Game #70 Preview: Blue Jackets wrap extended road trip with visit to swooning Capitals

Here’s what you need to know.

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Washington Capitals
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 7:00 PM EST
Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: Bally’s Sports Ohio - Radio: WBNS FM
Opponent’s blog: Japers’ Rink

Columbus Blue Jackets, 21-41-7, 49 points, 8th Metro, 16th East
Washington Capitals, 33-31-7, 73 points, 6th Metro, 10th East

The Columbus Blue Jackets wrap up their road trip tonight with a visit to the Washington Capitals. The Capitals have swooned this season, largely due to injuries, but their aging roster is doing them no favors - the Capitals are likely to miss the playoffs this season, but have played large stretches of the season with injuries to Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, and John Carlson.

The Jackets are coming off a demolition against the Vegas Golden Knights where they capitulated down the stretch. The Jackets have little to play for at this stretch outside of development and Connor Bedard odds, so here’s hoping the team takes a positive step in both directions tonight.

Player to Watch

Rasmus Sandin

Sandin, acquired at the trade deadline from the Toronto Maple Leafs, has 11 points in eight games since coming to the Capitals. Sandin, a previous first round pick (29th overall in the 2018 draft), never found his stride in Toronto. In three and a half seasons with the Leafs, Sandin played 140 games, totaled 10-38-48, and only averaged 16:40 for a defensively inconsistent group - Sandin never fulled earned head coach Sheldon Keefe’s trust. In Washington, Sandin is averaging 24:56 per contest with 1-10-11 and looks rejuvenated.

Jackets Notes

The Blue Jackets signed college free agent Hunter McKown to a three year ELC .. McKown, age 20, posted a 36-19-55 line with 75 PIM in 96 games at Colorado College … McKown is listed at 6-1, 205 and represented Team USA at the 2022 IIHF World Juniors … Patrik Laine, who played center for the first time in his seven year career on Sunday, had an xGF of 93.4%  … Laine had two assists against Vegas on Sunday

The Other Bench

Alex Ovechkin is 75 goals from tying, 76 goals from passing Wayne Gretzky’s goal total of 894 … Ovechkin scored two on Sunday in a loss to the Minnesota Wild … John Carlson is expected to return to the Capitals soon, three months after he suffered a fractured skill and lacerated temporal artery … Carlson has returned to practice, and is wearing a regular sweater

Season Series

01/05/2023 WAS 6 @ CBJ 2
01/08/2023 CBJ 0 @ WAS 1
01/31/2023 WAS 4 @ CBJ 3 (OT)
03/21/2023 CBJ @ WAS


Washington   Columbus
3.08 (20) GPG 2.62 (29)
3.04 (14) GAPG 3.86 (31)
21.4% (15) PP% 18.6% (25)
83.1% (4) PK% 76.2% (22)
50.67% (16) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 45.59% (28)
50.21% (19) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 45.09% (28)
8.46% (17) 5v5 Shooting % 7.66% (29)
.909 (22) 5v5 Save % .906 (25)
Alex Ovechkin, 39 G Leader Boone Jenner, 23
Evgeny Kuznetsov, 39 A Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 46
Alex Ovechkin, 68 P Leader Johnny Gaudreau, 63
TJ Oshie, 57 PIM Leader Mathieu Olivier, 81
16-14-4 Home / Road 8-21-5
4-5-1 Last 10 2-6-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny Gaudreau Boone Jenner Emil Bemstrom
Patrik Laine Jack Roslovic Kirill Marchenko
Eric Robinson Cole Sillinger Kent Johnson
Liam Foudy Lane Pederson Mathieu Olivier
Nick Blankenburg Erik Gudbranson
Tim Berni Andrew Peeke
Gavin Bayreuther Adam Boqvist
Daniil Tarasov
Michael Hutchinson

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin Dylan Strome Conor Sheary
TJ Oshie Evgeny Kuznetsov Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano Nicklas Backstrom Craig Smith
Aliaksei Protas Nic Dowd Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Rasmus Sandin Trevor van Riemsdyk
Alexander Alexyev Martin Fehervary
Matt Irwin Gabriel Carlsson
Charlie Lindgren
Zach Fucale

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