Fans at Capital One Arena rejoice as Caps win in OT again

Fans at Capital One Arena went through a rollercoaster of emotions Saturday despite the Capitals taking a 3-2 series lead.

Both teams began Saturday afternoon’s contest playing as if they were afraid of making the first mistake. That cautious play ended at the 8:44 mark of the first period when Columbus’ Thomas Vanek was sent off for slashing. Matt Calvert‘s shorthanded goal on the ensuing penalty kill led the Blue Jackets to open the scoring for the first time in this series. Both teams went on to combine for five penalties in the first period.

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom scored his first goal of the 2018 playoffs at the 13:22 mark of the opening period to tie the game at 1 heading into the first intermission.

 

The emotional ride continued with Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s 4th goal of the series at the 3:21 mark of period two to give Washington their first lead of the day. Calvert’s second goal of the afternoon, just a minute and 24 seconds later, tied things back up; this time at 2-2.

The officials originally gave the Caps their third power play opportunity with just under 12 minutes in the period; they later reviewed the play and wiped away the penalty. Thirty-five seconds later the Capitals got their power play chance back as Calvert tripped Washington defender John Carlson.

T.J. Oshie scored his third goal of the series to give Washington a 3-2 lead on the Capitals 4th power play of the day on a tip in assisted by Carlson and Backstrom at 16:42. Carlson, who led NHL defensemen in points during the regular season, now has 8 points in this year’s playoffs.

 

Oliver Bjorkstrand only needed 2:30 to tie the game up early in the final period of regulation. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby‘s 15 saves in the third period are the only reason this game made it a fourth period as Columbus out-shot Washington 16-1 in the final 20 minutes of regulation

Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Holtby were on fire during OT stopping everything that entered their vicinity. It was Backstrom got the tip-in to give Washington a 4-3 win and 3-2 series lead. Backstrom’s game-winner was his second tally and third point of the afternoon. Orlov and Chandler Stephenson were both credited with their second assist on the game winning goal.

 

The up and down emotions at Capital One Arena throughout Saturday’s game 5 were a perfect testament to how, no matter the scenario, Capitals fans hope for the best but expect the worst after years of disappointment.

 

The Capitals will look to finish the series and advance to the second round Monday night in Columbus.

Sterling Blount

As a die-hard fan of everything Duke, Wizards, Capitals, Ravens, and Orioles, Sterling has a life-long residence in the second round. Sterling is the founder of "Sports, Life, and Anything Else"; a blog in which his prior work can be found.