. Braden Holtby hasn’t had a great year but was great Wednesday with 41 saves. He entered with a .888 save percentage and a 3.62 goals-against average.

  • Blue Jackets are 1-4 in their last 5 games following a win.
  • Capitals are 16-7 in their last 23 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.

For some reason, the Jackets don’t like Fridays as they have won just one of their past eight on the day. And those first two games of the playoffs aside, they usually lose in D.C. Take Washington for a Friday NHL pick on the puck line.

comment here