You’re running on adrenaline, to me it’s not conditioning it’s adrenaline.
That’s some of what Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella had to say about players and the grind of overtime hockey.
Each of the first three games between the Jackets and Washington Capitals have went into the adrenaline-filled overtime session. On Tuesday night, Columbus fans were treated to a second overtime, but saw their club lose 3-2 in the 89th minute.
The game itself was the longest in CBJ franchise history. It came to a close when a shot by Brett Connolly was saved by Sergei Bobrovsky, then went off Zach Werenski and the skate of Lars Eller into the back to the net. The goal itself was ugly, but that’s double OT for ya.
It took awhile for Game 3 to get going (as far as goals at least). Nobody scored in the first period but things picked up in the second.
At the 5:52 mark of the 2nd period, Tom Wilson deflected a shot by Matt Niskanen past Bob to put the Caps up 1-0.
For a moment it appeared the Caps went up 2-0 for the third-straight game when Brett Connolly found the puck amongst a bunch of bodies in front of the net and easily tapped it home. However, Columbus challenged the play and it was apparent Washington was offside, taking the goal off the board.
Pierre-Luc Dubois got the home crowd rocking at the 11:18 mark of the 2nd period, receiving a cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin and ripping the puck over the shoulder of Braden Holtby to tie the game 1-1. It was Dubois’ first career postseason goal, and, quite possibly, the first of many.
Columbus would put themselves in a tough situation shortly after the Dubois goal, with both Brandon Dubinsky (at the 13:08 mark) and Ryan Murray (at the 14:15 mark) getting called for slashing penalties—giving the Caps a golden 5-on-3 opportunity.
To no surprise, Washington cashed in. John Carlson scored on a one timer that got past Bob and put the road team up 2-1.
Torts talked about the aforementioned turn of events:
We got hurt by taking two of em’ (penalties) back to back…Two stick infractions.
The third period started with the Jackets trailing 2-1. That didn’t last long.
Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin put on a show, passing the puck to one another five times before “The Breadman” shot the puck into the lower-left corner to tie the score 2-2 with 15:28 remaining in regulation.
We all know what happened from there. However, Torts wasn’t down after the loss, putting everything into perspective.
I thought we played much better tonight than we did the other night—Yeah. It’s a hell of a series.
Torts elaborated more:
I think we played better tonight than we played the last game and we won the last game…NHL and playoff hockey it’s a strange animal…We’ll be ready to play our next game. No one’s down on our club. We’re happy about how we went about our business. Didn’t find a way to win it tonight.
Why were Torts and the CBJ happy about the way they went about their business? Here’s why:
I thought we had some really good chances in that first overtime to win it. Hit a few posts, I think three or four posts (throughout the entirety of the game). It’s the way it is guys.
As a matter of fact, the Jackets hit four clean posts during the game. Whether you’d like to visit those moments or not, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane:
- With 18:52 left in the 2nd period (score was 0-0 at the time) Josh Anderson cut into the middle of the ice and a fired a shot off the left post from the slot.
- With 13:33 remaining in the 2nd period (Caps were up 1-0 at the time) Markus Nutivaara took a shot from just outside the right faceoff circle and dinged it off the left post. Holtby didn’t even react until the puck hit the pipe.
- Now it really starts to get painful as the game was tied 2-2 for the next two. With 1:16 left in regulation, Panarin took a huge windup from just outside the faceoff circle and one-timed the puck off the left post.
- With 3:34 remaining in overtime, while on the power play, Atkinson sent a blast from inside the right faceoff circle that nailed the right post.
Torts has coached in the playoffs many times before during his career, understanding how things can happen at this time of year:
We win a game in Washington, where who knows how many damn chances they had against us and Bob was that good…Hockey gods, it always comes out in the wash…I’m not upset with the team at all [and] we’re not down.
Each player has their own routine, but after two overtimes it’s pretty obvious rest is very important.
Dubois described what he’ll do before Game 4 on Thursday night:
Big night of sleep tonight…Hydrate, eat well and just come back at it Thursday.
The CBJ and Washington Capitals will play again on Thursday night in Nationwide Arena at 7:30 PM ET. Until then, rest well and stay hydrated folks.