Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals hosted Nick Foligno and the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Capital One Arena last night. Columbus, who currently holds the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, was on the back side of back-to-back games previously hosting with the Anaheim Ducks. This was the first time Washington has faced a team in their own division in quite some time, so this game was important to the club to take. The Capitals went on to win this game 4-3 in high-paced matchup.
Off to a roaring start in the 1st period, Lars Eller found Brett Connolly creeping in the high slot where he sniped Sergei Bobrovsky for his third goal of the season only 1:03 into the game. Moments later, Alex Chiasson found the back of the net capitalizing on a rebound shot from Matt Niskanen on a bad angle. This sent all of Capital One Arena into a frenzy. First fast start at home this season for the boys in red. The biggest surprise was that the bottom six forwards stepped up and put the team on the board that early. It’s great to know of the depth Washington has now. However, the Blue Jackets would tie the game in the 2nd period with goals from Artemi Panarin and Matt Calvert. Before the closeout of the 2nd period, Ovechkin scored on the power play to give Washington the lead. From his office, a snipe short side on Bobrovsky. Textbook.
At the start of the 3rd period, Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his goal streak with a quick ‘give and go’ play with John Carlson. Later into the period, Zach Werenski tucked one in behind Braden Holtby to draw the game back to a one goal lead for Washington. From here, it was all a Holtbeast show. Columbus was peppering the goaltender left and right, trying desperately to the tie the game. Holtby would hang on for the team after many desperation, flashing and sassy glove saves and went on to win making 32 saves on the night.
The Washington Capitals got away with one here. Turnovers lead to each and every one of the Blue Jackets goals. You can’t do that, especially when facing a division opponent. On a positive note though, the Caps took NO PENALTIES. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. All four lines produced, Holtby was on fire and defense did their job towards the end to defeat the Blue Jackets 4-3.