Capitals Clap Columbus, 6-2; Ovechkin Extends Goal-Scoring Streak To Four

Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 6-2 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night to remain in a tie with the New York Rangers (who have a game in hand) for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington, who won their franchise-record seventh straight road game tonight, is now halfway through the regular season. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves in the win.

Capitals’ Lines at Columbus

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Lars Eller — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Anthony Mantha — Aliaksei Protas — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Martin Fehervary — Alexander Alexeyev

Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: LW Joe Snively, C Nic Dowd (birth of child), D Matt Irwin

Injured: D John Carlson (upper-body, missed fifth straight game, out indefinitely); RW Connor Brown (ACL, 37th, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 41st, indefinite); RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 41st, indefinite); C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 41st, indefinite)

Oshie bumped up a line while Aube-Kubel drew in and Mantha was demoted to the fourth trio. Protas shifted to center with Dowd unavailable. Alexeyev came in for Irwin.

Columbus’ Lines

Johnny Gaudreau — Kent Johnson — Emil Bemstrom
Gustav Nyquist — Jack Roslovic — Patrik Laine
Carson Meyer — Sean Kuraly — Mathieu Olivier
Liam Foudy — Cole Sillinger — Kirill Marchenko

Vladislav Gavrikov — Andrew Peeke
Tim Berni — Erik Gudbranson
Gavin Bayreuther — Adam Boqvist

Elvis Merzlikins
Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: D Marcus Bjork

Injured: RW Jakub Voracek (concussion, 26th, indefinite); D Nick Blankenburg (ankle, 24th, week-to-week); C Boone Jenner (thumb, seventh, week-to-week); RW Yegor Chinakov (ankle, sixth, indefinite); G Daniil Tarasov (upper-body, fourth, day-to-day); LW Eric Robinson (upper-body, first, day-to-day)

First Period

Scoring

5:19, 1-0 Columbus: After Aube-Kubel chipped the puck off of the boards and turned it over to Bemstrom, Bemstrom passed the puck to Gaudreau right in front with two Washington defenders skating towards him. Gaudreau roofed it under the bar glove-side.

Shots: 13-8 Washington

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 74% of the faceoffs and led 10-4 in hits in addition to 2-0 in takeaways. Columbus had one takeaway while Washington tallied two.

Second Period

Scoring

1:51, 1-1: Oshie wristed a dart to the top corner from the slot after skating in from the top and Bean’s skate got hit with Gustafsson’s shot in the right circle. Jensen’s 17 assists are tied with Gustafsson for the most among Washington defensemen. Washington has scored at least one second-period goal in 15 straight games, starting December 5 at the Edmonton Oilers. They’ve outscored opposition by combined 30-10 in the middle frame of those games.

11:15, 2-1 Washington: Aube-Kubel picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, circled into the offensive zone, fought off Peeke’s stick check, and sneaked a shot through the five-hole of Merzlikins.

12:59, 2-2: Bayreuther blasted off of Kuemper’s right pad and in from the half-wall after getting a pass by Boqvist from the top.

17:20, 3-2 Washington: Strome’s wrister from the top of the right dot floated off of Fehervary’s shoulder and in after Alexeyev laid the puck on the tape of Strome from the left half-wall. The 23-year-old has recorded four points (three goals) in his last six games.

18:57, 4-2: Hathaway one-timed a shot in with Merzlikins down after Mantha fed him behind the crease with a scramble in front of the goal. Hathaway has scored two goals in his last three games.

Shots: 29-16 Washington (including 16-8 in the second)

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 69% of the draws and led 14-9 in hits in addition to 3-1 in takeaways. Columbus blocked 10 shots while Washington did so seven times and had just three giveaways while Washington posted four.

Third Period

Scoring

Bayreuther wristed a shot past the glove of Kuemper after Gaudreau walked the line at the top and threw it back to where he started from. However, Washington challenged the goal for offsides and won.

6:41, 5-2: Oshie buried a rebound after Merzlikins robbed Strome with the glove, Kuznetsov picked the puck up and fed him at the blueline, and Gustafsson prevented Columbus from exiting the defensive zone. Kuznetsov has two goals and 10 points over a seven-game point-streak. With two assists on Thursday, Strome has 200 career assists and registered his seventh multi-point game of the season. Oshie’s five power-play goals this season rank second on Washington (Ovechkin: eight).

13:05, 6-2 (PPG): Ovechkin bombed career goal No. 809 from the top of the left dot after Strome fed him with a saucer pass from the opposite side. It was also Ovechkin’s 29th goal of the season and seventh over a four-game goal-scoring streak, including sixth in his past three games. With the goal, Ovechkin passed Teemu Selanne (1,457) for the 16th-most points in NHL history. Strome earned his second three-point game of the campaign and fourth of his career. Kuznetsov earned his sixth game with multiple assists this season.

Shots: 37-27 Washington (11-8 Columbus)

Other Notable Stats: Washington won 65% of the faceoffs, scored on both of their power-plays, and led 16-13 in hits in addition to 5-1 in takeaways. Columbus led 18-11 in blocked shots. Both teams had six giveaways.

The Capitals are 22-1-3 when scoring three or more goals this season.

Next game: Friday vs. Nashville Predators (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN out-of-market)

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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7 Responses to Capitals Clap Columbus, 6-2; Ovechkin Extends Goal-Scoring Streak To Four

  1. novafyre says:

    ESPN commented on how Caps worked hard to improve their faceoffs and how well it has worked. And it has.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How was Protas at C?

    • Mark Eiben says:

      He was ok. I personally like him better at wing. He can be sent down to Hershey and will be a regular starter next year for the Caps I think. Not to worry…;)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Quality workmanlike effort. Need to take care of business

  4. Mark Eiben says:

    Caps looked bad in the first 10 minutes but turned the tide and dominated most of the rest of the game. Eller had a bounce back game and Strome and Milano need to stay on this team somehow in coming years, they fit in so well. AA looked pretty good and had a few nice shots. I think he might turn out better than Fehrevary actually. I hope he gets more opportunities this year and next to grow here.

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