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Game #38 Recap: Jackets lose in hard-fought, low-scoring contest that ended in OT

CBJ’s win streak brought to a grinding halt.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

In a game that reflected some of the best of the Blue Jackets’ fighting spirit during this unprecedented epidemic of injuries, the Jackets fell 2-1 in OT to the Washington Capitals.

A fast-paced first period that ended 0-0 rolled into a second period that saw a Blue Jackets goal, followed by the third period Caps answer, and an eventual finisher by TJ Oshie off a rebound from a Nicklas Backstrom shot.

First Period:

In a notable change-up, the Capitals started goaltender Ilya Samsonov tonight — perhaps to change things up against the Blue Jackets, who were on a two-game win streak against the Caps prior to this game.

Both Joonas Korpisalo and Samsonov had important, game-changing saves in the first period, and Tom Wilson made his obnoxious presence known with a hard, “clean” hit against Alex Wennberg that everyone on Twitter took issue with.

However, the period ended with no penalties and with pretty even results: 9-8 CBJ in shots on goal, 21-20 Caps in total shots.

Second Period:

Okay, this is when things started to get interesting — Tom Wilson was called for tripping Eric Robinson, resulting in a successful penalty kill for the Caps. The tables turn quickly and place the Jackets in a frenzied PK while Kukan’s off for tripping, but Korpi made the necessary saves and keeps the score 0-0.

Jakob Lilja chose a solid time to score his first NHL goal, burying a pass from Riley Nash at 9:17 of the second period. Ryan MacInnis is also credited with the assist, earning him his first NHL point. It’s been an incredible season for CBJ player firsts, spurred by the influx of ice time for rookies as the injuries just keep racking up.

Lilja marks the sixth first NHL goal this season, following Gavrikov, Stenlund, Robinson, Kukan, and Bemstrom, according to @JacketsInsider.

Unfortunately, Wilson gets away with another questionable hit against Lilja in the second, which results in Lilja’s head making hard contact with the boards — Wilson draws no penalty, imagine that. Fortunately, he returned to play for the remainder of the game. Jackets end the period in a PK due to a fight between Nick Foligno and Jonas Siegenthaler, which Foligno handily won (literally with his hands, as he dropped his gloves).

Third Period:

The Jackets successfully kill the penalty, but Carl Hagelin finds the back of the net off his own rebound — 1-1 with 13:47 to go in the game.

Dubois draws a penalty that yields no results, and then Foligno heads to the box for a tripping call. A couple close calls and great saves on both sides later, and the Jackets find themselves in overtime.

Honestly — pause for one second — I think that’s a fabulous result for this game. The Capitals were out for blood after having lost the last two matchups against the Jackets, and their last game was a 7-3 loss delivered to them by the Boston Bruins. The Jackets roster is currently full of more holes than the Christian Bale Batman movie plots and all things considered, this was as good a result as they could have hoped for if they weren’t going to be able to get the win.

Okay, so, overtime — Nathan Gerbe draws a penalty and TJ Oshie scores on the power play. Dammit!

Well, lets consider some victories the Jackets earned tonight, outside of the binary results of the game:

  • Gained a point, putting them within five points of the WC spot.
  • Win streak snapped, but point streak nine games long.
  • No new injuries!
  • Ovechkin didn’t score.
  • Korpi looked great!
  • Next game is against the Blackhawks.

The Jackets have a day off before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, December 29 — don’t forget it’s a 5 p.m. game!