Capitals Fall to Blue Jackets 4-3 (OT)

Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 (OT) Thursday night at Capital One Arena. Evgeny Kuznetsov stole the show in the opening frame, scoring two goals to give the Caps a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Blue Jackets scored the only tally of the middle frame, making it 2-1 at the second intermission. The Jackets would quickly tie it up early in the third period, but Devante Smith-Pelly would give the Caps a 3-2 lead early in the third. The Jackets would rally with a power play goal late in the final frame to send the game to overtime.The Jackets would win it in overtime with a goal from Artemi Panarin. The two teams are back at it for Game 2 of the series on Sunday. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. 

Philipp Grubauer (15-10-3, 2.35 GAA, .923 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Sergei Bobrovsky (37-22-6, 2.42 GAA, .921 sv%) started in goal for the Blue Jackets. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Vrana-Eller-Smith Pelly

Scratches: Jay Beagle (Injury), Pheonix Copley (called up on Thursday), Shane Gersich, Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey and Travis Boyd.

After a fairly spirited first half of the opening frame, the Capitals opened the scoring with a power play goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov at 17:52 of the first period. The power play was initiated by a game misconduct on the Blue Jackets Josh Anderson, who boarded Michal Kemnpy. Kempny would leave the game.

The Capitals would continue to take advantage of the five-minute penalty, as Evgeny Kuznetsov would light the lamp again at 18:21 of the first period.

The period would conclude with the Capitals leading 2-0. The Capitals led in shots on goal 9-4 after the first 20 minutes. The Capitals were 2 for 5 and the Blue Jackets 0 for 1 on the man advantage.

The Blue Jackets extinguish the remainder of the Capitals five-minute power play, and quickly cut the Capitals lead in half with a goal from Alexander Wennberg at 4:48 of the middle frame.

That would be all of the scoring in the middle frame. The Capitals outshot the Blue Jackets 16-12 for the second period. The Capitals were 2 for 6 and the Blue Jackets 0 for 1 on the power play after 40 minutes of play.

The Blue Jackets would quickly tie the game with a power play goal from Thomas Vanek at 1:31 of the final frame.

The Capitals would re-take the lead with a goal from Devante Smith-Pelly at 5:12 of the final frame.

The Blue Jackets would tie the score with a power play goal from Seth Jones at 15:34 of the final frame. The game would go to overtime.

The Jackets would win it in overtime with a top shelf roofer from Artemi Panarin at 6:02 of the extra frame..


  • The Capitals outshot the Blue Jackets 30-27.
  • Michal Kempny left the game in the first period with a head injury and did not return. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.
  • The NHL box score is here.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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21 Responses to Capitals Fall to Blue Jackets 4-3 (OT)

  1. Michael says:

    Caps doing what we have always done, lose! What a shocker. Gave away tonight’s game. Atta boy!

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    What a totally sucktastic ending. We should have won that game. But our PK was horrendous. Our defense made errors. And, it seemed to me the refs were giving Columbus EVERY Power play opportunity to make up for all the ones the Caps had during first and early second period.

    I guess that’s why we can’t have nice things.

  3. Mental mistakes (Burakovsky taking a penalty in our end late in the contest which resulted in the tying goal)…Orlov whiffing on an ill-advised stick check instead of back pedaling a tad left him out of position to defend Panarin on that goal…inability to extend (or maintain) a two goal lead which came courtesy of Kuznetsov, blah, blah,blah…

    I hope I’m wrong but, blunders never cease with this club during the playoffs, do they?

  4. Tim says:

    The big 3 were complete no shows. The PK was terrible. If they are a hungry team, it did not show.

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  6. Laurel says:

    A Letter to my Beloved Washington Capitals
    I am sure that you are just as tired as I am of the media headlines today, the questions on whether or not you feel pressure from past failures, why this year is different. I cringe every time a reporter asks you the same questions they ask you every year, even when you are a new player to the team. I cringe when I wake up and see the headlines today, Here We Go Again. My heart hurts for you that you can’t just enjoy this time, have fun, soak it all in, without fans and reporters constantly bringing you down, and the rest of us along with you.

    I will admit that I am tired of the disappointment. As an avid fan, I have shed tears over the past playoff losses. None were as hard to take as the past 2 years. Disappointment as a fan cannot compare to the disappointment that I know everyone in the locker room felt. I cannot comprehend having to face that all of that with a camera in your face and a reporter asking you stupid questions like, what went wrong? Is the past still weighing on you?

    As a fan, I won’t criticize. I am not a hockey player so I can’t speak from experience. As a professional, I can tell you that there are some days where I don’t give 110% at work. I have off days, maybe even an off week, every now and then. I wouldn’t want someone writing about it or blasting it on social media. I am sure that you could do without that too. My nine year old recently asked me at a Caps game where an angry fan was yelling at you, why would a fan yell things like that to their own team? I didn’t really have an answer. I told him that some people think they are hockey professionals and think they know better than the coaches and the players and maybe they aren’t true fans. Ignorance is everywhere.

    I am passionate about my sports. I want to see MY TEAM win the Cup. I want it more for you than I do for me. Ovechkin and Backstrom deserve to win the Cup in Washington. I’ve watched you both since you came into the league. The coaching staff and the Washington Capitals organization deserve to win the Cup. The fans deserve it. It WILL happen. I just hope that I am there to see it one day.

    Now it’s time for some tough love. While my devotion to you as a team will never wane, I am a little tired of the drama. I was at Game 1 last night and that was yours to win. You gave that game away. Wilson, I love you but the hard plays and knocking someone out of the game is not who you are. You are better than that so please get it under control. Andre, the penalty in the 3rd period changed the game. Also stupid. Please get your heads out of your asses. You weren’t even supposed to be here and yet you are. You earned this through every win and loss of the season now don’t blow it.

    Ignore the media questions about past playoff seasons, whether or not your coach has a contract after this year, who should be in goal, etc. (BTW, I just LOVED the headlines over who would play in goal. Washington doesn’t have a goalie problem except that we have TWO EXCEPTIONAL GOALIES. What’s the problem?) Maybe one day, a reporter will just ask you, what did you have for breakfast? Are you ready to play some hockey? Are you having fun? Probably won’t happen. So, to save us all, just get back to what you do best. Win some hockey games. Have fun. Because when you are having fun, so are we. There is nothing better than watching the Washington Capitals bring their game. There is nothing better than watching reporters and television commentators eat their words about my team.

    I have sat through many of my son’s hockey games over the years. It is so rewarding to watch your child play a game that he loves. It helped me to love the game right along with him. You are my team and watching you win is just as rewarding as watching my own child. I believe in each and every one of you. Ignore the media and social media hockey coaches who have already written you off. Prove them wrong. Get it done. Have fun. Bring home the Cup. And if you don’t, I will still be here cheering you on, after shedding a few more tears.

    A Loyal Caps Fan

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