Photo: NHL/Getty Images
The Capitals and Blue Jackets are set to due battle Friday night at Capital One Arena in the second game of their home-and-home set. The Capitals took the opener 3-2 in dramatic fashion Tuesday night in Columbus when Nicklas Backstrom potted his 200th NHL career goal with less than a minute to play in regulation, giving the Caps the win. Gametime Friday night is 7:00 PM.
Game one saw the Jackets strike first less than two minutes into the game, but the Caps quickly tied things up moments later with a power play goal by John Carlson. Tom Wilson would provide the lone goal in the middle frame, but the Jackets would tie things up late in the third period with a goal from Brandon Dubinsky. Nicklas Backstrom would win it with his 200th NHL goal with less than a minute to play.
Both the Capitals (31-17-5, 67 points) and the Blue Jackets (27-22-4, 58 points) have been off since their tilt in Ohio earlier in the week. There has been no official announcement as of yet, but expect Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby to get the starts for the rematch. Holtby stopped of 37 of 39 shots and Bobrovsky stopped 22 of 25 shots in Tuesday night’s contest.
After an apparent mid-game benching on Monday night, it looks like Andre Burakovsky will be a healthy scratch on Friday night (his 23rd birthday). Burakovsky only played a total of 6:34 in the first game Tuesday night . His last shift came with 2:11 left in the second period. Burakovsky sat out the entire third period. During practice on Thursday, Burakovsky looked to be the planned scratch for Friday night, with Alex Chiasson taking his spot at right wing on the third line. Practice lines on Thursday:
For the Jackets, Friday night’s tilt in the District will be the first game of the team’s annual “Dad’s Trip”. Look for an inspired response from Columbus, considering Tuesday night’s bitter conclusion to game one, fathers in the house, but more importantly for Columbus, the hour is already getting late, as they now find themselves nine points behind the Capitals in the hotly contested Metropolitan Division race.
Goalie Jeff Zatkoff was recalled Wednesday from the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League. Zatkoff, 30, also made the trip to Washington and is expected to handle the backup duties in the rematch against the Capitals.
The Capitals have the league’s 11th best power play at 20.7% and the league’s 22nd ranked Penalty Kill at 79.0%. For Columbus, their power play is currently ranked dead last in the league at a 14.1% conversion rate. The Jackets penalty kill is currently ranked 27th in the league at 75.2%.
- The Capitals have failed to score first in 10 of their last 11 games, and in 14 of the last 17. Their record is 5-4-1 in those 10 games. (WaPo)
- In the 22 games the Capitals have scored first this season, they are 17-3-2. In the 31 games their opponent has scored first, they are 14-14-3. (WaPo)
- Nicklas Backstrom became the fifth player in franchise history to record 200 career goals (Alex Ovechkin: 590; Peter Bondra: 472; Mike Gartner: 397; Mike Ridley: 218) when he scored the game-winning goal with under a minute left on Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Backstrom is one of five players selected in the 2006 draft to record 200 career goals.
- Backstrom’s 769 career points (200 goals, 569 assists) rank first among the 2006 draft class, leading Phil Kessel by 55 points.
By Jon Sorensen