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Capitals 2, Blue Jackets 1 – Quick Thoughts

First Period

– Columbus registered the first seven shots of the game, pressuring the puck with a strong forecheck. The Caps didn’t find their first shot until nearly seven minutes passed.

– Things started to get a little chippy in front of the Columbus net a few seconds after Ryan Johansen and Alex Ovechkin traded hits. Matt Calvert went to the box a little later for holding, giving Washington its first power play of the game. We all know the is he/isn’t he drama concerning Joey’s fitness level, but it’s good to see the kid return the favor after an Ovechkin check:


– The Caps take a few shots in vain on the initial man-advantage. Bob made a couple of solid saves to hold the home side scoreless.

– The Jackets get their first power play with 7:13 left in the period when Tom Wilson hooked Johansen behind the CBJ net. A few clever passes yielded nothing terribly dangerous and one shot as the teams stayed scoreless through the first 15 minutes.

– Calvert took another trip to the sin bin with 1:28 after his stick took down TJ Oshie through the skates.

– Washington created one hell of a chance on a rebound from an Ovechkin rebound, but Bob made an otherworldly save to stone TJ Oshie. No score through the first period and it’s safe to say Bob is back:

Second Period

Braden Holtby absolutely robbed Boone Jenner three minutes in. Jenner, on the doorstep, tried to bang home a sitting puck and Holtby stuck his right leg out for a stop. That play made the game start to take on a “big, important Friday night game” vibe.

– Dmitry Orlov nearly scored before Justin Williams did with 5:44 to go in the period–a laser from one knee that sailed high on Bob. Caps drew first blood, 1-0 (they’ve done that in seven of their nine games).

– Officials tagged the Caps for holding in the period to put the Jackets on the power play at 14:28 of the third. The line of Johansen-Foligno-Hartnell line set up a Scott Hartnell point-blank chance…which found its way into Holtby’s glove.

– Three shots on the power play and no goals for the Blue Jackets. Bob continued to make big saves, catching a Jason Chimera shot in the closing minutes.

– The Blue Jackets’ zone descended into enough scrambling that John Tortorella called a timeout with a little over a minute left. Caps created more pressure but the Jackets kept the margin to one heading into the locker room, 1-0.

– Columbus led in shots at intermission, 20-18.

The period also saw the Jackets blow a hole in the Verizon Center scoreboard.

Third Period

Brooks Orpik sent the puck over the glass 3:52 into the third for a CBJ power play. Columbus ran into some resistance on the power play, starting a handful of chances before Washington sent the puck back out each time. Ryan Murray blocked a Jason Chimera shorthanded shot and Jack Johnson shattered his stick trying to uncork a shot from the point.

– Braden Holtby and his defensemen misunderstood each other behind the net and the goaltender left the puck alone, allowing a swooping Dubi to throw a puck in front for Nick Foligno. No goal, as Foligno’s shot found Capitals sticks to break up the chance with 13 minutes left in regulation.

– There hadn’t been any real post-whistle chippiness since the first period, besides the penalties. Tough, hard hockey from each side.

– With 8:01 to go, the Capitals found themselves enjoying an odd-man rush with Ovechkin-Niklas Backstrom-TJ Oshie, who pulled off a tic-tac-toe passing play in that order for an Oshie blast over a diving Bobrovsky. 2-0 Capitals.

– Columbus would answer. Matt Calvert scored the CBJ’s only goal on a beautiful backhand rebound follow-up with 5:15 to go in the game, a goal that withstood a Washington challenge on goalie interference grounds. Boone Jenner bumped Holtby but after a lengthy review, replays determined that Wilson initiated the play at the crease. Kevin Connauton also picked up an assist with Jenner. Good goal, 2-1 Washington.

– Bob turned away another Capitals scoring chance from close range with three minutes left.

– A Tom Wilson shot squeezed past Bobrovsky and rolled dangerously close to disaster before William Karlsson swept the puck away. Huge play for a young Jacket Tortorella had praised a day earlier:


– Columbus got away with putting too many men on the ice in the closing minutes and pulled Bobrovsky for the extra man. A couple of chances don’t make it into the net and Washington hung on, 2-1.

Final Thoughts

– The two game-winning streak comes to an end at the hands of the East’s fourth-place team. Bob stood tall when he had to and Columbus turned up the heat late in a grinding effort, falling short and moving to 2-9-0. An entertaining game with very unfortunate timing.

– Tortorella’s fingerprints are showing as the Jackets blocked shots and fought along the wall in Tortorella’s fourth game behind the bench.

– Boone Jenner led Columbus with five shots while Cam Atkinson and Dubi broke 20 minutes of ice time. David Savard led all Blue Jackets with 24:21. For the record: Johansen played 17:24.

– Back at Nationwide tomorrow to host Winnipeg at 7 p.m.