Wilson was assessed a two-minute charging minor and the Blue Jackets scored on the ensuing power play, tying the game 2-2 en-route to an exciting 4-3 overtime victory.
Columbus' acquisition of Panarin was one of the great moves of the offseason.
None of that seemed to faze a team accustomed to overcoming injuries and digging out of deficits. "That tonight was one of those games where we talked to each other, we pumped each other up, we felt good and it never felt like we were going to lose this one". Whatever the case, coach Barry Trotz's Capitals have been mediocre in both goal prevention and penalty killing, two aspects of the game that tend to get magnified in the playoffs.
Filip Forsberg scored two third-period goals as host Nashville dumped Colorado to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series. That cost us the game. "That's a critical moment, [and] I've just got to be better".
"The Josh Anderson hit, it's one of those calls that's tough, it happens fast.I do not agree with the call, even with that", Kekalainen told reporters on a conference call Friday. Maybe pass up on that hit. "We're trying to get that out of the game".
About five minutes into the second period, Columbus was granted a lifeline. On the next shift, Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno took a slap shot to the face and left with a trail of blood.
"There was no panic on the bench there", coach John Tortorella said. Ian Cole, despite receiving some criticism in Pittsburgh, brings in some serious playoff experience, and the team's bottom three are a pretty significant step up from Washington's. It's not a big deal to them when they lose players. We're just doing it too often.
The Capitals' penalty kill allowed two goals on just five shots.
Panarin hit the goal to the top right corner of the net past Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer. This is a must win game and I expect the Capitals to come through with a full 60 minute effort.
For as good as the Blue Jackets offense was a season ago (they finished sixth in the National Hockey League in goals scored) they still lacked a go-to-forward that could be a difference-maker. It's not an easy call to make, but I do think Washington has the edge up front. Nonetheless, the game was tied 2-2, until Devante Smith-Pelly was able to shoot the puck past Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. Pierre-Luc Dubois also played a key role in game one with two assists, including an assist on the overtime victor. "I was scared, I knew the visor cracked so I just wanted to know how my face was, but I was anxious about my eye first". Panarin had three points in one game after recording just one in the Blackhawks' first-round loss via sweep last season.
Washington won the Metropolitan Division, but they aren't almost as impressive as they were in the past two years.
NOTES: Washington went to overtime for the seventh time in its past 14 playoff games.