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GAME 2 PREVIEW: Leading series 1-0, Jackets plan to 'step on the gas'

Columbus aiming to take commanding lead back home for next two games.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND, GAME 2:

BLUE JACKETS (1-0) AT CAPITALS (0-1)

Location: Capital One Arena, 7:30 p.m., Sunday

TV: Fox Sports Ohio/Fox Sports Go (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)

Direct TV: FSOhio - 660 & 660-1
Dish: FSOhio - 425 & 412-15

AT&T: FSOhio - 734 & 1734

Cable providers Columbus/Lima and Cleveland areas: Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel

Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville/Lexington, Charleston/Huntington and Toledo areas: The game is being made available to providers to air on the plus FOX Sports Ohio cable channels. Channel information can be found here.

  • Streaming live on FOX Sports GO
  • Available on Hulu, Sling TV, Playstation Vue, DirectTV Now, YouTube TV, & fuboTV

Radio: 97.1 FM, BlueJackets.com and the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network (Bob McElligott)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - They're happy to hold a 1-0 lead in the series, but the Blue Jackets want more.

They know the Washington Capitals are going to push even harder to even things up in Game 2, so the plan for Columbus is to do the same.

"By no means are we going to back down," forward Josh Anderson said after practice Saturday. "Yeah, we're up 1-0 right now, but how sweet would that be to be 2-0 going back home with our fans? We're going to be stepping on the gas pedal here and trying to pull out another win."

Anderson only got a taste of Game 1, after his boarding major on Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny also resulted in a game misconduct. He and the rest of the Blue Jackets are eager to get back on the ice for the second game.

Having two days between games allowed Columbus to savor its victory in the series-opener a little more than usual, but the party was long over by the time the Blue Jackets got on the ice for practice Saturday at Capital One Arena.

"It's like we've been here for a week before games, having these two days," coach John Tortorellla said. "We just want to refocus them. I hope they had a blast enjoying that win for a few hours, but [Saturday was] a work day and [Sunday] we get back at it here. You have some momentum on your side, in winning a game, but it changes quickly. Home or away, you're looking to win the next game. So, keep your focus, and I feel that our team's there."

It won't be long before that's put to the test.

It also won't be long until the Jackets' depth at the center position gets tested. Alexander Wennberg is day-to-day and doubtful to play, after being struck in the head during an illegal hit by Washington's Tom Wilson in Game 1.

His role as second-line center will be filled by captain Nick Foligno, while Brandon Dubinsky moves from a wing spot on the fourth line back to the middle for the Jackets' third line. Rookie Sonny Milano will enter the lineup for the first time this postseason, playing left wing on Dubinsky's line.

Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for Columbus, while Philipp Grubauer will make his second straight start for the Capitals. Veteran center Jay Beagle (upper-body injury) will return for Washington and center the fourth line.

SERIES RECAP

The Capitals took a 2-0 lead in Game 1 on Thursday, scoring two power-play goals on Anderson's boarding major late in the first period. Columbus clawed its way back on goals by Wennberg in the second period and Vanek early in the third. Devante Smith-Pelly and Seth Jones traded goals later in the third, and Artemi Panarin won it for the Blue Jackets in overtime.

WHO'S HOT

Blue Jackets: Panarin had a goal and two assists for a single-game postseason franchise-record of three points. Panarin also had multi-point efforts in his final five games of the regular season.

Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov had two goals for the Capitals in the first game, scoring both on a five-minute power play late in the first period. He finished the regular season on a four-game point streak.

SERIES ANALYTICS

Columbus

  • Corsi (5v5 shot-attempts percentage) - 52.6% (51 for, 46 against)
  • 5v5 scoring-chance for percentage (SCF%) - 56.4% (22 for, 17 against)
  • 5v5 high-danger scoring chance percentage (HDSC%) - 37.5% (3 for, 5 against)
  • 5v5 shots-for percentage (SF%) - 53.8% (21 for, 18 against)

Washington

  • Corsi (5v5 shot-attempts percentage) - 47.4% (46 for, 51 against)
  • 5v5 scoring-chance for percentage (SCF%) - 43.6% (17 for, 22 against)
  • 5v5 high-danger scoring chance percentage (HDSC%) - 62.5% (5 for, 3 against)
  • 5v5 shots-for percentage (SF%) - 46.2% (18 for, 21 against)

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWER PLAY

Columbus

  • 50.0% (2-for-4), T-3RD

Washington

  • 33.3% (2-for-6), 6th

PENALTY KILL

Columbus

  • 66.7% (4-for-6), 11TH  

Washington

  • 50% (2-for-4), T-12th

SCOUTING REPORT

EYES ON: THE BLUE JACKETS

  • Tortorella didn't provide a health update on Wennberg, other than to say he's day-to-day. Wennberg didn't practice Saturday and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he's "doubtful" to play Sunday. Foligno is getting the first crack at centering Wennberg's line, which has Boone Jenner at left wing and Thomas Vanek. Milano will start out at left wing on the third line, skating with Dubinsky and Anderson.
  • Dubinsky's goal is to use the playoffs as a way to reset his season and create some better moments, for himself and the team. It was a tough regular season for the veteran center, who had just six goals in 62 games and dealt with a fractured eye socket but getting moved up to the third line could spark him. If not, he might flip-flop with veteran center Mark Letestu and center the fourth line.
  • Anderson wasn't thrilled with the misconduct and boarding major calls but said he doesn't plan to dial back his aggressiveness and physicality. The power forward will remain at right wing on the third line, based on how things stacked up in practice. The new-look line combinations, without Wennberg, also included Oliver Bjorkstrand skating at right wing on the fourth line. Letestu and Matt Calvert were his linemates.

EYES ON: THE CAPITALS

  • Despite allowing four goals in Game 1, Grubauer is getting the call to start Game 2. The Capitals' goalie outplayed usual starter, Braden Holtby, in the final month-plus of the regular season. "I thought he was fine," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "There was nothing in that game that you'd say, 'Why didn't you make a change?' Philipp's been really good, and I thought in that game, we had the game and we kept letting them off the floor. So, we'll go back with 'Grubi.' I've got a lot of confidence in him, and we'll be ready."
  • Beagle missed the final three games of the regular season plus Game 1 with an upper-body injury. The Capitals' face-off success, especially in the defensive zone, suffered because of it. Beagle, a right-hand shot, plays on the penslty-kill and is tough in the face-off circle. He had seven goals and 22 points this season, too, so he can contribute offensively.
  • T.J. Oshie didn't practice Saturday but will play. Trotz said it was a maintenance day off for Oshie, who missed two of the Capitals' final three games in the regular season. Forward Jakub Vrana will be the odd man out for Washington.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Forwards

Artemi Panarin - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson

Boone Jenner -Nick Foligno - Thomas Vanek

Sonny Milano - Brandon Dubinsky - Josh Anderson

Matt Calvert - Mark Letestu - Oliver Bjorkstrand

Defensemen

Zach Werenski - Seth Jones

Ian Cole - David Savard

Ryan Murray - Markus Nutivaara

Goaltenders

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Others: Markus Hannikainen, Alexander Wennberg, Alex Broadhurst, Taylor Chorney, Jack Johnson, Scott Harrington, Dean Kukan, Lukas Sedlak (upper body)

CAPITALS

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov- Tom Wilson

Andre Burakovsky - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Devante Smith-Pelly

Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Defensemen 

Michal Kempny - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - Jakub Jerabek

Goaltenders

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Madison Bowey, Jakub Vrana, Christian Djoos, Shane Gersich, Brian Pinho, Travis Boyd, Pheonix Copley

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