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EXIT DAY: Jackets' disappointment mixed with renewed motivation

Columbus players look back at what might've been, ahead at what could become.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

This one left a mark.

Less than 24 hours after their season ended Monday in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference First Round series, the Blue Jackets returned to Nationwide Arena on Tuesday to gather their gear and officially begin the offseason.

They had a night to sleep on it, but most showed up with the same feelings they had after the game. There was disappointment, mostly, knowing they led that series 2-0 after a pair of road victories in overtime at Capital One Arena.

"On a team level, it's more frustrating," said center Brandon Dubinsky, who didn't get much ice time in the series and vowed to work on revitalizing his game in the offseason. "We put ourselves in a good position with our start on the road, winning the first two games. Then, obviously, we lost four straight. So, it's more bitter in that sense, that we had them where we wanted them and couldn't get the job done here at home."

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Bobrovsky pushes back against criticism: 'I was good in the playoffs'

Jackets' goalie disappointed in result, but resolute in his performance.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Nobody said anything about a psychologist.

At least, not this year. Last year, after the Blue Jackets lost in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in five games, it was suggested in a public forum that goalie Sergei Bobrovsky seek help from a sports psychologist to deal with anxieties he seemed to have in the postseason.

That suggestion didn't sit well with Bobrovsky, who held it in all season.

Monday night, however, the Jackets' top goalie let his feelings be known during a candid postgame media scrum, following another disappointing first-round exit for Columbus in a Game 6 loss to the Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena.

"I can't control things around me," said Bobrovsky, who allowed five goals on 27 shots in Game 6, including back-to-back goals that broke the game open for the Capitals in the third period. "The only thing I can control, myself, you know? And after this season, I completely disagree if anybody will say that I need a psychologist, you know?"

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Early exit leaves Jackets wanting more: 'Now's the time to start winning'

Early 2-0 series lead, OT losses fuel hunger for more in Columbus.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The marks are still on his face, fading but still visible.

The series is over now, after the Washington Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets, 6-3, Monday night at Nationwide Arena, but you'll have to forgive captain Nick Foligno if he has a hard time letting go.

Waking up Tuesday, he still saw this Eastern Conference First Round series staring right back at him in the mirror, in the form of those reddened scratch marks across his nose and left cheek - the aftermath of a slap shot straight to the visor and then face.

Remember when that happened, way back in Game 1 at Capital One Arena, when Foligno bled out on the ice but only missed a couple shifts?

Seems like eons ago, with all the stuff that happened in this series. Seems like yesterday, too, after a first-round loss that left the Blue Jackets with another long summer ahead.

"It stings," Foligno said afterward, surrounded by television cameras and microphones and questions he just didn't think he'd be answering. "I was fully prepared to talk about a win and start getting ready to go to [Washington for Game 7], so this is … I'm not really sure what to say right now."

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Full 60: Jackets season ends in 6-3 loss on home ice.

Jackets drop series 4-2 to Washington to end the season

by Anthony Allocco @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

Matchup: Washington Capitals @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Series: WSH leads 3-2

Time: 7:30 p.m. EST.

Location: Nationwide Arena

CBJ projected starting lineup -- Forwards: Panarin-Dubois-Atkinson Defense: Werenski-Jones Goaltender: Bobrovsky

WSH projected starting lineup -- Forwards: Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson Defense: Orlov-Niskanen Goaltender: Holtby

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What We Learned: CBJ 3, WSH 6

Jackets fight until the end, fall to Capitals in 6 games

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

They came out strong, hitting everything that moved and playing with desperation.

They fell behind, though, again, for the fifth time in six games and had to battle back, again, for the fifth time in six games of the Blue Jackets' Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals.

They came up short, again, for the fourth straight time - fourth and final time in the series - falling 6-3 in Game 6 to end a series filled with overtimes, along with a pair of Blue Jackets road victories in the first two games.

"We chased it through the whole series," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It's hard to play that way. We get in the playoffs by being able to handle those situations [in the regular season], but you can't go as many games as we did here, chasing it."

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Sergei Bobrovsky Named Club's Nominee For King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Trophy for the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been named the club's nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, the Blue Jackets and National Hockey League announced today. The award is presented to "the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community."  

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Five keys to the Blue Jackets winning Game Six

Here's how Columbus can force a Game Seven against Capitals ...

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

They've lost three straight, including the first two at Nationwide Arena, and the Blue Jackets are now faced with a must-win situation Monday in Game Six of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals.

It will be the third home game in the series for the Jackets (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Go, 97.1 FM), and they can even things up at three games apiece with a win, forcing a Game Seven on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Here are five ways they can make that happen:

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GAME 6 PREVIEW: Jackets confident they can pull even, force Game 7

Columbus planning to use desperation, energy from home crowd to end skid.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND, GAME 6:

CAPITALS (3-2) AT BLUE JACKETS (2-3)

Location: Nationwide Arena, 7:30 p.m., Monday

Local TV: Fox Sports Ohio/Fox Sports Go (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley) - FOX Sports Ohio channel finder
- Columbus/Lima and Cleveland areas can find the game on the main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
- Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville/Lexington, Charleston/Huntington, Toledo areas can find the game on the alternate FOX Sports Ohio cable channels

National TV: CNBC (John Forslund, Eddie Olczyk, Joe Micheletti); Sportsnet, TVA (Canada)

Radio: 97.1 FM & BlueJackets.com (Bob McElligott)

How the Blue Jackets play Monday night won't ultimately mean all that much if it doesn't lead to a victory against the Washington Capitals.

Columbus is backed into a proverbial corner, down 3-2 in the later stages of an entertaining first-round matchup, and all that matters now is winning. If the Jackets play another good game and lose, as they did in overtime of Game 5 on Saturday in Washington, D.C., the season will be over.

It's become that simple.

"Deserving and fate and all that stuff … it's about finding a way to win a hockey game right now," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Sunday, after a brisk practice at Nationwide Arena. "So, if we get outshot 50-20 [Monday] night, but we end up on the right side, we'll take it."

That's because a win will extend the season by at least one more game, forcing a Game 7 on Wednesday to conclude the series at Capital One Arena, where Columbus won the first two games in overtime to take a 2-0 lead.

They've since lost three straight games, including one in double overtime and the most recent one Saturday in overtime.

"There's so many different ways of winning and losing in playoff hockey, so many ebbs and flows," said Tortorella, who twice proclaimed following Game 5 the series would last seven games. "That's just the way the game is. We should feel really confident about how we played [Saturday] night and try to bring it right into Game 6 here."

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Game Six Between Blue Jackets, Capitals At Nationwide Arena Set For 7:30

Game Six to air on Fox Sports Ohio, CNBC and Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan

by BlueJackets.com Staff @BlueJacketsNHL / BlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Metropolitan Division champion Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena on Monday, April 23 will face off at 7:30 p.m., the club and National Hockey League announced tonight. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Ohio locally and on CNBC nationally. The revised schedule with broadcast information is as follows:

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Another great night for Bobrovsky ends on sour note in OT

Jackets goalie makes 25 saves in stinging defeat, including three great ones.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - If looks could talk, Alex Ovechkin would've still been speechless.

The Washington Capitals' star left wing, with his patented yellow skate laces and thunderous one-timer, could only skate away in stunned silence about midway through the second period Saturday at Capital One Center.

Ovechkin, one of the NHL's top goal-scorers of all-time, had a sure goal robbed by Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, to the point where he couldn't believe what had just transpired. Ovechkin, who was also denied on a small whack at the rebound, could only skate away slowly.

He glanced up at the video board to see a replay before skating to the bench, shaking his head in disbelief.

"He gave us a chance to win all night," Columbus defenseman Seth Jones said of Bobrovsky, who made at least three highlight-worthy stops among his 25 saves. "Ovechkin, backdoor, could've blown the game open for them. He saved that one. Even in overtime, they had a couple Grade-A chances right in front and he came up big, as always."

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