Columbus Blue Jackets, 12-9-0, 24 points, 5th Metro, 10th East
Washington Capitals, 14-4-6, 34 points, 1st Metro, 3rd East
The Columbus Blue Jackets head to the nation’s capital tonight nursing a three game losing skid following their latest outing against the Dallas Stars. Waiting for them in Capital One Arena are the Washington Capitals, one of the hottest teams in the league, buoyed by a Hart Trophy candidate. No rest for the weary.
To make things harder on the visitors, the Capitals could welcome back injured reinforcements:
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said Oshie, Sheary and Backstrom have all been cleared for contact.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 3, 2021
Noted Backstrom has been out longer, so still working his way back.
Laviolette wouldn't say if Oshie and Sheary are possibilities to play Saturday vs. CBJ.
Meanwhile, it appears Daniil Tarasov will be staying up, as Joonas Korpisalo was sent to injured reserve on Friday.
Just landed in D.C. #CBJ have placed G Joonas Korpisalo on injured reserve, retroactive to Wednesday. He has a non-COVID illness, per club release.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 3, 2021
This suggests Daniil Tarasov will remain with the big club for at least the next several days.
The Blue Jackets will be running into a buzzsaw of a Capitals team, a group that has won 9 of their last 13 games and has surged to first in the division. The Blue Jackets will need to tighten up significantly on the defensive end to have a chance to beat the Capitals. The Blue Jackets have learned some tough lessons over the last week - applying them to a Metro opponent would be paramount to getting back on track.
Player to Watch
Alex Ovechkin is not just chasing Wayne Gretzky’s goal scoring record (and, if he stays healthy, he’s got a chance of getting there), he’s playing like a league MVP again. After a down season in 2020-21 (by his standards) with 24-18-42 in 45 games played, Ovechkin has started this season with his hair on fire - he already has 19-19-38 in 24 games played. He’s eclipsed last season’s assists total already, and he’s on pace for over 70 goals this season. Ovechkin has turned back the clock this year, defying conventional aging assumptions and willing the Capitals to yet another elite season. He remains a force - and he’s scoring goals without doing it from the Ovechkin spot on the power play, to boot.
Daniil Tarasov made 34 saves in his NHL debut on Thursday night, including two saves on breakaways … Boone Jenner scored his 11th goal of the season on Thursday, good for 12th in the NHL … Alexandre Texier’s goal on Thursday, his seventh of the season, is a career high in goals … Columbus has been outscored 15-5 on this current road trip … Werenski was held without a shot for the first time all season
The Other Bench
The Capitals are coming in on the heels of a shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks … The Capitals have given up the first goal just eight times this season … Ovechkin had four goals over the last week, and his next goal will be his 750th of his career … Ovechkin’s next power play goal will tie Dave Andreychuk for the most all time in NHL history (274)
11/12/2021 WSH 4 @ CBJ 3
12/04/2021 CBJ @ WSH
03/17/2022 WSH @ CBJ
04/28/2022 CBJ @ WSH
|3.54 (5)||GPG||3.19 (9)|
|2.50 (4)||GAPG||3.24 (26)|
|18.1% (18)||PP%||20.6% (11)|
|82.5% (14)||PK%||83.9% (11)|
|50.82% (14)||5v5 Shot Attempt %||47.97% (24)|
|52.03% (10)||5v5 Unblocked shot attempt %||47.51% (23)|
|10.75% (1)||5v5 Shooting %||8.32 (11)|
|.928 (11)||5v5 Save %||.909 (29)|
|Alex Ovechkin, 19||G Leader||Boone Jenner, 11|
|Evgeny Kuznetsov, 20||A Leader||Jakub Voracek, 17|
|Alex Ovechkin, 38||P Leader||Oliver Bjorkstrand, 19|
|Tom Wilson, 26||PIM Leader||Sean Kuraly, Cole Sillinger, 17|
|7-1-4||Home / Road||4-6-0|
|Yegor Chinakhov||Cole Sillinger||Jakub Voracek|
|Gus Nyquist||Boone Jenner||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Eric Robinson||Sean Kuraly||Alexandre Texier|
|Max Domi||Jack Roslovic||Justin Danforth|
|Zach Werenski||Adam Boqvist|
|Vladislav Gavrikov||Jake Bean|
|Gavin Bayreuther||Andrew Peeke|
|Alex Ovechkin||Evgeny Kuznetsov||Aliakei Protas|
|Daniel Sprong||Lars Eller||Tom Wilson|
|Carl Hagelin||Nic Dowd||Garnet Hathaway|
|Beck Malenstyn||Conor McMichael||Brett Leason/td>|
|Martin Fehervary||John Carlson|
|Dmitro Orlov||Nick Jensen|
|Trevor Van Riemsdyk||Justin Schultz|