Umberger hopes CBJ can gain control vs. Capitals

posted by Bruce Hooley -

Artemi Panarin has been the best player on the ice through three games of the Jackets-Capitals series

It’s only the fourth game of what will be either a 5, 6 or 7-game series between the Blue Jackets and Capitals.

But it feels like the winner tonight at Nationwide Arena will be the team to emerge from this first-round NHL Playoff pairing.

At least it does to a slight majority, based upon early returns.

The CBJ can grab a 3-1 lead with a win, or Washington will even things at 2-2 after doing what the Jackets did to seize control in the series, winning the first two games on the road.

Former Buckeye and Blue Jacket R.J. Umberger joined Spielman & Hooley today on 105.7 The Zone, analyzing what he’s seen so far and what he hopes to see going forward.

“It’s been a very entertaining series to watch,” Umberger said. “It’s been great, with all three games going to overtime. It’s been edge-of-your-seat stuff, with a lot of great hockey. From a fan’s perspective, it’s been everything you can ask for so far.”

The Blue Jackets have trailed, 2-0, in Games 1 and 2 and fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 in Game 3.

“I’d like to see (the CBJ) score the first goal,” Umberger said of Game 4. "Who knows how that would have changed things.”

Washington has led for 78 minutes in the series.

The Blue Jackets have been in front on the scoreboard just 17 ½ minutes.

The score has been tied for 131:54.

Artemi Panarin has been unstoppable for Columbus, extending his streak of multi-point games to eight with a goal and an assist in Game 3.

“He’s been phenomenal,” Umberger said. “It’s exciting to watch him. He’s done something every game that’s left me speechless.”

Click here to listen to the entire R.J. Umberger interview.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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