Thursday night’s matchup between the Washington Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets was everything we expected. Low scoring, fast and exciting hockey, and it’s only fitting that the game was decided by a shootout.
Everyone knew, or assumed, that Columbus was going to be a tough opponent. With emerging star Cam Atkinson, and likely-Vezina Trophy candidate Sergei Bobrovsky leading the way, a low scoring affair was almost inevitable. Low-scoring, fast hockey is what the Capitals (and Columbus) need with the playoffs right around the corner, as this is the style of hockey that is shown in the postseason.
Tonight’s game went scoreless through two periods, until Seth Jones buried a puck just 41 seconds into the third period, so the Caps found themselves trailing. Jones is a great fit for Columbus. A young defenseman with unreal potential to be a top defender in the future.
Nearly 6 game minutes later, Dmitry Orlov fired one past Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the game at 1. Orlov’s equalizer was his 6th tally on the season, and it proved to be a big one. While he flies under the radar, Orlov is a solid piece to the Caps’ defense. It’ll be interesting to see if management decides to keep him or Karl Alzner.
After Orlov’s tying goal, no one else scored, so the game went to 3-on-3 overtime, which is always exciting to watch. No dice for either team in overtime, so it went to a shootout, or as some like to call it, the skills competition.
T.J. Oshie, AKA “Mr. Automatic” in shootouts went first, and of course, he potted the puck. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Oshie’s goal at the top of the first round was the only goal, as Braden Holtby was doing his best brick wall impression.
Washington’s victory tonight over the Columbus Blue Jackets has given them a 48-16-9 record on the season, and their 30th victory at Verizon Center in 2016-2017.
Next on the schedule is Arizona, not exactly a great team, but still an important game nonetheless. Arizona is 27-38-9 this season, but with young star players like Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, their record can be misleading. It seems as though the Boys in Red are heating back up, just at the right time with the big prize looming.