Capitals manage ugly win vs Blue Jackets in OT 4-3

DC’s hockey team concluded its schedule before the All-Star break with a road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In an unevenly played game, the Capitals somehow came out with the win thanks to Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal. Each team put 34 shots on goal. Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 of those shots to preseve the victory.

Garnet Hathaway scored first at 5:06 of the first period after deflecting Lars Eller’s shot just under the catching glove of Joonas Korpisalo. The play was set after Nicolas Aube-Kubel gained the zone. After Eller took a pass from Nick Jensen, he waited until Hathaway had set the screen and fired. At 14:28, Trevor van Riemsdyk. Once again Aube-Kubel started the play by darting into the zone. He left the puck for van Riemsdyk who snapped a point shot past Korpisalo. Andrew Peeke brought Coumbus within a goal 22 seconds later.

In the second period, van Riemsdyk scored again. Kuznetsov created the play by weaving around the Columbus defense and then behind the goal. He waited for the right moment then flipped the puck to a waiting van Riemsdyk, parked in front of the crease for the easy wrister at 8:26. Several minutes later, Eric Robinson closed the gap again for the Jackets with a goal at 11:03.

Holding on to the lead proved to be a daunting task through the third period. Finally, at 12:44, Johnny Gaudreau snuck past Washington’s defense and easily put home the wrist shot just over Lindgren’s glove hand. From then on, Columbus actually dominated the last minutes of regulation. The Capitals had all kinds of trouble clearing their own zone much less creating scoring chances at the other end.

Fortunately, only 26 seconds of overtime were required to complete the game. Marcus Johansson made a backhand pass to Kuznetsov who glided to the right circle and unleashed a drive that found just enough space through the right armpit of Korpisalo.

NOTES—The Capitals will not play again until Feb 11th when they face the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The start time is 3:30 PM ET and is also scheduled to be nationally televised.

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