Game Preview #54 - Our Long National Nightmare...

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport

Is it over? Or could it be just beginning?

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets

January 30, 2014 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Japers' Rink
SBN's Capitals vs Blue Jackets Coverage

It was Gerald Ford, upon taking office at the close of the Watergate scandal that broke Richard Nixon, who noted during his inaugural speech that, "Our long, national nightmare is over." Well, the Jackets' three lackluster games after their big winning streak aren't certainly on par with Watergate. But, if they don't stop the slide tonight, it's liable to get really messy.

So, is our nightmare over, or are we doomed to keep on sleeping?

Speaking of stopping skids, the Capitals have done just that, winning their last two after going winless for seven (0-5-2). Great, just what Columbus needs: another team figuring it out just before coming to see us.

This game is important for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that these teams are tied in points and are both fighting to get back into the playoff race.

The Jackets will look to shake up their snakebitten offense, but not as sweepingly as you might expect from a Todd Richards team. Ryan Johansen will switch spots with Artem Anisimov. Corey Tropp also returns for Blake Comeau. Sergei Bobrovsky is back in net, and needs to channel his game from the last time these two teams met, where he flat-out wouldn't let the Caps score.

This game is kind of making me want to throw up just a little bit. Ugh.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(26-23-4, 56 Points; 5th division, 10th conference)

Nick Foligno Artem Anisimov R.J. Umberger
Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Nathan Horton
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Derek MacKenzie Mark Letestu Corey Tropp
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin Cody Goloubef
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Washington Capitals
(24-21-8, 56 Points; 6th Division, 12th Conference)

Marcus Johansson Niklas Backstrom Alex Ovechkin
Martin Erat Brooks Laich Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera Jay Beagle Tom Wilson
Eric Fehr Casey Wellman Joel Ward
John Carlson Karl Alzner
Dmitry Orlov Mike Green
John Erskine Connor Carrick
Braden Holtby
Michal Neuvirth

Season Series

10/19/13 - Columbus 1 at Washington 4
11/12/13 - Columbus 3 at Washington 4 (OT)
01/17/14 - Washington 1 at Columbus 5
01/30/14 - Washington at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Washington Columbus
2.74 (13) GPG 2.83 (11)
2.87 (20) GAPG 2.83 (17)
22.9% (3) PP% 19.3% (13)
80.0% (20) PK% 80.0% (19)
Alex Ovechkin, 38 G leader Ryan Johansen, 19
Niklas Backstrom, 39 A leader James Wisniewski, 28
Alex Ovechkin, 55 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 38
Tom Wilson, 105 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 78
10-12-4 Road/Home 14-11-2
1/28 @ Buffalo, W 5-4 (OT) Last Game 1/28 vs. Ottawa, L 3-2
3-5-2 Last 10 7-3-0
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