Sergei Bobrovsky looked as poised facing 58 shots as he did before the game when he calmly walked down the hallway in a buttoned-up beige trenchcoat.

On the ice Lamar Jackson Jersey Elite , Bobrovsky stood out even more. The goaltender with a history of playoff struggles looked like his two-time Vezina Trophy-winning self in making 54 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Washington Capitals 5-4 on Sunday night on Matt Calvert’s overtime winner to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

”He’s our best player and he was our best player by a mile tonight,” said Calvert, whose one-handed rebound 12:22 into overtime sent the Blue Jackets into a frenzy. ”It makes us confident. When you’ve got him making up for your mistakes, it’s always good. He’s been doing it all season.”

The playoff version of Bobrovsky of years past was a confounding nightmare compared to his elite play during the regular season: 3-10 with a 3.63 goals-against average and .887 save percentage. Through two games this year, the second of which coach John Tortorella called ”one of the best goaltending performances” he has seen, the reserved Russian has stopped 81 of 88 shots to send Columbus home for Game 3 Tuesday in a place it’s never been before.

The Blue Jackets had never led a playoff series until Thursday night. With ”Bob” locked in like never before in the Stanley Cup playoffs, they’re two victories away from advancing to the second round for the first time in franchise history.

”I would say your career is a journey and you learn some things here and there,” Bobrovsky said. ”It doesn’t matter what’s in the past. When we’re gonna play third game, it doesn’t matter what happen tonight. Each moment is huge right now, and you just have to be ready.”

Columbus appears ready for anything against an experienced opponent with a history of playoff disappointments that has now blown two-goal leads in consecutive games. Just like in Game 1 when charging and tripping calls on Tom Wilson and Andre Burakovsky cost the Capitals, they were done in by penalties on Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly that led to goals by Cam Atkinson and Zach Werenski.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice on the power play and T.J. Oshie tied it with 3:35 left to give Washington a chance. When Philipp Grubauer was pulled for allowing four goals on 22 shots Bradley Chubb Color Rush Jersey , Braden Holtby made seven saves, but now the Metropolitan Division champions are in a hole only 49 of 361 teams (13.6 percent) have dug out of to win a best-of-seven series.

”Right now in hard position, but it’s going to be fun when we bounce back and … tie the series,” Ovechkin said.

Coach Barry Trotz, who said he’d let his decision on who starts Game 3 simmer, added that the Capitals are ”not going away.” Through two games, the Blue Jackets have shown they aren’t, either.

Penalty trouble almost cost the Blue Jackets as much as the Capitals, but they got to leave celebrating after Calvert’s OT goal held up to an offside review by the NHL situation room. Replays showed Calvert was just onside before scoring to make the Blue Jackets just the fifth team in NHL history to overcome a multi-goal deficit to win the first two games of a playoff series.

”Luckily, I got the rebound, had one hand on my stick and the rest is history Pernell McPhee Color Rush Jersey ,” Calvert said. ”Two games in overtime, that can really crush a team.”

History says Calvert is right. The Capitals are the sixth team to lose Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series in overtime, and the previous five have all lost.

NOTES: Columbus forward Josh Anderson scored after being ejected from Game 1 for boarding Washington’s Michal Kempny. … Columbus improved to 4-1 all-time in playoff overtime games. … Linesman Steve Barton had to be helped off the ice late in the first period after clipping skates with Anderson and going down clutching his left knee. On site as the standby official, mid-amateur golfer/referee Garrett Rank replaced Barton as the second linesman. … Columbus C Alexander Wennberg was out after taking a hit to the head from Wilson in Game 1. Coach John Tortorella only called Wennberg ”day-to-day” with an upper-body injury. … Capitals F Jakub Vrana was a healthy scratch after recording an assist and committing two turnovers in 6:58 of ice time in Game 1.




WASHINGTON — If the Washington Wizards want to improve their playoff position in the final days of the regular season, they can start by beating one of their potential opponents when the Boston Celtics visit Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

Washington (42-38) has lost four straight to drop into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with games remaining against the Celtics and at Orlando on Wednesday.

An eighth-place finish would match the Wizards with the Toronto Raptors, and seventh place gets them the injury-depleted Celtics (54-26) and sixth place either Philadelphia or Cleveland.

Right now, the Wizards just need to win a game. Friday night’s home loss to last-place Atlanta saw the Wizards plagued by poor defense and a selfish offense.

“Not passing the ball to one another. Simple as that. Nobody wanted to share the basketball tonight,” coach Scott Brooks said. “When you do that, you end up taking bad shots. When you take bad shots, you end up missing. Simple game. You pass it to your teammate.”

Washington, which shot 40.2 percent (35 of 87) from the field against Atlanta http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.co...illiams-jersey , is 6-13 since Feb. 28, a .316 winning percentage. Granted, the team was without John Wall (sitting out the second of back-to-backs) and mostly minus Markieff Morris (ejected after two first-quarter technical) versus Atlanta, but the issues were pre-existing.

“What’s concerning is how we’ve played the last three or games last week and how we’ve changed from the way we played before,” Wizards guard Tomas Satoransky said. “We are supposed to be playing great for the playoffs, improving in all things and now we are just struggling all over the floor. We have to really change it quickly.”

The Wizards are just a game back of the Miami Heat for seventh and a game-and-a-half behind the sixth-seeded Milwaukee Bucks.

Boston, meanwhile, is locked into second place and coach Brad Stevens is working to prepare his team to enter the playoffs without Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis. He used his regulars for most of the first three quarters against the pesky Hawks on Sunday, and Atlanta rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Boston 112-106.

“Weird. Yeah, I mean it’s strange http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.c...jackson-jersey ,” Stevens said told the Boston Globe of the Celtics having their final position determined with several games remaining. “But, you know, to be able to play those guys and to get them reps and to be able to do some of that stuff — you know, I wish Guerschon (Yabusele) would’ve been available because he would’ve been able to take advantage of that as well.

“But obviously when you start looking down our bench with (Marcus) Morris and Guerschon (sore left knee) out, we’re pretty thin and pretty small. So we needed to give those guys a chance to make plays and I thought they did some good things. But, obviously, not enough to win the game.”

According to the Boston Globe, Stevens promised he was going to play his first unit major minutes against Washington given the playoff implications.

Boston is 14-7 without Irving, having posted wins over the Raptors (twice), Portland Trail Blazers (twice), Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz.

“This team Arden Key Color Rush Jersey , we’re resilient,” Morris told the Globe. “Everybody on this team is ready to compete. We all feel disrespected. Kyrie, Marcus, Theis — all those guys are major for our team. But they’re not here, so we still have to approach the game as if we’re going to win and get as far as we can.”

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