Columbus Blue Jackets: The Keys to Game 2 vs Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: Artemi Panarin
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: Artemi Panarin /

The Columbus Blue Jackets were able to defeat the Washington Capitals in overtime in the first game of the series; however it was a game that easily could’ve ended in a loss.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are set to face off against the Washington Capitals in the nation’s capital for the second game of a seven game series on Sunday night. While game one did end in the Blue Jackets leading a series for the first time in franchise history, there was a lot to be improved on.

Less Penalties

The biggest issue on Thursday was the lack of discipline, while it can be argued that some of the calls were questionable at best; the Blue Jackets need to keep themselves out of situations which can result in a penalty call. The biggest penalty of the game, both in time and effect on the outcome is undoubtedly Josh Anderson‘s major and game misconduct. Anderson’s hit was definitely a borderline major penalty, however it set the pace of the series; this will be the benchmark for future calls and the Blue Jackets need to remember that.

More from Union and Blue

Use Anger as a Motivator

Nick Foligno, Ian Cole and Josh Anderson will all be entering with the chip of questionable penalties on their shoulder; instead of being angry at the referees and having it harm their play, they’ll need to find a way to use it as a motivation. These are three impact players in all aspects of their game, and if all three find a way to do this and get themselves to their peak performance; the Columbus Blue Jackets will be much harder to beat.


Sergei Bobrovsky played very well in game one of the series, however he needs to sustain that level of play for the rest of the playoffs if the Columbus Blue Jackets hope to have a long playoff run. It’s likely that Washington will once again start Philipp Grubauer, and on paper; Bobrovsky is certainly the better goaltender.

If the Columbus Blue Jackets can excel in these three categories on Sunday night, there’s little doubt that they’ll enter game three in Columbus with a 2-0 series lead. If they falter in even one of these categories, then it becomes much more difficult.