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Columbus Blue Jackets

Capitals Remain Optimistic Despite 0-2 Hole Against Blue Jackets

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The Washington Capitals know that they have a big hill to climb if they want to turn the tide in their series against the Columbus Clue Jackets.

Despite being down 0-2, Washington is keeping positive about their chances in the series.

“There’s been a lot of difficulties right through the season,” coach Barry Trotz said (h/t NHL.com). “I’ve got a lot of faith in this group.”

“Obviously, we’re disappointed and we’re mad,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said.

“We’re down 2-0 and, obviously, we’re playing a good hockey team. They’ve got two home games now. But we’re going to do everything to turn things around. There’s a lot of hockey left.”

The Caps have come close in each of the first 2 games against Columbus, each time squandering 2-0 leads.

The task of evening the series becomes much more difficult as they will be without forward Andre Burakovsky for the next 2 games as he recovers from an upper body injury.

Still, Washington is trying to stay positive.

“I thought last night we for the most part created more chances, probably had more of the overall play,” Trotz said. “I liked our game. You look at the shot totals, you look at all those things, at the same time, we allowed them with a couple of mistakes to get back in the game.”

Trotz will likely turn to Braden Holtby after pulling Philipp Grubauer in Game 2.

“That’s what we’ve worked on all year, is erasing the last game, focusing on the next one,” Holtby said Sunday. “Use the time we have to make adjustments, see where we can do better, see where we’re doing good, and having success and come up with a good game plan for Game 3.

“It’s on us as players to make sure we’re mentally prepared to execute it.”

Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Ryan Murray Activated From Injured Reserve

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have officially activated Ryan Murray, who hasn’t played since October 26th, from the injured reserve list.

In a corresponding move, the Blue Jackets are sending Adam Clendening back down to the minor leagues.

Murray’s career has been marred by injury and inconsistency and will now look to get his career on track following the injury.

 

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Nick Foligno Suspended Three Games

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The NHL Department of Player Safety has handed down a three-game suspension for Columbus Blue Jackets’ forward Nick Foligno for his hit on Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

“It is important to note that Foligno is in control of this contact. This is an attempted body check, and cannot be classified as excusable or accidental contact where Foligno raises his arm reflexively to brace for sudden contact or to attempt to avoid a collision. If he wants to deliver this hit, the onus is on Foligno to ensure that he takes an angle of approach that puts him in a position to make a legal, full-body check.”

The league posted the following video regarding the suspension.

Bellemare suffered a concussion on the play and is out indefinitely

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Lightning Remaining Positive Despite Facing Elimination

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The Tampa Bay Lightning may have set the NHL on fire during the regular season, but the Stanley Cup Playoffs are proving to be a completely different animal.

Tampa Bay dropped Game 3 of their opening-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1, and now are faced with a 3-0 deficit, a bleak circumstance for the league-best Lightning.

Despite the pressing situation, Lightning head coach John Cooper is keeping it positive moving forward.

“There was a lot of positive energy in that room after the third period,” Cooper said after Game 3, according to FOX Sports Florida. “Adversity hits in different ways and we haven’t had a lot of it during the regular season and we have it now. We had adversity going into the third period and I thought we responded well and we’ve just got to carry that on.

“As far as I know, we’re playing Tuesday, right? So, we’re still alive.”

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos believes that a third period that saw the Lightning outshoot the Blue Jackets 17-8 could be an indication that Tampa Bay is cracking through.

“We pushed. We pushed hard. If anything, maybe we found a recipe to break some of their structure there,” Stamkos said.

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