Capitals Drop Blue Jackets, 4-1, Level Series 2-2; Wilson, Ovechkin Each Tally Two Points, Kuznetsov Records Three

OviPhoto: NHL

After dropping their first two games at home, Washington Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin said his team would come home with an even series, and the Caps delivered Thursday night, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round. The series is now tied at two as the series shifts back to Capital One Arena for Game 5 on Saturday. The road team has won every game of the series so far. Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored while Braden Holtby stopped 23 of 24 shots by the Jackets. 

Capitals Lines For Game 4 at Nationwide Arena

First Period

Following a mad scramble in front of the Columbus crease after John Carlson threw the puck towards the net, Sergei Bobrovsky robbed Chandler Stephenson with a blocker save. The rebound went right to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who fed it to Tom Wilson, who wired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky to give the Caps a 1-0 lead for the fourth time in this series 6:16 into the game. The goal marked Wilson’s second in as many games.

The Capitals outshot the Blue Jackets 12-7 and led 5-4 in blocked shots during the first period. They won 62% of the faceoffs in the first 20 minutes.

The Blue Jackets had three giveaways to the Capitals’ four.

Each team had eight hits and one takeaway. Neither team scored on the power play. Columbus had two opportunities to score on the man advantage while the Caps had one.

Second Period

T.J. Oshie made it 2-0 on the power play after three rebounds. After John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin failed to beat Bobrovsky, Kuznetsov took a whack at it but still couldn’t beat Bob. Oshie jumped on the rebound and buried it for his second goal of the postseason to grab a 2-0 lead for the good guys 9:19 into the middle frame.

The Capitals led 13-8 in shots during the second period and 25-15 through two. They led 14-6 in blocked shots and only had five giveaways to the Blue Jackets’ six. The Caps won 63% of the faceoffs through two. Remarkably, Jay Beagle won his first 11 faceoffs.

The Blue Jackets led 6-3 in takeaways and 18-12 in hits.

Each team had three power plays through two but Washington was able to score a goal on their power play, unlike Columbus.

Third Period

Alex Ovechkin snapped a loose puck from the right circle through Bobrovsky’s five-hole after receiving a pass from Kuznetsov along the half-wall. The goal gave Washington its first 3 goal lead of the series and came 2:49 into the third period. The goal was Ovechkin’s third of the playoffs and the 49th of his career, a new franchise record.

The Blue Jackets cut the lead to 3-1 with 13:38 left. Winger Boone Jenner deflected a shot from above the left dot and skidded past Holtby. The goal, Jenner’s first of the playoffs,  cut the Caps’ lead to two.

Despite a push by Columbus in the closing minutes, Kuznetsov picked up a free puck and shot it into the empty net with 2:19 to go following a neutral zone turnover from fellow countryman Artemi Panarin. The goal gave the Caps a 4-1 lead. It was Kuznetsov’s fourth of the playoffs.

The Capitals led 33-24 in shots during the game. They led 20-14 in blocked shots and had just five giveaways to the Blue Jackets’ 12. The Caps won 64% of the faceoffs, with Beagle winning 82% of his battles in the dot.

The Blue Jackets led 7-4 in takeaways and 25-17 in hits. Columbus led 9-7 in third-period shots.

Each team had three power-play opportunities but Washington was able to score a goal on their power play, unlike Columbus.

The win marked Washington’s seventh straight road victory dating back to the regular season. Their last road loss was more than a month ago, on March 18 in a 6-3 loss at Wells Fargo Center against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Capitals and Jackets return to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday at 3:00 PM at Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcasted on NBC.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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9 Responses to Capitals Drop Blue Jackets, 4-1, Level Series 2-2; Wilson, Ovechkin Each Tally Two Points, Kuznetsov Records Three

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Or as somebody posted on FB, “Even Steven, Bitches”. Now it’s time for the Caps to make a statement on Saturday, as in Win Game 5. And then the next one as well.

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    That. Was. Awesome. #LetsGoCaps

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