Washington at Columbus Preview: Capitals Begin Season-Long Road Trip Against Blue Jackets

USA Today SportsPhoto: USA Today Sports

The Washington Capitals visit the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Blue Jackets won two out of the first three meetings in the season set between the two teams this season but the Capitals dominated in a 4-0 win against Columbus on December 6, the only time when the teams have met at Nationwide Arena this season. NBC Sports Washington will have the call starting at 7 PM Eastern.

Capitals

  • first game of a season-long six-game road trip
  • second of a set of back-to-backs after beating the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 6-4 at Capital One Arena on Monday night
  • captain Alex Ovechkin leads the league with 38 goals and the Capitals with 64 points this season
  • team has three players with 30+ assists this season: defenseman John Carlson (41), center Nicklas Backstrom (40), and center Evgeny Kuznetsov (38)
  • went 4-1-1 on their season-long six-game homestand after losing seven consecutive games (0-5-2) for the first time since 2013-14
  • average of 3.38 goals-per-game is seventh in the NHL
  • Kuznetsov enters Tuesday night riding a four-game point streak (five goals, 10 points), including a two-goal, four-point performance in 6-4 win against the Kings on Monday
  • second in Metropolitan Division with 69 points, three back of New York Islanders for first, who have a game in hand
  • 14-9-2 road record, including 0-3-0 last three road games (been outscored 21-10 in that span)
  • 13th in the NHL with power-play efficiency of 21.1%
  • 23rd in the NHL with a penalty-killing rate of 78.1%
  • have points in four consecutive outings (3-0-1)
  • goaltender Braden Holtby will likely start
    • 19-13-4 with .906 save percentage, 3.07 goals-against average, two shutouts this season
    • career vs. CBJ: 15-5-2 with .919 save percentage, 2.47 goals-against average, two shutouts

Blue Jackets

  • third in Metro with 65 points, four behind the Capitals with two games in hand
  • open short two-game homestand
    • 14-11-2 at home
  • swept three-game Western Conference road trip last week
  • pending UFA forward Artemi Panarin leads Blue Jackets with 42 assists and 63 points in 52 games this season
  • forward Cam Atkinson leads Blue Jackets with 31 goals in 52 games this season
  • 3.28 goals-per-game average ranks eighth in league
  • third in the NHL with a penalty-killing efficiency of 84.1%
  • 22nd in NHL with power-play efficiency of 16.7%
  • allow an average of 30.1 shots per game (eighth-fewest in NHL)
  • Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who can become a UFA July 1, will likely start
    • 22-16-1, .901 save percentage, 2.98 goals-against average, two shutouts this season
    • 8-11-4 with a save percentage of .901, a goals-against average of 3.02, and two shutouts in career vs. Capitals

More From Caps’ Game Notes

  • The Capitals have won 13 of their last 17 games against the Blue Jackets
  • This season, the Capitals rank second in the NHL with 891 blocked shots; the Capitals hold a 13-2-1 record this year when they block at least 19 shots
  • The Capitals have recorded at least three goals in eight of their last nine games; this season, Washington has recorded at least three goals 40 times, and they hold a 29-6-5 record when they score at least three goals
  •  The Capitals have scored 74 goals in the second period this year, the most in the NHL; Every Capital who has played in at least 36 games has recorded a goal in the second period, with Ovechkin leading the team (18)
  • The Capitals hold a 10-6-3 record overall in back-to-back games and a 3-2-1 record in the second half following a win in the first

Flashback Game

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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3 Responses to Washington at Columbus Preview: Capitals Begin Season-Long Road Trip Against Blue Jackets

  1. Anonymous says:

    This could be a war, tonight. It’s unfortunate it is the first game of a 6-game roadie.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    I might forgive the Caps for their dubious play over the past six weeks — if they win Five of Six on this road trip!

    Liked by 1 person

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