It was clear almost from puck drop that the Jackets were a step behind the Caps in the opening period. There was also some nastiness from the get go, with Tom Wilson attempting to shove Matt Calvert into the open door to the Washington bench. Naturally Calvert didn't appreciate this, and in giving Wilson his thoughts on the matter he earned a roughing call. Wilson received the same, putting the teams four-on-four.
While still four-on-four, David Savard was called for hooking, though it was more of a whack on Alexander Ovechkin's hands as he carried the puck toward Columbus starter Sergei Bobrovsky. The penalty was killed.
Midway through the frame the Caps opened the scoring, when Joel Ward snapped a shot past Bobrovsky. You can always tell when Bob wants one back, as he has a herky-jerky head motion when looking behind him after getting beat.
1-0 Capitals: Joel Ward - Eric Fehr, Karl Alzner
The Jackets didn't react well to getting scored on. They remained on their heels for the remainder of the period, and were again on the kill late when Nick Foligno was called for interference.
Newcomer Jeremy Morin was the best skater for the CBJ, creating chances and winning battles.
With just seconds left, a point shot/pass found its way to Michael Latta, who was parked to the right of Bob. Latta spun and fired a backhand pass cross-crease to former Jacket Jason Chimera, who fired the puck into the net.
2-0 Capitals: Jason Chimera - Michael Latta, Brooks Orpik
The second period started the same way the opening period ended- with the Jackets on their heels, out of sync, with Washington completely dictating pace. That all changed at the 7:28 mark, when Ovechkin slashed the hands of Dalton Prout, giving the Jackets their first powerplay of the game.
It took a minute for the Jackets to get set up in the Caps' zone, but they eventually succeeded. Foligno took a pass from James Wisniewski, then sent a pass cross-ice to Jack Johnson, who had crept in from the point. Johnson flipped a backhand past Braden Holtby to cut the lead in half. It was JMFJ's first powerplay goal of the season.
2-1 Capitals: Jack Johnson - Nick Foligno, James Wisniewski
The Jackets earned another powerplay moments later, when Joel Ward was called for hooking, and while up a man they tied the game. Kevin Connauton fired a hard wrister from the point, with Holtby making the initial save. The puck fell to the blue ice, where Foligno was there to deposit the puck into the net.
2-2: Nick Foligno - Kevin Connauton, Ryan Johansen
With Nationwide Arena coming to life, the remainder of the period degenerated into a mess of fights, post-whistle scrums and cheap shots.
Shortly after the ensuing faceoff following the Foligno goal, Prout and Wilson dropped the mitts. Prout kept feeding punches into Wilson, easily winning the tilt. On the next faceoff, Latta and Jared Boll agreed to a staged scrap. Call it a draw, as the linesmen jumped in way too early.
Next whistle after play resumed saw the post-whistle crap. Fedor Tyutin and Troy Brouwer mixed it up, with the ref immediately sending both to the box for roughing.
After a phenomenal, clean, hard hit by Foligno on John Carlson, the latter scraped himself up off the ice, and as he skated away from the site of the impact he threw a cheap shot elbow to Johansen's head. The Jackets were given a powerplay, and did a great job of maintaining their cool and not losing their man advantage. Suck it up, Carlson.
Another scrap came late in the period, with Michael Chaput standing up for himself after getting harassed by Brouwer. The two dropped the mitts, with Chaput receiving an additional minor penalty.
Unlike the first two frames, the Jackets came out refreshed to start the third. Less than a minute in, Foligno scored his second goal of the game after Morin flipped the puck toward the net and Foligno was there to pot the rebound. The assist was Morin's first point as a Jacket.
3-2 Jackets: Nick Foligno - Jeremy Morin, Brian Gibbons
Reminders of the early-season injury issues started to creep into the minds of CBJ fans early in the third, when Corey Tropp and Brian Gibbons left with injuries. Tropp took a Tyutin point shot to the face, while Gibbons' injury wasn't initially known. Tropp, a real gamer, returned after receiving some repairs.
With the forward lines in flux with the two forwards out, there was some confusion on the ice. Karl Alzner took advantage of this, finding some open ice as he carried the puck in the Jackets' zone. He fired a weak shot, beating Bob for a goal the goalie would have loved to have back.
3-3: Karl Alzner - Michael Latta, Jason Chimera
Midway through the third, the Jackets went back to the powerplay, thanks to a dumbass slash by Brooks Orpik on Morin, after Morin delivered a hard hit on him. No joy for the CBJ while up a man, however.
With less than five minutes left, Michael Chaput got the building rocking when he scored his first NHL goal. Matt Calvert tossed the puck on-net, with the puck bouncing off Jared Boll to Chaput, who shot across his body, beating Holtby.
4-3 Jackets: Michael Chaput - Jared Boll, Matt Calvert
Unfortunately the celebration didn't last. Mike Green skated with the puck into the Columbus zone, firing the puck far-post, with Brouwer apparently kicking the puck in. The officials reviewed the goal, with the determination being that it was in fact, a perfectly standard National Hockey League goal.
4-4: Troy Brouwer - Mike Green
It took just 42 seconds for the Caps to win it. Mike Green carried the puck up-ice, dropping it back toward the slot, where Eric Fehr was there to jam it past Bobrovsky.
5-4 Capitals: Eric Fehr - Mike Green
FINAL SCORE: 5-4 Capitals
- Congrats to Michael Chaput on his first NHL goal!
- The powerplay made up for the bad first period.
- Nick Foligno was in full-on beast mode tonight, scoring his 100th and 101st career goals and adding an assist.
- Jeremy Morin was very good tonight, winning battles, creating chances and showing speed. Great pickup so far.
- The Jackets as a whole dug themselves into a two-goal hole after the first thanks to a sluggish start.
- Bob looked...ordinary.
- Tom Wilson.