If one were to tell you that the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you might look at them like they were weird. However, it's true thanks to a slick goal by Artemi Panarin in overtime.
To hear the words "Columbus leads the series 2-0" is also a little bizarre given the fact that Columbus has never led in a series before.
Caps dominate period one
Early in the opening period, Jay Beagle was able to deflect a shot from the point and get it past netminder Sergei Bobrovsky giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Who else but Alex Ovechkin to double the lead for the Caps? After receiving a pass from Nicklas Backstrom, Ovechkin was able to wrist home a shot on the powerplay to give Washington a 2-0 lead.
Things were not going Columbus' way.
Columbus was able to pull a goal back late in the first period.
Captain Nick Foligno found a streaking Cam Atkinson and placed a perfectly good pass on Atkinson's backhand. That led up to Cam on a breakaway against Caps goaltender Philipp Grubauer and he slid the puck past Grubauer's outstretched left pad to give Columbus a little hope.
Columbus' surging second period
Ovechkin got on the board again to regain Washington's two-goal lead with yet another shot from the circle.
It's like he camps out there. I wonder if he pays rent?
But Columbus had other plans, and they were able to register three goals in the second period.
Clever passing between team members led up to a fancy Josh Anderson top-shelf goal to cut the deficit again in half.
Atkinson would also get his second goal of the game, and what a beauty it was. Panarin fooled around with the Caps' defensemen and was able to find a clear passing lane to Atkinson who sniped home a shot past Grubauer.
Zach Werenski gave Columbus their first lead of the game when his shot from the point went through traffic and found its way in the back of the net giving Columbus a 4-3 lead as both teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the second intermission.
Caps capitalize in the third period
The only goal in the third period came from former St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie when he received the puck in the slot and was able to convert to tie the game up yet again at 4-4.
For the second straight game, the winner would be decided in overtime.
At 12:22 of the first overtime period, Werenski skated into the slot and took a shot on relief goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby was able to make the stop, but the puck fell to the stick of Matt Calvert who used his knee to chip the puck over the shoulder of the Caps netminder and into the back of the net.
As the Capitals started to head off into the dressing room, the linesman had a chance to look at the play to determine whether the play was offside prior to the puck going in the net.
After review, the goal counted and Columbus would win the game giving them a 2-0 series lead headed back home.
And c'mon... who doesn't like a game-winner with a touch of Celine Dion?
The Blue Jackets are the fourth team in NHL history to overcome a multi-goal deficit and win each of their first two games of a Stanley Cup playoff series. The other three:
- Philadelphia Flyers: 1995 Conference Semi-Finals vs New York Rangers.
- Washington Capitals: 1996 Conference Quarterfinals at Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Philadelphia Flyers: 2012 Conference Quarterfinals at Pittsburgh Penguins
- L.A. Kings 2014 Stanley Cup Final vs New York Rangers.
It's also worth noting that the Capitals became just the sixth team in NHL history to lose in overtime of both Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-seven series.
Finally, 88% of teams who win the first two games of a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup playoffs eventually end up winning the series.
The series shifts to Columbus, Ohio and Nationwide Arena for Game 3 this coming Tuesday. You can catch the game on Fox Sports Ohio, NBC Sports Network, and NBC Washington. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST.
Can the Columbus Blue Jackets complete a sweep of the Washington Capitals? Or will Alex Ovechkin and company defy all odds and come back from being two games down? Let us know in the comment section below, and follow VAVEL USA for all the latest of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.