And after Ovechkin's second power-play goal of the night gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead early in the second period, they completely imploded.
LOS ANGELES - James Neal scored the tiebreaking goal with 5:37 to play, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied from a third-period deficit to move to the brink of the expansion franchise's first playoff series victory.
Crosby scored his fourth goal of the series in the first period, and Derick Brassard, Evgeni Malkin and Brian Dumoulin scored in the second to make it 4-0.
By Monday morning, Trotz already had made up his mind about who his Game 3 goalie would be, but he had not yet told the players themselves. Soon after that, we had needless penalty #1 of the game when Tom Wilson made a decision to pull a Blue Jacket out of a harmless goalmouth scrum and throw him down to the ice to earn an avoidable roughing minor. Thanks to two not-so-smart penalties from Tom Wilson (roughing) and Devante Smith-Pelly (holding the stick). Over is 5-0 in Blue Jackets last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and over is 4-0 in Blue Jackets last 4 games playing on 1 days rest and over is 4-0 in Blue Jackets last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
Late in a first period they'd completely controlled, the Capitals ignored Columbus' Cam Atkinson, who slipped behind their defense and slipped the puck past Philip Grubauer. Two dumb penalties by Washington resulted in two goals for Columbus, and that also happened in Game 1.
The Washington Capitals blew Game 1 at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, so there's no way they could find a way to lose Game 2, right?
The second line featuring Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie has also been on the right side of the scoring chances, both overall (14-12) and in high-danger areas (5-1).
Some of that futility is offset by the Capitals' five power-play goals in 13 opportunities, but for a team to have playoff success, it needs to dominate five-on-five.
Ovechkin will never get an easier shot. "At the other end of the ice, Blue Jackets" netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was incredible. Grubauer was sublime during the last month of the regular season, he thoroughly deserved to start the playoffs, but the Jackets got in his head a bit too much over his 100 minutes in net through two games. Whether it's Grubauer or Holtby, the Capitals will need better goaltending than they've got thus far to come back in this series.
Both games of this series have gone to overtime with plenty of scoring which has me looking at the over once again...
For a team that has lost consecutive home games to open the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Washington Capitals are undoubtedly frustrated, but not hopeless. Business as usual always fails for the Capitals in the postseason, year in and year out.
Players tossing pucks towards fans during the warmup is a long-standing National Hockey League tradition, but few supporters have ever looked as happy about receiving some vulcanized rubber as one young Washington Capitals die-hard on Sunday night.
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