While the Blue Jackets didn’t come out firing, per se, they did come out with a bevy of more energy, taking advantage of a team who was playing on the second leg of a back-to-back and playing their seventh game in 12 days.
The Blue Jackets controlled the puck for a majority of the opening period in a period that saw a little back and forth, but no goals. The most exciting moments of the frame came on a pair of plays involving Tom Wilson.
The first of which saw Wilson give an extra elbow shove to Josh Anderson, forcing him to be slow getting off the ice (he returned and was fine).
The second came on an off-setting penalty play that saw Wilson trip Artemi Panarin, but Bread was called for a hold, sending both to the box.
Bread took exception (or, rather, played off the NWA crowd) and stared down Wilson, which was awesome.
I don’t think it was worth a penalty on #9, but whatever.
The first period ended with Columbus holding an 11-4 shot advantage, which only became more one-sided in the second period, as Columbus came out hot and Washington already skating with end-of-game legs.
The first goal of the game came on an odd-man rush in favor of the Blue Jackets, with Anthony Duclair beating Braden Holtby top-shelf for a 1-0 advantage.
The second period continued with solid forechecking for the Jackets, holding the Caps to just three shots over the middle 20 minutes.
While Columbus scored twice in the third period, it was the defense that anchored the win in the final 20. The Blue Jackets were solid both on the backcheck and in holding the line in the defensive zone.
The Capitals logged their 10th shot attempt around the midway point of the third period and nearly doubled their total shot attempts alone inside the final 90 seconds, pulling Holtby for an extra attacker and flurrying the Jackets with attempts, but Columbus and Sergei Bobrovsky held strong.
Prior to that flurry of shots, though, the Jackets took a 2-0 lead on a tic-tac-toe play between Nick Foligno and Seth Jones, finishing with a Foligno wrister to give Columbus a two-goal lead.
With the net empty, Panarin put the final exclamation point on the evening, sealing the win for the Union Blue.
While the game wasn’t 60 minutes balls to the wall, it was 60 minutes of domination by the Jackets. CBJ finished the game with a 58.21% CF% and a 61.7% FF%, compared to just 41.79% and 38.3%, respectively, for Washington.
The Jackets have now won four straight contests and have the opportunity to null their recent five-game slide on Thursday against the Islanders at Nationwide.
Until next year, Caps. (Or, god forbid, in the playoffs again).