The Washington Capitals fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2 Saturday night at Capital One Arena in their final tuneup of the 2023 preseason. The Capitals conclude the preseason with a record of 3-2-1.
Darcy Kuemper got the start in goal for the Capitals while Elvis Merzlikins got the start between the pipes for the visiting Blue Jackets. The forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Alex Ovechkin – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Connor McMichael – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano – Dylan Strome – Matthew Phillips
Beck Malenstyn – Nic Dowd – Aliaksei Protas
Rasmus Sandin – John Carlson
Lucas Johansen – Alex Alexeyev
Hardy Haman Aktell – Nick Jensen
The first frame went scoreless with the Capitals leading in shots on goal, 10-5. The Capitals led in 5v5 shot attempts, 19-11, scoring chances, 10-6 and xGF .77 to .31.
The Blue Jackets opened the scoring with a tally from Boone Jenner at 4:57 of the middle frame.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 8, 2023
But the Capitals answered just 81 seconds later. John Carlson tied the game at 6:18 of the second period. Nick Jensen and Rasmus Sandin had the helpers.
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) October 8, 2023
The Capitals took their first lead of the game 4:16 later with a goal from Alex Ovechkin at 10:34. Lucas Johansen and T.J. Oshie had the assists.
after further review… OVI! SCOAR! pic.twitter.com/Aq6w4GlH7C
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 8, 2023
The second period concluded with the Capitals holding on to the 2-1 lead. They led in 5v5 shot attempts 17-16 in the 2nd period and 35-27 after 40 minutes of play. The Capitals led in xGF 1.35 to .72 at 5v5 after two periods.
The Blue Jackets tied the game early in the final frame with a goal from Cole Sillinger with 13:31 remaining in regulation.
The Blue Jackets regained the lead with a goal from Adam Fantilli at 16:17 to make it 3-2.
The Blue Jackets added an empty net goal for the 4-2 final.
The Capitals open the regular season Friday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7PM.
By Jon Sorensen
Capitals Postgame Audio