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#1 08/11/18 02:56:48

elaine95
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Registered: 31/07/18
Posts: 158

Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund

COLUMBUS Brandon Manning Jersey , Ohio (AP) The Washington Capitals can now turn their attention to the Pittsburgh Penguins and avenging some playoff disappointments.The Capitals won four straight games over the Columbus Blue Jackets after fumbling the first two in overtime at home, capping their opening-round playoff series with a 6-3 victory Monday night in Game 6.Alex Ovechkin scored twice, including his 50th playoff goal, and Braden Holtby had 35 saves to lift the Capitals, who never trailed after winning in overtime in Game 5 on Saturday. After Ovechkin’s second-period goals, Washington never relinquished a two-goal lead. Four of the games in the series went to overtime.The Capitals will again move onto the conference semifinals after being eliminated by Pittsburgh in the second round in each of the past two seasons.”I think we accomplished what we believed we could at the beginning of the series,” said Holtby, who relieved a struggling Philipp Grubauer in Game 2 and was great the rest of the way. ”We’ll enjoy it a bit, rest up and prepare for the next one.”Washington coach Barry Trotz didn’t want to talk about Pittsburgh yet.”Please let me breathe,” he said. ”We haven’t taken a breath since this started.”Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist, and Dimitry Orlov, Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller also tallied Monday for Washington, which never trailed in the game after prevailing in extra time in Game 5 on Saturday. The Capitals won each of the three games in Columbus.”I do know on the road it seems like for whatever reason we’re focused, we’re driven,” Washington forward T.J. Oshie said. ”It seems like we almost like it when an opposing team’s crowd gets into it. It almost gets us going, too, and makes you want to quiet them down.”The story for the Blue Jackets in the four-game stretch was their power-play futility. After going 4 for 8 with a man advantage in the first two games, the Blue Jackets were 0 for 16 in the last four.”Beginning of the series, our power play was going,” said Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, who scored twice Monday. ”We were scoring at will. For whatever reason, it dried out. We’ve got to figure that out.”Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 22 saves for the Blue Jackets, who lost in the first round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season and fourth time overall. They remain the only active NHL franchise never to win a playoff series.The Capitals struck first again Monday night.Shortly after Holtby held off a Columbus barrage, Orlov got his first goal of the series when he skated into the slot and rifled a slap shot over Bobrovsky’s glove side with 7:48 left in the first.Foligno got his first of the playoffs halfway through the second when he snapped a shot past Holtby from the right circle. That came soon after the Blue Jackets survived overlapping penalties, including 32 seconds of a 5-on-3.Ovechkin put back a rebound of a shot by Brooks Orpik to make it 2-1 with 7:10 left in the second, the 50th playoff goal of the Russian star’s career. He then gave the Caps a two-goal lead with a one-timer from the left circle on a power play.The Blue Jackets tightened it to 3-2 early in the third when Dubois connected. But Smith-Pelly increased the Capitals’ lead again 91 seconds later. Stevenson got a short-handed goal 1 1/2 minutes later to pad it.Foligno got the Blue Jackets to 5-3 at 8:22 in the third, but Columbus couldn’t get closer. Eller added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left.”It was a war out there,” Trotz said. ”It was a really strong series by them, and it forced us to the limit for sure.”NOTES: Washington is the first team in NHL history to win a playoff series after losing each of the first two games at home in overtime. … Washington again kept the Blue Jackets’ best player Artemi Panarin off the score sheet after he had two goals and five assists in the first three playoff games… The Blue Jackets are 2-8 at home in four postseason appearances. … Ovechkin had five goals in the playoff series.— The Boston Bruins are determined to extend their playoff run this season after being eliminated in the second round of the postseason last season.The Buffalo Sabres, on the other hand, would just like to reach the postseason.The Bruins will have a shorter-term goal Thursday when they are in Buffalo as the Sabres open their season. They will be trying to overcome the humiliation of a 7-0 drubbing from the Stanley Cup champion Capitals in the season-opener at Washington.Article continues below ...The Bruins were down 2-0 after 1:47 of the first period.“We got ourselves behind the eight ball early Brian Elliott Jersey , clearly weren’t ready to go,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It just carried on from there. …I expected a much better effort.”Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask was lifted nearly halfway into the second period and Jaroslav Halak, who was slated to start Thursday, replaced him. It has not been determined who will start in goal for the Bruins in Buffalo.The Bruins had several young players last season and are hoping they take the next step this season.“I think we need growth from our guys from (their) first year into the second year,” Cassidy said. “We need good health. Clearly every year there’s teams that get better and some regress, so we can’t worry too much about them. Take care of our own business.”The Bruins needed seven games to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs and were eliminated in five by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Maple Leafs have added free agent John Tavares and are being rated among the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup.The Sabres have eight newcomers among the 23 players on the roster for their season opener, including Remi Elie, who was claimed off waivers from the Dallas Stars Tuesday. Elie scored six goals and added eight assists in 72 games last season with the Stars.The deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues accounts for three of the new players: Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund. Another new player is Conor Sheary, acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sheary suffered an upper body injury on the first day of training camp and returned to practice Sunday. Jeff Skinner, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in August, also is scheduled to make his Sabres debut, along with No. 1 overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin.The Sabres also named 21-year-old Jack Eichel as their new captain on Wednesday. Kyle Okposo and Zach Bogosian have been named alternate captains.Eichel is entering his fourth season in the NHL and starting an eight-year, $80 million contract extension. “It’s exciting not only for me and our players and our coaching staff but our city,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “I think he represents everything we want as far as our organization goes, and it was just a great intimate moment for him to accept the captaincy in front of the general manager and the owner and myself. There were some really good strong conversations about expectations and the way he’s got to lead, but we feel very confident about having Jack as our captain.”The Sabres did not have a captain last season, instead relying on a leadership group of four players that included Eichel.Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, who has been with the team since 2013, believes the start of this season feels different than most.“I think this team’s capable of playoffs, so that’s definitely something we’d love to see happen,” Girgensons told the Buffalo News. “I think everyone in here, just knowing how it’s been here for the last five years, it would be a huge accomplishment. The fans deserve it. The fans deserve us players to give an all-out effort every night, and we’ll try to do that.”Girgensons, Eichel, Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart have played a combined 1,152 games without making the playoffs.Forwards Scott Wilson, Sean Malone and Johan Larsson, and defenseman Matt Hunwick have been placed on injured reserve by the Sabres. Wilson will be out for 8-10 weeks after having surgery on a fractured ankle.

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