The Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Tuesday night at Nationwide arena in Columbus. The win lifts the Capitals record to 35-8-3, the best in the NHL. The loss dropped the Blue Jackets record 17-26-4. This was the Capitals’ final trip to Columbus for the season. The two teams will square off one more time on March 28th at Verizon Center.
Jay Beagle missed his 10th straight game due to an injury to his hand he sustained against Buffalo on December 30th. John Carlson missed his 12th straight game since sustaining a lower body injury against Montreal on December 26th. Brooks Orpik missed his 33rd straight game since sustaining a lower body injury in Detroit on November 10th. Stanislav Galiev was the healthy scratch. The goalie match-up for tonight’s game, provided by @CapsGoalies :
- Karl Alzner played in his 422nd consecutive game for the Caps, tying Bob Carpenter for the franchise record.
- The Capitals were out-played in the first period, outshot 12-5, but headed to the locker room with a 2-1 lead at the first intermission. The Caps were outshot 23-19 through two periods, but led 5-2 after the second frame.
- Nicklas Backstrom had a pair of goals (14, 15).
- Evgeny Kuznetsov had another really good game, with four assists. Kuznetsov is the first Capitals player since Nicklas Backstrom (1/19/08-1/21/08) to record at least three assists in consecutive games. Kuznetsov career high 4 assists. 7 assists the last 2 games.
- Braden Holtby is first goalie to 30 wins in first 38 games since Detroit’s Chris Osgood in 1995-96.
- The Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was a bit rusty, as this was his first game back since December 8th.
A sluggish start to this one. Nicklas Backstrom was called for interference at 3:02 of the first period, giving Columbus the first man-advantage of the game. The Jackets were able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for a majority of the power play, however Holtby and the penalty killers made several nice stops to keep the game scoreless. Jason Chimera was hit on the hand by a Jack Johnson shot during the power play and had to leave the game (He would return later in the period). The Blue Jackets would light the lamp first on an odd-man break-away, finished by off by Kerby Rychel at 9:30 of the opening frame.
Nicklas Backstrom would tie the score at 12:15 of the first on a beautiful give-and-go from Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie.
Jason Chimera would give Washington the lead on a nice feed from Marcus Johansson at 15:52 of the opening frame.
The first period would end with the Caps leading 2-1. The Blue Jackets led in shots on goal, 12-5.
Another sluggish start for the Caps to open the second period. The Jackets Justin Falk was called for high-sticking at 3:03, drawing a double-minor for giving Marcus Johansson a bloody nose. It would take the Caps just 13 seconds to knock one home, this time it was Alex Ovechkin from his office at 3:16, to give the Caps a 3-1 lead
Nicklas Backstrom would add another tally on the man-advantage to make it 4-1 at 4:47 mark of the second period.
Boone Jenner would cut into the Caps lead on a power play goal at the 9:35 mark of the middle frame, making it 4-2. However, Andre Burakovsky would get it right back 50 seconds later, making it 5-2 Caps.
The period would end with the Caps leading 5-2. The Blue Jackets led in shots on goal 23-19 after two periods of play.
Marcus Johansson would add an empty netter with 33 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the Capitals. The Capitals would hold on for the 6-3 victory.