Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Bobrovsky stars as Blue Jackets grab 2-0 lead over Caps

AP, WASHINGTON

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky watches the puck against the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff series in Washington on Sunday.

Photo: AP

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 trench coat.

On the ice, Bobrovsky stood out even more.

The goaltender with a history of playoff struggles on Sunday 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 Matt Calvert’s overtime winner to take a 2-0 lead in their 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 minutes, 22 seconds 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 with his elite play during the regular season: 3-10 with a 3.63 goals-against average and a .887 save percentage.

Through two games this year, the second of which coach John Tortorella called “one of the best goaltending performances” he had seen, the reserved Russian has stopped 81 of 88 shots to send Columbus home for Game 3 today in a place they have never been before.

The Blue Jackets had never led a playoff series until Thursday last week.

“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.”

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

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