Lars Eller Wins It for Capitals, 3-2 in Double OT; Caps Cut Series Deficit to 2-1

Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in Game 3 at Nationwide Arena on Monday night in double overtime. Columbus leads the series 2-1. The Capitals bounced back after dropping the first two games at home for the second consecutive playoff series. 

Braden Holtby got the start after replacing Philipp Grubauer at the start of the third period in Sunday’s Game 2, stopping seven of the eight shots he faced. Holtby entered tonight with a .931 postseason save percentage, the second-best in league history, and 14 wins in 21 appearances against Columbus in his career, the third most wins he has recorded against a franchise.

Andre Burakovsky did not play after suffering an upper-body injury in Game 2 and is labeled as “day-to-day.” He will not play in Game 4 on Thursday either.

Capitals’ Lines For Game 3 at Nationwide Arena

First Period

The first frame was scoreless for both sides. It marked the first scoreless frame in the series between the two teams.

The Capitals led 11-9 in shots, 8-6 in blocked shots, and 1-0 in takeaways. They won 61% of the faceoffs in the first period.

The Blue Jackets had two giveaways to the Capitals’ three.

Each team had eight hits and neither team could take advantage of the power plays, with each going 0-for-1. Columbus would start the second period with 33 seconds left on the man advantage.

Second Period

Tom Wilson deflected Matt Niskanen’s shot from the point 5:52 into the middle frame to get the Caps on the board first for the third consecutive game. The goal marked Wilson’s first of the playoffs. After taking a couple of costly penalties, Wilson finally delivered for the Capitals with a huge goal.

Brett Connolly scored off a rebound after a wild scramble in front of the Columbus goal but it was ruled “no goal” after the Blue Jackets challenged for offsides.

Pierre-Luc Dubious evened the score for the Jackets with a wrist shot to the top right corner that zipped past Braden Holtby after a feed from Artemi Panarin, who recorded his sixth point of the series. The goal marked Dubious’ first career playoff goal and came at 11:18.

John Carlson unleashed a bomb from the top of the diamond on a 5-on-3 man advantage to give the Caps their lead back. Nicklas Backstrom waited and laid a beautiful pass from below the left circle and Carlson hammered it past Sergei Bobrovsky. The goal came with 5:17 left in the second period. It marked Carlson’s seventh point of the playoffs, tied with Pittsburgh Penguins’ center Sidney Crosby for second among the league’s leading scorers.

Washington led 14-7 in shots during the second period and had a 25-16 shot advantage through two. The Capitals went 1-for-4 on the power play through two, while the Blue Jackets were 0-for-2.

Columbus led 12-9 in blocked shots and 2-1 in takeaways. They won 53% of the faceoffs through two.

Each team had four giveaways and 14 hits through two periods of play.

Third Period

Artemi Panarin tied the game on a give-and-go with Cam Atkinson at the start of the period. Panarin snapped it past Holtby low from the left faceoff dot to make it a 2-2 game 4:12 into the third.

Neither team could break the stalemate during the period.

Washington led 31-26 in shots and went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Columbus was 0-for-3.

Columbus led 17-12 in blocked shots, 5-1 in takeaways, and 27-17 in hits. The Blue Jackets had five giveaways while the Caps had six. They also outshot the Caps 10-6 in the third. Columbus won 53% of the faceoffs in regulation.

The game would go to overtime for the third time this series. 12 of the Capitals’ last 26 playoff games (46%) have gone to overtime. In NHL history, no team has lost the first three games of a playoff series all in overtime.

First Overtime

The game went to double overtime as the two teams remained in a 2-2 deadlock after the first overtime.

The Capitals led 37-33 in shots and were 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Jackets were 0-for-4.

The Blue Jackets led 7-6 in shots in the first overtime, 26-16 in blocked shots, 6-2 in takeaways, and 31-23 in hits. The Blue Jackets won 51% of the faceoffs through 80 minutes of hockey.

Double Overtime

Lars Eller won the game off of Brett Connolly’s rebound to cut the series deficit to 2-1 nine minutes into double OT. Connolly’s shot bounced off of Eller and Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski to win the game for the Capitals. The goal marked Eller’s first career playoff goal and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Capitals.

The Capitals outshot Columbus 8-2 in double overtime and 45-35 overall. They scored the lone power play goal of the game. Each team had four power plays.

Columbus won 54% of the faceoffs. They led 36-26 in hits, 28-16 in blocked shots, and 8-2 in takeaways.

Each team had 10 giveaways.

Braden Holtby made 33 saves in his return to the crease while Sergei Bobrovsky made 42 for Columbus.

Game 4 between the two teams will be Thursday night at 7:30 PM on NBC Sports Washington or USA Network for those of you outside the Washington area.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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19 Responses to Lars Eller Wins It for Capitals, 3-2 in Double OT; Caps Cut Series Deficit to 2-1

  1. Anonymous says:

    We are faster and more experienced. If they lost Pan or Bob, they are done. Not sure either team can beat the Pens the way they play… Bruins look too strong

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jane says:

    Caps are much more talented and dominant team and deserve to win.
    Trotz needs to learn a lot from Tortz if he wants to win it all.
    At least Trotz cannot exhaust players on his morning skates and practices and trainings.
    Torts looks for day off, Trotz looks for days he can practice.
    Players must be fresh for games, not exhausted from Trotz practices.Jane

    Like

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