It had been two games of the same script so far in the Capitals-Blue Jackets series—Washington loses on a gut punch in overtime—but tonight, the Caps themselves actually caught a bit of luck, as they survived double overtime to beat Columbus on the road in Game 3, 3-2.
This game was set up to be another Washington heartbreaker from the moment the Caps went up 2-0 midway through the second, only to see Brett Connolly’s goal overturned on the never-fun offsides review. From there, the Blue Jackets equalized almost immediately, and though John Carlson answered quickly to make it 2-1 Capitals, a third-period goal from Game 1 hero Artemi Panarin was almost cruel in its playfulness, and it would hold up until the end of regulation.
But the Caps dug in. They survived a late Blue Jackets powerplay in the first OT, then got a break nine minutes into in the second extra period. After Connolly fired a shot on Sergei Bobrovsky, his linemates swarmed on the rebound, and Lars Eller got credit for a goal that took a fortuitous bounce off Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski before going into the net. That was enough to win it and give Washington life.
The Capitals are now only down 2-1 in the series, and they actually have some momentum and reason for optimism after being on the verge of total doom. All of these games so far have essentially been coin flips, and the Caps weathered adversity to get their first favorable and victorious bounce. Maybe they aren’t so cursed after all?