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A year after Mike Babcock told arena staffers in Washington he’d see them a few days later for Game 7 Kellen Winslow Jersey , John Tortorella claimed his Blue Jackets would be back after winning Game 6 back in Columbus.

Now the trick is doing what Babcock’s Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t last year: stave off elimination from the Capitals.

”It’s about finding a way to win a hockey game right now,” Tortorella said Sunday. ”There are so many ways of winning and losing in playoff hockey, so many ebbs and flows. That’s just the way the game is.”

Toronto is in the same spot as Columbus, down 3-2 in its first-round series against the Boston Bruins with Game 6 at home Monday night (7 p.m. EDT, NBCSN). The Maple Leafs held off a significant surge from the Bruins on Saturday night to avoid being eliminated in five and send the series back across the border.

”You got to look forward – there’s no sense and no good in looking back,” forward Connor Brown said. ”We’re going back to (Air Canada Centre) where we love to play. Our fans are going to be excited so right now we’re all just thinking about Game 6.”

Game 6 in the Bruins-Maple Leafs series comes after Boston took a 3-1 lead in the absence of suspended Toronto center Nazem Kadri. Goaltender Frederik Andersen needed to make 42 saves to keep the Maple Leafs alive as they hope to avoid another first-round exit.

The Blue Jackets are trying to do the same in their Game 6 Monday (7:30 p.m., CNBC) after losing to the Capitals in overtime Sunday in Game 5. Four of the five games between Columbus and Washington have gone to OT compared to one total in the other seven first-round series.

”It’s been a crazy series,” Capitals forward Brett Connolly said. ”So much is happening. Calls and OT – it’s been fun. I think guys are enjoying it. It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but we’re going to keep pushing forward here. We know we have a good team. They have a good team, as well. It’s not going to be easy.”

It’s rarely easy for the Capitals, who are 2-5 in their past five chances to eliminate an opponent and 6-11 overall in those situations in the Alex Ovechkin era. They’re also 2-5 over that time in Game 7 at home, which they’d like to avoid another incarnation of Wednesday.

This is the same situation Barry Trotz’s team was in last year – an overtime-filled first-round series against Toronto – and it wrapped things up in six.

”If you have a chance to eliminate a team Max Unger Jersey , you have to have that killer instinct,” Trotz said. ”You have to have that ability to close out a team. And it’s the toughest game to win because the other team is desperate. Their backs are against the wall. They’re there. They’re going to give their absolute max effort.”

No one doubts max effort from the Blue Jackets or the Maple Leafs staring down elimination. Columbus outshot Washington 16-1 in the third period of Game 5, and while that kind of ice-tilting onslaught is unlikely, the Blue Jackets are going to try to push the pace and ratchet up the pressure on the Metropolitan Division champions after blowing a 2-0 series lead.

”The belief in this room is incredible,” captain Nick Foligno said. ”There’s no better motivation than what we’re facing.”

Tactically, the Blue Jackets need to cash in on the power play after going 0 for their past 13. Goaltender Braden Holtby and Washington’s penalty kill have been the difference in the series.

”The penalty kill has been a major factor for us in the last few games,” Trotz said. ”I think as a group, they’ve all stepped up. I don’t think I can single out anybody. They’ve all stepped up. The penalty kill is as good as the five guys that you have, your four and your goaltender. They’ve been very committed there.”

WAITING IT OUT

The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks will meet in the second round of the Pacific Division bracket, while the Winnipeg Jets await the winner of the Nashville-Colorado series. In the East, the Atlantic Division-champion Tampa Bay Lightning finished off New Jersey on Saturday and will face Toronto or Boston in the second round.



AP Sports Writers Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio Janoris Jenkins Jersey , and Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed.



The NFL draft is heading to Music City.

League owners awarded the 2019 draft to Nashville during their annual spring meetings on Wednesday, clearly impressed with the city’s turnout for events such as the NHL Stanley Cup Final and a party to unveil redesigned uniforms for the Tennessee Titans.

”You’re now on the clock,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell quipped to the Nashville contingent, led by Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk.

The draft was held in New York City from 1965-2014, but the league has been moving it to different cities in recent years, looking to bolster its profile even higher.

Chicago was the site in 2015-16, Philadelphia hosted in 2017 and this year’s draft was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas , home of the Dallas Cowboys.

”It has become one of the most anticipated events of the year,” Goodell said. ”It’s one of the events we’re continually focused on (to determine) how we can to be more effective, larger and frankly, an opportunity for our fans to engage in football during the offseason. We had a great experience in Dallas this year. They did a wonderful job.”

Now Oren Burks Jersey , Nashville will be hosting for the first time .

”It’s a big day for Nashville,” Strunk said. ”Being entrusted with one of the league’s premier gatherings is an honor and a responsibility that we take seriously.”

Nashville was chosen over several other bids, including a combined one from Cleveland and Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Northeast Ohio group remains hopeful to land the 2020 draft, which would coincide with the league’s centennial.

”The Hall of Fame in partnership with the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Sports Commission and Visit Canton stand ready to host the NFL draft in 2020 should we be selected,” said Hall president and CEO David Baker. ”In the meantime, the Hall and the entire Canton region remains focused on preparing for the once-in-every-other-lifetime opportunity in 2020 to celebrate the NFL’s Centennial in Canton, the birthplace of the league.”

Nashville’s bid was boosted by tens of thousands of people turning out last year for a party that shut down a big section of downtown when the Predators played for the Stanley Cup. Also, some 20,000 turned out on a cold night in April to see the Titans’ new uniforms and attend a free concert by Florida Georgia Line.

The city hosted the 2003 NHL entry draft Kyle Juszczyk Jersey , the 2014 Women’s Final Four and the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

”As we all know, Nashville has a well-deserved reputation as a city that loves the big stage, loves the big party and, more importantly, knows how to throw a big party,” Strunk said.



AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Berea, Ohio, contributed to this report.



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