Game One between the Capitals and Penguins will be played Thursday night

Tarik's 3 Stars Nick Backstrom the OT hero in series-changing Game 5 win
Game One between the Capitals and Penguins will be played Thursday night

25 April, 2018

In the second round, the Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 2.

Despite being down 2-0 in the series, the Washington Capitals rebounded to win four straight games and take the first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Alex Ovechkin was the hero of the day, bagging two goals. But the Capitals increased the lead to 5-2 after goals from Devante Smith-Pelly and Chandler Stephenson. Admittedly, Ovechkin didn't make an impact on the scoresheet in Washington's Game 5 victory - he did have seven shots, though - but he made up for that in Game 6 by bagging his fourth and fifth goals of the series to help the Capitals clinch the series.

The Capitals again will move into the conference semifinals after being eliminated by Pittsburgh in the second round in each of the past two seasons.

The Capitals went ahead 1-0 at 12:12 in the first frame after Dmitry Orlov beat Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes.

"We've had lots of different adversity through this year and in the past, and we've grown up a little bit in some ways", he said.

"I think it's the same old risky team", Letang said. "We haven't taken a breath since this started". Lemieux had 172 points (76 goals, 96 assists) in 107 games.

"I do know on the road it seems like for whatever reason we're focused, we're driven", Washington forward T.J. Oshie said. The Capitals performed on both ends of special teams like a well-oiled machine.

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BC-HKN-Blue Jackets Wrapup, 662Blue Jackets good again, just not good enough for next levelAP Photo OHJL116, OHJL117, OHJL109, OHJL115Eds: With AP Photos. Just like the last three times, they failed to advance past the first round.

It would be an easy statement to say that both Holtby and Bobrovsky were their teams best performers throughout the six games of this series. "We were scoring at will". "At times, we didn't get a big save". But his confidence was misplaced as Washington connected six times on 28 shots to win the game 6-3. They remain the only active National Hockey League franchise never to win a playoff series. Nick Foligno tied the score 8:40 into the second period, beating Braden Holtby. It wasn't a bad performance - Bobrovsky allowed three goals on 32 shots - but he proceeded to allow nine goals on the 56 shots he faced through Games 5 and 6, and that was all she wrote for the Blue Jackets. Stevenson got a short-handed goal 1 1/2 minutes later to pad it.

What can get the Blue Jackets over the hump? Eller added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left.

Trotz said he leaned on veterans Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and others to keep the Capitals on an even keel through the tumult of the season.

The major difference in the series was that the Capitals scored nine power play goals, almost 13 goals per 60 with the man advantage in the series, while Columbus had four power play goals, just under six per 60.

Among post-1967 teams, only St. Louis and the Dallas/Minnesota franchise have engaged in more playoff series (13) than Pittsburgh and Washington, two cities separated by 250 miles and worlds apart.

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