WASHINGTON (AP) — Artemi Panarin scored 6:02 into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Panarin made an incredible individual move to drive by fellow Russian Dmitry Orlov and went backhand-to-forehand to beat Philipp Grubauer top shelf.
Game 2 is Sunday night in Washington.
Alexander Wennberg, Thomas Vanek and Seth Jones scored in regulation, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots for Columbus, which got two power-play goals to continue a strong trend since the trade deadline.
Wennberg left the game with an upper-body injury in the third period and didn’t return. Jones, son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, drew a penalty late in the third period, almost put the puck in his own net and tied it on the ensuing power play with 4:26 left in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Washington got two power-play goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov on Josh Anderson’s five-minute major penalty for boarding Michal Kempny and an even-strength goal on the rush in the third period by Devante Smith-Pelly. Grubauer, who got the nod to start over 2016 Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Braden Holtby, made 23 saves in his second career playoff start.
Only one team spent less time short-handed this season than Columbus, but first-period penalties put pressure on a penalty-killing unit that ranked 30th on the road. The Blue Jackets killed off two minor penalties, but a major called on Josh Anderson turned the game.
With 2:37 left in the first, Andersen boarded Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny and was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. Kempny’s head hit the glass, and he never returned, with the Capitals saying he’d be re-evaluated Friday.
Washington’s skilled power play took advantage, with Kuznetsov scoring 19 seconds in on a shot that squeaked by Bobrovsky as T.J. Oshie crashed the net. The goal held up on the Blue Jackets’ coach’s challenge after the NHL’s situation room determined Oshie didn’t make any contact with Bobrovsky until the puck was already in the net.
Kuznetsov left no doubt on his second goal in 29 seconds, firing a laser from the left faceoff circle past his fellow countryman at 18:21 with Washington still on the power play. It was the shortest amount of time between two goals by the same player in Capitals franchise history since Larry Murphy scored two in 16 seconds in 1985.
Columbus, which coach John Tortorella conceded has “had some struggles killing penalties,” wiped out the rest of Anderson’s major penalty and then went to work 5-on-5. A broken play that included a bounce off Vanek’s stick at center ice helped the Blue Jackets cut Washington’s lead to 2-1 at the 4:48 mark of the second when Boone Jenner found Wennberg for a tap-in goal on the rush.
A charging penalty on Tom Wilson that knocked Wennberg out of the game 1:18 into the second led Columbus to tie the score 13 seconds later when Pierre-Luc Dubois found Vanek in front for the power-play goal. On the next shift, Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno took a slap shot to the face and left with a trail of blood.
Before Foligno returned, the Capitals’ third line gave them the lead 5:12 in when Jakub Vrana sucked in three defenders and fed Smith-Pelly, who fit the puck into a tiny space between Bobrovsky and the post.
Jones drew a tripping penalty on Andre Burakovsky late in the third period, then scored 39 seconds into the power play to tie the score at 3 with his first career playoff goal. It was an impressive showing for the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, who played two of his 11 seasons in this building for the Washington Wizards.
NOTES: Washington went to overtime for the seventh time in its past 14 playoff games. … Capitals C Jay Beagle missed the game with an upper-body injury. Coach Barry Trotz continued to call his fourth-line center “day-to-day.” … Foligno was back in the lineup after missing the past six games with injury, and Columbus D Markus Nutivaara returned after missing the final three of the regular season.
AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.
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