Game 17 Recap: All for Naught

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Jackets played an almost perfect road game. They had the lead with under two minutes to go, but the Capitals forced the tie and defeated the Jackets in overtime.

The Jackets were looking to build off of their feel-good victory on Saturday night against the Islanders, but were in a tough situation heading to Washington on Tuesday.

The opening period was scoreless, but there were some takeaways from the first twenty minutes.Ryan Johansen was in absolute beast mode for the Jackets. Centering Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson, Johansen continued to display his top-notch puck possession and playmaking, and he matched that with effort. The line was terrific, as they were on Saturday.

You knew that Sergei Bobrovsky was zoned-in early, when he pulled off a big kick-save after an R.J. Umberger turnover. I've been quite impressed with his focus the past few games, it's quite obvious that there has been a change in that regard. He'll have to be the Jackets' best player for the team to succeed this year.

Derek MacKenzie headed to the locker room midway through the period with what was described as a lower-body injury. It was initially announced that he wouldn't be returning, but he did in fact come back late in the second period.

Something that I was very pleased with was the lack of the cliche dropping of gloves after a hit by Fedor Tyutin on Brooks Laich. The hit was hard, but clean. All too often Tyutin would be forced to drop the gloves after delivering the hit, clean as it may be.

As it was in the first period, the play was ping-pong for the first few minutes of the second. The game's first powerplay went to the Jackets a little over five minutes in, after Steve Oleksy set a pick on Jared Boll. Midway through the man advantage, however, Bobrovsky earned a minor penalty for firing the puck over the glass. While Washington was on their abbreviated powerplay, Dubinsky potted his second shorthanded goal of the season to give the Jackets the lead. Dubinsky won a battle with Troy Brouwer behind the Caps' net, circled out front, and beat Holtby with a backhand.

1-0 Jackets: Dubinsky- Letestu

One of the things you can't do against the Capitals is give them powerplay opportunities. Unfortunately the Jackets did just that, by committing a too much man penalty, followed by a MacKenzie slash. The Jackets' penalty kill was effective however, and stifled the Capitals number one ranked unit on the night.

The Caps tied the game up minutes later. Noted Jacket killer Martin Erat completely disassembled Dalton Prout, sliding the puck toward the front of the net. With Bobrovsky challenging Erat, John Carlson had a wide open net after he gathered Erat's pass.

1-1: Carlson- Erat, Grabovski

My god, the goal horn /alarm / DEFCON-1 warning is truly cheesy.

The Jackets were the beneficiaries of a terrible call against Joel Ward of the Caps a few minutes into the third. The Capitals killed the penalty, but the Jackets gained a half-step at the point. Shortly after, with the momentum in their favor, the Jackets went back to the powerplay after Mike Green clutched the puck and passed the puck with his hand. A goal at that point would have sealed the game no doubt, but instead a fluke shorthanded goal by Washington gave them the lead. After a Capital dump-in, James Wisniewski missed the puck in the defensive zone. The puck bounced on Bobrovsky behind the net, and landed in open space by the left faceoff dot. Joel Ward was there to fire the puck into the open net.

2-1 Capitals: Ward- Urbom, Laich

The Jackets could have let the unlikely goal knock them out for good, but they came back with serious pressure. Everybody's favorite tough guy Jared Boll was in front of the Washington net, and redirected a Wisniewski shot with his side. The goal was Boll's first of the season.

2-2: Boll- Wisniewski, Collins

The Jackets continued to roll. The aforementioned line of Dubinsky, Johansen and Atkinson, were at it again, this time with Dubinsky chipping the puck off the boards, where a streaking Atkinson, who was in full afterburner, gathered the puck and raced in on Holtby, beating him five-hole for the lead, with 5:41 left to go.

3-2 Jackets: Atkinson- Dubinsky

The Jackets had to lock things up, maintain effort and discipline, and they would come away with a win on the road. They couldn't withstand the late flurry of the Caps though, and allowed Mikhail Grabovski to tie the game with 1:45 to go.

3-3: Grabovski- Chimera, Green

The game went to overtime, where the Caps sealed the victory. Marcus Johansson beat Wisniewski along the boards, and cut to the net. His shot was saved by Bobrovsky, but you-know-who wearing number eight in red was there to score the game-winner.

4-3 Capitals: Ovechkin- Johansson, Carlson

Standard Bearers:

  • The line of Dubinsky, Johansen and Atkinson was terrific, again.
  • Good Wiz: Currently third in defenseman scoring in the NHL.

Bottom of the Barrel:

  • Bad Wiz: -2 on the night, missed the dump-in that led to the Caps' second goal, was caught looking on the 3-3 goal, and was beaten by Johansson in overtime on the game-winner.

The advanced stats for the game can be found here, at Extra Skater.

The Jackets are back at it on Thursday against the Bruins.

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